Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014), directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, is an Australian film which made its U.S. debut on February 13th, 2015. Produced by Guerilla Films, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead was shot in Sydney and South Wales, Australia and features an underground ensemble of Australian actors such as Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, and Leon Burchill. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead embodies a style reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead (1981) and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead (2004). It is as comedic and over-the-top as it is gory and chilling.
The film follows Barry, a not so average Joe, whose life is suddenly torn apart by a zombie apocalypse. The character of Barry, brilliantly played by Jay Gallagher, is undeniably resonant of Bruce Campbell’s character Ash, from the Evil Dead series. Barry is left angry and determined to rescue his sister Brooke (Bianca Bradey), after tragically being forced to murder his own wife and daughter. On the road to rescuing his sister Brooke, Barry manages to band with a few survivor misfits along the way. In an apocalyptic world, with a lack of gas and other supplies, Barry and his team make an extraordinarxy discovery; one which will work greatly to their advantage. As if this special discovery weren’t enough, Barry sister Brooke happens to have a few tricks up her own sleeve.
Like several other horror films, the monsters aren’t the only antagonists in this film. Although the information is never completely divulged, there seems to be an evil, government-like organization who is more than prepared for the zombie apocalypse. These oxygen-masked offenders are on the prowl terrorizing people and zombies alike. Barry’s sister Brooke falls victim to the group when she is raped and captured from a zombie infested art studio. While in captivity, Brooke is experimented on by a deranged scientist with a seemingly evil agenda. Brooke escapes captivity not only with her life, but with special new powers which make her equipped to potentially survive the zombies, the man, and the apocalypse.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a monumentally stylish film! The cinematography in this film is extraordinary. Most of the scenes in the film appear intensely realistic, the Australian Bush appears as desolate and dangerous as it does beautiful, while the zombies look frighteningly real and demonic. The film does a great job of contrasting the natural backdrops with industrial-like costumes and makeup. There is no lack of gore throughout the film, all of which is completely believable and aesthetically pleasing. There are also a portion of scenes in the film that are actually reminiscent of a graphic novel; extremely edgy, artistic and colorful. I was impressed with the film visually from start to finish. An action adventure meets zombie apocalypse with tons of comedy in between. If you like zombie films or horror films in general, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a must see!