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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse


Starring: Luke McKenzie, Shantae Barnes-Cowan and Jake Ryan
Distributor: 101 Films

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 16 May 2022

Hard-edged ex-soldier Rhys spends his days tracking and capturing survivors of the apocalypse in a zombie-infested wasteland, to pass to a surgeon who hopes to find a cure for the plague. But over time he discovers more about just what goes on behind the heavy security doors, and his morals do not allow him to continue the task. Instead, he reluctantly joins forces with a brother and sister duo, Barry and Brooke, in order to infiltrate the stronghold and extricate the one person who could be the answer to ending the apocalypse...

101 Films releases Wyrmwood: Apocalypse, the sequel to Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, on Blu-ray. This is an Australian post zombie apocalypse movie dubbed ‘Ozploitation’ due to the splatter, gore and body horror. As with its predecessor, it is helmed by brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner. What we get is a full-on frenzied action romp. I’m not normally enamoured with these zombie blood-and-guts-for-the-sake-of-it and very-little-plot movies, but this one is somewhat grounded by the tough ex-soldier Rhys. We see this character’s daily routine: the protective camp he has erected, with bright lights, high fences and trigger points – and he is made more sympathetic with his need for pills to stave-off the zombie virus. He is very much a Mad Max tribute; no-nonsense action, using full-blown zombies as fuel, but with heart and a moral compass.

As somewhat of a horror aficionado I welcome all sub-genres. With zombies it’s difficult not to group all the films together and tar them with the same brush. I would say that since George A. Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead only a small number of subsequent movies have made their mark by doing something different or innovative with the concept. With this one, it is not the zombies so much which are different; it’s the backdrop to the plague. There is a mad scientist, a conduit of sorts to the zombies, and anti-viral pills – the source of which is a revelation borrowed from Harry Harrison’s Make Room, Make Room book that was filmed as Soylent Green. In other words, there’s sufficient to keep you interested, and Rhys is an identifiable character rather than a cipher, so you can’t help caring about his welfare.


Ty Power

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