Thursday Night Horror Movie Review – “Wyrmwood”

wyrmwood_road_of_the_dead_2014_posterThis is a film that knows two things about you as a viewer: 1) You’ve seen zombie movies before, and 2) You’re sick of them.

I know I am. I love zombie films, don’t get me wrong. But we’ve hit a point, I think, where we have to approach a new zombie film with realistic expectations. Is it possible to do something new with the genre? We have dozens of films that focus on the cause of the zombie outbreak: government conspiracy, corporate conspiracy, military bio-engineering, act of God, etc. Then other films focus on the characters and/or the immediate plot, and we get zombie films as love stories, coming of age stories, crime stories, etc.

So, how do we continue making enjoyable, unpredictable zombie films?

I’m not sure, but I think Australian brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner are the ones to ask. Directed by Kiah, and co-written by Kiah and Tristan, Wyrmwood is the zombie film I’ve been looking for.

Barry is a mechanic and family man, whose journey into the horrors of the zombie apocalypse begins with a terrible tragedy. His sister, Brooke, has been kidnapped by a mad scientist who is performing grueling experiments on survivors. While she fights to escape, Barry sets out to find her, teaming up with Benny, a fellow survivor with his own tragic story. Together Barry and Benny arm up and hit the road, cutting a bloody path through the hordes of flesh-eating monsters spread across the Australian bush.

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Chock-full of ass-kicking Aussies, Mad Max style outfits, plenty of brains and blood and guts, Wyrmwood had my doubting frown upside down within the first ten minutes. If you take this film seriously for one second, you’re missing the point. It’s gritty fun, and that’s it. The directing is fast-paced. The action sequences are tight. There’s plenty of humor, and it even pulls off a couple of tender moments. Zombies are zombies, but the film does one interesting thing with the lore that I can confidently say has not been done before…

But you’ll have to watch the movie to find out (or, if you’re a terrible person, you can go read a review pocked with spoilers).

Rating: 4 out of 5

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