WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (2014)

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WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (2014)
Directed by Kiah Roache-Turner

Lives are turned upside down when, out of the blue, a virus spreads across Australia, turning the majority of people into flesh-eating zombies. Those few immune to the virus must fight, if they are to survive this living nightmare, but not just the infected…

Australian post-apocalyptic zombie flick WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD focuses on the characters of Barry, Benny, Frank and Brooke, four survivors of the infection that is spreading like wildfire. Seeing their loved ones turn in front of their very eyes and having to put them out of their misery or else become their next victim, these survivors must do whatever it takes to stay alive. When Barry is alerted that his sister Brooke is alive but trapped alongside her zombie friends, Barry makes it his goal to rescue her with the help of fellow survivor Benny who lost his brother to the virus. However, when their car breaks down, they have no choice but to find shelter and hopefully other survivors to help them fight the undead. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the county, a mad scientist experiments with the virus on his prisoners but not all of them are already infected.

WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD is a fun-filled, kick-ass action-adventure that delights in exterminating zombies in as messy a fashion as possible. Rifle? Check. Sawn-off shotgun? Check. Pneumatic harpoon? Er… check! Kitted out in home-made armour and masks and riding around in an armoured four-wheel drive, this band of survivors won’t be going out without a fight! The plot of the movie is rather gung-ho and the attitude of the movie is no different. You can tell that the Roache-Turner brothers have put a lot of love and effort into this movie, making it something with heart, passion and humour. Oh yeah, and plenty of blood! But the film isn’t just about killing zombies, it’s about the journey getting from A to B and the obstacles that the characters are faced with, of which there are plenty. Likable characters and their sense of humour means we get to see many fun solutions to these problems play out on screen. Between these scenes of action, the film manages to pause and take a breath to savour the moment as well as offer up engaging dialogue that wouldn’t seem out of place down the pub with your mates. It all feels rather relatable, much like Shaun of the Dead. These characters are just like you and me, except they’re trying their best not to be eaten!

As much as it is action, WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD is a horror movie, specifically of the zombie variety. I’m not the biggest zombie fan but the make-up job on the zombies in this film deserves to be applauded as they create quite a ferocious enemy, ready to bite at any minute and intimidating to look at whether they’re running, walking or crawling after their target. They also act as great fodder for our heros to dispatch with as much splatter as possible ‘cos, let’s face it, everyone likes exploding heads.

Unlike a lot of zombie movies, WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD keeps a strong, fast pace throughout, keeping the viewer glued to the screen at all times without giving them a chance to get bored. Dressing horror up in a fun way suits the style of this movie but they haven’t skimped on the bloody side, making sure there’s enough kills and variety to keep the visuals interesting. With a side plot involving the military and a mad scientist, the film manages to offer up something new for the viewer to chew on rather than sticking to your typical post-apocaylptic, zombie survival plot.

There’s elements I’d have liked to have seen expanded upon as well as some more up close and personal scenes between the survivors and the zombies, but for a debut effort, WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD is a very impressive one that isn’t afraid of ending lives at any minute. With a sequel in the works, I hope that some plot threads touched upon here will be carried over and explored in more detail.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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About Bat 4394 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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