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Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

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Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChristopher Landon
Screenplay by
  • Carrie Evans
  • Emi Mochizuki
  • Christopher Landon
Story by
Produced by
CinematographyBrandon Trost
Edited byJim Page
Music byMatthew Margeson
Broken Road Productions
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 30, 2015 (2015-10-30)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15–24 million[2][3][4]
Box office$16.1 million[2]

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a 2015 American zombie comedy film directed by Christopher Landon and written by Landon, Carrie Evans, Emi Mochizuki and Lona Williams. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont and David Koechner. The film was released in the United States on October 30, 2015, by Paramount Pictures. It received generally unfavorable reviews from critics.


A janitor is cleaning in a laboratory and interrupts a scientist as he asks to clean the floors in his working area. The scientist agrees and retreats to the hallway to a vending machine. The janitor accidentally knocks off a life monitor attached to a man; in his attempt to revive the man, he gives chest compressions but his hands rip through the flesh as the man awakens and attacks the janitor. Moments later, the zombified janitor attacks the scientist in the hallway.

Three high school sophomores, Ben, Carter, and Augie, are trying to recruit new members for their Scout group, led by their Scout Leader Rogers. While Augie has always been happy about being a Scout, Ben and Carter have second thoughts since they're growing out of favor and considering quitting the scouts. En route to a campsite, Ben accidentally hits a deer. They manage to get help from Carter's sister, Kendall, and her friends. Ben, who's had a crush on Kendall, gets some advice from her. They all see that the supposedly-dead deer has vanished. Before they leave, the two are invited to the "Secret Seniors Party" and Carter is given the address.

When they get alcohol for the party, they meet Denise, a cocktail waitress who works at a strip club. She and Ben hit it off, and she agrees to buy the alcohol for them. The two then meet up with Augie in the woods so they can set up their campsite. That night, Carter wakes Ben so they can attend the party. Augie catches them; however, and is disappointed by their choice. The two drive into town to find that the bouncer for the strip club is no longer there, and they sneak in. The two are immediately attacked by a zombie bouncer and stripper before being saved by Denise. Augie goes to Scout Leader Rogers' house to find him, only to be attacked by Scout Leader Rogers as a zombie. Augie manages to deter him and flee the scene.

Ben, Carter, and Denise go to the police station to discover that the town has been evacuated before a zombie horde chases them into a locked holding cell. They wait for hours when the zombies hear music from outside and leave. Augie, seeing Ben's car, runs in and unlocks the cell, freeing them. They all escape and make their way down the freeway. The four are picked up by Corporal Reeves. They drive to the party to see if anyone is evacuated, only to find that the address that was sent to Carter was fake.

Tensions rose amongst the group, but Reeves was bitten before meeting them and has now turned into a zombie. Denise kills him and they try to get a signal on his radio. They hear information about bombing the town to wipe out the zombies. Carter then remembers his sister's diary has the party information in it. The four take the vehicle and drive to Carter's house. Once there, they manage to get the diary, but, more zombies arrive and proceed to chase after the trio. They manage to escape using a trampoline to get to the now zombified neighbor, Ms. Fielder's house. From there, they take her car and head off down the road. The four find a dirt bike down the road and Denise takes it so she can get the military. Now left by themselves, Ben, Carter, and Augie create weapons at a hardware store and head to the party.

The zombies find the party, and proceed to attack the partygoers, until the trio turns up, armed with weapons, and proceeds to kill the zombies. Once they run out of ammo, they lock themselves in the building and the zombies follow them upstairs. Ben and Carter barricade the door when Augie reveals that he's built a bomb that was hidden in Ben's backpack. He manages to light the fuse when the zombies burst in and the three escape through a garbage chute just as it explodes, killing all the zombies. Denise and the military arrive at the scene, helping the survivors while the scouts reconcile their friendship.



