Retro Movie House Review: Anna and the Apocalypse (Second Sight) Blu-ray Review
Studio: Second Sight UK
Release Date: November 30th, 2018 (theatrical) /
December 2nd, 2019 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 97 mins (UK theatrical) /
108 mins (extended version)
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 1080p (2.37:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins, and Marli Siu
Written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry
Directed by John McPhail
Rating: 15 (strong violence, gore, language)
When the zombie apocalypse hits the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - teenager Anna and her high school friends have to fight, sing and dance to survive, with the undead horde all around them. Teaming up with her best friend John, Anna has to fight her way through zombified snowmen, Santas, elves and Christmas shoppers to get across town to the high school, where they'll be safe. But they soon discover that being a teenager is just as difficult as staying alive, even at the end of the world.
Anna and the Apocalypse came to my attention during the later part of 2018 when my local AMC theater starting throwing the film’s trailer in front of everything. Every time I went to the theater I saw that trailer. I was ready to see this film. Hell, they even put the poster up which signified that the film was coming to that theater. The release date was November 30th, just in time for Christmas.
November 30th came and went and no movie. I asked AMC on Twitter and they said that the theatrical run was “limited” and wasn’t going to play in my area. I was crushed. I really wanted to see a zombie musical in the theater. I had to settle for VOD when it just popped up one day.
My initial reaction to the film is the same feeling I have for it now. I LOVE THIS FILM. The music is catchy (although, if you watch the special features included on this blu-ray you will come to hate one of the songs), characters that we actually like and want to see make it all the way through, and some very impressive gore given the film’s meager budget.
The only downfall to the film is the villain. I really don’t like it when movies include a villain when one isn’t needed. Sure, the actor playing the villain does a marvelous job, but the character is rather annoying and has one of the worst songs in the film. Had they cut him out completely and focused more on the characters that mattered, the film would have been a slam dunk.
Still, the film is a lot of fun and instantly quotable. The songs are great and the actors do such a great job creating three-dimensional characters that we care about. There is talk about making another film and I welcome that. I would say that I will be there opening day, but we saw how that turned out for this film.
THE PICTURE AND THE SOUND
Presented in the film’s original aspect ratio of 2.37:1 (which is a really weird aspect ratio), Anna and the Apocalypse looks really great. The film is a low budget affair and it does show and something you will have to deal with when watching the film. Colors are great with the Christmas lights giving the film a unique look that other Christmas themed film (*cough* Black Christmas 2019 *cough*) should have. Detail is high and skin tones look natural.
The included 5.1 track handles the songs with ease, giving us a nice soundscape on a low budget. Dialogue is crisp and clear.
Disc 1: U.K. Theatrical Version (1h 37m 40s, HD)
Audio Commentary with director, writer, and composers
Behind the Scenes (24m 45s, HD) A fairly standard making of that was done
during the making of the film. We get a short history of the film, a look at the dance
choreography, and a set tour, among other things.
Original Opening Concept (1m 58s, HD) The film was supposed to open with a
deranged looking Santa Claus walking through an outdoor mall while everyone
around him sang a song. The scene was partially shot, but the weather made it impossible
Deleted Scene (2m 30s, HD) Anna and Steph talk in the bathroom longer before
discovering the cleaning lady in the stall.
Deleted Song (3m 4s, HD) Anna and her father were supposed to have a song about
her growing up but still being his little girl. It is a sweet song that would have stopped
the film dead in its tracks.
“Hollywood Ending” Cast and Crew Dubs (4m 7s, HD) Here the cast and crew
are seen during various phases of production lip-syncing the song “Hollywood Ending”.
Edinburgh Film Festival Footage (5m 53s, HD) The cast goes to the Edinburgh Film
Festival where they have a lot of fun and perform the song “Hollywood Ending” for
people on the street.
Outtakes / Gag Reel (2m 48s, HD)
Disc 2: Extended Cut (1h 48m 25s, HD)
The Making of Anna and the Apocalypse (1h 24m 49s, HD) This is just about as
thorough a documentary about the film that you are ever going to get. This was shot after
the film had already wrapped and the actors had moved on to other things. Everything
about the film that you would want to know is covered here and in a lot of detail. I found
this a bit too much as the doc is shot and edited very dryly, but it is worth a look.
Original Short Film “Zombie Musical” (18m 37s, HD) This is the film that set the
whole thing in motion. The short is pretty rough, being shot for something like $3000, and
the songs are not all that great, but the film has a nice energy going on and it doesn’t
overstay its welcome.
SummaryAnna and the Apocalypse