New To Blu: Wyrmwood - Road of the Dead

Once again, Australia does it better.

"Call me Max again and I'll blow your
flippin' head off!!!!

The Australian answer to the zombie craze comes in the form of an over the top horror/action/comedy called Wyrmwood. 

The film is an amalgamation of The Road Warrior, Dawn of the Dead, and The Evil Dead franchise all wrapped up into a gore saturated package that makes The Walking Dead look the boring and plotless show that its turned out to be. Wyrmwood sets out to give the zombie trend a mainlined dose of action infused originality. It does so by blending themes and tropes from other successful genres while mixing in a steady diet of dark comedic undertones with satirical jabs that fit perfectly with the story at hand. 

Over the past several years, Australia has developed a firm grasp on creating highly original releases. Films like The Loved Ones and Animal Kingdom both helped prove that the land down under could keep up and offer something new and fresh while domestic studios pump out nothing but comic book movies, sequels, and reboots. Wyrmwood is proof positive that a low budget movie filmed over the course of four years (filming on weekends only), can succeed with a lot of heart and actors that obviously love their roles. The lead performers rely heavily on the film's influences while trying to capture the essence of their favorite genre characters. Jay Gallagher does a bang up job of blending a little Mad Max with Ash as Bianca Bradley adds sexually driven, charismatic attitude with a cherry topping of Lara Croft and Alice from Resident Evil thrown in for good measure. 

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Wyrmwood is a fanboy's wet dream. From beginning to end, the film is a nod to its predecessors that pays respect by somehow maintaining a blast of originality. The cinematography is an obvious riff on the Evil Dead movies. The silly scientific edge is based in the world of RE. And the vehicle designs, costumes, and overall environment is ripped directly from the post-apocalyptic world of Max Rockatansky. Somehow, director Kiah Roache-Turner controls it all without ever feeling contrived or disrespectful. Turner set out to have fun with a movie that changes the landscape of the quickly declining zombie genre. He prevails with Wyrmwood, a movie that makes The Walking Dead look like grade school playground antics, while winking the whole time. 

Zombie fans and those that enjoy movies about a futuristic world where humanity is being wiped out will find a lot to enjoy about Wyrmwood. The humor is spot on, the action scenes are perfectly timed, and the actors know exactly what they're doing with their respective characters. The blood spattering kills are semi-original, the zombie makeup is nothing new, and the story borrows religiously from other movies. When you throw this all in to the pot, it somehow works with a zombie flick that almost does what the Dawn of the Dead remake did a few years ago. It makes the battle against the undead interesting and fun again.