Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015): The Running Dead (Review)


Screen shot from Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Directed and co-written by Christopher Landon (the other two scribes were Jason Pagan and Andrew DeutschmanScouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is great gory fun. With scores of the running dead chasing after the last three boy scouts in town, and a stripper,  these four must pull out all  the stops to save the senior class from the living dead.

The film starts with a janitor getting infected by a zombie under study at  a laboratory. (a nice nod and wink to “The Thing“)  The newly created zombie bites a lab technician and the virus spreads across the town like wildfire.

Ben (Tye Sheridan) and his two  best friends, Augie (Joey Morgan) and Carter (Logan Miller) are meant to celebrate Augie earning his “condor” badge.  Ben and Carter are invited to the secret senior party and decide to sneak out of the celebratory campout. 

They learn that the town is overrun with adrenaline fueled zombies and after joining forces with former classmate turned stripper Denise (played by Sarah Dumont) they go to save the seniors at the dance. 

Along the way they pick up Augie, who had to fight off their Dolly Parton loving scout master Mr. Rogers (David Koechner) and have to fight off Carter’s crazy neighbor Miss Fielder (Cloris Leachman). They also have to work their way around a town full of zombies.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is brilliantly funny.  It has enough campy humor to please everyone and the ‘R’ rating  allows it to serve up huge helpings of gore and exploding heads.  (The scene with the trampoline and dangling genitalia is a show stopper.)

There are homages scattered throughout.  These include Shaun of the Dead, Braindead (aka Dead Alive) amongst others.  The film is funny, but there is enough viscera and blood to fill the deserted building that the senior dance takes place in to please most gore hounds.

At one point the trio of overgrown scouts become teen MacGyver‘s as they have to create a load of weapons to take on this speedy zombie horde. The weapons are quirky and effective.

Arnold’s son Patrick Schwarzenegger  does an excellent job as the obnoxious senior Jeff; The film is worth the price of admission just to see the brilliant Cloris Leachman as a zombie. The scene in her character’s  house is excruciatingly funny.

All three of the male actors excel in their “nerds turned heroes”  roles.  Kudos to David Koechner  as the seemingly indestructible scout leader Mr. Rogers (Get it?).  This prolific character actor gives a great comic performance.

Director Landon pulls everything  together with a sense of humorous urgency that makes the film move along at a cracking pace. It all comes together almost perfectly. Even the sight of the three lads in their scout uniforms throughout the film helps to focus on the absurdity of the situation.

The chemistry between the three male leads is spot on. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse  throws a lot of gags into the mix. Some are a tad sophomoric (such as Carter taking selfies while trapped in a jail cell) but all the jokes add up to a comedy horror film that is entertaining and great fun.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a rock steady  3.5 star film.  It delivers a far amount of laughs but little in the horror department; there really are no scary moments.  Despite the presence of zombies this action horror is all comedy.  The film is currently streaming on Hulu. Check out the trailer and then check out the film:

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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