Sequel finds Rhys (Luke McKenzie), brother of The Captain (also McKenzie) from the first film, capturing living subjects for a bunker full of military and scientists to experiment on. He thinks they are using them to find a cure for the zombie outbreak. When he crosses paths with sisters Maxi (Shantae Barnes-Cowan) and Grace (Tasia Zalar) and then siblings Barry and Brooke (Jay Gallagher and Bianca Bradey reprising their roles), he finds out he’s being used and that the bunker’s occupants have a far more sinister intent.
Flick is once again directed by Kiah Roache-Turner from a script by he and Tristan Roache-Turner. As with the first film, they achieve a lot with a small budget and there is plenty of gore splattered action. It’s an entertaining enough sequel, though sadly lacks the first film’s sense of manic fun and frantic exuberance. It’s a bit more moderately paced, though when the action does come it’s fast, furious and bloody, though overall, the film seems to take itself maybe a touch too seriously. It was cool to see returning characters, mixed in with new characters that link to those who met their ends in the first flick. The cast all perform well in bringing these comic book-like characters to life and there is definitely plenty of carnage to please fans of the first installment. Not quite an equal, but still a solid enough second chapter that leaves us looking forward to a Wyrmwood 3.
Nekrotronic is another mash-up from the makers of the gory, fun 2014 Road Warrior/Dawn of the Dead hybrid Wyrmwood. This flick is basically Ghostbusters, meets The Exorcist with a dash of The Avengers and Buffy The Vampire Slayer thrown in. It tells the story of Howard (Ben O’Toole), who if he isn’t having a bad enough time draining septic tanks, finds out he is from a long line of necromancers who have been battling demons for ages. He also finds out his own mother Finnegan (Monica Bellucci) has found a way to put demons into the internet and use a new ghost hunting video game to unleash them, thus possessing the players and swallowing their souls. Howard reluctantly teams up with two pretty demon fighters, Molly and Torquel (Caroline Ford and Tess Haubrich) and his recently deceased bud, Rangi (Epine Bob Savea) to take mom down.
Australian horror/comedy is not quite as deliriously fun as Wyrmwood, but is still an amusing homage to some very classic movies. Flick is energetically directed by Kiah Roache-Turner from his script with brother Tristan Roache-Turner and is filled with some cool FX, tons of gore and a host of demon possessed citizens and minions. It takes it’s ludicrous plot seriously enough for us to follow along and the cast perform it with the right tone and gusto. It could have been a little tighter, currently running at 99 minutes, but overall is a good time and the Turners, once again, achieve a lot with a little. If, as a filmmaker, you are going to have fun with your film influences, this is an amusing way to go…in your face and with a blood-spattered wink at your audience. A bloody fun time, when all is said and done.
The Australian zombie flick Wyrmwood was a deliriously fun and delightfully gory flick that left fans wanting more! Now creators Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner are working on a series based on the cult hit film and it looks like Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead could rivalAsh vs. Evil Dead for blood spattered fun. They’ve released a preview scene of a nimble young lass (Nandalie Campbell Killick) fighting to escape those villainous scientists from the first flick. This blood-spattered sequence also indicates ass-kicking Bianca Bradey is back as the zombie controlling Brooke and Jay Gallagher will return as Barry. No word yet as to where and when this will be available, but MonsterZero NJ can’t wait!
Wyrmwood is a bloody blast of a fun time (see full review here) and has arrived on blu-ray from the awesome folks at Scream Factory as part of their partnership with IFC Midnight…a deal I couldn’t be happier about.
The picture is absolutely gorgeous and brings Tim Nagel’s digital cinematography to vibrant life. The 1080P HD aspect ratio of 1.78:1 has been preserved, as has the ‘sumptuous-on-a-small-budget’ visual style of director Kiah Roache-Turner. The sound is in 7.1 DTS (though the packaging mistakenly says 5.1, the disc itself is 7.1) and there is an alternate 2.0 track for those without the home theater set-up…and if you don’t have a 7.1 set-up, I advise you use the 2.0 instead. The sound is much more evenly mixed for playback on simple stereo speakers. Now on to the extras which make this disc even more fun…and worth having!
There is audio commentary from director Kiah Roache-Turner and co-writer and brother Tristan and the two seem like very laid-back fellows and their insights into the three year making of the film is easy-going and informative. There is a really fun ‘making of’ feature called “The Wyrmdiaries” that chronicles the long journey to make this flick and it looks like there was a a real fun time on set, despite all the hard work. It’s made by the Roache-Turner Brothers themselves and the on-set footage and cast and crew interviews show a set filled with fun-loving, good-natured people having a great time together. It is a healthy 50 minutes and is as much of a blast of fun as the film itself and gives you a nice inside look at guerrilla filmmaking in action, Down Under style. There is the 7 minute teaser scene used to garner interest for the planned film and it’s fun to see where the flick began. There are also two videos made to entice crowd-funding…one of those featuring the filmmaking brothers as zombies. Add to that, almost 20 minutes of deleted scenes. As, the film moves like a rocket, it was easy to see why these were jettisoned but, they are fun to see, nonetheless. Rounding out the bonus materials are director storyboards and the theatrical trailer for the finished film. A healthy amount of extra material for a modestly priced disc.
