The zombie Christmas musical Anna and the Apocalypse has just released its first trailer, unabashedly living up to its bloody, festive premise. Set in the small, picturesque town of Little Haven, Anna and the Apocalypse centers around the titular Anna (played by Ella Hunt) as her celebration for the Christmas season is put on hold once a horde of zombies unexpectedly takes over. She and her friends devise a plan to find and protect their loved ones at any cost, much in the vein of most traditional movies in the zombie subgenre.
The twist, however, stems from the fact that Anna and the Apocalypse is not only a monster movie, but a musical, with characters singing and dancing their way through a flesh-eating bloodbath. Also starring Malcom Cumming, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Swire, Paul Kaye, Christopher Leveaux, Marli Siu, and Mark Benton, Anna and the Apocalypse was directed by Scottish filmmaker John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here?). Now, with plenty of creative gory set pieces to spare, the first trailer reveals exactly what sort of unique tone McPhail is going for in his upcoming horror-comedy.
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From Orion Pictures, the concept for Anna and the Apocalypse might speak for itself, but the trailer reveals a small-scale, though wildly distinct, spin on the genre. With a semi-serious, but also tongue-in-check tone, the trailer opens up with an updated spin on Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas, referring specifically to Anna and the undead. Local denizens run and dance their way through a fiery, apocalyptic landscape – with noticeable nods to George A. Romero’s classic zombie movie Dawn of the Dead, as well as the video game Dead Rising, given the creative makeshift weapons Anna and the other characters use as weapons (like giant candy canes, bowling balls, and shopping carts).
While the zombie subgenre is massive enough on its own, zombie comedies have been a major staple in horror as early as Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator and Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive – with Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead really opening the mainstream floodgates. Movies like Zombieland, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and Life After Beth are just a handful of zombie comedies that have been released within the past decade, and there’s even been a zombie romcom with the adaptation of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies.
As for horror musicals, Anna and the Apocalypse now exists within the same realm as cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and Little Shop of Horrors. So, whether it finds it audience right away or fares better over the years through word of mouth, it’s certainly in good company.
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Anna and the Apocalypse releases in select theaters November 30, expanding nationwide December 7.
Source: Orion Pictures