Wyrmwood: Apocalypse (2022): A Fun Zombie Sequel That Doesn’t Quite Congeal

Australia has a long history of DIY, do-it-without-guardrails kind of filmmaking. This has produced some amazing cinema in the 80s: the first two Mad Max films, Peter Jackson’s early horror romps, etc. This same cheeky, chaotic, and maniacal energy is what made 2014’s Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead so much fun and a creative addition to the zombie genre. 


In it, a brother and sister struggle to survive a zombie outbreak in The Outback where the undead breathe out a green gas that can be harnessed for fuel. Zombies are commodified to run machines and apocalyptic vehicles straight of out a Mad Max movie. Science experiments also result in a zombie hybrid that can control their hunger for flesh and be sated by a blood serum. Also, the hybrid can control other zombies. 


Last years’ sequel, Wyrmwood: Apocalypse, attempts to expand that universe and creativity from the previous film seven years ago. The chaotic feel helps to make this film bigger in some aspects and still fun when it borrows from other action and horror films. But the film as a whole doesn’t quite come together cohesively. All the various elements are punchy and entertaining, but it starts to bleed out. 


Soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie) begins the movie by ekingout a solitary life in a homemade complex and collecting zombie to help the remaining scientists find a cure for the zombie infection. His mission changes when he discovers that the experiments aren’t what they seem and that another hybrid zombie has been created. 


Bigger car chases and creative survival techniques accelerate the maniacal fun of the original. Other new additions in this sequel are some homage to the camera work of Raimi’s Evil Dead and some slapstick elements from Evil Dead 2. Each of these different scenes and elements work well, as does the brief running time. Clocking in at less than ninety minutes, this film delivers the goods before any of the chaotic energy dissipates. 


If another ten minutes or so could have been added, a little more character or theme development could have been added to take advantage of Australia’s complex history and added another layer to the story.  


Released in the US on VOD on April 14th and on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 17th


—Eric Beach