I have written in the past that I am not a fan of the straight horror genre. “Anna and the Apocalypse,” however, is a silly horror-zombie-musical comedy.
I can respect what some filmmakers try to do, but when it comes to horror, such as Eli Roth’s “Hostel” entries or any number of the ridiculous and forgettable “Saw” flicks, I just look at the cover art and say with a shrug, “Not on my watch list.”
“Anna and the Apocalypse” is a throwback to the overrated “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975), a story about stranded engaged couple, Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick). They meet Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania. Frank is a scientist who loves to explore oddities in his research, which includes performing song and dance numbers.
I admire that “Anna” was shot on location in Port Glasgow, Scotland. It does not have that fake drama stage backdrop that I disliked in Rob Reiner’s “The Princess Bride” (1987).
“Anna and the Apocalypse” is set in the not-so-sleepy town of Little Haven, a town in the English countryside. A zombie outbreak infects the town and sends the entire community into a tailspin.
Ella Hunt, of the Oscar-winning “Les Misérables” (2012) plays Anna. She fights the horde with her platonic best friend, John (Malcolm Cumming) who sometimes accompanies her on the musical side of things.
There are a variety of denizens, including Sarah Swire’s Steph who has the last operational car in Little Haven. Also included are the dating couple Nick (Ben Wiggins) and
Lisa (Marli Siu) who always seem to be locking lips, and a group of soccer hooligans who enjoy taking out the undead in a frivolous manner (i.e. running them over with shopping carts).
It was surprising to see the name Orion Pictures associated with this enjoyable tale. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and later, Orin was known for releasing Oliver Stone’s multiple Oscar-winner “Platoon” in 1986, Kevin Costner’s “Dances with Wolves” in 1990 and Jonathan Demme’s “The Silence of the Lambs” in 1991, which was the first movie since “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 to make a clean sweep in the Oscar race.
Also fun to watch in “Anna” is the school’s despicable teacher, Savage (Paul Kaye), who enjoys the fact that the zombies are essentially “thinning the herd.”
I put this one in the “meh” category among recent viewing habits. It was fun for a brief spell, but was not a watch-it-again movie. That’s something I recently did with “Suspiria.” I found that tale as intriguing as all get out.
If you want to just have a good and silly time at the movies, you could do worse than “Anna and the Apocalypse.”