September 23, 2015

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

Kiah Roache-Turner, 2015
Any fan of zombie cinema probably has some degree of fatigue at this point. Oh, another movie about a zombie outbreak where everyone has to fight them off to survive. And it's turned into an inescapable theme. They are everywhere. Zombies have crept out of the cult-category and are now ubiquitous. They aren't underground, they are in the mainstream. The Walking Dead is the highest rated series on cable. World War Z brought Max Brooks zombie novel out of the literary world and into big budget Hollywood. So this means there are books, television series, small budget films, big budget films. Half of the Halloween outfits you see this year will probably be zombie related.

So at this point, for the most part, we aren't likely to see anything revolutionary or groundbreaking in the genre. With an over-saturation present, filmmakers should be more focused on aiming to create something that has some stylistic integrity, something individually artistic.

Wyrmwood, the most pirated Australian film in recent history, does just this. It's a self-aware zombie film with a rather simple premise. A rapidly spreading virus has hit the Outback infecting basically everyone that comes into contact with it unless they have a specific blood-type. Nothing new, right? But it's the execution of this basic premise that makes Wyrmwood a rather engaging zombie film. 

Equipped with a terrific makeup and special effects team, Wyrmwood is able to create a 90 minute zombie picture that doesn't get slowed down with unnecessary character development. It's intention is not to create depth but more sudden shifts and frantic pacing. The disease itself is relentless and unforgiving, spreading to friends and family with unhampered force. Unlikely friendships are forged quickly because the only choice you have is to team up with any living soul in close proximity to you. Not really much time to build trust by feeling someone out. It's another zombie film where life has become cheap very quickly, and the key to survival is not hesitating and being as resourceful as you can in whatever situation you find yourself in. 

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