“Wyrmwood” offers a promising start, a couple of nice moments, some neat and original ideas, a sexy-as-hell lead actress – and unfortunately not much else. Or at least, nothing else that would be good. The poster claims that in “Wyrmwood”, “Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead”. If that should indeed be so, it unfortunately isn’t the “Road Warrior”, but rather the “Beyond Thunderdome” of “Mad Max with zombies”-movies.
One of my main problems with the movie was the extremely clichéd and annoying-as-fuck mad scientist, who was far too exaggerated, and who got on my nerves about five seconds after he showed up for the first time. Unfortunately, after that, he’s a constant presence (and annoyance) for much of the movie – and I simply couldn’t stand the scenes with him. “Wyrmwood” isn’t helped by a rather bland turn by lead actor Jay Gallagher, as well as the fact that I didn’t care about most of the characters. Brooke pretty much was the only one I felt any sort of connection with. The others seemed to come straight out of “Zombie apocalypse character tropes 101”, including a token Aborigine who, to add insult to injury, is used solely as comic relief and is constantly made fun of (which really gave the movie some ugly racist undertones). Finally, the showdown was extremely boring. It suffered not only from the fact that I didn’t really care for Barry, but also – and particularly – that the main bad guy he’s fighting with didn’t get any noteworthy introduction. Instead of setting him up as either a badass or as despicable – or both – he previously didn’t make any sort of impression at all, which is why I had absolutely no reason to hate him. Which meant that at the end, two guys – neither of which I particularly liked or loathed – fought it out; and I couldn’t have cared less.
“Wyrmwood” also reminded me a little bit of “Zombie Hunter”, insofar as it gave off a pseudo-cool vibe that never really worked (to be fair, it’s still a far superior movie than K. King’s Zombie dreck). And all the sad scenes that tried to give it gravitas fell completely flat for me. What did work was the beginning with the Zombie apocalypse (especially Brooke’s adventure in the garage), the nice visuals, the aforementioned original and innovative ideas (like being able to control zombies, or the flammable blood), some of them delightfully crazy, and the great performance by uber-sexy Bianca Bradley. Overall, though, I was rather disappointed.
Read my buddy Maynards review here!