Review: WYRMWOOD APOCALYPSE, A Second Helping of Wild Zombie Ass-Kicking
Sisters Maxi and Grace roll with Brooke and Barry, our heroes from the first Wyrmwood film. They continue to fight against government goon squads and are destined to run into Rhys who also runs throughout the same territory. Rhys runs jobs for said government goon squad. A ‘good, little soldier’ Rhys is working for them under the impression that they’re working on a cure. He transports supplies between a pair of bunkers deep in the outback. He listens to radio chatter and captures bounties on the run. Rhys is bound to run into this quartet of renegades, his connection to them closer than they know. What will happen when they finally meet no one knows.
The Roache-Turner brothers, Kiah and Tristan, are back with Wyrmwood Apocalypse! Back with all the blood, guts, and laughs you could ever hope for in the sequel to their breakout smash hit, Wyrmwood. Returning to the Australian wasteland, smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, the brothers have more gadgets to play with and a keener eye for cinematics. They have all the tools they need to deliver another rolicking, gory rampage through the Australian wilderness.
The brothers have always been at their best when they are having the most creative fun. As with their previous works it is in the ominous oubliettes of oppression where Apocalypse shines. Here is where Surgeon General, in a scene chewing role by Nicholas Boshier, takes the captured casualties from Rhys to ‘work on the cure’. We already know he and his stooges, including The Colonel, are the baddies. Not only is the abattoir drenched in blood but it is also splashed with other bright vibrant colors - yellows and purples predominantly. And for the first few times when the story cuts to the dungeon there is this wonderful Looney Tunes villain score that plays in the background. So wonderful.
We also noted that the influence of Sam Raimi remains steadfast on the brothers in Apocalypse. Reflecting Raimi’s sequels to the first chapter of Evil Dead there are obvious and subtle nods to the second and third films in this sequel as well. Gone are the quick-zoom montages but look for hands and chains, everyone. Hands and chains. That hands reference is obvious, the one with the chains is a bit more slight. Watch for it during the climax.
The gore in Apocalypse comes fast and plentiful. This is a law of zombie films and the brothers are some of the most law abiding citizens in that regard. There is no shortage of heads exploding, limbs flying, or guts spilling out. To wax on about the gore is to heap on more superlatives when all you need to know is it's there and it is glorious.
An interesting decision was made to put Brooke and Barry on the back burner for this chapter. Though they return in time for the insane climax the story of Apocalypse is largely focused on Rhys and to a lesser extent the sisters. Apocalypse is about Rhys and the choices he makes when he discovers what the General Surgeon, The Colonel and the goon squad are really doing in their bunkers.
This absence creates a shift in viewer expectations and requires an adjustment period, because, well, Brooke and Barry are so badass. It has nothing to do with the crush we all had for Brooke by the end of the first film. Never fear, the climax to Apocalypse is a doozy and the way the brothers finish this second film it looks like they have some super big plans for the siblings.
An unexpected change in focus does not deter too much from Apocalypse. Sure, a bit of a bummer, but it also expands this group of zombie and government stooge ass-kickers. By the looks of things the brothers have more in store for us. The zombie plague is not over just yet.
Wyrmwood Apocalypse is available today April 14th, from XYZ Films, On Demand & Digital