Zombie films can be divided broadly into the camps of classic (think timeless, staggering, flesh hungry ghouls who can only be killed by blows to the head), re-imagined (think 28 Days Later rage, and other wanderings from the classic formula) and… Post Shaun of the Dead.
Shaun did a lot for the zombie film. It er… breathed fresh life into what was becoming a tired genre and brought some proper laughs into horror. More than that, it was a zombie film that poked fun at zombie films that was made by people who loved zombie films. And the enthusiasm showed.
Post Shaun, there have been a lot of ‘funny’ zombie films. Some have been really truly funny. Many have been tired cash ins riding the blood splattered coat tails of what came before. Ana and the Apocalypse is firmly in the former camp. This is a funny film.
A Scottish zombie comedy Christmas musical, no less. And oh so much more than the sum of its parts. The character formula is tried and tested – nerds and jocks alike navigate a path to survival together, discovering something about themselves and each other along the way. We have the missing parent, romantic tensions, loneliness and all the ingredients for a journey of self discovery.
And zombies. And music.
There’s no doubt that these filmmakers love their zombie films. The many excruciating and inventive deaths dished out attest to that. They certainly don’t hold back on the splatter! More surprising is how well they’ve managed to incorporate the songs. I’m by no means a fan of a musical but, far from coping with the musical numbers here, I actually enjoyed them! They managed to play the whole utterly absurd film with such a straight face that you couldn’t help but smile as another song struck up and more zombies were violently dispatched.
Easily one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a very long time. Top marks.