I love how sometimes you can just look at the title of a movie and just know it is going to be absolutely ridiculous. Well, that is exactly what I thought when I saw a trailer for today’s movie on another DVD I own. Just from the trailer, I knew that this was going to be a juvenile mix of stupid high school comedy with some horror and T&A thrown in. At the time, I actually found myself craving a bit of mindless entertainment so this pretty much wound up fitting the bill. Needless to say, I have since learned that I should not go on Amazon while half asleep and drunk, but let’s see exactly how good or bad this purchase wound up being as I watch today’s movie, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
The plot: At a research lab, a janitor is listening to his headphones while he is working and heads into a lab to mop the floors but the scientist tells him not to touch anything before he leaves to get a snack from the vending machine. The janitor notices a body in a curtained area and as he examines it, it twitches, causing the janitor to jump back into the heart monitoring machines. When the body flatlines, the janitor tries to do CPR but his hands end up going through the man’s chest, just as the man turns into a zombie and tries to attack the janitor. The janitor tries to get away but the zombie catches up to him and attacks him, while the scientist is oblivious to what happens but he ends up getting attacked by the now zombified janitor. At the local high school, Scout Leader Rodgers is trying to get some new recruits but nobody wants to join. Rogers then speaks with the three members of his scout troop, Ben, Carter, and Augie, and gives them their assignments for their upcoming camping trip, where Augie will be awarded the prestigious Condor Badge. As Carter and Ben are heading home, Carter is telling Ben that they have to tell Augie that they want to ditch scouts but Ben says they can’t tell him this weekend because it will kill him. The conversation stops when they notice a deer in the road just before Ben hits it with his car. After checking the deer, which was killed by the impact, Ben goes to check his car and discovers he has a flat tire. Ben works on changing it when Carter sees a car approaching and waves it down, as it is his sister Kendall, her friend Chloe, and Kendall’s boyfriend Jeff. Ben has a crush on Kendall but since she has been friends with Carter for so long, she just sees him as another little brother. While Carter talks with Jeff and Chloe, Kendall asks Ben how the recruiting went and he tells her that no one joined because they think it is a joke but she says she is impressed they stuck with scouts for this long. When Kendall mentions the deer is gone, Ben heads over to the spot that it had been lying then starts heading towards the side of the road to look for it. He is startled by Carter, who was given the location for a Super Secret Senior Party, and they wave as Kendall and the others drive off. As Ben drops off Carter, Carter convinces him to sneak out of the camp out and go to the party. Meanwhile, Scout Leader Rogers is hiking in the woods when he is attacked by the deer, which has become a zombie. He manages to kill it by stabbing it in the eye with his knife but he is then attacked and bitten by the scientist. Later that day, Ben picks up Carter and they stop at the liquor store to try and get some beer. Carter gives a bum outside $20 to get some beer but when he sees the bum grabbing anything but beer, Carter rushes in to try and stop him. Meanwhile, Ben sees Denise Russo, a former student at their school that now works at the strip club across the street, leaving the store when the strap on her purse breaks, dumping all of her stuff on the ground. Ben helps her pick it all up, then ties a not in the strap so that she can still use it. The two start talking and when she sees their predicament, she goes back in the store and buys the beer for them, then heads over to work. Ben and Carter arrive at the camp site to find Augie already setting up the campsite but there is no sign of Rogers. The three scouts continue setting up camp and having fun, though Augie does get down when he thinks about his dad. That night, Carter wakes up Ben and they head towards the car when they find Roger’s knife and Ben sees tracks that indicate that he was hurt but Carter says he probably went back home to tend to his injury. Reaching the car, Ben still feels bad about leaving to go to the party and feels worse when he turns on his headlights to find Augie standing in front of the car. Ben and Carter get out and try to talk to Augie but when Carter says that they want to quit scouts, Augie tells turns around and heads back to the camp, telling them to