ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE (2017)

Anna and the Apocalypse poster

A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna 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 they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

SHORT VERSION

When the zombie apocalypse strikes on Christmas Eve, best friends Anna (Ella Hunt) and John (Malcolm Cumming) take refuge in the bowling alley where they work along with class mates Steph and Chris. Eventually they escape the bowling alley and head to the school where Anna’s dad and Chris’ girlfriend Lisa, and grandmother are sheltering since the Christmas talent show the previous night and are waiting evacuation by the local army (who have already been infected). On the way they run into class bullies Nick (Ben Wiggins) and his friends who have been looting supplies and killing zombies.

They join forces heading to the school and Nick’s friends are bitten while running through a Christmas tree warehouse. John also gets bitten and uses his last moments to carry Anna through the crowd so she can escape. They continue on to the school where headmaster Savage has gone crazy and released zombies into the school. Chris’s grandmother has died of a heart attack and Savage has tied up Anna’s dad on the talent show stage in front of a pit of zombies. Chris and Lisa get bitten trying to distract the zombies while Steph can steal her car keys back from the headmaster’s office. Anna dances and fights her way to the stage where she frees her father who fights with the headmaster. Eventually Anna uses a stage prop to knock the headmaster into a pit of zombies only to find out that her father was already bitten. He tells her he’s proud of her before sending her off with Nick. As they stand outside ready to fight the zombie horde, Steph pulls up in her car. The movie ends with them on the road trying to figure out where to go next.

Some causes of zombie death: crushed with bowling ball, beheaded by pin rack, beheaded by teeter totter, beheaded by toilet seat, beaten with a bowling pin, stabbed with a spatula, hit with a cricket bat, hit with a baseball bat, hit with a watermelon, lured in by a steak on a fishing pole, stabbed with a Christmas ornament, lassoed with a video game controller, and stabbed with a chisel.

MEDIUM VERSION

Anna, a soon-to-be secondary school graduate, plans to go traveling for a year before attending university, much to the displeasure of her father Tony. Her friends are dealing with their own issues: her best friend John is secretly in love with her, Chris is struggling with a class assignment, and Steph is trying to get her social justice reporting past the tyrannical vice principal Mr. Savage (“Break Away”). Nick, Anna’s macho ex-boyfriend, is also making her life difficult (“Hollywood Ending”). The night of the school Christmas show, in which Chris’s girlfriend Lisa is performing (“It’s That Time of Year”), Anna and John are working in the local bowling alley and Chris and Steph have gone to film for Steph’s story. During this time, a zombie infection starts spreading and Lisa, Tony, Savage, and Chris’s grandmother are stranded in the school. Anna and John bond over her post-graduation plans on their ways home from work.

The next morning, Anna and John leave for the school, completely oblivious to the zombie chaos around them (“Turning My Life Around”). When they encounter a zombie dressed as a snowman, Anna decapitates him with a seesaw. Figuring it will be too dangerous to go home or to the school, they go to the bowling alley where they meet Steph and Chris, who had taken shelter there. Steph finds out that an army evacuation is coming to the school, so the group plans to go there once it is safe. Anna and Steph find the zombified cleaner and Steph kills her, alerting a group of zombified bowlers to break in. The group kills them all after a bloody fight and realise that getting to their loved ones will be difficult (“Human Voice”).

The next morning Anna, Steph, John, and Chris wake up to find that the army has been zombified and no evacuation is coming. Regardless, they set off to the school to see if their loved ones are still alive. Nick – who is greatly enjoying the carnage (“Soldier at War”)- and his jock friends rescue the group from a horde of zombies and join them on their way to the school. Anna tells John that she still plans to go traveling despite everything that has happened. At the school, Savage fights to maintain authority as the others plan their own evacuation.

