tek's rating: ½

Anna and the Apocalypse (R)
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This Scottish film was first released in 2017 (2018 in the U.S.), but I didn't see it until 2021, on Krampusnacht. I guess the U.S. cut of the film is a bit shorter than the original, but I doubt I missed much of anything important. (Still, I probably should have gotten it on Blu-ray instead of DVD. Oh well.) It's based on a 2011 short film called "Zombie Musical", which has been on my list of short films I want to see for quite awhile, but so far I still haven't had a chance to see it.

There's a girl named Anna who is nearly finished with high school. She has a best friend named John, who is in love with her, but he doesn't say anything about it. They have another friend named Lisa, who is singing in a Christmas pageant at the school. She wants her boyfriend, Chris, to attend, but first he goes with a journalism student and social activist named Steph to film the conditions at a homeless shelter (which we never see). Chris had intended to get to the pageant after the filming, in time to see Lisa's song (which we do see), but he doesn't make it. The next day, there's a full scale zombie apocalypse. Anna and John meet up with Steph and Chris at a bowling alley, and later the four of them decide to try to make their way to the high school to find out if their friends and family are still alive. Along the way, they're joined by a guy named Nick, who I thought used to be Anna's boyfriend, but Wikipedia calls him a one-night stand, so I dunno. Anyway, he and a few of his friends are having fun killing zombies. Meanwhile, at the school, a bunch of people are hiding out from the zombies outside. The survivors (for now) include Anna's father Tony, Lisa, and Chris's grandmother. There's also the vice principal (soon to be headmaster), Mr. Savage, who is a complete asshole. Anna eventually makes it to the school, but not all of her companions do. I won't say which ones survived, or what happens after they get to the school.

So, I guess that's all I have to say about the plot. I liked the movie a lot. It had some really good songs (thankfully none of the zombies do any singing), and there was a lot of decent humor as well as personal drama (and of course, horror). I suppose the idea of a zombie musical seemed like a joke, on the surface (especially at the time the short film was made), but actually I think the genre mashup worked pretty well. Though there's not a lot of singing that's actually about the zombies themselves. Before the apocalypse begins, there are just regular songs about what the kids' lives are like, with school and future plans or whatever. And there are songs about trying to survive the situation they eventually find themselves in, or how they feel about it, but I don't think any of the songs specifically mentioned zombies. Which is probably for the best. I do need to mention that people were turned into zombies by a pandemic, and watching this now, I'm glad our real world pandemic at least doesn't do that. Oh, I also wanted to mention that this isn't the first zombie musical I've seen. That would be the Disney Channel Original Movie ZOMBIES, though in that the zombies were more or less decent, regular people, even if they faced some discrimination because of their condition. And in that one (and its sequel), the zombies do sing. Which is good, in that context. Anyway, I'm definitely glad I've seen this movie now. And I don't know what else to say about it.

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