Wyrmwood is Australia’s answer to the postmodern, semi-comedic zombie movie and it is pure Ozploitation fun. The plot you know pretty well; comet passes over, makes zombies, survivors gather together to get transportation and escape. Barry (Jay Ghallager) and Benny (Leon Burchill) are two survivors who team up to track down Barry’s sister Brook (Bianca Bradey). She’s being held and experimented on by a man in a yellow hazmat suit. Much gore ensues as they shoot, pound, and slice their way cross country to find her.
The real treat here is in the execution of their zombie story and Wyrmwood delivers on its premise. Shotguns to the face, zombies in Hannibal Lector masks, a mad scientist that looks like an evil Doc Brown; the film is not afraid to reach across the horror genre for its homages (or further, I heard a piece of score lifted from Full Metal Jacket). There’s even some Mad Max (I love a good Australian car chase sequence) and assorted parts of other Outback films in there.
First time feature writer/director Kiah Roache-Turner has a playful approach to the zombie genre that makes Wyrmwood fresh while not straying too far from zombie film conventions. There’s great color in the film, bucking the trend of washed out horror films; Wyrmwood almost glows with vibrant colors and bright red blood. I found it a lot of fun, with some clever lines and lots of gruesome bits. Grab your sword, go see it and be ready to cringe; you’ll have a great time.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.