DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Christopher Landon
Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont
Writing Credits:
Carrie Lee Wilson, Emi Mochizuki and Christopher Landon

Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 1/5/2016

• “Scouts Guide to Filmmaking” Featurette
• “The Zombie Makeup FX Handbook” Featurette
• “Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography” Featurette
• “Uniforms and You: Costume Design” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 3, 2016)

For a comedic take on the horror genre, we go to 2015’s Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. High school sophomores Ben Goudy (Tye Sheridan), Carter Grant (Logan Miller) and Augie Foster (Joey Morgan) all belong to the same scout group. Ben and Carter want to quit, but because Augie remains invested, they agree to stick it out through one final camping trip.

Carter desperately wants to go to a party, mainly so he can hit on sexy classmate Chloe (Niki Coss), and Ben agrees, though on one condition. He says they can go to the camp-out and then bail when Augiie and Scout Leader Rogers (David Koechner) fall asleep.

Matters don’t proceed as planned. A zombie outbreak overtakes their town and leaves the teenagers as the last bulwark against its continued spread. We follow their attempts to halt the end of the world.

Given the abundance of zombie efforts we’ve seen over the years – especially in recent times – a new movie on the subject needs to find something fresh. With its focus on scouting, I thought Guide could have brought us something creative.

Unfortunately, the end result seems less than inspiring. Truthfully, the scouting motif feels superfluous. Sure, the movie makes the teens resourceful, but those moments appear too infrequently for the scouting theme to bring much of an impact. That side of things comes across more like a marketing gimmick than an organic aspect of the story.

Beyond that potentially quirky twist, Guide fails to make much of a name for itself. While the movie never seems bad, it also can’t find creative ways to explore its genre.

This means a well-trod path in which the movie mixes gore and goofiness. We get lots of gross-out scenes as well as wackiness, with a movie that plays for laughs more than for scares.

Which is fine, except the humor doesn’t work all that well. A few cheap laughs pop up along the way, but not many, and the film wastes the comedic talents of David Koechner and Cloris Leachman.

In truth, Guide doesn’t offer a poor movie, but it seems forgettable. We’ve seen it all before, so the film adds nothing to the zombie genre.

Footnote: stick around through the end credits for a wacky little tag.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a decent transfer but no better.

Overall clarity was reasonable, though I thought the image seemed softer than expected at times. Still, most of the movie displayed pretty good delineation. I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws were also a non-factor in this clean presentation.

Colors remained stylized and opted for a mix of tones. The usual teal/orange materialized, but other hues popped up as well. I thought the hues looked fine when I considered those choices.

Blacks appeared deep and dense, and shadows demonstrated decent clarity and delineation; occasional elements appeared a little murky, but not to a distracting degree. This was a mostly positive image, though it lacked consistency.

I felt fairly pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Guide, though it lacked a ton of ambition. This meant that we got a fair amount of activity from the five channels but the elements didn’t mesh as smoothly as I’d like. While the effects popped up in the right spots and moved around the spectrum, they lacked great smoothness/integration and could feel a bit awkward.

Still, the soundscape gave us a decent feel for the action settings, and audio quality was fine. Speech was distinctive and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music boasted nice range and clarity, while effects offered reasonable accuracy and heft. All of this combined for a good but not great mix.

Four featurettes appear. Scouts Guide to Filmmaking goes for 29 minutes, 34 seconds and offers info from screenwriters Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki, producer Todd Garner, writer/director Christopher Landon, director of photography Brandon Trost, special makeup effects designer Tony Gardner, production designer Nathan Amondson, and actors David Koechner, Tye Sheridan, Joey Morgan, Logan Miller, and Sarah Dumont. We learn of the movie’s roots and developments, story/character areas, cast and performances, influences and Landon’s impact on the production, sets and locations, effects and zombie design, photography, and related topics. “Guide” brings us a pretty good overview of production areas.

During the five-minute, 37-second Zombie Makeup FX Handbook, we hear from Trost, Gardner, Garner and Landon. As implied by the title, “Handbook” discusses the various zombie effects in the movie. It delivers a short but informative examination of the subject matter.

Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography fills five minutes, 12 seconds with notes from Koechner, Landon, and zombie choreographer Mark Steger. We learn about zombie acting and character elements in this likable, engaging piece.

Finally, Uniforms and You: Costume Design lasts five minutes, 11 seconds and present comments from Amondson, Trost, and costume designer Marylou Lim. We get notes about the clothes worn by the movie’s characters. Another short but useful featurette, “Uniforms” works well.

Two Deleted Scenes show up as well. We get “Extended Scouting Video” (1:08) and “Pharmacy” (1:28). The first shows more of the “recruitment video” Scout Leader Rogers uses, while the second gives us more of the boys’ growing realization that the town is deserted. Neither adds much, though at least “Pharmacy” explains why Carter has so many condoms in a later scene.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Guide. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

With Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, we find an average horror/comedy experience. Though it delivers moderate entertainment, it doesn’t bring much new to the genre. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture and audio with a small roster of bonus materials. I find it tough to get excited about this mediocre film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main