‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’ Gets Eaten Alive by Critics

“There’s no gross-out gag, breast grab or penis yank too low or stupid” for director Christopher Landon to stoop to, one reviewer says

“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” isn’t scoring well with audiences or critics, merely scaring up $140,000 at the Thursday night previews and receiving terrible reviews across the board.

Calling it “dumb,” “badly written” and “an assemblage of poor taste,” the film accumulated a score of 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The zombie movie, directed by Christopher Landon and starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont and Patrick Schwarzenegger, is full of gore and sex, and that’s about all it has going for it, critics say.

TheWrap’s film critic, Alonso Duralde wrote that “‘Scouts Guide’ revels in juvenile gags involving poop and penises … Alas, somebody bit that movie in the neck and then spit the chunks by the side of the road.” However, Duralde and most critics agree that the cast itself does a good job, dealing well with the terrible material that was handed to them.

The film is looking to make $2 million to $3 million this weekend, after the studio decided to limit the exclusive theatrical runs for an earlier VOD-release experiment.

See 11 of the worst reviews of the new release below.

Neil Genzlinger, New York Times:

“It’s all too dumb and ribald for most tastes, but if you liked all the zombie comedies that came before, well, here’s another one.”

Peter Howell, Toronto Star:

“There’s the director to contend with, and there’s no gross-out gag, breast grab or penis yank too low or stupid for Landon to stoop to, which he does with obvious glee. It might be hard to imagine somebody being a horn dog or even having romantic intentions in the midst of a full-on zombie attack, but Landon certainly can. This gets tiresome, really fast, as an amusing concept turns into yet another crotch-grabbing comedy. But Landon shows some flair for casting, assuming he had some say in selection of this crew.”

Kyle Smith, New York Post:

“If your idea of a hot joke is a strip club called ‘Lawrence of Alabia,’ step right up to ‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,’ a horror-comedy that takes a weak premise (do high school boys even go scouting anymore?) and barely uses it, anyway … Don’t have dinner before the movie. Or after. Your best bet: have dinner instead of the movie.”

Soren Andersen, Seattle Times:

“About ‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse': Well, it’s got that title going for it. So there’s that. Zombies. Boy scouts (though not the official Boy Scouts of America; no way that organization would give its blessing to something like this). Combined, they equal comedy. Or so would seem to be the premise, and the promise. It’s a promise only intermittently kept, mostly in the form of genitalia-centric sight gags.”

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger:

“The jokes depend on either gore or sex, both of which the film finds equally disgusting. The performances chiefly consist of the characters screaming at the top of their lungs. The result is a movie that’s outrageous without being funny, and gruesome without being scary.”

Katie Rife, A.V. Club:

“Blending elements of ‘Superbad’ and ‘Zombieland,’ this teen-oriented horror-comedy was written by a team of four screenwriters, which is apparently how many people it takes to come up with a strip club called ‘Lawrence Of Alabia’ and a visual pun involving a zombie literally eating a teenage girl’s vagina. We also get zombie diarrhea jokes, zombie fat jokes, zombie selfie jokes, zombie cat-lady jokes, and zombie stripper jokes. And when all of this starts to seem too crass, out come the clichéd lessons about the importance of friendship and being who you are.”

Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly:

“Even with director Christopher Landon, who wrote four entries in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise, the film relies far more on undead nudity and gross-out humor than actual scares. (At one point, Ben has to hang onto a zombie penis to avoid falling out of a window.) After decades of well-trodden zombie tropes, a successful zombie movie has to be at least one of three things: a) original b) funny or c) actually scary. ‘Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse’ doesn’t earn a merit badge in any one of those categories.”

Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend.com:

“‘Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse’ isn’t entirely without interesting moments — as clever scenes are accomplished with the inclusion of undead animals, and there’s even a nice running gag with a particular zombie who just won’t die — but that’s really as far as compliments can be taken. The film is mostly an assemblage of poor taste, bad jokes, aimless storytelling and unfulfilled potential. You can find a much better way to spend the Halloween holiday.”

Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian:

“Plenty of times you watch a bad film and come out sighing: ‘That’s a shame, there was a good movie in there somewhere!’ ‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’ offers no such frustration. This is idiocy from soup to nuts, devoid of any clever ideas, meaningful performances or memorable set pieces.”

Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine:

“It’s all more frantic than funny, tapping into Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi‘s love of mealy carnage, but entirely lacking ‘Dead Alive’ and ‘Evil Dead 2”s sense of humor. How creatively bankrupt is ‘Scouts Guide?’ Its arguable best joke — that aforementioned strip club is called Lawrence of Alabia — was lifted almost wholesale from ‘Sex and the City 2”s worst.”

Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com:

“Loud, repellent, badly written, indifferently directed and almost completely devoid of any genuine laughs, ‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’ is essentially a film for 12-year-old boys who can still derive some kind of basic entertainment from the mere sight of spurting blood or a bare breast, all the better if they can appear at the same time. For everyone else, it is little more than disposable junk that will only make you appreciate the achievements of the likes of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’ even more.”

“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” hit theaters this Friday.