We are currently living in an era overflowing with projects featuring either superheroes or zombies on both big and small screens (which does have me wondering why we haven’t seen Marvel’s Zombies made into a movie yet), but of the two genres the zombie film is the more predominant as such films are easier to make on the cheap. Director Kiah Roache-Turner and his brother Tristan bring us a low budget meal containing ingredients from Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, chunks of Thom Eberhardt’s Night of the Comet, and with a liberal splashing of George Miller’s Road Warrior, but with enough originality to make this film stand out.
The movie opens with a group of men dressed up as Road Warrior wannabees (see above pic) as they battle a horde of the undead while trying to retrieve a truck. A truck that will of course later be turned into a Mad Max armored vehicle. The movie then gives us a couple of flashbacks as to what led to all this zombie carnage. The editing of these scenes is probably the film’s weakest element as at times I couldn’t quite figure out how each scene figured into the timeline and when we were actually caught up to the present, but once we are caught up the earlier chunkiness is quickly forgotten. But it’s here these flashbacks that we are introduced to our three main characters; first we meet an Aborigine named Benny (Leon Burchill) who witnessed the meteor shower that we assume is the cause of this particular zombie apocalypse (special thanks to the filmmaker for having characters refer to the undead as zombies) and is horrified to wake up to find one brother dead and the other a bloodthirsty fiend. Then we jump to Barry (Jay Gallagher) a mechanic and the author of the line “This morning I shot my wife and child with a nail gun,” who is forced to kill his family when they become zombified.
If you have seen Thom Eberhardt’s Night of the Comet 1984 sci-fi horror film this may sound familiar. In that film a meteor shower turned most of the Earth’s population to dust, you were spared if you were somewhat sheltered but only for a while as eventually you would turn into insane zombie like monster, unless you had a certain blood type. There is also another character in Wyrmwood that is very reminiscent of a character in Night of the Comet and that would be the Mad Scientist (Berryn Schwerdt) who travels around in lab located in the trailer of a transport truck. He dances to pop music while experimenting on infected and non-infected people alike. I’d say he also has a dash of The Re-Animator in him as well. And he is magnificently deranged and one of the film's highlights.
Brooke ends up in this doctor’s clutches when she is “rescued” by some gas masked military types who save her from her zombie predicament but then gag her and chain her to the wall of this rolling laboratory of horrors. I will not dare spoil what happens to her while in their clutches but let’s just say it is one of the most original elements of this film or any film of this genre, and is the most fun. The adventures of Benny and Barry pale in comparison to what Brooke goes through, and when they are finally re-united what follows is pure awesomeness.
An apparent sequel in the works and as we never find out just who the mad scientist and his military associates work for, or even what the point of the experiments were, there is certainly wealth of stuff for further films. Once you see this film you are going to want to see more adventures with Brooke, she is that cool of a character.