The students cut through a Christmas tree emporium in an attempt to save time but are ambushed by zombies, which kill Nick’s friends. Once out the other side John is bitten; he gets Anna to safety but sacrifices himself to distract the zombies. The survivors reach the school, where Savage has let the zombies in as a last-ditch measure of control (“Nothing’s Going to Stop Me Now”). Anna and Nick split off to search for Tony while Steph and Chris look for his family and Steph’s car keys. Nick reveals that his father asked Nick to kill him after he was bit, before distracting a group of zombies so that Anna can find her father. Chris finds Lisa but his grandmother had already died of a heart attack. Steph, Chris, and Lisa find the car keys in Savage’s office but Chris and Lisa are bitten while trying to escape, having used Chris’s video footage as a distraction.

Anna finds Savage in the auditorium, where he is using Tony as bait for the zombies (“Give Them a Show”). Anna gets to the stage and saves Tony, but he lashes out at Savage and they fight. Savage falls to the zombies but Tony is bitten in the scuffle. Anna says goodbye to her dad as Nick arrives, and the two of them leave the school. They prepare for one last stand (“I Will Believe”) before Steph rescues them in her car and Anna finally leaves Little Haven.

LONG VERSION

The film starts in the town of Little Haven. Anna Shepard (Ella Hunt) is being driven to school by her father Tony (Mark Benton) along with her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming). Anna turns off the radio as a news report airs on the outbreak of a possibly deadly virus. John accidentally lets it slip in front of Tony that Anna is planning to go traveling instead of attending university after high school. Once they get to school, Tony tries to talk to Anna, but messes up when he brings up her deceased mother. Anna coldly tells Tony she can’t wait to get away from him.

In school, we meet American student Steph (Sarah Swire), whose car keys are confiscated by the sadistic new headmaster Arthur Savage (Paul Kaye) since she parked on school property. John is seen getting bullied when he’s not around Anna. All three of them express a desire to get away from their current lives (“Break Away”). Anna goes into the auditorium to meet her friend Lisa (Marli Siu), who is performing in the school Christmas show that Savage is directing. He is utterly obnoxious to the students and is nearly knocked offstage by a falling star prop.

During lunch, Anna and John sit with Lisa and her boyfriend Chris (Christopher Leveaux), and the two can’t keep their faces off each other. They watch as Anna’s douchey ex-boyfriend Nick (Ben Wiggins) looks at her. Chris and Lisa know that John is in love with Anna, so they try and change the subject. John starts to sing about how someone like Anna probably won’t see him the way he sees her (“Hollywood Ending”). Afterwards, Anna finds Steph outside trying to get into her car. Anna tries to be helpful, but Steph drives her away when she accidentally tells her “At least you don’t have a mother that nags you”, since Steph was essentially dropped off in Little Haven while her parents are vacationing in Mexico, which she believes to be because they can’t handle that she is a lesbian. As Anna walks away, she brushes up against a zombie.

The school holds the show that night while Anna and Chris work at the bowling alley. Lisa sings a highly suggestive song that shocks the other parents (“It’s That Time of Year”). She is disappointed to find that Chris did not make it, but his grandmother did. Savage watches the display from his booth with Tony, who is the school’s janitor. Savage attempts to rush to the stage to stop the song, but Lisa manages to finish. Outside, a zombie is attempting to break into the school. Savage warns them to go away, or else. When the zombie keeps banging, Savage opens the doors but finds nobody outside.

In the morning, Anna decides to put on a positive attitude and embrace the day…all while the zombie apocalypse is happening around her, and she fails to notice the chaos (“Turning My Life Around”). John joins in the song as the two meet at the cemetery. They make their way to a playground when they are spotted by a zombie dressed as a snowman. When they realize what is going on, Anna lures the zombie near her as she waits by a seesaw, and then uses it to whack the zombie’s head off and causing John to scream like a girl.

