Take a Drink: for killer cameos… Literally.
Take a Drink: for any and all toupee/Troop Leader mishaps.
Take a Sip: whenever ominous foreshadowing bitch-slaps you upside the face.
Take a Drink: for each improvised weapon/mention of “Scouts Forever”.
Take a Drink: for every Dolly Parton item of memorabilia you spot (shout it out). Last one to do it Finishes Their Drink.
Shotgun your Beer: ZOMBIE. CUNNINGULUS. Yeah. You read that right.
By: Felix Felicis (Four Beers) –
Some movies lift you up. Some tear you down. And some? Some light your last remaining shreds of dignity on fire and karate chop your will to live in half faster than you can say “Wax on, wax off”. But less about last week’s Debate-reviewed train wreck, Jem and The Holograms, and more about what happens when Superbad Boy Scouts bang a zombified American Pie (sadly not literally), I always say. This week I could’ve happily watched a Taylor Swift fan recite song lyrics while ribbon dancing in a custom vegan onesie if it meant an escape from commentary on teens, social media, or the magic of friendship and I got one out of three with Scouts. Strap on your beer helmets, campers, and prepare to watch adolescent hormones/the undead collide in an epic(ally, laughably bad, in no universe will make your life better for having seen this) kind of way.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse follows Tye Sheridan (Ben), Logan Miller (Carter), and debuting Joey Morgan (Augie) as the three best friends that anyone could have, the three best friends that anyone could have, as they navigate life, liberty, and the pursuit of third base in the midst of an undead outbreak… Using the skills afforded them by a lifetime of Boy Scouting. Yes. Knee-high sock wearing, kerchief sporting, badge-achieving Boy Scouts. Fighting zombies. That is it. That’s the plot.
Blake Anderson as Ron The Janitor is worth the price of admission all on his own. Anderson’s opening lip sync to Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow” was genius. Pure. Fucking. GENIUS. Anytime this film had a musical bit, it leveled up pretty well. The Dolly Parton fight scene was clutch. Not to mention, Cloris Leachman as the cranky old cat lady was MAGIC and don’t even get me started on David Koechner’s “Scout Leader Rogers” because what that man did as the zombie who took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’ was just a Russian Nesting Doll of gift after gift of laughter. His toupee deserves a badge for service merited above and beyond the norm of fake hair follicles all on its own.
Basically, there were a collection of characters and events that made me laugh. Sometimes WITH the raunchy comedy, sometimes AT it… And sometimes in horrified disbelief. I have to give Scouts a nod for their moxy in shooting for the R rating (hit-and-miss at best on how that freedom was used) and not being afraid to use it. The humor was predictable, but charmingly wacky enough that it dodged the “take itself too seriously and ruin the fun” bullet that often kills this genre, thus ensuring I mostly forgave Scouts it’s heavy-handed brushstrokes with the “magic of friendship” color scheme.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse had its problems. It had a lot of them. This flick will in no way, shape, or form ever be considered as anything other than a two-hour mental anesthetic. It numbs your brain with mostly genial dumbassery but occasionally spins wildly out of control, full-on, into actual idiocy. The plot is filled with so many tonal inconsistencies and holes that I’m pretty sure I caught Swiss Cheese hitting on it on my way out of the theater.
It was kind of a refreshing bonus to see the zombies here be redefined as something other than your typical walking, nomming, live-flesh-seeking shufflers which agile teenagers could dodge with ease into semi-cognizant flesh-seeking almost-sprinters that those teens had to haul ass in order to outrun. Yay for that. BOO for the weirdly inconsistent redefinition of those rules that left you with a blinking WTF?! neon sign above your head most of the time. *cough* ZOMBIE BRITNEY SPEARS FAN WE SEE TAMED BY THE POWER OF MUSIC *cough* Also very little effort was spent with the transitional opening and closing zombie outbreak/resolution scenes that seemed grafted onto the final project like rejected organs you got to watch failing in front of your very eyes.
The humor in Scouts whips from Superbad to American Pie to Care Bears and back again so quickly and incoherently you’re never really sure which niche they’re aiming for. Is there a “car sick” but for wildly inconsistent, at times idiotically juvenile humor in films? “Stupid sick”? I think I’m that after watching Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse. While most of the raunchy humor was laughable, or even laughably bad, it took turns into the appallingly raunchy so hard every so often that the tiny hamster running my brain just curled up in the fetal position and rocked itself to sleep while ugly crying and clutching a bottle of whiskey by the end of the film.
I’m still traumatized by the zombie dick/trampoline escape shenanignans, don’t get me wrong, but what really had me throwing up inside my mouth (and soul) WAS THE ZOMBIE CUNNINGULUS. A GIRL GETS EATEN OUT… TO DEATH. I never thought that I would understand why each time a guy gets whacked in the nuts on film every dude within eyeshot winces BUT NOW I DO because I can never un-see that. Skipping right over the ick factor, I can’t even escape commentary on social media as the girl, while waiting for her boyfriend to go down on her, isolated in a creepy building, WAS GLUED TO HER CELL PHONE LAMENTING THE BAD RECEPTION IN THE BUILDING BECAUSE, LIKE, NONE OF HER TEXTS WOULD SEND before a zombie kills her boyfriend (and her labia). Some solid life choices were clearly made there.
The lead trio of Scouts, while relatable and somewhat engaging, ultimately failed to make me care about their (also somewhat predictable) fate. Much like cheese pizza, these guys were palatable and appealing but lacking in that something extra to take this from “forgettably entertaining raunchy zombie romp” to “memorable adventure into undead asskickery” because they were Boy Scouts caught in a zombie apocalypse that didn’t MacGyver enough to really sell that unique Scout angle. Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but most of what these guys pull off, anyone above “retarded leaf of lettuce” could if they were even remotely quick-witted about survival.
And on that note, nothing really brings me down off of “comedy cloud nine” than a film trying to sell me an overly schmaltzy “friendship is magic” vibe. Take an ice pick. Jam it in your eye. Repeat as needed every time the earnestness of Scouts tries and fails to punch you in the friendship feels. In addition, both female leads (the kickass cocktail waitress and the damsel in distress) felt shoehorned into this buddy Scout storyline in the most perfunctory way. Because, while cute, there is no way in hell that Ben (a six at best) is getting anywhere near either of those tens. Their cheekbones alone would shred rails of cocaine and any foolhardy male egos.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse is a forgettably benign two-hour shot of mental novocaine that, after tackling Jem last week, I can’t totally hate for giving me a moderately entertaining (and entirely scarring) raunchy ride.
Last Call: There’s a little treat for you intrepid theater-goers mid-credits if you sit down to this flick. Stay and enjoy or go get a head start on therapy. Either one is a solid life choice.