From the trailer, it would be easy to dismiss Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse as a cheesy B-movie. While this description is somewhat accurate, the also raunchy and downright hilarious.
Long-time friends Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller), and Augie (Joey Morgan) have been scouts since the age of six. Now, as they are poised to start their junior year of high school, Augie is about to receive his Condor badge – a goal he has been working toward for years – whereas Ben and Carter are ready to abandon scouts in their quest for popularity. They meet in the woods for their final camp-out, but their Dolly Parton-obsessed leader, Scout-Master Rogers (David Koecher) is nowhere to be found. Unbeknownst to the boys, their scout-master – as well as a majority of the town – has been infected by a virus and turned into a zombie. After joining forces with Denise (Sarah Dumont), a cocktail waitress at the local strip bar, the scouts fight to survive the night, utilizing their scout-earned skills in a way Scout-Master Rogers probably never imagined.
In many ways, Scouts Guide parallels The Goonies, albeit with zombies instead of pirates, and a lot more adult humor. Ben is the socially-awkward hero with the crush on the pretty girl, much like Sean Astin’s Mikey Walsh. Carter is the “Mouth” of the group with his overly-inflated ego and filthy sense of humor. Augie has shades of both Chunk and Data in his enthusiasm for scouting. Denise parallels Stef, the tough girl who isn’t afraid to put the boys in their place. The film’s poster even calls to mind Drew Struzan’s posters for The Goonies, Back to the Future, and other 80s films.
The movie is a lot of fun, but it earns its R-rating. The only complaint I have – and it’s a minor one, really – is that these zombies retain a little too much of their humanity. Unlike the traditional Romero-esque zombies and their faster cousins, these zombies retain body memory and use tools. However, I can forgive this breach in zombie lore because what those unorthodox zombies end up doing is another part of what makes this movie so over-the-top. It’s definitely worth checking out for fans of Horror-Comedy.