What better way to celebrate the upcoming theatrical release of a teen dramedy/musical that takes place during Christmas and also at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse than with a zombie-filled flashmob?
That was the case for Anna and the Apocalypse, which had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, last year. After months on the festival circuit, the musical/genre mishmash continued to win over audiences, and will now be unleashed on movie theaters everywhere this Friday — but not before it kicked off a zombified flashmob homage. And you can watch it right here.
A couple hours before the flashmob commenced, participants gathered at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas — the same theater that hosted the film's premiere back in 2017. While some waited patiently for their zombie makeovers (including this reporter) — courtesy of makeup artists from Austin-based Scream Hollow — others ran through the basic steps, sporting makeshift school uniforms splattered in fake blood.
Just over an hour later, the roughly 60 dancers gathered at a pedestrian bridge overlooking the Colorado River, just south of Austin's downtown skyline. Dance leader Melody Afkami of Melody Dancefit climbed atop a bench to begin leading the makeshift dance troupe.
"This isn't the place for you to be shy," she said, coaxing even the most timid of participants into giving the two-minute routine their all.
After a couple quick rehearsals, the entire routine was done in three takes, which continued to draw in pedestrians who'd gathered on the periphery, who overall seemed charmed by the whole experience. After being spliced up into scenes from the film, it's now ready for your viewing pleasure.
"We wanted to come out with a way to involve the Austin community with Anna and the Apocalypse, along with our love and geekdom for the film and the music where we could introduce it to a new audience," said Brandy Fons of Fons PR, who first worked with the film during its Fantastic Fest premiere.
"I’ve always looked for the right time to create a dance flashmob from a film we were working on and this just seemed like the perfect time to go for it — and add zombies!" she added. "This took a month of bringing to life with my whole team involved after the studio approved our budgets, concept, and giving us the trust and green light to go for it."
Afkami, a professional dance instructor who'd coordinated flashmobs before, admitted that they "take a lot more planning and rehearsal than my typical classes."
"The best part of planning these unconventional flashmobs is the sheer joy I see on participants' faces after we complete [it]. I think everyone feels a bit shy at first, but there's always a magic moment where everyone lets go and stops caring about what they look like," Afkami said.
If the song gets in your head, don't worry. Anna and the Apocalypse opens in theaters on Friday, Nov. 30.