SCOUT’S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015)

Directed By: Christopher Landon
Written By: Carrie Evans, Christopher Landon & Emi Mochizuki
Story By: Lona Williams, Carrie Evans & Emi Mochizuki
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Jim Page

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, Halston Sage, Patrick Schwartzenegger, Missy Martinez


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.

The film delivers the title, but when you see the advertisements. You expect a squadron or at least Boy Scouts. Who are at the least 12 years old or younger. Which is horrifying and unique. Yet funny.

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

Here it is three teenagers and a cocktail waitress. So it becomes more of a teen movie with respective gross, low class sense of humor that tries to be explosive, but never goes fully to its capacity and tries too hard with no enthusiasm as some zombies are capable to think to a degree that leaves the film just seeming to revel in what it thinks is cool or what it believes the audience is after. Rather then tell it’s story with confidence and skill.

Though the film feels small scale and a bit scattershot with the throw everything and the kitchen sink type of plotting. The film seems more mainstream and wanting to tell a joke and get the audience to laugh with it. Though the jokes seem innocent they come off more as raunchy, but seem to want to have heart.

The film just ends up feeling like a cheery caffinated cheeerleader when you just want to watch asimple game.

Though strangely the film is scored like a Steven Spielberg film. Though not as skilled and knowing how to make the score work for the film and the emotional current of the scenes. Not using it for it’s strength or depth. Especially as Spielberg seems to be one of the masters of incorporating it as a desired ingredient and needed thread to his films. The soundtrack songs seem More like outdated music cues that one wonders if for recent nostalgia? Or for how pathetic they are and in bad taste? Or did the filmmakers really think it was still hip and was doing it as an audio version of product placement.

The film tires to do what it can with the premise that you would think would leave some opportunities for comedy and some originality to a familiar tale. Though it ends up going the more crass and uninspired route. That plays like a teenage sex comedy to a degree. That happens to have the threat of zombies at it’s center.

The film had very few inventive or innovative additions to the genre. Then again this isn’t a film that was made to do that or further cinema. Luckily the film doesn’t make the mistake of trying to incorporate any zombie film homages.

What happens here in this film is that it sounds like the tons of cash-in low budget films that fill the V.O.D. Market that end up making a quick buck out of general wonder if the audience and the late night crowd looming for something generally fun but entertaining. Studios see this and attempt to do the same with a film and title like this and though the film plays up a juvenile attitude and humor it still feels like a safe film that fits more into blockbuster entertainment for the masses. It feels too inside of the joke to really let loose and be the oddball curiosity type film that the title might imply. It lacks a certain explosive zeal the title seems to hint at. In other words, it fakes the funk. Just as when rich kids try to make themselves look of the people or poor. Yet they can afford extravagant things while having no job and their parents pay for everything.

The film is an average time waster that keeps your interest to a degree. Even after the initial appeal has worn off. Rather quickly and the premise plays itself out, to only be another zombie surviving another zombie attack film. That time to time reminds you that the main characters are boy scouts. Though really the film at heart is just a teen comedy with zombies. That typically happens all in one night, which leads to the truth that has an Initial betrayal but leads the main characters to bond and learn lessons whole overcoming their fears and problems.

It seems like the horny character keeps getting piss and blood sprayed on his face as sort of a punishment for his character’s behavior and overall attitude that comes across as a money shot (facial) at least.

The film also offers the violence, Sex, and nudity that a teenage or audience that really looks for that in films. (Which includes a revealing Cameo from an adult movie star Missy Martinez) Which seems to be making a comeback recently. Though this isn’t necessarily a film where you would expect it. Just a lot of talk about it.

The film is easily forgettable, but it interested as long as your hopes aren’t high. You might actually enjoy it. Though if not you definitely can skip it and not really miss anything.

 Grade: D+

DISTURBIA (2007)

disturbia4

 

Directed By: D.J. Caruso
Written By: Christopher Landon & Carl Ellsworth
Story By: Christopher Landon
Cinematography By: Rogier Stoffers
Editor: Jim Page 


Cast: Shai LeBouf, Sarah Roemer, Aaron Yoo, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss, Viola Davis, Matt Craven, Jose Pablo Cantillo 


After his father is killed in a car accident, things unravel for Kale Brecht and he is placed under house-arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. Having nothing better to do, Kale occupies himself by spying on his neighbors. But one night, he witnesses what appears to be a murder going on in Mr. Turner’s house. Kale becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind these murders but, after a few unsettling run-ins with Mr. Turner, it becomes a matter of life and death. And the ominous question: Who is watching whom?

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HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U (2019)

Film Title: Happy Death Day 2UWritten & Directed By: Christopher Landon
Based on characters created by: Scott Lobdell
Cinematography: Toby Oliver
Editor: Ben Baudhuin 


Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis, Rachel Matthews, Sarah Yarkin, Suraj Sharma, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Missy Yager, Jason Mayle, Rob Mello 


Having survived the farcical but utterly life-threatening events in the first film, the feisty sorority sister, Tree Gelbman, finds herself in the same college dorm, thankful to be alive. However, this time, it’s Carter’s roommate, Ryan, who claims that he is reliving the same paradoxical day over and over again, as a mysterious paranoid killer in a single-toothed baby-faced mask with a big kitchen knife has made a habit of murdering him. Under those circumstances, a valiant but vain attempt to face the challenge, once more, will send Tree back to square one, trapped in an all too familiar and blood-drenched time loop. How many deaths separate Tree from a truly happy birthday?

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