Film

Zombie Feature Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead Is a Promising Debut

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It’s been a long apocalypse — who can blame you if you’re zombied out?

Yet Australian filmmakers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner remind us why we love these bloody movies in the first place, evincing Raimi-esque glee at twisting the rules of zombiehood like so much taffy.

Their debut feature, Wyrmwood, sheds the dour suspicion that suffuses The Walking Dead; instead of circling each other warily, characters of good heart recognize their kind and welcome them with a shrug and a beer.

Freshly widowed Barry (Jay Gallagher) is trying to reunite with his sister, Brooke (Bianca Bradley). He and some new friends (Leon Burchill and Keith Agius) discover that gasoline no longer combusts; zombie breath, on the other hand, does, prompting the construction of an undead-powered armored truck, a Road Warrior–style wheeled monster complete with harpoon gun.

A night scene in the vehicle stands out, mixing tense action with black humor to great effect. Meanwhile, Brooke has been abducted by a mad doctor, whose experiments let her communicate with the undead…and perhaps more. Brooke’s victim scenes drag a little, but her escape is inventive and exciting, almost a Rube Goldberg machine with zombie participation.

Fans will clamor for Wyrmwood 2; the brothers have the talent to aim higher.

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