With the glut of zombie entertainment choking pop culture right now, it’s rare you get to come across a zombie film that’s genuinely good. “Wyrmwood” wasn’t a win for me when I first sat through it, but watching it a second time I can safely say it really is worth a shot for open minded horror buffs. Not only is it a really damn good zombie movie, but it’s a new and fresh approach to the zombie sub-genre. It invents its own rules, it creates its own world, and it’s a lot of fun to boot. Of course I have a soft spot for post apocalyptic horror films of most kinds, but “Wyrmwood” really thrives on being an absurd and wonky take on the horror genre.
It’s a genuine love letter to zombie movies, but also doesn’t mind being bold enough to create its own breed of the walking dead. There are no shamblers this time around, as they sprint, jump, and can sometimes flip. But there’s a ton of twists to how they react to the world around them, and how they can be implemented. It’s not often you see a movie featuring a war vehicle that is fueled by zombie breath. And it’s not too often zombie blood can be used as a flammable element, either. Set in Australia, a mysterious meteor shower spells doom for the continent as shortly after the space event, locals begin transforming in to flesh eating zombies.
Director Kiah Roache-Turner meets our heroes during the middle of the apocalypse, where he explores two sub-plots involving two very important players in the zombie apocalypse. There’s Brooke, a tattoo artist who barely evades being eaten by her friends until she’s discovered by a SWAT team. She’s taken prisoner by a mad scientist who is trying to figure out why she’s immune to the airborne zombie virus, prompting Brooke to learn something about herself. On the other side of the continent, mechanic Barry flees his neighborhood with his wife and daughter after the outbreak seeps in to their home. Forced to kill them when they turn, Barry is now a lone survivor seeking refuge with two other survivors that have figured out how to escape.
Director Kiah Roache-Turner really does bring the film together, presenting two pieces of the narrative that come together and fit like a rather clever puzzle once the film draws to a close. Along the way, he isn’t afraid to murder likable characters, all the while exploring the nature of his version of the walking dead, as well as what people will do to survive in this harsh wasteland. The performances are top notch all around with Jay Gallagher and Leon Burchill really keeping the film afloat with their likable turns. Bianca Bradley is also a great heroine (and a bonafide babe) who realizes she has a lot of potential to survive this new world. “Wyrmwood” is the splatterific end of the world zombie film that will really whet the appetites of folks that love their zombie movies blood drenched, action packed, and a with a hint of dark comedy. I definitely enjoyed what director Roache-Turner had to offer horror audiences, and I look forward to re-watching “Wyrmwood” again.
The Blu-Ray from Scream factory comes with The Wyrmdiaries: Behind the Scenes of Wyrmwood, a forty nine minute featurette that includes footage, looks at the great make effects and so much more! There’s the seven minute teaser scene for “Wyrmwood,” and two videos for the “Wyrmwood” crowd funding campaign starring the Roache-Turner Brothers. There are storyboards by the director, original trailers, and nineteen minutes of deleted scenes. Finally, there’s a commentary with the Roache-Turner Brothers both of whom talk up a storm about the film’s production, the creation of the script and much more.