The TL;DR summary: if you like zombie movies, you should see Wyrmwood. It's well acted and edited, tightly shot, and a lot of fun.
Want more details? Read on.
A little over two years ago I backed this movie on Indiegogo. And then I more or less forgot about it until my backer reward - a digital copy of the film - turned up about a week ago.
So Wyrmwood kicks off in media res, and then leaps back to recount the tale of how our protagonists have so far survived the zombie apocalypse. This is an effective tool for getting some action on screen straight away and also for having the Mad Max-esque outfits make an early appearance. Good call.
The scenario here appears to be a fairly standard zombie outbreak scenario, and the film focuses mostly on the immediate practicalities of that situation - survival, in other words - rather than detailed backstory about why it happened or tortured musings on what it means for the future of the world. There's definitely more than a suggestion of some kind of larger story behind it all, but the film-makers wisely choose not to sacrifice momentum to exposition. I wish that more zombie movies took this route (it is surprising more don't actually, given that the granddaddy of them all, Night of the Living Dead, eschewed any detailed explanations). Instead we get plenty of action, a smattering of comedy, and the odd moment of pathos amidst all the brain-spattering zombie action.
As noted above, this a well made, fun movie. The cast is great, the effects solid, and the story hangs together well (it's sometimes a bit goofy for the sake of it, but I can live with that when the plot holds up, which it does). The action sequences are also solidly constructed, which I think is vital in a film of this nature.
The film isn't flawless of course. I think the climactic confrontation is a little overlong and involves an antagonist I didn't care that much about, for intance. Plus there's one serious case of Chekov's gun going unfired, which - given the "gun" in question - made me very sad. But there's definitely a lot to like here if you are a fan of the genre, and I look forward to seeing more from the talented team behind it.
Post-Script: This film presented me with a problem, since I own a copy and I really wanted to review it but it's a digital download, not a DVD, which is kind of at odds with the name of this blog. With the growing popularity of legal digital media this is going to become a bigger issue over time, so I decided I'm going to post this as a "bonus" weekend review. In future though (unless there is a massive outcry from the three of you reading this) I'll just post digital reviews in my normal Monday-Friday schedule.