“Dawn of the Dead ” meets ‘Super Bad” when a trio of high school students learn that “being prepared” is the best gift a Scout can take away from his training in this high spirited romp that mixes humor with zombie carnage.
You know you’re in good hands when a film opens with a hipster janitor strutting his disco moves while enjoying some high spirited dance music on his MP3. This guy dances like he doesn’t care(and sings with the same abandon)as he mops a top secret lab. It’s obvious that state secrets are safe with this doofus but that doesn’t mean he can be trusted to follow protocols.
Unfortunately the only lab guy on-duty heads out for a snack while the lab is getting cleaned. It doesn’t take long for the janitor to accidentally free a highly contagious zombie who promptly puts the bite on both the custodian and our snacking tech dude.
Meanwhile Scout buddies Ben, Carter and Augie witness a different sort of massacre. Their Scout leader, Rogers, is more than capable of boring an audience into contemplating Hara-Kiri before ever considering membership in the troop. The group is secretly coming apart with the shy Augie mourning the loss of his father while the more outgoing Ben and Crater are dying to ditch their Scout uniforms and start pursuing the fairer sex.
Ben and Carter opt to do one more camping activity so Augie can receive a Condor badge( a big deal) but they plan to escape after lights out and crash a senior rave party. Ditching goes off without a hitch but they return to a town that seems deserted. Unless you care to count the zombie hoarde roaming the streets. Meanwhile Augie goes off in search of their Scout leader only to discover he too is a member of the walking dead.
Eventually our three scouts team up with a no-nonsense stripper and vow to save the party goers before the town is carpet bombed by the military. You get a cool arming themselves sequence and plenty of zombie bashing as our team puts their hard earned skills to new uses saving their city from certain annihilation.
If you have to see one more Zombie flick then I recommend this one. The humor is perfectly pitched to the action and there is a big warm mushy heart beating underneath the whole enterprise. That’s really what the genre has been missing. There are plenty of undead shoot-em ups but this one is wise to add a little bit of warmth to the proceedings give this effort a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer ” vibe that the genre was sorely lacking. That and a cool cameo by the legendary Cloris Leachman! Enjoy.
Best lines: “A dead stripper just tried to eat my face.”
“I’m really sorry I set you on fire Scout leader Rogers.”
‘Dude is sitting at home dressed like Dolly Parton and singing show tunes.”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.