have fun at their party. Ben and Carter drive through town and notice that it appears deserted, which is odd since it is Friday night. Carter has Ben pull into the liquor store to change clothes but as Ben notices the store’s door has been smashed, Carter sees that the bouncer isn’t at the door of the strip club and convinces Ben that they should go inside. Ben and Carter head inside and while Carter goes to the ATM, Ben sits at the end of the runway and watches as a stripper approaches. As the stripper goes through her routine, she tries to bite Ben but backs off as Carter appears and starts using the money he got to “make it rain” on her. The stripper proceeds to climb up the pole but as she hangs upside down, her throat tips open, spraying the boys with her blood just as the bouncer, appears and charges at them. The boys try to run but find the door is locked and they are forced to hide, with Carter jumping behind the bar while Ben runs into the bathroom, with the zombie bouncer following after him. Carter gets attacked by the stripper but he ends up killing her by shoring a broken bottle into her skull, while Ben is saved by Denise, who kills the bouncer. Meanwhile, Augie has also left the campsite and makes his way to Rogers’ house to see if he is there and discovers it is a shrine to Dolly Parton. Back at the strip club, Ben and Carter ask Denise what is going on but they see the shop keeper approaching and after she shoots it and he gets back up, she shoots it in the head and they realize they really are zombies. When more zombies approach, they get in Ben’s car but as they try to drive away, his tire comes off the car and they are forced to put it back on while Denise holds off the zombies, then they drive off. They reach the police station, where they see a notice about an evacuation, but when the zombies show up, they quickly head inside. They encounter a zombie police man, who is wildly firing his pistol, and after Carter kills it, the zombie horde breaks into the station and they are forced to head downstairs and lock themselves in a cell. Back at Rogers’ house, Augie encounters the zombie Rogers and is chased down into the basement, where he manages to set Rogers on fire before knocking him unconscious with an oar, then tying him to a chair. Augie makes his way to town and sees Ben’s car in front of the police station, as well as all of the zombies, so he turns Ben’s stereo on loud in order to lure the zombies outside but accidentally sets off a car alarm as he tries to sneak by them. Augie finds Ben and the others and picks the lock to the cell and they all manage to escape the station and get away from the zombies. As they are walking down the highway, they see a truck and start moving towards it when they encounter the bum from the liquor store. Seeing the Britney Spears shirt he is wearing, Augie, along with Carter, starts singing “…Baby One More Time” to the zombie in order to distract it before it is shot in the head by Corporal Reeves. As they drive to the checkpoint with Reeves, he tells them what he knows about the zombies but when Ben asks about the people at the party, he doesn’t know anything about it. They head to the address that Jeff gave them but learn he sent them to the wrong place. Augie finds it ironic and the three scouts end up arguing and fighting but as Denise watches in disbelief, she notices that Reeves was bit and he suddenly turns. Hearing her screams, Ben and the others help her out of the Humvee, where she proceeds to kill Reeves by slamming the door on his head. When the radio suddenly comes alive, they hear that the military is going to bomb the city in two hours. Carter suggests going to his house to get Kendall’s diary, as she writes everything down in there. Seeing all of the zombies in front of the house, they quietly sneak in the back and head upstairs, unaware that Carter’s neighbor, Miss Fielder, has seen them and follows them in. As they search Kendall’s room for the diary, Ben hears a noise and Denise tells Carter and Augie to go check it out. While they are gone, she talks to Ben about his crush on Kendall and helps him build up his confidence by having him kiss her. Downstairs, Carter sees the back door open and shuts it, then tells Augie that Ben didn’t want to leave the camp site but Augie’s feelings are still hurt. As they go back upstairs, Miss Fielder attacks Carter, whose screams alert the other zombies and one of them crashes through a window to attack Augie. Augie manages to kill the zombie attacking him, then grabs Miss Fielder off of Carter and places her on the broken window frame, allowing Carter to decapitate her with the broken window. As more zombies come in, they run back upstairs with Ben and Denise and