Trying to convince me watch a zombie movie these days require the plot to either be wildly original or absurdly funny. Either does not have to be perfect. When the guffaws come from the gut, that’s a good sign in what I enjoyed from Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Sure, it’s immature and sophomoric in its approach, but it’s Halloween! People get silly around this time just so they can unleash some inhibitions. I suspect this movie will do better once it hits video than persist on the big screen.
This film is simple popcorn entertainment. It blends the best of what camaraderie represents in The Goonies to the wildness of the situation from Zombieland. With character-driven elements taken from Superbad, this combination works to drive home a character drama.
At this film’s core is a tale about what being in the Boy Scouts is all about. The team building exercises learned helps develop character and the skills learned help create survival instincts. When Ben (Tye Sheridan) and Carter (Logan Miller) are questioning why they are still members of this club, that one moment of indecision creates a plot where they feel conflicted over abandoning Augie (Joey Morgan) on the night the Zombie apocalypse begins. The morality lesson is there, but due to this film’s rating (R), not everyone will be able to see how their friendship goes down and back up again. The over-the-top splatterfest and sexual references will be off-putting to some conservatives. Fans of EC Comics will adore this film, and who knows, maybe Max Brooks approves of how these boys get creative in how to fight off the zombies. I wonder if the scouts will have to make reading The Zombie Survival Guide mandatory?
To see these boys apply more of their scouting skills could have helped emphasize why being in this ranger club matters. But in what’s featured, it’s still fun at a basic level. The humour is well-placed and intentioned. the action for the later half is kinetic, and who doesn’t want to check out how the cat came back in this film?
3½ Stars out of 5