‘A zombie Christmas musical’
Anna and the Apocalypse is a 2017 British comedy zombie horror feature film directed by John McPhail – based on his 2010 short film Zombie Musical – from a screenplay by Ryan McHenry and Alan McDonald. The Blazing Griffin production stars Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming and Sarah Swire.
When the zombie apocalypse hits the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – teenager Anna (Ella Hunt) and her high school friends have to fight, sing and dance to survive, with the undead horde all around them.
Teaming up with her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming), Anna has to fight her way through zombified snowmen, Santas, elves and Christmas shoppers to get across town to the high school, where they’ll be safe. But they soon discover that being a teenager is just as difficult as staying alive, even at the end of the world…
Orion Pictures released Anna and the Apocalypse in select US theaters on November 30th, followed by a nationwide release on December 7th. Despite repeated PR pushes on some well-known horror web sites, it took a mere $545,597 at the box office.
Buy book: Amazon.com
Before the movie’s release, it was available as a book. Co-written by Katherine Turner and Barry Waldo, the novelisation was released as a Macmillan Publishing Imprint paperback and e-book on October 23, 2018.
“Though the film isn’t exactly a fright fest, it does feature a few excellent scares and wonderfully gory makeup and effects […] It may be rather obvious that a zombie film featuring the cast bursting into song and dance won’t exactly have hardcore horror hounds on the edge of their seats, however there is just enough guts and splatter to keep it real for genre fans.” Ain’t It Cool News
” …you still have to go out of your way to not be wooed by the fun flick’s well-meaning sweetness, flashes of sassy attitude, and overall eagerness to please with pure entertainment. Anna and the Apocalypse is lacking in areas that are usually worth more points, specifically original fiction and characters who aren’t inhibited by their archetypes.” Culture Crypt
“Some might argue it loses a little steam in the end, though I feel like this is an almost intrinsic flaw of the horror comedy: heavy on the comedy before it recedes into the background in favor of the horror. I’m inclined to agree, but with a caveat: it’s kind of hard to care when the consistency of the performances (and the songs!) never falters.” Dread Central
“The catchy, briskly staged musical numbers are balanced with witty pop culture references, apocalyptic geek humour (speculation about whether Ryan Gosling has been turned) and inventive riffs on familiar horror comedy backdrops – notably, zombies-in-a-bowling-alley. […] Like Shaun, it doesn’t shy away from grim plot developments in which loved ones perish horribly…” Horrorscreams Videovault
It’s utterly charming for the first half. The songs are catchy, the actors are all likeable, and the humour is splendid. It all starts to lose its way after that, resulting in a finale that is nowhere near as affecting or satisfying as movies that try the same kind of thing such as Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Deb or Cockneys vs Zombies.” House of Mortal Cinema
“It may be a touch overlong – perhaps because everyone has to stop running to sing songs at regular intervals – and the emotional beats familiar, with moments of poignance, tragedy, gruesome comedy (a decapitated zombie in a snowman suit) and absurdity. Yet John McPhail, director […] carries off a tricky mix of elements with brio.” Screen Daily
- Ella Hunt … Anna – Intruders
- Malcolm Cumming … John
- Sarah Swire … Steph
- Christopher Leveaux … Chris
- Ben Wiggins … Nick
- Marli Siu … Lisa
- Mark Benton … Tony
- Paul Kaye … Savage – The Ghoul; Blackwood; WΔZ
- Ella Jarvis … Katie
- Calum Cormack … Santa
- Euan Bennet … Jake
- Sean Connor … Graham
- Tariqsafdar Hussain … Zombie
- Janet Lawson … Mrs. Hinzmann
- Kirsty Strain … Ms Wright
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