ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Anna and the Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Monday 9th December 2019
Anna and the Apocalypse Blu-ray Second Sight Films Certificate 15

Musical horror movies aren't a new thing. In fact, there's been far more than you first think such as Stage Fright (2014), Cannibal: The Musical (1993) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and all became smallish cult hits. The problem with most is that sometimes the storyline suffers from trying to force as many songs in as possible. There's no such issue with Anna and the Apocalypse.

This wonderfully wacky piece of seasonal cinema has all that you'd want and more from a rom-zom-sing-a-long-com!

It's Christmas, is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But even zombies can't stop the teen drama: will Anna's best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) reveal his true feelings for her, or will her smug ex Nick (Ben Wiggins) win back her affections? And will she be able to repair her rocky relationship with dad Tony (Mark Benton) before it's too late? Along with exchange student Steph (Sarah Swire), star singer Lisa (Marli Siu) and her crush Chris (Christopher Leveaux), Anna soon discovers that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilisation falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other. Oh, and then there's the soon-to-be headmaster Mr Savage (Paul Kaye) to deal with...

Imaginative with a cast you just can't help but believe in, Anna and the Apocalypse is the zombie Christmas movie we didn't know we needed. Smart, with a bleak Midwinter sense of dread with some slight in the shade, the movie doesn't stick to the tradition Christmas format, meaning anyone can die in this movie! Ella Hunt shines as Anna, the confused but much-loved main player of the piece and is ably supported by a young cast, all of whom have incredibly bright futures ahead of them. As for the more mature cast, well Benton is always good value and makes sure he has the audience right on his side whilst Kaye chews up each scene with relish and delight.

The songs are catchy and memorable with more hits than misses and the effects are as bloody as you'd want them to be. It is slightly over-long in places and the odd piece of trimming wouldn't have gone a miss, plus there are a few of the background artists who seem to be a tad lost but these are very, very small niggles.

This new Blu-ray comes with a small but perfectly parcel of extras including the Theatrical and extended Cuts, Original short film 'Zombie Musical' written and directed by Ryan McHenry, Audio Commentary with director John McPhail, writer Alan McDonald, composers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, a brand new documentary featuring interviews with actors Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Ben Wiggins, Marli Siu, director John McPhail, writer Alan McDonald, composers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly and producer Naysun Alae-Carew and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Filled with rotting heart, gout ridden toe-tapping tunes, and a good amount of raw gore, Anna and the Apocalypse is one of those movies that, on paper shouldn't really work but it does so and grabs its wild and wonderful plot by the ripped-out throat and runs away with it.


Related show tags: 4 STARS
MORE ARTICLES
Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Airell Hayles

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.

HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?

AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Toby and Fionn Clapper 1

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.

HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?

FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
45507_1_DEVILS_REVENGE_KEY_ART_V0g

All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.

The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).

John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
FrightFest Online-Logo-3_NEW

The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.

Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.

The men...

SHARE: READ MORE
Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Piranna II The Spawning exploded pack shot

It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.

While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.

As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.

This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...

SHARE: READ MORE
An all-star cast for an all-time sleazy shocker!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Schizoid Cover

In the lurid shocker, Schizoid a newspaper advice columnist (Mariana Hill) starts receiving threats from a mysterious person. At the same time, the female members of her psychiatrist's (Klaus Kinski, Crawlspace) therapy group are being murdered one by one by a maniac wielding a large pair of scissors.

Could these incidents be linked?

Donna Wilkes, Craig Wasson, Flo Gerrish and Christopher Lloyd also star in this long forgotten sleazy slasher which is getting the usual top-notch release from 88Films.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Dracula on red wax!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Dracula OST Red Vinyl

From the team behind BBC's critically acclaimed Sherlock came Dracula, the reimagining of the iconic titular vampire for a 21st Century audience. Composers David Arnold and Michael Price reunited with writers and creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, to breathe musical life into another famous literary character from Victorian times.

For Dracula, Arnold and Price conceived an innovative and petrifying score, in which traditional instruments and musique concrete merge with contemporary use of samples and sound design.

Scoring Dracula presented its own challenges and the composers have augmented the sound of the orchestra players by creating a library...

SHARE: READ MORE
Will you hear the Echoes of Fear?
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
ECHOS_OF_FEAR_DVD_3D_PACKSHOT

Creating waves on the US festival circuit and garnering best feature awards galore Echoes of Fear is set to scare the living daylights out of UK audiences as it arrives on digital and DVD this summer from Second Sight Films.

Turning the haunted house genre on its head, this chilling scare-fest, will have you clamouring for a cushion as the horror creeps up to a truly disturbing climax. The supernatural chiller from Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, has garnered huge critical acclaim and arrives on digital formats on 20 July, followed by its DVD release on 3 August.

When her grandfather dies suddenly, Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits his house and m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Shaun of the Dead in Two Heads Creek!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020

Frightfest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Two Head Creek, a cannibalistic tale of Brits abroad, and a very witty slice of shocks and horror, starring Kathryn Wilder (All is True) and Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit Trilogy).

After the death of their adoptive mother, a shy butcher and his drama queen sister leave the UK and adventure to Australia in search of their biological mother, but the local townsfolk of Two Heads Creek are hiding a dark secret: the pair must reconcile their differences to fight for their lives in this playfully dark comedy-horror. The BBQ is lit and it's kill-or-be-killed in this hilarious, once-in-a-lifetime trip, also starring Gary Sweet (W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grimmfest unveils first tranche of titles for its 2020 event
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
TRIGGERED POSTER CU

Grimmfest 2020 will offer a roster of feature film premieres and shorts programmes across a new online platform.

This year has seen every film festival struggling to find ways to present new films to their audience safely, without risk of infection, in the midst of a global pandemic. And after long and serious discussion, Grimmfest will be going ahead in a new format for 2020.

Grimmfest's live event at the Odeon Great Northern, Manchester, will be postponed until spring 2021. But fear not, a new online alternative "virtual festival" will run from 7 - 11 October 2020 and will feature an exciting array of feature film premieres, shorts programmes, Q&As, talks and much mo...

SHARE: READ MORE
More "lost" Doctor Who coming to vinyl
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
DrWho_MarcoPolo_3D_Exploded

Demon Records presents the narrated TV soundtrack of Doctor Who - Marco Polo, a 'lost' seven-part adventure set in the 13th Century, starring William Hartnell as the original Doctor pressed on 4 x 140g Desert Sandstorm Vinyl.

When the TARDIS breaks down in Central Asia, its occupants are met by the explorer Marco Polo. The year is 1289, and Marco is crossing the Gobi desert to Peking, for an audience with the emperor Kublai Khan. Marco sets his mind on offering the TARDIS as a gift to the Khan, despite the Doctor's protests. The time travellers must endure a long journey, fraught with danger, as they join Marco's caravan in the company of the treacherous warlord, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Walking Dead series to be re-issued in colour!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
The Walking Dead Deluxe Issue 1

Read it again!

Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment will revisit the historic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard with newly, fully coloured issues. Featuring the stunning work of the masterful Dave McCaig, these new issues will launch in October with The Walking Dead Deluxe #1. Kirkman first announced the fully coloured issues during Skybound Xpo, Skybound's virtual pop-culture convention.

This deluxe revival of the series will also feature a memorable array of variant covers by such artists as David Finch, Tony Moore, Julian Totino Tedesco, and Arthur ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
100 Bloody Acres
100 BLOODY ACRES
Thursday 6th August
10.45 PM
Land Of The Dead
LAND OF THE DEAD
Monday 10th August
9.00 PM
Sorority Row
SORORITY ROW
Monday 10th August
10.50 PM