“Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead”
During the zombie apocalypse, survivors, Barry and Benny, band together in search of Barry’s sister, Brooke, who has been kidnapped, to fight not only against the undead but also against mysterious gas-mask wearing soldiers.
This indie horror-comedy from Australia is the best twist on a zombie film that I’ve seen in a long time. Combining an unexpected vision of how zombies work with post-apocalypse tropes for something interesting and new.
Gritty and beautifully filmed, the movie is full of vivid colors, which in a post-apocalypse style movie is striking. Many films in the post-apocalypse genre have a drained, washed out color palette representing a dying world that has been used up. The use of bright, rich colors in this film seem to represent a world that is in the process of bleeding out, but still has hope of being saved or at leased salvaged. The soundtrack, costuming, make-up, FX, and settings are fabulously effective and it is obvious that great attention is paid to these details.
Immediately the audience is dropped into the middle of an intense action scene. Then the film backs up a bit as the primary characters, Benny (Leon Burchill), an aboriginal fellow who does what needs doing and has an unending supply of wisecracks; Barry (Jay Galligher), our dark, brooding leader; and through Barry’s memories, his sister, Brooke (Bianca Bradly), she’s one seriously clever, bad-ass, tell the stories of what happened to them and how they survived when the zombie apocalypse began, until the movie returns to the opening action sequence. Most of the character development happens in this first act of the film, after which the action keeps rolling at a steady pace leaving the characters primarily reacting to events as Barry and Benny search for Brooke. Even the anonymous, sinister soldiers get some character development treatment at the end of the film.
For me, most intriguing parts of the story are the sequences where Brooke is held captive by the mysterious Doctor (Berynn Schwerdt), who has a penchant for dancing around the tiny, blood splattered lab to KC and the Sunshine band. It is during these sequences in which the audience really learns what has happened to the world and what the powers-that-be are trying to do to “help.”
From start to finish, the film keeps the audience engaged and entertained. I gave this 4 rum & cokes as I found it not only highly original, but very well executed. I love that it offers the world a new brand of hero.