Blending Austrialian genre classics Dead Alive and Mad Max into a generally pleasing package, the apocalyptic zombie-ish thriller Wyrmwood – a labour of love made over the course of several years by the brotherly duo of Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner – might not be breaking any new ground thematically, but it’s certainly bringing the thunder along with it.
The apocalypse has come, the dead are walking, and mechanic Barry (Jay Gallagher) has lost pretty much everything that matters to him in life in a matter of moments. When he gets a frantic phone call and learns his sister (Bianca Bradley) has been kidnapped by mercenaries and a mad scientist type (Berynn Schwerdt), Barry hits the road to save the only family he has left.
The shit hits the fan quickly and keeps coming thanks to Kiah’s relentless direction that’s making a lot of good out of an extremely limited budget. There’s a real sense of tension, manageable chaos, action, and most importantly, characters worth investing in and caring about. Considering how amped up the rest of the film manages to be, it’s nice to see that the filmmakers have placed human concerns first and foremost in a hellish world.
The same really can’t be said about the story itself, which really cribs obviously from other genre successes that will be easily recognizable from anyone who saw action and horror films in the 90s, but for a debut feature, this shows a lot of potential for the filmmaking brothers. (Andrew Parker)
Wednesday, October 22nd, 9:30pm, Scotiabank Theatre