Movie Review: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

A few notes:

I’m abandoning my NFL Power Rankings and Sports Reports for the remainder of this NFL campaign. I’m behind on them and honestly don’t have the time to get caught up on it. I’ve got a couple of reviews coming, starting with this beauty. Hope everyone’s ready for the holidays because I am!

What a film. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is the new Zombieland everyone and I’ll go so far as to not only compare the two, but to argue Scouts is a better film. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Zombieland but when I say that Scouts is a barrel full of uncensored jokes and college humor, well, it sounds like hunting season for me because I love that stuff.

Scouts is like the kid in a rock band walking into class late with his hair a mess and pajamas on. He doesn’t have an excuse and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t have one. He’s unapologetic and couldn’t care less about the perception of him. He’s an alabaster of untamed raucous and people love him for it.

Scouts is that jar of no-holds-bar comedy. It’s blunt, brutal and to the point and doesn’t sketch around a joke to continuously repeat again and again like some of the barren comedies that have been written lately and honestly have no purpose or meaning and would be better off being thrown in a barrel full of fire. Guess I like barrels today.

Scouts‘ material is fun for those who can appreciate it and better for those who aren’t offended easily. Those who are should probably avoid this because director Christopher Landon has no restraints with his free script. Characters will say what they want to say, sometimes enough detail to make you squeamish or at the very least twitch in distaste from the grotesqueness of it all.

Yet with its clearly adult-targeted humor, its narrative is directed at a young teenage audience that is unlikely to get into the theaters to see this due to the R-rating. That narrative is tarnished by cliche and overuse but I still found it enjoyable, mostly because it wasn’t shoved down my throat like some poor comedies try to do, although some would rather tape their own mouth shut and just have nothing relevant to say at all aside from stupid potty jokes that get no grins.

Critics have been especially harsh with the film because of the poor narrative, leading to its 44% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think this is mostly because what the film has to say aside from the script isn’t all that much and isn’t that unique. I would argue the perfect parallel to Scouts is a McDonald’s Big Mac. No health expert is going to recommend you go to McDonalds for obvious reasons. However, we all love McDonalds and let’s be honest, if you say you don’t, you’re probably lying. Health experts will derail McDonalds in their reviews but the target audience for McDonalds will continue to buy that “American” delight. Then they’ll finish eating, question why they decided to eat there, and return in a few weeks anyway.

The same can be said of Scouts except I never had my stomach rumbling, “WHY?!” at me like an enraged and disgruntled parent that just saw me push their kid on the playground. Scouts is my type of comedy, an unapologetic film that maintains some dignity and knows to toe the line of humor and express the wide range of hilarious emotion without crossing into the ever-growing wasteland of Adam Sandler ashtrays and Seth Rogen epitaphs. A cast of no-name actors and that one guy from Anchorman managed to make a better movie with a meager $15 million budget than Sandler’s been able to do since Click (lone exception: Just Go With It) and Rogen’s been able to do since, well, possibly ever.

With zombies being such a huge hit with popular culture, I’m genuinely surprised this hasn’t been a hit all over the country, although that might be because of a limited release. I had to drive an hour and a half to see this because all the theaters around me weren’t carrying it. Terrible reviews aren’t helping public appeal either. I don’t blame the critics for saying what they’re saying. It’s their job to be critical and write from a critical standpoint. Scouts is a bad movie. It doesn’t have a group of overly talented actors or pertinent dialogue on life. I only think it’s unfair that the critics don’t talk about what the film has.

The zombie genre has become a hulk of a monster in pop culture and now in television and film. Anything with zombies sells right now, not necessarily because it’s good but because it’s zombies.

Unless Scouts becomes a cult classic however, it’s unlikely to become a box office hit or have a sequel, no matter how much those who loved it would like one, me included.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Crimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass,Enemy at the GatesAnchorman 2: The Legend Continues)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwistedParker)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErasedI, Frankenstein)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: 72.

If you’ve been waiting for a Zombieland sequel, look no further. Zombieland has better actors, plot and production, but Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse may surpass it on entertainment value alone.

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