barricade the door. Ben says they have to jump out the window but when he opens it, a zombie grabs him but he manages to punch it off of him. Seeing the trampoline below him, Ben tells them they can use it to jump over the fence and they all do but as Ben gets ready to go, the zombies knock over the dresser and he sees the diary. Ben grabs it and prepares to jump but sees the trampoline is covered with zombies, just as a zombie tries to grab him. As Ben is dangling over the trampoline, Denise climbs back over the fence to lure the zombies off the trampoline, allowing Ben to safely drop onto it and jump over the fence. Sneaking into Miss Fielder’s house, Carter suggests using her car but as they make their way through the house, they are confronted by her zombie cats and barely manage to make it into the garage. Ben drives through the garage door and they see Scout Leader Rogers in front of them and he is forced to hit him with the car as they make their escape. Reaching the outskirts of town, they see a dirt bike on the side of the road and Ben helps Denise get it upright, allowing her to go and alert the military about the party and get help. Ben, Carter, and Augie head back to town to save the kids at the party but first, they break into a hardware store in order to arm themselves. At the party, Chloe and a guy named Travis sneak away to a private area to fool around but the both are attacked by a zombie. At the rave, Kendall is worried about Carter and the others and Jeff admits that he gave them the wrong address. Kendall slaps him, causing Jeff to shove her but he then gets attacked by a zombie Chloe. Kendall tries to run but when she opens the doors, she sees the zombie horde approaching and runs as they burst into the room and start attacking the kids inside. Suddenly a whistle is heard and everyone turns to see Ben, Carter, and Augie at the top of the stairs. The three scouts make their way down the stairs and start killing the zombies, rescuing Kendall and as many kids as they can. As they start running out of ammo and gas, Ben has Kendall and the others run, then locks the door, trapping the scouts in the building with the zombies. Racing up the stairs to the gym, they find themselves trapped and Augie reveals that he built a bomb, so they prepare to sacrifice themselves to kill the zombies. Before Augie lights the bomb, the scouts all apologize to each other when Denise shows up, revealing a way out. Augie lights the bomb as they all slide down the garbage chute and the bomb blows up the building and kills the zombies inside. As they celebrate, the see Scout Leader Rogers close by and they look for a weapon to finish him off when a grenade lands at his feet and explodes as the military finally arrive. At the evacuation center, Ben thanks Denise for saving them and asks if they can hang out, as he feels like the four of them are now a team. Denise says sure but says Ben has something else to take care of, motioning towards Kendall as she emerges from a nearby tent. Ben heads over to Kendall, who says she is glad he is ok, and he kisses her, which she willingly accepts. As they are kissing, Augie and Carter are watching and Augie jokingly gives him a hard time about Ben kissing his sister, to which Carter says he has no choice but to have sex with Ben’s mom in retaliation.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse met with slightly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse fails to live up to its intriguingly wacky title, instead delivering yet another zombie comedy-thriller with a tired T&A twist.” The scene where the guys use a trampoline to escape from the zombies is actually from a Super Nintendo game called “Zombies Ate My Neighbors”, where the player uses a trampoline to travel from garden to garden. The movie was a box office dud, earning $16.1 million off of a $24 million budget.
Yep, this is just what I thought it would be; some silly, zombie killing fun with a splash of T&A. The acting was pretty decent, with Tye Sheridan (Ben), Logan Miller (Carter), Joey Morgan (Augie), and Sarah Dumont (Denise) all doing a great job. David Koechner was also made for some good comic relief as Scout Leader Rogers. The story was a little weak, as they left some gaps that would explain how the zombies got into the city or how the town was evacuated but more importantly, how the animals ended up infected. The special effects and make-up for the zombies was a lot better than I was expecting and they obviously had some fun with some of the zombies, especially Scout Leader Rogers and all the trauma he suffered. It’s no Shaun Of The Dead, but this can give you some laughs while getting your zombie fix in.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5