When it comes to Doomsday scenarios, everybody always wants to be a “prepper”. They think that looking up life hack blogs and ordering half the LL Bean catalog makes them trained survivalists. It doesn’t. You know what does? A decade in the Boy Scouts or a non-homophobic equivalent. You thought that Pinewood Derby shit was just for kicks? Strap a quarter stick to one of those things and you’ve got instant zombie crowd control from the safety of a steep incline!
Anyway, today’s movie embraces the benefits of merit badge based education in a world where there’s no more room in Hel.
Ben, Carter and Augie are three of the oldest Boy/Cub/Eagle Scouts you’ll ever meet. Well into their high school years, the trio are the only remaining members of their troop, guided by their long time mentor, Scout Leader Rogers. While their peers are experiencing sex, drugs and whatever today’s version of “rock n roll” is, the lads are learning how to MacGyver Mother Nature into being their plaything. While Augie couldn’t be happier (he’s the stereotypical socially inept fat ginger kid, after all) about obtaining his final badge and thus becoming the pinnacle of Scouthood, Carter just wants to party with his classmates, imbibe in controlled substances, and date rape any drunk pair of tits he can get his pathetic hands on. You know, typical horn dog “coming of age” future sex offender caricature. As for Ben, he’s caught in the middle, morally doing everything he can to keep from hurting Augie’s feelings while hormonally doing whatever might put him in the panties of his long time crush, Kendall… Carter’s sister.
When Carter and Ben score an invite to the ultimate high school rave of ultimate destiny, it turns out that it’s happening the same night as a big ceremonial camp out honoring Augie. At Carter’s behest, good guy Ben agrees to sneak away to the party once Augustus falls asleep. Though the plan doesn’t exactly go as, well, planned, shit swan dives headlong into the proverbial fan harder than when that guy in the first episode of “Lost” got Hoover’d through that jet engine. It turns out that, thanks to Blake from ”Workaholics”, nothing less than a FULL BLOWN ZOMBIE EPIDEMIC has broken out in town! Teaming up with a former school alumni-turned-strip club employee-turned-shogun-wielding movie heroine named Denise, the boys will have to call upon all of their badged merits to escape town before the military goes full-blown genocidal super villains and carpet bomb the entire zip code back to The Stoned Age!
I would’ve given this flick a whole additional grade point if I weren’t about 15 years too old for some of the humor. From Carter’s sexual assault on a topless zombie woman’s jiggling chesticles to an extended scene of Ben hanging desperately onto a zombie geezer’s impossibly elastic wonder worm (seriously, this ghoulish granddaddy’s member gets more length than Mister Fantastic) to zombie Cloris Leachman aggressively gumming a teenage boy’s bare butt cheeks to an undead aggressor going down on an unsuspecting girl, there were too many gross-out gags that landed, for me,about as well as Sid Vicious coming off the top rope.
My other gripe with the flick comes from the rave finale, where zombie mass re-murder happens under the double down disorientation of strobe lighting and shaky cam stabbed furiously into our eyes, leaving us wondering what the fuck we’d just watched. A shame too, given that our heroes go full Dead Rising on the risen deceased only for half the action to end up almost unwatchable. Likely chosen as a cover-up for less-than-impressive computer generated gore rather than for style’s sake, it put a sour back taste on an otherwise sweet treat of a movie. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all! Scouts is still worth a view in my little black book, so if you’ve ever wanted to see Super Bad but with zombies, get on it.
Three Merit Badges out-of-Five
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