SCOUT’S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE ★★ Directed by Christopher Landon. Starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman, Sarah Dumont, Logan Miller. 15A cert, general release, 92 min
Have you ever sat in a cinema thinking, “This movie could really use a zombie cunnilingus scene?” Good news! For the unabashedly vulgar Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us.
It’s all about the body parts: namely tits, ass and intestines as three dorky teens – decentminded Ben (Tye Sheridan), perennially horny Carter (Logan Miller) and bully-bait Augie (Joey Morgan) – team up with a strip-club cocktail waitress (Sarah Dumont) to lay splattery waste to hordes of the undead. Note: we said cocktail waitress, not stripper, because she’s this film’s idea of a Strong Female Character: shotgun and hotpants.
Movies wherein teens are looking to “get some” depend on solid writing (see Superbad) and the charms of the actors. Clearly taking a note from the the playbook of Miles Teller, who moves between high( Whiplash) and low-falutin’ ( Project X, 21 & Over) – Tye Sheridan ( The Tree of Life, Mud) brings heart to otherwise meritless material.
Scout’s Guide feels as though it was cobbled from bits of Evil Dead 2 and Risky Business. Even the jokes, notably a strip club called Laurence of A-Labia, have been half-inched from other sources (in this instance, the hardly evergreen Sex and the City 2).
The often confusing action is frantic and joltingly shot, yet still leaves room for stultifying longueurs. Veteran comics David Koechner and Cloris Leachman are wasted: the latter deserves better than this film’s butt-munching scene. The zombies make for rubbish foes: even a Britney Spears tune can defeat them.
Demerit badges all round.