Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead
This is the debut feature length film from Australian Roache-Turner brothers; a film they intended to create in just six months, with $20,000. Almost eight times that budget and four years later, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead bursts onto the scene.
Lead protagonist Barry (Jay Gallagher), is a gifted mechanic and family man. One evening, as the zombie apocalypse begins, Barry’s life, and many other characters’ lives, is changed irrevocably. His sister Brooke (Bianca Bradey) is kidnapped by a group of menacing soldiers, and experimented on by a psychotic dancing scientist in hazmat gear, who looks like a cross between Mr Freeze and Doc Brown. Meanwhile, Barry teams up with other survivors Frank (Keith Agius) and the affable Benny (Leon Burchill), and they all hit the road in a souped-up truck, fuelled by zombie breath, in search of Barry’s sister.
The film opens to a small ensemble of men clad in hockey masks and home-made armour, blowing the brains and limbs off a hoard of zombies. This introduction is a sign of things to come: Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead starts off sprinting, and doesn’t stop to apologise. The post-apocalyptic zombie feature is a strange blend of tribute and plagiarism. Director Kiah Roache-Turner acknowledges the influence of features such as Mad Max and Evil Dead, and frankly it’s not hard to see how they’ve affected Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead. The movie combines elements of these films with a healthy dose of comedy, somewhat reminiscent of an Aussie Shaun of The Dead. Not forgetting it’s a zombie epic, it somehow manages to merge elements of action and sci-fi, to create a very unique take on the horror-zombie genre.
It’s apparent that Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead is the Roache-Turner brothers’ first feature-length script. It fails to acknowledge various plot holes leaving unanswered questions, and elements of the dialogue feel forced and cringeworthy. However, this doesn’t detract from some great acting, amazing makeup and special effects, fun soundtrack; overall what is a well-directed and very enjoyable piece of cinema. Wyrmwood is unrelentingly action-packed, overflowing with blood and violence, and highly ambitious.
Whilst it is unlikely to appease most fans of popular TV series The Walking Dead, for die-hard fans of zombie films, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a satisfying experience. Evidently made with a deep passion for its genre, and trying to expel some of the clichés, the Roache-Turner brothers may have created a cult classic.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is released nationwide on 8th May 2015.
Watch the trailer for Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead here: