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Since I started the website I've done a Slasher marathon every summer. This time I thought I'd start things off in the first week of...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)




The zombie marathon continues with this recent gem. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse combines your typical foul-mouthed teen comedy with zombies. That was a very ambitious mashup to attempt and could easily go horribly wrong. Does it work here? Well I did refer to it as a gem so…

The movie opens with a janitor dancing around with his headphones on horsing around in what appears to be a secure lab facility. He is left alone and thru a comedy of errors shuts off the equipment that was keeping a zombie in stasis. It gets free and all hell breaks loose. Credits roll, and we meet our main characters three high schoolers named Augie, Carter, and Ben. Augie loves being a scout, Carter is obsessed with girls, and Ben is secretly in love with Ben’s sister. That about sums up all you need to know.

While camping Carter and Ben ditch Augie to go to a senior party. Augie catches them and is annoyed and hurt. They still split up and head back to town separately. The pair end up at a strip club and Augie goes to Scout Leader Rodgers house to see why he never showed up at the campsite. Spoilers… Rodgers met up with a zombie deer. They each discover the zombie outbreak and end up together with a cocktail waitress (she isn’t a stripper!) named Denise. Much mayhem and comedy ensue as they attempt to navigate a town full of zombies without ending up on the menu.

Horror comedies are a difficult thing to pull off successfully. I’ve watched a lot of them and most fail miserably, but this one nails the formula. First off, we have likeable characters put into absurd situations that are funny. A couple examples would be the old lady zombie, played by Cloris Leachman, who loses her false teeth and is only able to gum poor Carter’s butt instead of eating him.
The boys
Sure, it is a bit gross, but also hilarious. Speaking of gross, another absurdly goofy gag has to do when our heroes need to jump onto a trampoline to bounce past some zombies. Ben goes last and ends up hanging onto a zombie’s… how do I put this delicately… “equipment”. These are only a couple of the setups that Scouts Guide uses to create some comedy. Oh, I suppose I should mention one other. Zombie Boobs, need I say more?

They have the comedy down, but what about the horror? The zombies look gnarly and have personalities. There is the old lady next door zombie, the zombie without a lower jaw (Dr. Tongue from Day of the Dead doesn’t have as much fun as this guy!), the Britney loving homeless guy, and of course Scout Leader Rodgers. There is a good amount of practical effects work used to bring them to life or I suppose more accurately unlife on the screen. You will notice a few bits of CGI here and there, but it is used to support the practical work instead of serving as the primary effects.

Zombie cats.. it had to be zombie cats.
The kills are entertaining and executed nicely. Throats get ripped out, heads are cut off, cats are smashed, nails are gunned thru noggins’, and there is creative use of a weedwhacker that I enjoyed immensely. It is in the big showdown at the end of the movie where you will get most of the CGI and it is used for much of the gore. That was a bit of a bummer but considering how well the rest of the movie is made I’ll give them a pass.

There are fans who don’t like humor in their zombie movies. Personally, I enjoy both the ones that are a kick in the gut and those that provide belly laughs. See what I did there? I’m proud of that one. Getting back on topic I like Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. It is an entertaining popcorn movie that just happens to have zombies in it. Consider it recommended.


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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