Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Wyrmwood (2014, Kiah Roache-Turner)


Every time I think zombie films have run their course, that I am tired of my favorite horror sub genre, someone goes along and makes one that restores my interest. Wyrmwood (also known as “Road of the Dead”) is a ridiculous, gory, visceral horror experience that covers a zombie outbreak caused by, well, no one is quite sure, although the air is hinted at as being the cause. I don’t really care how zombies happen, all that matters is that the zombie film have engaging characters and be at least entertaining. Kiah Roache-Turner’s film checks all of those boxes and offers more than I expected, which is a nice bonus. Poor Barry has a bad weekend in the Austrian Outback, and things spiral from there, as he is forced to band together with others to survive a zombie attack.

One thing I really dug about this film is the zombie killing violence, which is heavy throughout the entire movie. Roache-Turner decides to make a fairly simple and energetic horror film, and it shows throughout. I really liked the character of Benny, who has plenty of wisecracks and a fairly wiry take on the entire situation. Oh and don’t forget the mad scientist elements, which reminded me of Day of the Dead (1985). Plus hey zombie blood is flammable, so you can use it for fuel. Finally they’re useful! I cannot reveal more about this film without compromising the last, intense final act, yet I will not forget what I have seen anytime soon. I like to call this movie a great cousin of the Evil Dead series, and I wonder what Roache-Tuner will do next for an encore.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Evil Dead (2013, Fede Alvarez)


The Evil Dead’s opener was rather jarring and a little freaky. I rather liked this movie even though it pales in comparison to the original classic. If only the 1981 film didn’t exist, and yet it does so here we are. What’s funny though is that the acting in the remake is better and there manages to be even more gore. I did not expect that. Also having Mia, the main character be a recovering drug addict was a nice touch. It gave her an added dimension plus its the reason why her and her friends are in the cabin in the woods. Despite some well crafted atmosphere the film fails at times to be scary.

Rather it settles for being nasty and gross with blood and body parts being mutilated.  Some of it is manages to be really freaky though and I liked the nods to the original. Particularly the possessed person chained up in the basement. In fact there was even a little bit of The Evil Dead II in this movie-fans of the series will know what I am talking about when the moment arrives.

However the last act is an interesting and literally blood filled mess. Too bad, since there is some great shots and the film is fairly well made. Sam Rami may not be a great director but he was certainly someone with talent, and this film could have benefited from his touch. Although I wonder if perhaps Fede Alvarez had more experience making Hollywood horror movies this remake would have been much better than it was. Still at least I liked it, and it is hopefully leading up to Army of Darkness II. At least that’s the plan, anyways.

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