Barry is a talented mechanic and family man whose life is torn apart on the eve of a zombie apocalypse. His sister, Brooke, is kidnapped by a sinister team of gas-mask wearing soldiers & experimented on by a psychotic doctor. While Brooke plans her escape Barry goes out on the road to find her & teams up with Benny, a fellow survivor - together they must arm themselves and prepare to battle their way through hordes of flesh-eating monsters in a harsh Australian bushland.
Directed by: Kiah Roache-Turner
. Starring: Jay Gallagher
, Bianca Bradey
, Leon Burchill
, Keith Agius
, Berynn Schwerdt
, Luke McKenzie
, Cain Thompson
, Damian Dyke
, Yure Covich
, Catherine Terracini
, Meganne West
, Beth Aubrey
, Sheridan Harbridge
. Music by: Michael Lira
We've written about a number of zombie movies over the years here, whether it by nazi-zombies, cockney-zombies, zombies in Georgia, or even alien zombies. One thing is for sure though, no matter what type of zombie it is, the blood flows freely, and each film has its own unique imprint on this over-saturated market of the undead. It seems like we can't get more than a week without hearing about a new TV series or film that has zombies in it these days, which for us horror genre fans is great news, but we all hope we don't see the same story and characters regurgitated with each new zombie project.
That brings us to two sibling filmmakers Tristan and Kiah Roache-Turner, who are Australian filmmakers decide to make a zombie movie. While Kiah directed, Tristan produced with both contributing to the screenplay, the duo made a highly entertaining zombie movie called 'Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead'. It took the film festival circuit by storm, meeting great reviews as it traveled the world. In addition to that, this zombie movie was mostly financed using Kickstarter, the crowdsourcing website. While it might not have had a big wide release here in the states, this indie zombie film has enough grit, comedy, style, and blood to stand on its own, despite some flaws.
The movie opens up with a great action sequence that has a horde of bloodthirsty zombies attacking some survivors in a car, but it cuts to a few weeks prior, so that we get a glimpse of how this zombie apocalypse started. The two main characters here are Benny (Leon Burchill) and Barry (Jay Gallagher), who find each other in the Australian outback trying to fight of zombies. Through these flashback sequences, we see that Barry had a family at one point and that Benny was camping with friends and family when a shooting star fell out of the sky and caused this havoc.
Meanwhile, Barry's sister Brooke was engaging in some racy photoshoot in her garage with a couple of other females, when they decide to go full-zombie, leaving Brooke to use her marital arts skills to stay alive. Soon enough the military shows up to destroy the zombie horde outside her garage, but kidnap Brooke for a mad scientist who is a bit like 'Dr. Horrible'. The film picks up at the mid-way point where the movie started off, which is where the film finally gets movie. It's nice to see the character development in the beginning, but it took a bit too long to arrive where we started again. That and the only strong character that is paid attention to is Barry.
More or less, 'Wyrmwood' sets up action piece to the next action piece, without a whole lot of why and where. This is okay, considering the movie it wants to be, but it would have been nice to see more character story arcs with our main actors, so that we may sympathize with them. The Roache-Turner siblings certainly have a unique style, as everything seems overly-stylized with the use of camera angles, shots, and the use of colors. It's a bit distracting at times and takes away from the film, but that being said, these Australian filmmakers have proved they have some serious talent behind the camera, even if they focused more on the technical aspect of it than the story.
There is a good deal of dark comedy here too, mostly with the mad scientist who loves to torture his victims while dancing and singing, and it always gets a good laugh anytime he's on screen. There are a few very cool zombie tropes that seem fresh here, and the end leaves the movie open for a sequel, which has already been green lit. 'Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead' is a very good and highly entertaining zombie film. That being said, it does still to have some flaws with its story telling and slow pace during the first half of the movie. However, Tristan and Kiah have shown us that they know how to shoot an insane action sequence with originality and grit, along with all of the blood and guts that go with these zombie films. This flesh eating movie is definitely worth checking out.
Review by Bryan Kluger from the Internet Movie Database.