Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a 2014 Australian action zombie horror film directed by Kiah Roache-Turner (Nekrotronic) from a screenplay written with co-producer Tristan Roache-Turner. The movie stars Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey and Leon Burchill.
For several years, a TV series spin-off called Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead was touted. This hasn’t arrived yet. However, in 2021 a film sequel – Wyrmwood: Apocalypse – was shot for release the following year.
Mechanic Barry lives in the Australian outback with his wife Annie and daughter Meganne. During a meteor shower, Barry’s sister Brooke is attacked in her Bulla, Victoria studio by her model and her assistant, who have suddenly become zombies.
She calls Barry and warns him to get out of the city. He, Annie, and Meganne don gas masks and fight their way to the family car. When Meganne and Annie remove their gas masks they become infected and zombify, and Barry is forced to kill them with a nailgun. He runs out of nails before he can kill himself.
Chalker, another survivor, finds Barry and knocks him unconscious when Barry attempts to kill himself with Chalker’s gun. Barry asks Chalker to take him to Brooke’s studio, unaware that a paramilitary group has taken her captive in the back of a truck that serves as a mobile lab for mad scientist Doc.
While Doc experiments on the zombies and Brooke, Chalker’s truck stops working. Chalker and Barry continue on foot, and Indigenous Australian Benny, another survivor, mistakenly kills Chalker.
Benny, who previously had to kill his infected brother, and Barry team up and come upon a garage staffed by Frank and his assistant. Frank explains that all flammable liquids have become useless. However, the group accidentally discovers zombie breath and blood are flammable, and they devise a zombie-powered engine…
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com
Audio commentary with the Roache-Turner Brothers
The Wyrmdiaries: Behind the Scenes of Wyrmwood featurette
Crowdfunding Videos: Wyrmwood Production Pitch
Seven-minute teaser scene
Storyboards by the Director
” …with clear inspirations in Dawn of the Dead, The Evil Dead, Bad Taste, Re-Animator and … Mad Max, from its Gothic-looking helmets, masks and weapons to its retro-fitted vehicles, Wyrmwood looks and plays a lot better than its $160,000 budget suggests.” Shannon Harvey, The West Australian
“The Australian setting is used to its fullest potential, making exceptional use of camera angles and lighting to make a fantastic post-apocalyptic background. The acting is marvellous, with a nice balance of fear, anger, grief, and even humour portrayed by the characters.” Greg Clarke, UK Horror Scene
“There’s great color in the film, bucking the trend of washed out horror films; Wyrmwood almost glows with vibrant colors and bright red blood. I found it a lot of fun, with some clever lines and lots of gruesome bits. Grab your sword, go see it and be ready to cringe; you’ll have a great time.” Pop Culture Beast
“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 … wins points for originality, introducing a couple of zombie concepts I’ve not seen before…” Peter Martin, Screen Anarchy
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
” …the film inevitably feels like a footnote to the plethora of similarly themed movies and television shows that seem to arrive on a weekly basis. But it does demonstrate that if the Roache-Turner brothers apply their talents to more original territory they may well have a solid future in the horror film landscape.” The Hollywood Reporter
” …Wyrmwood is a fun and quick paced movie. It felt like a little bit of the Evil Dead, a dash of Resident Evil (maybe I am nuts), and of course, some of The Walking Dead all mixed up to make a really, really entertaining film.” Gotcha Movies
‘So once again, reports of the zombie movie’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Wyrmwood is a solid reminder that sometimes we just want to watch bullets fly and blood splatter, and there’s no shame in having a good time with the apocalypse.’ Quiet Earth
“Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner … deserve credit for re-instilling vivacity into the sometimes not-so-living dead in ways casual fans who still possess an open mind towards the evolutionary potential of the subgenre will no doubt appreciate.” Fangoria
“Pic is ably performed by a solid ensemble and shot in appropriately unfussy style by first-time feature lenser Tim Nagle. The ace in the packaging deck is a terrific score by Michael Lira that includes everything from crunching industrial noise to fun variations on the type of overblown library music used in 1950s B-grade sci-fi movies. Visual effects work and all other technical contributions are fine.” Variety
“It’s George A. Romero infused with Peter Jackson and George Miller. But, more importantly, the Australian filmmaking team – Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner – attempt to bring something fresh and energetic to the zombie sub-genre. They fearlessly spitballed some kooky ideas and executed them in a lot of fun visual ways.” Coming Soon
Cast and characters:
- Jay Gallagher as Barry
- Bianca Bradey as Brooke
- Leon Burchill as Benny
- Luke McKenzie as The Captain
- Yure Covich as Chalker
- Catherine Terracini as Annie
- Keith Agius as Frank
- Meganne West as Meganne
- Berryn Schwerdt as The Doctor
- Cain Thompson as McGaughlin
- Beth Aubrey as Charlotte
- Sheridan Harbridge as Sherri
- Damian Dyke as Thompson