Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Movie Review

scouts - poster

Have you ever found yourself watching Superbad and thinking, “I wish there was a less well-written version of this with zombies and more annoying characters,”?  Then this movie is for you!

That sounds harsher than I mean it to.  I apologize to the scouts and their stripper friend.  Let’s break it down.


Ben, Carter and Augie are sophomores in high school.  They are Boy Scouts.  Augie loves being a scout.  Ben and Carter are planning on quitting – because being a Boy Scout is super lame, you guys – but don’t want to hurt Augie’s feelings.
The three of them are going on an overnight scout trip with Scout Leader Rodgers (a Dolly Parton-loving David Koechner) when Ben and Carter are invited to a super-secret high school party by Kendall’s (Carter’s hot sister, who Ben has a very obvious crush on) boyfriend.  But it’s the same night as the camp-out!  What are these scouts going to do?

They’re going to ditch Augie after he goes to sleep and go to the party, because that sounds like a plan that will go very well.  Somewhere along the line, they meet up with Denise, a former high school dropout who now works at a local strip club.


Pretty standard high school sex comedy stuff, really.  Until the zombies show up.
We see the outbreak at the beginning of the movie.  They are being studied at some local sciency place, which allows burnout janitors to just dance right into the zombie zone.  It seemed like they probably could have secured the area a little better, but that’s just me being cautious, I guess.

At this point, Ben, Carter, Augie (who joins up with them after having some adventures by himself) and Denise are still trying to get to the party.  Not because they want to hook up with seniors (they do, though), but because they want to save everyone there from the zombies.  Also, the military is planning on wiping out the entire city to stop the zombie spread (as seen in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Crazies, Return of the Living Dead and many, many more).


I just used a whole lot of words on a pretty simplistic plot.  I apologize.  I could have just said, “high school boys attempt to procure alcohol and bang girls way out of their league, also zombies.”  Or, to kind of repeat myself from earlier, “Superbad: Rave To The Grave,” complete with one of the characters (Carter) trying to be a skinny Jonah Hill in the worst way.  Anyway, let’s get to some thoughts.

scouts - zombie selfie

It was fine.  Carter’s whole “Jonah Hill in Superbad,” act got old really quick, and I didn’t really care for bland Ben, but I really liked Augie and Denise.  I liked Augie because he wasn’t ashamed of who he was (he also created the best weapon when it came to killin’ time) and Denise because, underneath her gruff demeanor, was actually quite sweet.  Her and Ben formed a weird little friendship that I genuinely enjoyed watching.  She treated Carter like garbage, because he was a jackass and needed to be put in his place.  I liked that, because Carter deserves everything bad in this world.
Ultimately, we’re talking about zombie comedy, so let’s talk about the zombies.
It was unclear how they were going to play it.  The first zombies we see are typical Romero zombies.  We also see a zombie deer, so we know it can cross species.

Also, cats
Also, cats

Then we get to a scene early in the outbreak where our heroes are making a stand in a liquor store parking lot.  A horde of zombies are lurching towards them.  Suddenly, one of the zombies goes down on all fours and starts running at them like a flesh-eating ape.  Okay then.  We’re dealing with Day of the Dead (remake) zombies.
We also find out that the zombies retain something of their pre-zombie memories, much like latter day Romero zombies (as first seen in the original Day of the Dead).  How do we find this out?  Why, the scouts sing “…Baby One More Time” to a zombie wearing a Britney Spears t-shirt, and the zombie attempts to sing along.  It’s a highly scientific method.

"My loneliness is killing meeeee..."
“My loneliness is killing meeeee…”

There is some decent gore, especially when the scouts “weapon up” and hit the party.  They created a bunch of zombie-killing weapons from random hardware store items, because apparently they had all earned their Weapon Making merit badges.  Lots of death, destruction, mayhem, etc.
If you like the image of someone using a zombie penis as a handle, only to tear that handle off and send it flying through the air, there is also a scene like that.  There is also a scene where someone takes a selfie with a pair of zombie boobs.  I did not care for those scenes.

scouts - running up stairsI can’t say I enjoyed this movie all the way through, but there were enough funny/bloody moments to keep me entertained.  There’s something I had to keep in mind as I was watching this: I am 35 years old.  This movie was not really made with the “approaching middle-age man” in mind.  If I was in high school or college, I’m sure I would find this movie hilarious.  It’s a bit of dumb fun with crude jokes, lots of gore and a little nudity.  It’s fast-moving enough to make it easy to overlook its flaws.
Although, honestly, if you switch out Carter for a character who is less obnoxious, I’m sure I would have enjoyed this more than I did.  As it stands, this was a fun movie that I will probably never watch again.  If I do, it’ll probably be on mute, in the background of a party.

scouts - trapped
Who am I kidding?  I don’t have parties.  I apologize for lying to you all.

