Director - Kiah Roache-Turner (War Games, Roadrunner)
Starring - Jay Gallagher (To Become One), Bianca Bradey (Wrath), and Leon Burchill (Stoned Bros)
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "Prepare yourself"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)
Rating (out of 5):
Scream Factory and IFC Midnight has teamed up over the last few years to release some great films. The team up has released some great zombie films that are far better than The Walking Dead. Late last year the pair released The Battery. This low budget zombie flick followed two baseball players as they search for food during the zombie apocalypse. The film was absolutely brilliant and was a very effective character piece. Earlier this year the two released the Australian zombie flick Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. The film has since been hailed by horror fans for its story that mixes elements of Mad Max and Dawn of the Dead. I can see why the film gets the Mad Max comparison but there was very little that drew the DotD comparison other than the presence of the zombies.
The film follows a father living in Australia with his wife and daughter when they awake to an intruder roaming in their home. They deal with the intruder and then quickly scramble to the car with gas masks. They realize that their intruder was a zombie and try to seek refuge before they cross paths with more. Sadly, the gas masks do little to stop his wife and daughter from becoming infected forcing him to put them down. He crosses paths with more survivors and tries to score a car to go look for his sister. The other survivors inform him that gas no longer works since the dead has risen but they soon learn that during the day the dead let off a gas that can fuel their car. They are able to take some zombies to power the car and set out to find his sister where they learn a military group is working with a scientist to bring in those not infected to run tests on.
I have seen so many IFC Midnight releases over the years and I can count on one hand how many sucked. They have a great track record and I hold them in high regard after they released The Battery which is seriously one of my favorite zombie films. I had high hopes for Wyrmwood but I knew it would not be as good as The Battery. In most cases it actually was. It had amazing practical effects, a great cast, amazing cinematography, and the story is very fluid. The acting in this one is great. Jay Gallagher and Leon Burchill have amazing chemistry on screen and work very well with each other. This is a duo that I did not want to see break up. Their scenes were always comical when not blowing the heads off the undead. The remainder of the cast is amazing and in no way do they not deserve the credit but my favorite two performances belonged to Burchill and Gallagher. The story for this one is your typical apocalyptic zombie tale following a group of people trying to survive while dealing with other survivors. A story we have seen so many times before and the addition of a crazed scientists running experiments on those not infected is nothing we haven't seen a hundred times before either but the zombies emitting gas that could power a car was something new and added some spice to an unoriginal tale. Finally, the film is full of on screen kills. Some implement some outstanding practical effects with an addition to visual effects to get the most out of the kill. I typically don't like visual effects but when used with practical effects they can make the kill even more enjoyable. Overall, Wyrmwood is one hell of a zombie film. It's great to see a zombie film with so much energy that thinks outside of the box in a time where dozens of zombie films are released weekly attempting to catch that Walking Dead charm. I highly recommend this one.