Directed By: John McPhail
Written by: Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry
Based on the Novel by Barry Waldo
This review brought to you by: Devil’s River Rye Whiskey. (They know nothing about this, I just picked it as my source of courage tonight.)
I think it is appropriate to do a bit of explaining before I go into giving my thoughts on Anna and the Apocalypse. See, Tick reached out to me with an idea for this here movie blog. He and I have quite different tastes in this field we love called Cinema. As a general rule, I detest horror films, whereas I think it is safe to say, it is his favorite genre. He asked if I would be willing to do a monthly review of a film of his choice and he would review one of my selections. This was his first challenge. So, with that bit of exposition out of the way, let’s get to the actual review of this movie shall we?
Goodness, where to begin with this. The film starts out as your typical high school drama. Boyfriend promising to not miss his girl’s big performance while also promising to help a mutual friend with their task. The asshole jock hitting on the female lead with a best friend who is still coming to terms with the fact and she is not going to reciprocate what he feels for her. Then…then the music starts and the cast suddenly burst into song and dance. I was not prepared for that given the context of what this Monthly Movie Challenge was based on, as mentioned above. This is also where some of the fun dark humor begins to ramp up. I believe it is during the third song where the full on zombie apocalypse kicks into gear. Anna (Ella Hunt) is completely oblivious as she sings her song about “Turning My Life Around” and dances through the streets to meet her friend John (Malcolm Cumming) while all around her people are running in fear or being mauled by the zombie horde. I am sure there is some sort of social commentary about a generation self adsorbed with their mobile devices ignoring what is happening all around them but I can’t be bothered to get on my high horse right now.
Much like Shaun of the Dead, the friends all meet up and realize what is going on and decide to trek across the city to find their other friends and family at the local high school. That is where the true star of this movie really shines. Paul Kaye plays Headmaster Savage and is an absolute blast to hate. He runs the school like a paramilitary unit and thinks achieving the title of Headmaster is the ultimate life accomplishment. (Side note, took me entirely too long to realize this is the same guy who played Thoros of Myr in Game of Thrones) Savage is absolutely psychotic and a total joy to watch as he gets his “Disney Villain song” moment. This review is skimming over some fun performances from other cast members and there are some creative zombie kills that are worth a watch.
So in short, if you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead or the Once More With Feeling episode of Buff the Vampire Slayer, this is worth a couple hours of your time.
Final Score: 8.5/10