Three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world's most unlikely team of heroes. When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they'll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead.
I think it's fair to say that the market is over-saturated with zombies. I thought I'd never say that, but it seems like no matter what movie theater you're at, what channel you tune in to, or what book you pick up, the chances are good that zombies will make an appearance in it. Over the past few years, we've seen a variety of zombie movies and television shows that include, but not limited to nazi zombies, cockney zombies, marijuana zombies, and even animal zombies.
Director Christopher Landon (famous for writing the bulk of the 'Paranormal Activity' films) gives this stale zombie genre a fresh take with a mix of silly, vulgar, fully nude, and gory story line that is up to its ears in zombies of all species. I'm of course talking about 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse', which takes the zombie genre to the iconic Boy Scouts realm. Some of the usual tropes of the zombie genre appear here and there, but there are some new and interesting zombie kills to satisfy the gore-hounds, but no real twists or turns to make things original or something that you have yet to see.
The film follows three high school friends, Augie (Joey Morgan), Carter (Logan Miller), and Ben (Tye Sheridan), who have been friends since grade school and have been involved in scouts all their lives, led by their scout leader Rogers (David Koechner). As time has gone on, just like in real life, the scouting world has become less cool and popular, therefore a decline in membership and interest, leaving the three friends the only ones in scout uniforms. Not only that, these three friends are in high-school, where having sex and copping that first "feel" is more important than anything that the Scout's handbook would provide.
The screenplay provides the stereotypical cliched teenager trio with Augie being the nerdy guy who will always love the Scouts, Carter being the vulgar friend who is only interested in naked women and talking dirty, and of course there is Ben, who is the straight laced friend who is nervous around girls, particularly Carter's sister, whom he likes. What's different though is that Augie is very confident in who he is, and never apologizes or is really picked on for being the nerdy scout type.
The three friends are "invited" to a secret high-school party, but the undead start to rise and zombie hordes start attacking everyone. The three friends have to use mostly their scouting skills and knowledge to battle the zombies in strip clubs, markets, and anywhere else, until they run into a cocktail waitress named Denise, who knows how to handle a gun and teams up with them to wipe out the zombie apocalypse and get to the secret party to save everyone. Throughout their journey, they come across tons of zombies, some naked, some not, as well as zombie deer and zombie house cats.
There are some gross out sexual gags as well as buckets of blood that splash on the actor's faces as well as the screen. The first half of the film takes a little bit to pick up speed, but once it does, it never lets up, complete with a "gearing up" montage and a zombie battle that pays homage to Peter Jackson's 'Dead Alive'. Through this horror adventure, you'll find plenty to laugh at and enjoy, although I wouldn't say this ranks up there with the best of the zombie genre. That being said, this one still stands on its own as a fun and entertaining popcorn zombie flick that you can enjoy late at night with friends.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc, a DVD copy of the film and a digital download code for either iTunes or Ultraviolet. The disc is Region A locked. The discs are housed in a blue hard plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' comes with a very good 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Things pop quite well in this small zombie film, giving the image a well defined and entertaining look. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout with excellent closeups that show the gory makeup effects and blemishes, individual hairs on the actor's faces and numerous zombie animals, as well as the fine stitching in the scout's uniforms. Wider shots are also sharp, never going soft, which shows us the depth of the wooded areas and the run down small town this movie takes place in very nicely.
Colors pop when in the light of day outside. The greens of the trees and browns of the bark look exquisite. The tan scout uniforms look solid with the boastful colors in all of their patches. The blood and guts are rich in the color red and the scene where the rave takes place is tinted in a blue hue with the neon lights flashing everywhere, all of which looks great. The black levels are deep and inky and the flesh tones are natural at all times. There was some minor video noise here and there, but no other compression issues cropped up, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.
This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 5.1 MA mix and does the job fairly well. This is more front heavy than I would like to see, given this is a fun zombie film, but the rear speakers pour out the grunts, growls, and gun shots from time to time. Sound effects are lively and pack a punch, especially with gun blasts and whacks to the head. Ambient noises of zombie hordes and music playing at a strip club or a rave also sound thunderous and loud.
The music consists of mostly hip-hop music and always adds to the comedy and entertainment value of each scene without drowning out any other noise. The dialogue is crystal clear and easy to follow, even in the scenes where loud music is playing or zombie hordes are screaming. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills either. The bass came into play in the heavier action scenes, as well as when the hip-hop music was playing. Each sound effect and noise was well-balanced, layered, and had some great directionality. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is wide, leaving this audio presentation with very good marks.
Scouts Guide to Filmmaking (HD, 30 Mins.) - This is a fun behind the scenes look at the film with cast and crew interviews as everyone discusses the origins of the story, the script, the characters, the gore, and casting the roles.
The Zombie Makeup FX Handbook (HD, 6 Mins.) - Here is a quick look at the zombie makeup and gore effects, which the filmmakers state is medically accurate.
Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography (HD, 5 Mins.) - Choreographer Mark Steger discusses how he got the cast and extras to act and walk like zombies.
Uniforms and You: Costume Design (HD, 5 Mins.) - Costume Designer MaryLou Lim talks about making the scout uniforms and wardrobe for this zombie film.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 3 Mins.) - Only two scenes are here, one of which is the full scout information video. The other is a scene that takes place in a pharmacy that has no impact on the final film.
'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' is quite fun and entertaining if you love your zombie films silly, gory, and full of nudity. The movie takes a little bit to pick up the pace, and there isn't really anything new here, but it works as a midnight movie you genre fans should enjoy with you friends. Plus, you can add the 'Boy Scout-Zombie' genre to your shelf now until the next zombie mixup comes your way. The video and audio presentations are both good, and the extras are worth watching, although I would have liked to see a commentary track, gag reel, and more in depth makeup/effects feature. Still, if you're a fan of the zombie genre, this one comes recommended!