After receiving a call for help from his sister, followed by a disturbing home invasion, Barry (Jay Gallagher) gathers his tools and family and hits the road to the rescue amidst a zombie pandemic.
Sometimes it can be so damn frustrating when you witness a truly awesome movie trapped inside a lesser form of itself. The first 10 to 15 minutes are a fucking mess. The Jason X style hockey armour is a sick look – but that intro only serves to showcase the movies’ weakest special effects. And I mean it when I say they are pitiful at best. I’m talking about the fake-ass CGI shit that has been causing horror lovers to despair for the better part of this century. You think you’ve got a decent movie on your screen and then BLAM! cartoon gunshots, cartoon knifings and cartoon head explosions. Enough with the Looney Tunes bullshit already!
The blundering continues from there, but thankfully not for much longer. Character Benny is introduced far too early, along with a backstory that does nothing but prolong us from the story’s true starting point. The five minutes that the movie wastes on how Barry’s new ally had to kill his own brother could – should! – easily translate into a five second flashback, keeping things short, sweet and powerful.
From that point onwards, Wyrmwood gets pretty kick-ass. Barry’s photographer sister, Brooke, played by Bianca Bradley, first appears in a crazy zombie attack at her home studio. One of the best scenes in the movie. Great make-up, well-choreographed, good tension with a resourceful heroin that doesn’t just scream until someone saves her.
The majority of the film continues to work so effectively because it keeps each new danger evenly spaced but never so far apart that it loses its grasp on your attention. It also takes the zombie mythology in stranger directions by building upon the movies that came before it and inspired it. Day of the Dead (1985) for example, had a sympathetic scientist who looked for ways to understand, but essentially control the zombie race, whereas Road of the Dead has a character who develops a telepathic controlling ability as the result of cruel human experiments.
It is a shame about those first few minutes. Regardless, Wyrmwood employs the best of its influences, from the originals to the remakes and the television series and creates one of the better zombie movies of this decade. Just when I was thinking that zombies were so fucking over!