Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (3 stars)

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Tye Sheridan shines in a sporadically fun if relentlessly crude horror comedy

18-year-old Tye Sheridan has fast been making a name for himself in serious dramas such as Mud and Joe with his nuanced and affecting portrayal of troubled youths. His decision to get his hands bloody as the lead in a gory zom-com geared towards a male teen demographic may be puzzling to some, but it gives him a chance to show off his range and he proves to be an endearing presence once again.

In director Christopher Landon's third film (which he also co-writes), the bonds of friendship between Ben (Sheridan) and Carter (Logan Miller) are tested when they head out to the forest for a camping trip, where they intend to break the news to their life-long pal and unashamed geek Augie (Joey Morgan) that they no longer wish to be part of their Scout troop. After a falling out they head back to find their town apparently deserted; it's been evacuated due to an outbreak of flesh-eating zombies. In their ensuing battle against the undead they team up with cocktail waitress Denise (Sarah Dumont), who saves them on numerous occasions.

Denise is drawn as part male fantasy, part kick-ass heroine so pales in comparison to recent female characters in zombie flicks such as the awesome Brooke in Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, or the hilarious title character from Night of the Living Deb – though Dumont turns in a decent enough performance.

An energetic and amusing opening scene, which sees a laboratory janitor (Blake Anderson from TV's Workaholics) kick loose and have a good dance to Iggy Azalea’s ‘Black Widow’ whilst fulfilling his cleaning duties, sets the silly tone that continues throughout. The writing team are focused on the juvenile, with gross-out gags galore, and the effects crew have a field day with some inventive blood spattering.

A zombie feline attack is one of the highlights, as is David Koechner as the Dolly Parton-loving, toupee-wearing Scout Leader Rogers. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is entertaining in bursts – just beware of the pathetic, eye-rolling boob jokes.

General release from Fri 6 Nov.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 33min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Christopher Landon
  • Written by: Emi Mochizuki, Carrie Lee Wilson
  • Cast: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont
  • UK release: 27 November 2015

Ben (Sheridan) and Carter (Miller) go camping with their geeky friend Augie (Morgan), intending to tell him that they no longer wish to be Scouts; but when zombies attack, the boys team up with cocktail waitress Denise (Dumont). Gory, intermittently entertaining zom-com with a plethora of juvenile boob jokes.