Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Review
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse follows a trio of boy scouts as they try to survive the night in their town overrun by the undead. The zombie horror comedy has been beaten to undeath, but part of the reason that they keep getting made is that they fulfill most of the criteria casual horror fans are looking for; humor, gore, and the occasional scare. This film has virtually no legitimate scares, but it definitely delivers on the gore and humor, often together.
The film spends most of its cultural and moral commentary on the slowly-dying boy scout organization due to the cultural shift that such extracurriculars limit your popularity and social development in the middle school and high school hierarchy. In other words, no teen wants to be in boy scouts because you can't get any action of the female persuasion...This commentary was relatively effective, but the golden opportunity to devise creative uses for real boy scouts merit badges in the context of the zombie apocalypse was, for the most part, wasted. We got the occasional "being in the boy scouts has improved their problem-solving and survival skills" and a montage scene in which they fabricate incredibly effective weapons out of hardware parts. But the former was too subtle and lazy, and the latter was too over-the-top...even for a B zombie movie.
Scouts regularly hints at what version of zombie we are dealing with, but never commits to breaking it down. These particular zombies appear to retain some level of cognitive brain function, retaining minimal memory that is often subconsciously acted upon throughout the movie, often-times to much hilarity. There was a brief moment in which is looked like the film was going to go the "ever-evolving zombie" route, but it ended up being a single scene that, in hindsight, is awkward, misplaced, unnecessary, and plot-less.
We did get the obligatory "hey, I know that guy!" actor. In fact, we were spoiled and got it twice...First, with Blake Anderson (Workaholics) in the opening scene and then David Koechner (you know, the only Anchorman member who didn't get a major Hollywood career) as the boy scout troop leader. Blake ended up being a lot more fun and made me wish he'd had ended up with more screen time.
In many ways Scouts felt like the B-movie version of Zombieland. Quite literally Scouts felt like it was attempting to recreate the atmosphere of Zombieland without the clever writing and on a far-smaller budget. Still, Scouts manages to entertain, and quite well, despite regular horror comedy and zombie film tropes.
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 4/10