Sewing On The Comedy Badge
Comedy films are probably the worst thing to review. Comedy is so subjective that I could say I laughed really hard at Carter (Logan Millar) honking on some Zombie funbags before running away and some people will laugh at the stupidity of the idea and some people would want to put my in a straight jacket.
Even worse though is that “timeless” rarely applies to comedies. What we find funny today we probably won’t find in 5 or 10 years. I mean, think about it; if you have a fancy dress party and you open the door to someone blacking up you’d say “Granddad, that’s inappropriate! Go home.” and probably feel quite embarrassed afterwards. There’s a possibility that by the time I’ve written this review it’ll be out of date, just like this film.
Arguably, in 2002, 28 Days Later kicked off a new generation of Zombie movies. This lead to all kinds of Zombie films and cross-genre films; Zombie comedies with Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, Zombie TV series with the Walking Dead and the Strain, a Zombie romance with Warm Bodies and lately in 2013 a zombie Epic with World War Z but since then… not much. Also in 2013 “Selfie” was awarded the Oxford Dictionary word of the year but since then it’s almost become a dirty word. Right now, however, feminism and equality are in vogue… or in other words an absolute minefield!
So in waltzes Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse which features Zombies, selfies and stirppers. Timeless comedy classic? No. Funny? Surprisingly so!
The scouts consist of Augie (Joey Morgan) who is the dorky one, the aforementioned Carter who is the cool one who doesn’t want to be a scout and Ben (Tye Sheridan) who is the less cool one with a conscious. They are a group of teenagers coming of age, wanting to go to the cool parties with the cool kids and date chicks. The stripper supposedly has a dark past which makes her a bad person and of course, it’s down to the nerdy scouts to save the day.
With all these well worn stereotypes Scouts Guide should probably be hot street trash.
Perhaps writers Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki and/or writer-director Christopher Landon were all too aware of this because the focus is firmly on the situations rather than the characters or motifs within the film. Thankfully these situations are generally very funny.
Lets talk about boobs again because… well… boobs. The scouts escape a police station where one zombie gets partially stuck in a closing gate which tears her shirt open showing her veiny necrotic mammary glands. Not particularly funny in itself but to see Carter take 5 seconds to stare in amazement and then to see his teenage joy after running and giving them a quick squeeze was totally unexpected and hilarious. He just touched his first boobs. Well done Carter, you’re a man now!
Another such moment was when Carter first kills a zombie with the top of the broken bottle. The zombie had pinned him to the ground so after jamming the bottle into the zombies head the blood is unexpectedly funnelled out the bottle top and all over his face. Again, another example is to see a serious moment between Denise the stripper (Sarah Dumont) and Ben only to find a zombie bounce in and out of view of the background window as it is on a trampoline.
It’s not hard to find the funny moments but it’s even easier to find the continuity errors. The first 20 minutes are riddled with more errors than when Assassins Creed Unity launched. Broken car parts magically fixing themselves then breaking in different areas, pledges of allegiances with the left hand in one shot and then the right in the next, a glove and pliers in one hand in one shot and the other hand the next. Clearly the continuity editor hadn’t taken heed of the scouts motto: be prepared.
Its ironic then that this film has very little to do with scouting. There is, at best, vague references to scouting and how that helps to survive the zombie apocalypse. Still, the humour in the film outweighs all of its problems to make it consistently funny. At least that is my opinion as it stands right now. Scouts honour.
- Trampoline Scene
- Sterotypical characters
- Continuity errors
- No scouting?!