Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse

Suddenly, this zombie-mayhem sequel feels awkwardly dated. It isn’t the sinister role played by the military, because that is an ever-present genre cliché. Rather, the fact that the scientist working on a zombie-outbreak cure is so deranged and pointlessly sadistic seems like a relic of 2019. Heck, he has already developed a “vaccine,” but at a tremendous ongoing human cost. Brooke, the surviving human-zombie-hybrid from the first film intends to ruin his mad doctor plans in the Roache-Turners’ Wyrmwood: Apocalypse, which releases digitally this Thursday.

Whatever happened, it turned most of the world into zombies and stopped all fossil fuels from igniting. Somehow, the hardy survivors managed to find a way to harness the power of highly combustible zombie breath. Rhys has managed to power a relatively secure compound solely with captured zombies. He will look familiar to Brooke and her brother, Barry, because they killed his identical twin in the original
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead.

Rhys barters zombies and human specimens for supplies from the insane “Surgeon General” and the ruthless Colonel. However, he does not understand the nature of their “experiments” or the source of the medication that keeps him from getting “twitchy.” Brooke (who has a telepathic link to all zombiedom) initially distrusts Rhys, but they will eventually team up together to rescue another hybrid.

Bianca Brady kicked butt all across the screen in
Road of the Dead, but this time around, the Roache-Turner Brothers (director-co-writer Kiah and producer-co-writer Tristan) don’t give her the material to take the character to the next level. Instead of fierce and powerful, she mostly comes across as creepy and unstable. It’s a big disappointment.

There is still a grungy inventiveness to the latest
Wyrmwood that is appealing. The Roache-Turners also unleash all kinds of deliriously gory practical effects. It has all the elements of a successful midnight movie, but it just can’t duplicate the “magic” of the first film.

Weirdly, Luke McKenzie probably gives the most memorable performance as strong, sullen Rhys. Unfortunately, Nicholas Boshier does a lot of screaming as the mad scientist, but his performance lands like a cut-rate Jim Carrey impression.

Maybe the timing isn’t ideal for a
Wyrmwood sequel, but that doesn’t change the fact it doesn’t measure up to the original film. Its just another zombie film. Watch the first film instead when Wyrmwood: Apocalypse releases Thursday (4/14) on VOD.