In 2015, there are few things trendier than zombies. Even Pride and Prejudice is getting the zombie treatment. The latest things to get zombified are Boy Scouts in the horror comedy, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
I can’t believe I’m typing this – Scouts Guide is a surprisingly fun movie. Warning: This is a movie about boy scouts that’s not for boy scouts. Scouts Guide uses every inch of its R rating. There’s plenty of foul language, gross out humor, an unnecessary slow motion zombie breasts scene, a zombie penis scene, and a zombie stripper. The film could easily be slapped with the “National Lampoon’s” tag in from its title.
The story is standard as far as zombie movies go. Three high school boy scouts, Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller), and Augie (Joey Morgan) are planning to spend the weekend in the woods for a ceremony where Augie will receive his Condor badge. When Ben and Carter sneak out to attend a secret senior party, they find out a zombie virus has spread through their town. They boys team up with a stripper named Denise (Sarah Dumont) and search for the secret party to save Carter’s sister Kendall (Halston Sage).
For a film that plays like a 14 year old boy’s fantasy, Scout’s Guide has a few good jump scares and legitimate gross out moments. Director Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and the writers take a story that should be annoying and craft something entertaining out of it. They rest on commonly used story lines but make them work – the groups constant run-ins with Scout Leader Rogers (David Koechner), a Britney Spears singalong with a zombie and the predictable, but hilarious, showdown with a mean zombie neighbor and her cats.
Everything about this film screams that it should be horrible, but it isn’t. The movie opens with Workaholics’ Blake Anderson hilariously lip-syncing Iggy Azalea’s Black Widow, and the laughs keep going from there. A lot of the credit goes to the three leads, they absolutely carry the movie. They’re unknown actors but have such good chemistry together, it allows them to turn cheesy dialogue and conventional horror gags into some genuine laugh out loud moments.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse isn’t breaking new ground. It’s everything you’d expect, yet avoids being terrible. For people who can handle the harsh language and mature jokes, this might be right up your alley. I went in expecting to hate it, but I laughed and was engaged from the opening scene to the end credits. I’m as shocked as you are.