Before getting entangled with hairy-footed hobbits, Peter Jackson began his impressive film making odyssey knee-deep in gore with the brilliant Bad Taste and Braindead. There’s a certain Antipodean sense of humour, that ranges from dark to black as night,which gives their horror movies a very different feel. In Kiah Roache-Turner debut outing, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, he channels these early horror-comedy classics and splices them with a bucket-load of Mad Max craziness.
When a meteor shower alters the air and turns most people into zombies, Barry (Jay Gallagher) has to get to Bulla Bulla to rescue his sister Brooke (Bianca Bradey). Along the way he enlists the help of Benny (Leon Burchill) and Frank (Keith Agius), two men living on the edge of their own sanity. Fuel is a problem, but once they establish a new energy source, things seem to be going their way; until night hits that is. As Brooke struggles to stay alive, the trio must battle their way across The Outback against hoards of zombies, soldiers with dubious intentions and people driven crazy by events.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Read is first and foremost great fun. Not only that, it cleverly subverts the usual genre tropes to add a freshness and energy to a much-visited area of horror. Written in conjunction with his brother, Tristan, it has become Australia’s most pirated film and a forerunner in the use of Fan Force to fund its distribution. Its popularity is unsurprising as Wymrwood: Road of the Dead is a pure and unadulterated blood-drenched fun, which is high on entertainment and chock-full of mayhem.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is in cinemas on May 8 and released on DVD by Studio Canal on May 11.