Prior to this film, Christopher Landon had worked on three movies in the Paranormal Activity series, and he relished the chance to do something more lighthearted.[5] The script put him in mind of various 80s movies. He stated, "When I read the first script, I was like, 'Wow, I can actually make a gory R-rated version of The Goonies and Gremlins or even Monster Squad.'"[5] At the same time, Landon noted, he did not want the film to be a complete throwback, and wanted to modernize the genre somewhat—a task he compared to the one he had with Disturbia, trying to modernize a Hitchcockian thriller.[5]

Although initially set for a March 13, 2015, release date, it was eventually pushed back to October 30, 2015.[6][7]


Principal photography began on May 8, 2014, in Los Angeles.[8][9]


In July 2015, Paramount announced that it had struck a deal with AMC Entertainment and Cineplex Entertainment to make Scouts Guide and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension available digitally, 17 days after they dropped below 300 theaters, as part of a larger experiment, and asked other theaters to join in. In return, Paramount would share an undisclosed portion of proceeds of the VOD revenues.[10] Per industry sources, Paramount gave participating exhibitors an estimated 2 to 4 percent share of the studio's digital revenue made between the time the film dropped below 300 theaters and 90 days after its opening date.[11] Participants in Paramount's formula include AMC, Canada's Cineplex, National Amusements, and Alamo Drafthouse. But many circuits, including Regal Cinema, Cinemark, and Carmike, rejected Paramount's offer to release in VOD.[10][11] This meant that both films would only go out in roughly 1,350 North American theaters when opening on October 23 and 30—compared to 2,883 theaters for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and well north of 3,000 theaters for each of the previous three PA installments.[10] The impetus for Paramount's experimentation with this approach, with these two-younger demographic genre movies—which many have deemed box office failures—is the theatrical failure of MGM's Hot Tub Time Machine 2.[11] Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, said: "There is no question that we are going to do less theatrically, but I believe we will make it up digitally. This is about the long-term health of the business, so there is not this long period of time when a consumer can't watch a movie."[10]


Box office[edit]

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse grossed $3.7 million in North America and $12.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $16.1 million.[2] The production budget was $24 million, and received $3 million in incentives and rebates as part of the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program.[4][3]

The film opened on October 30, 2015, alongside Burnt and Our Brand Is Crisis. The film was initially projected to gross $2–4 million from 1,509 theaters in its opening weekend but ended up grossing $1.8 million, finishing 12th at the box office.[12]

Critical response[edit]

Critic Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com savaged the film as "disposable junk", calling it "loud, repellent, badly written, indifferently directed and almost completely devoid of any genuine laughs".[13] Katie Rife from The A.V. Club gave the film a C− grade, commenting: "If Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is the future, maybe the world should end."[14] Tim Janson from the SciFi Movie Page rated the film 41% out of 100%, saying: "This zombie comedy is short on laughs."[15]

As of November 2021, the film holds a 44% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews with an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's consensus reads, "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse fails to live up to its intriguingly wacky title, instead delivering yet another zombie comedy-thriller with a tired T&A twist."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 32 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of B− on an A+ to F scale.[12]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on December 8, 2015, onto Digital HD and On Demand, and on January 5, 2016, on DVD and Blu-ray.[18]


Award Category Nominee Result
COLA Location Team of the Year – Studio Feature Film Stephenson Crossley (location manager)
Will Ruvalcaba (key assistant location manager)
Jeanie Farnam (assistant location manager)
Christopher Kusiak (assistant location manager)
Sofia Ochoa (assistant location manager)



  1. ^ "SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. August 24, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  3. ^ a b McNary, Dave (June 15, 2016). "California Was World's Top Film Production Center in 2015, U.K. Generated Most Spending". Variety. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b FilmL.A. (June 15, 2016). "2015 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Wixson, Heather (October 29, 2015). "Interview: Co-Writer/Director Christopher Landon Talks SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE". Dailydead. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "Paramount Pushes Friday The 13th Back 8 Months, Gives Slot To 'Scouts Vs. Zombies'". deadline.com. May 30, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  7. ^ "Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and 'Scouts Vs. Zombies' new release dates – Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. October 14, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  8. ^ "Scouts vs. Zombies Starts Filming in Los Angeles". comingsoon.net. May 12, 2014. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Walkuski, Eric (May 12, 2014). "Christopher Landon's Scouts vs. Zombies begins production in Los Angeles". joblo.com. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d McClintock, Pamela (October 15, 2015). "Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension Shunned by Many Theater Circuits Due to Early VOD Plan". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 15, 2015). "As Exhibs Snub Paranormal Activity 6 & Scouts' Guide, Is Paramount's Early VOD Experiment Bad Business?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper, The Martian To Scare Away Sandra Bullock & Scouts At Halloween B.O. – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. October 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Sobczynski, Peter (October 29, 2015). "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  14. ^ "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)". The A.V. Club. October 29, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse". SciFi Movie Page. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  16. ^ "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  17. ^ "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Don't miss #ScoutsVsZombies on Digital HD December 8". Facebook.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.

External links[edit]