Luke McKenzie, Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Nicholas Boshier, Shantae Barnes-Cowen, Tasia Zalar
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…a sweaty-toothed madman of a film, cranked full tilt and grinning crazily as it lurches from one unhinged set piece to the next. It’s a lean slice of prime Aussie meat – not a skerrick of fat on it – sizzling with spectacular action and anarchic glee.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead came out in 2014, and provided a scorching debut for brothers Kiah Roache-Turner (writer/director) and Tristan Roache-Turner (writer/producer). Made for a stated budget of “fuck all”, it nonetheless provided an engaging, fitfully hilarious and super energetic slice of zombie action, doffing its blood-spattered cap at flicks like Mad Max and Dawn of the Dead.
The film did pretty well. Or rather, it was pirated shitloads (something most low budget Aussie genre flicks experience, sadly) but a lot of people liked it. The brothers Roache-Turner went on to unleash Nekrotronic on the world in 2018 (which was enjoyed by critics of note), but never lost the urge to return to their undead roots.
Well, the day has come for the story of Wyrmwood to continue with Wyrmwood: Apocalypse and the resulting film has all the restraint of a butcher with amphetamine psychosis and more grunt than a team of razorbacks.
Wyrmwood: Apocalypse picks up the story on the go. Like, mid-action scene. In fact, if you haven’t watched the firsty in a while, or at all, you should seek it out.
The main storyline involves special forces soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie), who is tougher than a bag of chainsaws. He uses zombies to power his barbie, sends rebels down a chute into a secret lab to help find a cure for the zombie plague, and mourns the death of his twin brother who memorably carked it in the first flick. Rhys’s story collides with survivors of the original film, Barry (Jay Gallagher) and his spooky hybrid sister Brooke (Bianca Bradey), and the resulting yarn rarely stops.
That’s not hyperbole, by the way. Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is 86 minutes long and it feels like the entirety of the dialogue could fit on a lightly soiled strip club napkin. This is a sweaty-toothed madman of a film, cranked full tilt and grinning crazily as it lurches from one unhinged set piece to the next. It’s a lean slice of prime Aussie meat – not a skerrick of fat on it – sizzling with spectacular action and anarchic glee.
That’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, mind you. If you prefer your zombie flicks with wonderfully heavy-handed social commentary ala George Romero or lengthy discussion of feelings like in The Walking Dead, this is not the venue you should be visiting. If, however, you want to witness a splattery, cinematic seance that summons the spirits of early Sam Raimi and George Miller and unleashes them on a modern audience, you’re going to have a bloody belter of a time of Wyrmwood: Apocalypse.