Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (Blu-ray / Movie Review)
Okay, I’ll admit, zombie movies are a dime a dozen nowadays, and people are really starting to get sick of them. It takes a real special movie to get me excited for another zombie outing. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, an Aussie zombie flick, piqued my interest enough to want to check it out and review it, and after giving the Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay a spin last night, I can say that it’s worth the watch for sure. It has a few issues, such as pacing and story, but the overall effort is top notch, with some groovy special effects, and some wonderful zombie killing action. The box art says it’s like “Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead,” and I have to say that’s probably the best way to describe the movie. Let’s see if you agree by reading on…
DISCS: 2 (1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD) RUN-TIME: 98 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 2014 RELEASE DATE: July 14th, 2015
When an apocalyptic event turns everyone around him—including his wife and daughter— into marauding zombies, everyman mechanic Barry (Jay Gallagher of To Become One) arms himself to the teeth, soups up his car, and hits the road in order to rescue his sister from a deranged, disco-dancing mad doctor. Bursting with high-octane car chases in the Australian outback, crazy-cool homemade weaponry, and enough blood-and-guts gore to satisfy hardcore horror fans, Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead takes the zombie flick to bone-crunchingly berserk new heights.
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead starts off like pretty much all zombie flicks, with zombies randomly showing up and the world falling apart. We are introduced to a couple different people, one a mechanic, Barry (Jay Gallagher,) who seems to be pissed off the entire time; the other a hunter, Benny (Leon Burchill,) who is the comedic highlight of the movie; and finally the sister of the mechanic, Brooke (Bianca Bradey,) who turns out to kick a lot of serious ass. There is a lot going on in the movie that I don’t want to spoil, but I can tell you that for the most part, the action is intense and gory. The pacing does take a bit of a hit during the middle half when things slow down some, but as it gets near the end, it picks right back up.
The side story of the sister Brooke being kidnapped by a sinister agency, is interesting for sure, with the maniacal doctor (played creepily by Berynn Schwerdt) being a plus, but not much is explained as to what is happening. Also, I would’ve loved to spend more time with her “abilities.”
When I first started watching Wyrmwood, I was afraid that it was basically going to be style over substance, as a lot of the movie is pretty damn flashy and chaotic, but there is some actual meat to bite into here, and the story thread dealing with gasoline issues was pretty inventive to say the least. Plus, add in all the comedic bits thanks to Benny, and you got a movie that is a treat to watch. Throw in some amazing Mad Max action bits involving car chases and crazy gear, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead should please any horror / action fan.
Anchor Bay has done a wonderful job with the transfer, with it being crystal clear, with no issues present. The audio however is only presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, which is a lossy format, meaning you are not getting the best representation of the audio. With that being said, the movie sounded fine to me and was loud and clear.
Special Features are present, but they are certainly not on the substantial side of things, save for the audio commentary with the Roache-Turner Brothers. You have about 19 minutes of deleted scenes, with no colour grading or audio tweaks performed on them, and they don’t add much to the story, hence them being deleted. You also get tiny bit of storyboards to look at, and finally a Promotional Pitch that was done to help raise money for the post production work. Missing from what’s on the Scream Factory release is a Featurette, 7 minute teaser scene, and a trailer. It sucks they couldn’t get all the features that the other release has.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
Story Board Photo Gallery
Production & Post Production Pitch
Audio Commentary with the Roache-Turner Brothers
Besides a few pacing issues, and some story problems, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a wonderfully shot and produced zombie flick, with a mix of Mad Max car scenes, and plenty of zombie carnage. It’s a shame the Anchor Bay Blu-ray couldn’t get all the features that are present on other releases, and the audio is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, but you can rest easy in knowing the video is wonderful. Pick up for sure.