Never, never EVER, grab another man’s balls, in a fistfight. It shows low character.
Ahh, The Horror Channel, you lovable rogue. For those of you that don’t live in the UK there is a channel that specialises in low budget horror films that is simply called “The Horror Channel”. If I wanted to I could simply dedicate this site to the movies that are on there and I would virtually never run out of material as they’re always showing some random film from the middle of nowhere, and chances are that they’d be rubbish.
Don’t get me wrong, down the years it has shown some decent films, and even some big, Hollywood films, but they are definitely few and far between. However, it’s not for the big films that I watch it, it’s because I hope that I find a hidden gem, and when I saw that there was an Australian zombie film I thought I’d give it a chance, afterall, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a zombie movie from Australia.
I’m also relatively optimistic going into it because it has a reasonable score of 6.3/10 on IMDB at the time of writing, which is far bigger than a lot of the other films that I have liked, so there’s hope yet. Having said that, this is a zombie film, and good zombie films are few and far between.
Barry (Gallagher) is with wife Annie (Terracini) and daughter Meganne (West) are all living their lives when a meteor shower happens when he receives a call from his sister Brooke (Bradley) following an attack from her colleagues. She has noticed that a lot of people have turned into zombies and warns them to get out of the city, a warning that they take seriously as they leave. Everything seems fine until Meganne and Annie remove their gas masks and both quickly turn, with Barry left to kill them.
One failed suicide attempt later and Barry asks another man named Chalker (Yovich) to take him to Brooke, although he is quickly killed by a further man named Benny (Burchill). Despite being pissed off at Benny for killing someone who was quite useful at killing zombies, Barry soon pairs up to rescue Brooke, but little do they know that she has been kidnapped and is currently being experimented on by a doctor (Schwerdt).
Along the way they stumble across more survivors, but it’s just a matter of time before their struggles seem insurmountable.
Worthy of such a relatively high score on IMDB?
There are a lot of varying entries to the zombie genre. There are the classic George A Romero franchise “of the Dead” and the reasonably good “World War Z” and “28 Days” franchises (although the latter isn’t technically a zombie film), this is followed by those that aren’t really that good but at least tried, and then there are those that are just nonsense, “Wyrmwood : Road of the Dead” falls very much into the latter of those three categories.
I was sat watching this and it was only when I was reading the Wikipedia summation that the plot started to make sense, as if you tried to follow it whilst watching the movie then you’re going to struggle. It’s just nonsensical throughout it’s relatively long run time and what makes it even worse than a ridiculous plot is that the characters in general are stupid. If you imagine everything that you would do if you were in a zombie apocalypse, i/e run, hide, etc, now imagine the exact opposite that is precisely the thought pattern of most of the characters within this film.
The problem, aside from the plot, is that the film is very poorly acted, especially from Leon Burchill as the character of “Benny”. I’m not sure whether he took inspiration from Tommy Wiseau’s performance in “The Room”, or anything Dakota Fanning has ever done, but for me it was one of the most cringeworthy, over-the-top performances that I’ve seen from someone who quite clearly has no acting ability. I mean I have no basis for comparison when it comes to his acting in terms of other films that he is in, but it’s one of the rare occasions from films I’ve reviewed for this site in which I can confidently say that if I saw his name on the cast list of a film in future, I would actively avoid watching that film. It was that bad.
I like to come up with at least one positive for every film, but I can’t think of a single one from this lengthy movie and that’s a big shame as I was waiting for something remotely positive to happen, and yet I was still there at the end with nothing redeeming that would encourage me to want to watch it again in the future.
Normally one positive I would look for is the secondary characters, because some times I have disliked the main character but found the secondaries to be quite enjoyable, but that wasn’t the case with “Wyrmwood” and this isn’t the fault of anyone in the cast, but the problem is that other than the odd exception here and there, secondary characters are killed off within minutes of appearing on the screen. There’s no effort put into developing the majority of them, or even giving you the slightest inkling as to what they are like, not even so much as a back story. They are there pure and simply to increase the body count.
There is more to a zombie film, or any movie in the horror genre for that matter, than simply having a large body count, and the true classics that involve numerous deaths in not only this genre, but also pretty much any genre, build their characters up so you at least care about them to some extent, not just have them there to increase the amount of deaths you can show on the screen.
Unfortunately the film has virtually no redeeming features.
“Wyrmwood : Road of the Dead” is not a good film and full of nonsense moments from start to finish. The acting is comically bad throughout and there are very few, if any, redeemable features throughout it’s lengthy run time.
Whilst there are far, far worse zombie films out there than this, there are definitely far, far, far better ones and ones that are more worthy of your time, time that the I strongly advise you would be better suited and spent elsewhere.
Don’t waste your time.