Fantasia Festival fan, zombie fan, Australian film fan? Wyrmwood is for you!

Wyrmwood has been described as "Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead."
Wyrmwood has been described as “Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead.”

I think RIDM started it, with its Docville series, but now many Montreal film festivals are treating us to films outside their official festival periods. Lucky us!

This week (Thursday, June 18, 2015) we can watch Wyrmwood, an Australian zombie film. Think of it as a pre-Fantasia event, or a Fantasia appetizer. Then again, perhaps not – do food and the lurching, snarling undead really belong in the same thought? Not for the queasy among us. (And that would be me, in case you’re wondering.)

Synopsis: “Zombies invade the Australian Outback in this brain-splattered, Mad Max-meets-the-undead thrill ride. When an apocalyptic event turns everyone around him—including his wife and daughter—into marauding zombies, everyman mechanic Barry 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, 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's mad doctor (played by Berynn Schwerdt) likes to listen to disco music while he experiments on his captives.
Wyrmwood’s mad doctor (played by Berynn Schwerdt) likes to listen to disco music while he experiments on his captives.

There are some laughs in the trailer for Wyrmwood but there’s lots more gore and splatter. Yeah, yeah, I know, for many of you, there’s no such thing as “too much gore and splatter.” You can’t even imagine that concept, can you?

(For instance, Rodrigo Suarez made a comment on the trailer. He says: “I’m gonna see this one! Looks great! I hope they don´t do too much comedy though.” Jason Harris asks a sensible question: “Wearing armor among flesh seeking zombies. Why don’t any of the characters from other zombie shows/films do this?” Yeah, why don’t they?)

I have read quite a few reviews of Wyrmwood, perhaps more than absolutely necessary, and excerpts below only represent a few of the reviews I read. (For me, film reviews can be more addictive than potato chips.)

When, Where and How Much might be all that hard-core zombie fans need to know. For you:
Wyrmwood, Thursday, June 18, 2015, 9 p.m., Cinema Excentris, 3536 St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2V1

Tickets can be bought online, at $12.57 for adults and $10/57 for students and those over 65. Prices include taxes.
Tickets will be available at the foor, too, as long as the event does not sell out. Buying online might be the prudent thing to do.

What do the critics say about Wyrmwood? Let’s see. . .

Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times has no problem mentioning zombies and eating in the same sentence. “. . .the deal breaker, as always with these films, lies in the cut of one’s giblets, and the Roache-Turners prove to have the right mix of micro-budget filmmaking ingenuity, action sass and undead splatter to make “Wyrmwood” a tastier than usual exploitation nosh.”

Peter Martin of Twitch says: “Wildly apocalyptic with dollops of silliness, Wyrmwood proves to be a splendidly gritty affair, a tale that feels like it’s being told from the back of a jeep as it races away from doomsday on a very bumpy road in Australia.”

Ambush Bug (also known as Mark L. Miller) writes:  “Rarely do I see a movie which is entertaining from the very beginning up until the very end, but I saw just that with WYRMWOOD, a new zombie film from Australia. . . There is not a second of WYRMWOOD that isn’t in your face and running on all cylinders. . . it hits the ground running and never, ever stops for a breath until the end.” “Full of action that’ll make your heart flip and gore that’ll do the same to your stomach, WYRMWOOD is the next great thing in zombies.”

Rob Staeger of the Village Voice says:  “Australian filmmakers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner remind us why we love these bloody movies in the first place, evincing Raimi-esque glee at twisting the rules of zombiehood like so much taffy.”

Brian Tallerico at likes Wyrmwood a lot! “There’s a streamlined simplicity to Wyrmwood that’s admirable in an era when too many horror movies get cluttered with subplots and characters who wander into frame merely to be turned into goo. . .Horror is a genre in which homage can be more easily forgiven as a product of relatable love for the same movies. . .We like it when our horror movies don’t feel like merchandise as much as the result of a passion for the genre to which we can easily relate.” “Wyrmwood is not about narrative. It’s about in-your-face style, the kind where every punch, shot, and kick comes with an accompanying zoom, canted angle, and quick cut.”

Frank Scheck of the Hollywood Reporter:  “That zombie breath makes for a viable alternative fuel source is but one of the many revelations of Wyrmwood, the latest example of the horror genre that shows no signs of fading away. Kiah Roache-Turner’s zombie movie set in the Australian outback displays enough gonzo elements to please genre fans, with its resemblance to the Mad Max series clearly not coincidental.”  Scheck liked the “wildly staged vehicular chase sequences and genuinely witty deadpan dialogue.”
Visit this Facebook event page for more info about the screening.

Wyrmwood, directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, with Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey
92 min., In English
Thursday, June 18, 2015, 9 p.m., Cinema Excentris, 3536 St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2V1


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s