Hey everybody, Ethan here from Stub Masters Reviews and if your film has the phrase "Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead!" attached to it, than I assure you that you WILL get my interest. I was actually fairly excited to see the film after I had put it off for a few months after watching Mad Max: Fury Road, so with that tag line in mind and seeing the trailer, I was more than excited.The film was directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, written by him as well with Tristan Roache-Turner and was released on September 14th 2014 as part of the Fantastic Fest. Lets dive right into the bloody, disgusting bits of Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead!
The film follows Barry (Jay Gallagher) , a mechanic who is thrust into the midst of a zombie apocalypse in Australia. He's off to search for his sister (Bianca Bradey) with a bunch of mates and trying to survive as well. Coming out of the film I would have to say that it is very inspired by other zombie movies and films. Re-Animator, the original Mad Max and The Evil Dead, just to name a few. Wether you see them as homages to them or not is up to you, I just see them as a simple "wink-wink nudge-nudge" to other movie fans. But as to the actual content of the film, there is quite a bit to say.
The acting is sufficient. Nothing too incredibly noticeable, just some actors doing some fine work. Though I would say that most of the cast should stick with drama from now on as the film is supposedly be praised for some of humor as well. I just don't see it. I can really count only two times, where I laughed. So I would have preferred and actual full blown zombie-horror film. Then a half and half mixture. This strange mixture lead to a lot of tonal inconsistencies. In one scene: Barry has to deal with shooting a mate, the scene would be perfect had it not been followed by humor that just keeps missing its mark, time and time again. So speaking of some inconsistencies, the film is mainly split into two different story lines. Barry looking for his sister, Brooke and what she is actually up to. This is actually fine in my book, its just that it switches perspectives at some terrible times. Times when scenes are getting really good will suddenly change.
The film had a budget of $160,000 and unfortunately, it does show. Not all the time to be fair, certain scenes look well done. This mostly goes for the locations and make-up. Props and costumes all look good and they were some really good looking prosthetics in there too! But when it comes to simple zombie head shots, is where its pretty noticeable. This would also go for some scenes where cars need to go at incredible speeds. It kind of makes me think the simply just sped up the footage to increase the speed. But enough about budgetary restrictions and ranting on and on. What pros does the film bring to the zombie horror genre? Well it does bring a very gory and innovative film to the collection. The Aus-ploitation zombie flick does bring its own ideas and has some really eye opening originality to it. When I saw originality I mainly mean :
The fact that Brooke can control zombies brings an entire new way to traverse the zombie genre.
So, where do I stand on the film? Well, I have to say that I enjoyed it. If you can look past some special effects bugs and take it as a dark comedy I think you'll end up liking it. Of course it brings its zombie movie cliches and it has some inconsistencies. But I really think that if you get some of your mates together and flip this on wanting to see some dude's guts, then I think you'll be in for something special.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead gets a 3 out of 5 stars.
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So, from StubMasters Reviews, I'm Ethan. Have a great day!