I really enjoyed this movie and it will appear on my “best of” list for 2015. The disc not only beautifully transfers the digital film but, gives us a some really fun and insightful extras that take us behind the scenes with two fun guys with a passion for filmmaking. For a blu-ray disc priced around 12.99 at most retail outlets, it’s definitely worth having if you are a fan of the film or zombie/Road Warrior-ish movies like it.
(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)
“The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”- Revelations 8:11
Leave it to the Australians to give life back to the stale zombie genre with this delightful mash-up of Evil Dead and The Road Warrior. This fun and sometimes intense and gruesome flick, tells the story of brother and sister, Barry (Jay Gallagher) and Brooke (Bianca Bradey) during a mysterious zombie outbreak. Not much is given to us about the cause except for an abundance of shooting stars on the night it begins and a biblical reference to Wyrmwood, a star which falls to earth during Revelations and brings a plague of death. Barry is with his family and Brooke doing a photo shoot in the town of Bulla Bulla. Barry looses both his wife and daughter to the mysterious condition which, for some reason, spares those with A- blood. He eventually teams up Aborigine camper Benny (Leon Burchill) who lost both his brothers. Together they run into some locals and discover that while this ‘situation’ has rendered gas and fossil fuels inert, the zombies’ blood is quite flammable and the methane-like gas they exhale works as a fuel substitute. So, they go out armed and armored to gather ‘fuel’ and rescue Barry’s sister. Brooke, on the other hand, has been kidnaped by a sinister military group who keeps her restrained and gagged in a lab where there are performing experiments on zombie and human alike. Experiments, unbeknownst to her captors, that render Brooke with the ability to telekinetically control the living dead. Obviously the two siblings and their stories will come together…and then the bloody fun begins.
As directed by Kiah Roache-Turner from a script he co-wrote with his brother Tristan Roache-Turner, this flick is a blast of fun and a breath of bloody fresh air for the zombie sub-genre. A sub-genre made stale by an over-saturation of movies and weekly zombie TV shows. They make even the silliest aspects of the story work, and work very well. They take their story very seriously…though it is laden with that off-beat Australian sense of humor, which seems to fit in perfectly with the more gruesome aspects of this deviously twisted tale. The film has a really cool visual style and is obviously made by those who love these kind of movies and who also know what makes them work. This energetic mash-up is filled with subtle references to films like Dawn Of The Dead, Evil Dead, the Mad Max films and even a playful nod to The Walking Dead involving a Samurai sword. Roache-Turner, however, creates his own flick from all the hat-tipping, despite borrowing concepts from George Romero and George Miller and makes his homage to the movies he loves in his own style. One of the things I loved most about it was that the combination of eclectic elements is mixed so well and works far better than it sounds like it should…cause it’s mixed in the right amounts and given the respect it deserves. The film is action packed but, never at the sacrifice of it’s off-kilter story, or characters, and can be very intense at times. There is also a lot of gory violence, which appears to be mostly…and thankfully… well-rendered live effects, too. Abundance of action and bloodshed aside, though, what makes it really work so completely is a charming group of main characters and some delightfully eccentric supporting characters, such as a sinister scientist who prefers to listen to K.C. and the Sunshine Band while he conducts his gruesome experiments. There really is little to not like about this film, made by film geeks for the film geek in all of us. Roache-Turner is certainly a filmmaker to watch.
As for the cast, they are all engaging. Gallagher is a charming and solid hero as Barry. Despite his loses and what is happening, he is valiantly going to find his sibling, as she is all he has left. Burchill is delightful as the oddball Benny. The character is given a lot of charm by the actor and is extremely likable. He has some of the best lines and is a perfect side-kick for Barry. As Brooke, Bianca Bradey is strong and sexy and her tattooed heroine becomes quite the powerhouse once she learns to use the side-effects of the experiments against those who hold her captive. The actress spends about 75% of the movie tied up with a fetishistic gag in her mouth and has to express her emotions and thoughts in her eyes and body language and Bradey does a great job. Long before she gets free, we like her immensely and are rooting for her. The supporting characters are also an eccentric lot and help add an offbeat atmosphere to the story and film. They seem both over-the-top and yet, somehow believably human, at the same time.
What little faults the film has are minor and not really worth bringing up when the filmmakers get so much, so right. They somehow mash-up quite a few different genres worth of ideas to fuel their homage and, as such, make sure to give nods to the types of film’s that inspired them. It reminded me of Neil Marshall’s Doomsday in that the entire film existed to pay homage to others yet, somehow, is it’s own movie. Energetic, delightfully gory and with a fast and furious pace, Wyrmwood is a real blast of George Romero meets Sam Raimi meets George Miller and yet remains very Kiah Roache-Turner. One of the year’s best horrors, so far, in my book and by a filmmaking talent to keep a close watch on!
Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) Road Warrior-esque zombie fighters!