Rating: 2.5/5

31 Days of Horror Day 29: Severance

severance movie poster

A British horror comedy about a work retreat held in a remote cabin in Hungary.  The fear of bears is real, but they soon realize something more sinister is lurking in the trees.  Is their cabin really an old mental institution, or is that just a story?

Severance - Walking on Road

I love this movie.  It’s a comedy, but it also knows its horror movies.  It plays out like a tense slasher, and there are some pretty brutal scenes.  While some of the violence is played for laughs, it’s never overly goofy.  So, while it is absolutely a comedy, it never loses sight of the horror aspect.

Severance - Knife

It’s incredibly funny, and doesn’t lack for blood or gore.  If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly recommend that you do.  If you have, now’s the time to revisit it.

31 Days of Horror Day 21: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale - Poster

Did you all like when I wrote about Dracula 3D then disappeared for a while?
What?  You didn’t like that?  My bad.
To apologize, let’s watch Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: a different look on the murderous redneck genre.  In this film, we follow the lovable Tucker and Dale as they fix up their new summer home, only to find college kids committing mass suicide on their new land.  It’s extremely funny and extremely bloody.  I adore this movie.

They have had a doozy of a day.
They have had a doozy of a day.

31 Days of Horror Day 17: The Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods - Poster

Hey guys.  Let’s get real for a second.  This week has been really stressful.  Work has been crazy.  And, on top of these 31 Days of Horror posts and the return of The Walking Dead, I have also been keeping myself busy with my work at Packer Update.  All of that means I’ve been writing more on a daily basis than I ever have in my life.  It seems like I’m busy all the time.  I love writing about horror movies and football, but sometimes I feel like no one actually reads any of this, and it’s just draining, ya know?

Not now, zombie hand. I'm in the middle of something.
Not now, zombie arm. I’m in the middle of something.

Sometimes I feel like I need something like Evil Dead: something big and nasty and drenched in blood.  Other times I need something like The Cabin in the Woods: something that just gets it.  Something that turns a perfectly executed genre deconstruction into a hugely comical bloodbath.  Something that has fun with genre conventions, yet doesn’t mock the genre.  Something that can simultaneously make you laugh and cringe.

Cabin in the Woods - Unicorn

I didn’t love this the first time I saw it.  I loved the first hour, but thought the ending was just a bit too much.  A bit too in-your-face.  The more I watch it, the further I get away from that view.  I love that they can take apart the genre by looking at it from a different angle, then shrug their shoulders and heap mayhem on the third act.  It’s beautiful.  It’s the result of some guys who made a movie they always wanted to watch, and had a lot of fun doing it.

Cabin in the Woods - Elevator

They show you all the monsters they could have used instead of the Zombie Redneck Torture Family, then they unleash them all on the world in a blaze of bloody glory.  (If you’re looking for great way to kill time, do a Google Image search for “Cabin in the Woods Monsters”.)

Cabin in the Woods - Cubes

The concept is perfect.  The cast is great.  The dialogue is fantastic.  It’s Friday!  Let’s all have fun and watch The Cabin in the Woods.

Cabin in the Woods - Cabin

And don’t forget to dance.


31 Days of Horror Day 13: Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead - Poster

That’s two depressing movies in a row.  Let’s lighten things up a bit while still keeping it within the zombie family, yeah?  To do while, we’ll go with Edgar Wright’s zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead.

Shaun of the Dead - Shaun and Ed

This movie is perfect.  It’s not a parody of the genre, but a loving homage to it.  The difference is that they reference the genre as a whole without skewering specific scenes.  It’s a movie that fully acknowledges its predecessors, while still making something that is wholly original.  While you’ll enjoy this more if you’re familiar with the zombie genre, it’s a movie that can be enjoyed on its own, as well.

Shaun of the Dead - Gang as zombies

The cast is amazing and has real chemistry.  The dialogue is simultaneously hilarious and heartfelt.

He'll be alright. He ran it under a cold tap.
He’ll be alright. He ran it under a cold tap.

I love everything Edgar Wright has done.  He’s an exciting filmmaker who obviously love what he does, and his cast really loves working with him.

Shaun of the Dead - Edgar Wright

If you’re looking for a zombie comedy double feature, throw on Deadheads after Shaun of the Dead.  You won’t regret it.

Deadheads - Mike & Ellie