Zombies are a hard topic to tackle these days, with shows like The Walking Dead and big budget studios entries like World War Z, suddenly everybody has become an expert in the infected afterlife. And while Zombie movies have been around since as early as the 1930’s and have only gained more popularity with every decade since, the majority of them now fly way under the radar of the general public. But when news of this movie came out, it seemed that the studio felt like it was worth pushing and worth giving a full cinema release. So, Is it any good?
After getting a fairly bad wrap upon release in the USA and early screenings, I went into Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse with fairly low expectations. The trailer looked good, and seemed like it would be more comedy than anything else, and this is true. There is a nice mix of the funny, the dangerous, and some character building moments too. They give glimpses into the main characters lives so that you want them to survive, but waste no time getting into the action, and once it starts it’s a fairly fast paced ride for the remainder of the movie.
The story is about 3 friends, that have been scouts since they were young. Some of them still love being a scout, others not so much, and upon having a falling out on a camp out in the woods one night get seperated on potentially the worst night of their lives. What follows is a boob filled, bloody night of them using their woodsman skills to survive this outbreak that has hit their little town.
One of the first reviews I read before seeing this was that it didn’t quite get as crazy as it probably should have. I have to disagree with that statement as I was equally pleased and disgusted at how far some of the jokes went. Many of them were nice surprises that I do not wish to ruin before you see it, but there is PLENTY of blood, and even some male genitals in there for good measure. The addition of a strong female lead to assist the boys was great. Played by Sarah Dumont, she is a badass that whips the boys into shape and shows them that just because they aren’t the cool kids, or feel like the losers, doesn’t mean they are and can prove themselves worthy to everyone. Her character plays an older girl, that through many bad experiences has much wisdom to give the boys on their journey, and will help them in life…provided they survive the night.
The zombies in this film are pretty standard they group together, are attracted to loud noises, a few of them can run. A nice little addition is Zombies on old-people scooters, or wearing amusing T-shirts, or my favourite, zombie animals. Zombie cats were what I was most excited for after seeing the trailer. Unfortunately the cat scene is rather short-lived and over too soon, but we still get a glimpse into what would happen to peoples pets in the event of an outbreak.
Once the film reaches the third act, the boys are becoming experts at making the undead stay dead. It was nice to see a bit of progression in their violence. At first when they are still unsure what’s happening and are hesitant to kill these people, it makes it seem a little bit more believable. Most people, especially teenage boys, would hardly have an easy time killing people, ravenous or not. In fact, all of their first kills could be attributed to self defence. But as I said, towards the end, when they have decided that it is in their best interest to dispose of these creatures as quickly and easily as possible, things get particularly gory with a good old fashioned hardware store montage before the climax of the film.
If you’re looking for scary zombies, this may not be your best option. But if you’re in need of a zombie fix with side order of teen coming-of-age comedy, this is a perfect fit. In fact, I think the world could use more movies like this nowadays, not trying to please everyone, just a simple on the surface mixing of genres that has a nice underlying message.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse is out in cinemas November 5