Anna and John decide to head to the bowling alley for safety. They find Chris and Steph there, but Anna and Chris’s boss has become a zombie. They kill her just moments before a whole horde of zombies starts to break in. Using bowling balls, pins, and a spatula, among other things, the friends kill off the zombies one by one. They then attempt to reach their loved ones, but find that they have no reception. Meanwhile, Tony, Lisa, Chris’s gran, and other adults are stuck at the school. Lisa tends to Chris’s gran since she has a bad heart. Savage, however, wants everyone to listen to him, but nobody will since he’s such a prick. Anna and her friends stay at the bowling alley as it gets dark and watch as the army firebombs the town while they wish they had their loved ones close (“Human Voice”).

The following day, the friends see that even the army soldiers have turned into zombies. They use the inflatable pool in the place as a means to get outside without being spotted by zombies. Unfortunately, they ARE spotted, and they have to crouch down. Even more unfortunate, one of the zombies starts peeing on top of Steph. The friends are then saved by Nick and his buddies as they have been killing zombies left and right, which he takes the time to brag about (“Soldier At War”). After slaying a few more zombies, both groups hide inside a Christmas tree shop. They find more zombies in there, and they feast on Nick’s friends, forcing him to join Anna and her friends.

Back at the school, Savage has nobody on his side. As the zombies are now close to breaking in, he declares that the school is his, and he opens the doors.

John pushes Anna in a cart when he drops a hint about potentially getting with Anna since she obviously doesn’t want to be with Nick. However, Anna makes it firmly clear that she views John as her best friend, leaving him visibly disappointed. They join their friends as they run through a store to fight off more zombies. Just when it looks like they’re in the clear, a zombie comes up from behind and bites John’s hand. As more zombies approach, and knowing he is already doomed, John carries Anna through the group of zombies to get her to safety while he resigns to his fate and is taken by the zombies. Anna tearfully tries to save John, but Nick pulls her away.

The friends make it to the school and find most of the adults are now zombies. Savage hides behind a counter as he draws the zombies’ attention toward the kids, now having lost his mind as he plans to maintain total control (“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now”). The friends fight their way through the zombies while also trying to hide. Steph joins Chris as he finds Lisa hiding in a closet. Sadly, Chris’s gran passed away since her heart gave out, but he is just thankful she didn’t become a zombie. The three then go look for Savage’s office to get Steph’s car keys. She manages to get to the office after crawling there, and she ends up recovering her keys. When she tries to get back to Chris and Lisa, the zombies spot them and attack. Steph makes it to safety, but Chris and Lisa both get bitten. They hold each other lovingly as they spend their final moments together. Steph tearfully watches them and escapes.

Anna and Nick go to look for Tony. They talk about why they broke up, and Anna says it’s because Nick acted like her feelings meant nothing and that he just doesn’t care. Nick then reveals that he had to kill his father because he turned into a zombie, and his father had requested that he do it and not disappoint him for once. The zombies then break in and attack. Nick stays behind to fight them while Anna goes to find her father.

Anna finds Tony in the auditorium, but he’s been tied up in Christmas lights by Savage, who tries to bring more zombies to get Anna. Anna grabs a pointed candy cane and gears up for the ultimate showdown (“Give Them A Show”). She takes down a few zombies before heading to the stage to save her father. Savage attempts to create more trouble, but Tony punches him in the face. Savage then tries to sneak up on Tony, but Anna drops the star prop on Savage, knocking him into the zombie crowd where is is gruesomely devoured. Anna tries to take Tony away, but he reveals he was bitten in the leg. Anna breaks down, but Tony holds her as they spend one last moment together (“I Will Believe”). He tells her to go on with Nick (even though he doesn’t like him) to be safe while he waits for the inevitable.

Anna and Nick leave the school as a bunch of zombies start to close in on them. They are saved in the nick of time by Steph in her car. As they drive away, we see that John, Chris, and Lisa are now all zombies, while Tony stares at a photo of Anna before succumbing to the same fate. Anna, Nick, and Steph then drive out of town, unsure of where to go now that the world is apparently doomed. As they make their way out, a zombie Santa appears and growls at the viewers.

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