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 REVIEWS The Beyond - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 13th January 2020 The Beyond Shameless Certificate 18
There are some movies that horror fans have multiple copies of, for me it's The Evil Dead, Halloween and Zombie Flesh Eaters. I have loads of editions in my loft on tape, laserdisc, DVDs, and now lovely Blu-rays and, where I can, 4K editions. Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981) is one movie that could also take up a shelf for all the different editions and versions I own as for some reason I'm drawn to it whenever I see a new release, even if it's just for a new cover!
This time around though Shameless have something rather cool and a bit different for fans of this Fulci classic but more on this later. For those new to this title, The Beyond i...SHARE: READ MORE Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
Posted on Thursday 19th December 2019 Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy Demon Records
Following the success of the first two Vault of Horror vinyl releases, Demon Records have pulled out all the stops to deliver another sublime piece of audio that should form part of everyone's Christmas list this year.
Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy of movies delivered some of the most controversial pieces of horror cinema at a time when horror was entering the "video nasties" period and the genre, as a whole, was frowned upon. Fulci grabbed this chance to push the envelope further with movies which celebrated the limits horror could go to and by doing so opened the doors - ...SHARE: READ MORE Judy and Punch - Film review
Posted on Wednesday 20th November 2019 Judy and Punch Picturehouse Entertainment Certificate 15 Release 22nd November
If you're tired of sequels, predictable plots and unimaginative situations then writer/director Mirrah Foulkes has something really special for you! By turning the traditional story of Punch and Judy totally on its head, she has delivered a directorial debut that is bold, brash and bloody good fun.
In the outlandish town of Seaside, located nowhere near the coast, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) are trying to resurrect their marionette show. The show is a hit due to Judy's superior puppeteering, but Punch's driving ambition and penchant for a drink lead to an ill-fat...SHARE: READ MORE Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted on Friday 18th October 2019 Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig The Omega Productions Records
Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.
Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.
The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...SHARE: READ MORE Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted on Thursday 17th October 2019
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition) Sacred Bones Double Vinyl
Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.
The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...SHARE: READ MORE Asylum - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019 Asylum Second Sight Films Certificate 15
When you read that a film has the writer Robert Bloch (Psycho) and been directed by Roy Ward Baker your interest will be pricked. When you also learn it's from Amicus the you know it's a "must have" purchase. This is exactly what Asylum is, a cracker of an anthology movie which has been given the special HD treatment thanks to those lovely people at Second Sight Films.
Asylum boasts an all-star cast including Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Robert Powell, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse and Charlotte Rampling each who play this bizarre but entertaining movie perfectly straight. This was the fifth portmanteau film from Amicus and is a fine and beaut...SHARE: READ MORE The House that Dripped Blood - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019 The House that Dripped Blood Second Sight Films Certificate 15
Amicus was famous for its anthology movies, and The House that Dripped Blood was one of their most famous ones. It contains a few good scares, as well as more than its fair share of in-jokes and homages to horror cinema's past. Written by Psycho author Robert Block and directed by newcomer Peter Duffell, the film boasts the usual Amicus star line-up coupled with some great set designs and an over enthusiastic score. Oh, a spoiler here, there's no blood!
Scotland Yard's Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in four tales...SHARE: READ MORE Black Moon Rising - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 22nd April 2019 Black Moon Rising Arrow Video Cetificate 15
Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.
Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...SHARE: READ MORE Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 11th April 2019 Scared Stiff Arrow Video Certificate TBA
Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.
Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...SHARE: READ MORE The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
Posted on Monday 8th April 2019 The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2 88 Films Cetificate 15
Cannibal Holocaust is probably one of the most debated horror movies of all time. A blend of exploitation, extreme gut-munching and violence (and some real animal torture) its notoriety is still talked about. It was inevitable a sequel is some shape or form, official or not, would follow and did so but not in the way fans thought it would. In The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2, gone are the hardcore splatter and sensationalist shocks, instead we have a movie that almost satirises what has gone before, seemingly in a ...SHARE: READ MORE Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2
Posted on Monday 8th April 2019 Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2 Demon Records
Here we go again with another slice of superb sounds with an Italian flavour from Demon Records and let's just say its just as strong as the movies they're culled from.
Starting off with the hazy chill of Savana from Savana Violenta (The Violent World) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, we get the chance to experience some of the most wonderful pieces without the graphic images that accompanied them. Make Love on the Wing from Zombie Holocaust is as 70s Euro lounge as you can get, and both these tracks create images of sunsets and calm waters.
It's not long before Fabio Frizzi turns up with the disco...SHARE: READ MORE The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot - Film review
Posted on Wednesday 27th March 2019 The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot Epic Pictures Certificate TBA
At FrightFest 2018 there was one movie that many of us really wanted to catch, mainly because it starred Sam Elliott and had the best title, ever! The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot stars Sam Elliott and Aidan Turner and is a film that defies categorisation and is sublime as it is diverting.
Decades after serving in WWII and assassinating Adolf Hitler, Calvin Barr (Elliott/Turner) is enlisted as the only man for the job: to hunt down the fabled Bigfoot. Living a peaceful life in New England reflecting on his lost love Maxine (Caitlin FitzGerald), the war...SHARE: READ MORE Reviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 21st January
Friday 31st January
Wednesday 29th January