Film review: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – splatter gore and gross-out fun
Be prepared, be very prepared as scouts take on the undead in Christopher Landon's horror comedy
Arriving in perfect time for Halloween, Christopher Landon’s knowingly ridiculous horror comedy should play well to late-night crowds looking for a grotesque giggle. Part Superbad, part Shaun of the Dead, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is as much a teen comedy about acceptance and responsibility as it is about fending off undead hordes.
At a small-town Californian high school, Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller) and Augie (Joey Morgan) have been the sole scout members for too long, with only Augie keen to continue into junior year. On the night of their final camp out, Carter secures invitations for the secret senior party, only for their plans to be scuppered by a zombie invasion. Recruiting the help of a sexy, shotgun-toting cocktail waitress (Sarah Dumont), the lads must man up and apply their scouting know-how if they are to save the day.
Acutely aware of its roots in both the horror and high-school comedy genres, Scouts dances a mostly successful line in splatter gore and gross-out humour. For all its daftness and immaturity, Landon’s direction is assured, and his musical choices brilliantly punctuate the action and laughs. Add to that a roster of sympathetic and likeable characters – even when their adolescent antics frequently put them in unnecessary danger – and Scouts earns itself a sleeve-full of merit badges.
Released in Hong Kong in two versions, the film is best enjoyed in all its grisly uncut Category III glory. Chock full of exploding heads and zombified genitalia, it is these visual excesses that help push Scouts’ flailing tongue firmly into its cheek.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse opens on October 29