Australian films have covered a lot of subject matter, but one genre that has remained untouched until now is the ever popular zombie sector. While some Aussie films can appear lacklustre and fail to hit the mark, now and again one comes along that completely blows everything out of the water and becomes an international hit. I have a feeling that this is about to happen (if not already at the time of the publishing of this review!) to Wyrmwood, the first Australian take on the zombie genre. It is a mad explosion of humour, horror and a very well crafted plot that brings a refreshing take on the overtired “end of the world” genre.
Australian brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner are at the helm of this and manage to craft some new ideas. A comet crashes towards Australia and unleashes a virus causing the living to morph into a brain craving, blood thirsty all powerful monster. Unlike so many zombies who wander around aimlessly, trying to attack you slowly, these are all powerful running machines that frightened the absolute shit out of me. Enter the main character Barry (Jay Gallagher) devoted dad, loving husband whose wife Annie (Catherine Terracini) and daughter Meganne (Meganne West) are unfortunate recipients of the virus, and after Barry has to kill both his wife and daughter the movie moves into full on fucked up territory.
Driving out to the bush to find his sister Brooke (Bianca Bradey) who has been captured by a mad scientist and his army like henchmen who are doing strange experiments on both zombie and human alike, in this blood filled crazy bunker that is one of the goriest set pieces I have seen in a film in a while. It is a disco dancing, blood splashing, tense environment that was a great contrast to the outdoor sets.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot and give away what I thought was an original plot line with a great twist, so let’s move onto the visual effects. It is no secret that locally made films are kind of well budget and due to Australians not really rallying behind local content in recent years, Aussie films have a reputation for being cheap looking, this is the complete opposite in the case of Wyrmwood, their are CG effects that look real and what I really loved was the use of make up and props that combined with the CG, the effect was beautiful and added a sense of danger and realism to this outlandish scenario.
Special effects aside, the cast of this movie is flawless. Each actor brings an equal level of seriousness and comedic timing to the role and they pull it off beautifully. What’s more, the typecast white Aussie survivors are shook up with an Aboriginal “hero” lead Benny (Leon Burchill) who is there for more than just comedic relief. It ignites a shift the attitude towards our indigenous population and it does so without being preachy about it.
Overall this film delivers a high quality Mad Max meets Dawn Of The Dead territory, splashed with a Tarantino-esque quality that makes it one of the must see films of 2015. Now there is a leaked copy filtering around for download, please do the film makers a favour, buy it off Itunes, buy it from JB Hi Fi, these hard working peeps made the film with no cash up front and these are the types of films that we need to get behind.
Wyrmwood is also showing in limited cinemas for a limited time.
Did you love Wyrmwood as much as us? Head over to roache-turner.com as the film makers are raising money for the cast and crew! Head over and show them some Aussie love !
Review by Alaisdair Dewar
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