Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' Blu-ray Review: Blood, boobs and badges

January 5, 2016Ben MK

The zombie genre has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the little film that was George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Now, after invading everything from film to television, and even the realm of classic literature, the flesh-eating undead have set their sights on their next target... The Boy Scouts of America.

In Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, three unwitting boy scouts (Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller and Joey Morgan) find themselves caught in the middle of a zombie invasion, when a lab experiment gone horribly wrong unleashes a deadly outbreak upon their quiet town of Deerfield, California. Teaming up with a shotgun-wielding, scantily-clad cocktail waitress from the local strip club (Sarah Dumont), they must not only fight to survive the night — they must also rescue the rest of Deerfield's human inhabitants, both from zombies and before the US Army nukes the entire town.

Ok, so that may not sound like a terribly original premise, especially if you happen to be a fan of such genre offerings as Zombieland. However, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse does have a number of things going for it, not the least of which are its copious amount of blood and gore, not to mention its off-kilter sense of humor. From exploding zombie heads, to zombified pets and wildlife, to a face-off against a zombified version of their troop leader (David Koechner) set to Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," there's no shortage of blood-splattered and bizarre scenarios for the boys to get into.

Directed by Christopher Landon and co-written by Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki, the movie also tries to emulate the tone of 80's cult classics like The Goonies and Gremlins. And while it does partially succeed in doing so — in particular, when it comes to the dynamic between its three teenage protagonists — the results are something of a mixed bag. Otherwise, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse manages to fare pretty well, distinguishing itself from its genre competition with its crude humor and R-rated sex jokes. Still, it doesn't come close to dethroning the current king of zombie comedies, Shaun of the Dead.

Turning to its technical presentation, viewers will be glad to know that Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse boasts a very strong and film-like 1080p image. With the exception of some murkiness present during its darker scenes, this is an otherwise solid transfer that exhibits ample clarity and color saturation, whether our characters are out for a not-so-peaceful hike in the woods or annihilating zombies at a neon-lit high school rave. Sound-wise, the movie comes equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, and the results are just as impressive. From the zombies' feral growls to the thumping LFE that accompanies moments of dance and hip-hop music, listeners won't be disappointed.

Paramount's one-disc Blu-ray release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Scouts Guide to Filmmaking (29:34) - A making-of piece that covers such topics as the genesis and tone of the project, the characters and the cast, the production design, the cinematography and lighting, and the practical and makeup effects.
  • The Zombie Makeup FX Handbook (5:37) - A look at the creation of the film’s zombie makeup, prosthetic and practical effects with Makeup FX Designer Tony Gardner.
  • Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography (5:12) - Zombie Choreographer Mark Steger discusses his work on the film.
  • Uniforms and You: Costume Design (5:11) - Costume Designer Marylou Lim talks about her work on the film.
  • Deleted Scenes (2:36) - Two scenes ("Extended Scouting Video" and "Pharmacy").

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is available from Paramount Home Entertainment as of January 5th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 33 Mins.

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