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Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead (Blu-ray)

WyrmwoodA raucous, blood-soaked post-apocalyptic epic filled with inspired vehicular mayhem and unrestrained gore, Wyrmood: Road of the Dead   is one of the most wildly entertaining genre films in years. Making its Blu-ray and DVD debut on August 4th, 2015  from Scream Factory, in partnership with IFC Midnight, this critically-acclaimed rambunctious adventure Wyrmood: Road of the Dead  comes loaded with bonus features, including an audio commentary with the Roache-Turner Brothers, the featurette The Wyrmdiaries: Behind the Scenes of WYRMWOOD,  Crowdfunding Videos: Wyrmwood Production Pitch, deleted scenes, a seven minute teaser scene, a gallery of storyboards by the director and the theatrical trailer. Fans can pre-order their copies now at ShoutFactory.com.  With a healthy dose of Mad Max-inspired vehicular mayhem and an enormous serving of pure, raw talent, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is a high-octane, visceral thrill ride that is a must for any horror fan.

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Film 

In the aftermath of a comet breaking up over Earth, most of the planet’s population quickly succumbs to a strange disease which turns them into “zombies.” Few survive, and those who do, quickly discover all existing fuel sources have been rendered useless by the plague.

Trapped in a wilderness teeming with living dead, one of the survivors, Barry, has lost everything except his sister, Brooke. But even as the disaster unfolds, Brooke is kidnapped by a gang of paramilitary thugs and dragged off to a terrifying medical lab run by a psychotic “doctor” who is performing a series of deranged experiments on plague survivors. As Brooke struggles to devise an escape plan, she realizes that the doctor’s experiments have given her strange powers over his zombie captives. Unaware of his sister’s new powers, Barry teams up with fellow survivors to rescue her and protect what family he has left.

Here we are, another damn zombie movie, right?  Well, this time, that’s a really good thing.  As advertised, this is a sort of Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead hybrid.  But, basically, it means people dressing up like that post apocalyptic wasteland duking it out with zombies.  That little cross though is only in a slight detail and doesn’t really get abused at all.  Its more interested in trying to carve its own place in zombie lore.

The action in this movie is pretty damn awesome.  Most of this movie is done with practical effect work and make up.  The result are some groovy kills and blasting shootouts.  This film also features some really awesome fight choreography too.  Everything is mapped out and planned quite well and shows off well because the execution totally pulls this off.

I was really surprised and impressed with this movie.  It rocks when it comes to zombie action.  The movie doesn’t feel stale when it goes through some zombie tropes we’ve seen countless times.  Another thing I liked, is that it has a subplot that gets plenty weird.  And with that weird, the film carves its own piece of making the zombie film its own.  Its fun, its got some good applauding action moments and it feels new and fresh with a concept that just quite hasn’t been run into the ground enough.  A damn good, zombie-killing time in a post-apocalyptic wasteland!

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1o80p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  This looks outstanding on Blu-ray.  The image is crisp and razor sharp.  Detail is ghoulishly grand with blood splatter on skin having every spec accounted for.  Every detail on a used, beaten dented, scratched piece of zombie-fighting equipment looks groovy too.  Hair follicles are also nice and discernible from most distances.

Depth:  Everything looks loose and free here.  Movement is more natural than cinematic.  Background detail is strong.

Black Levels:  Blacks are inky and never an issue.  Clothing, surfaces and hair color that are dark/black still have detail that’s able to be made out.

Color Reproduction:  Blood red is strong, but everything else is a bit bleached and most of it is darker colors and browns going for the “gritty” wasteland look.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are consistent but a bit bleached looking (by intention).  Facial detail is strong as stubble, scars, scratches, freckles, wrinkles and make up look like you’re seeing through a window.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Make no mistake, the back of the box says 5.1, but this is 7.1  Its a thrilling, involving and rocking track.  Action scenes deliver and make use of all 7 channels.  Its a fun and exhilarating track.

Low Frequency Extension: Gun shots, explosions, crashing and good score hits benefit from the sub woofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Ambiance, zombie growling and some environmental action sounds come from the rear and side speakers.  The front speakers accurately depict movement and volume placement on screen.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Crisp and clear.  A little low in this mix, but not really an issue.

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Extras 

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead comes with a reversible cover featuring alternate poster artwork.

Audio Commentary

  • With Roache-Turner Brothers

The Wyrmdiaries: Behind The Scenes of Wyrmwood (HD, 49:29) – A collection of behind the scenes/on set video that features goofing around, makes up tests/secrets, some snarky insight and all sorts of fun.

The 7 Minute Teaser Scene (HD, 8:14) – The scene was shot to use for their pitch for crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding Video 1 (HD, 6:01) – The producer and director basically pitch their film based off of the 7 minute teaser.

Crowdfunding Video 2 (HD, 4:14) – Features the director and producer in zombie make up giving an update on the film after it wrapped shooting and ask for a little more money for post production.

Storyboards By The Director (HD, 1:32) 

Trailers (HD, 4:23) 

Deleted Scenes (HD, 19:30) 

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Summary 

What a fun little twist on a zombie movie!  I’m a sucker for zombie films and this is one of the better ones.  There’s a real care to this craft and seeing all this practical effect and makeup work is an absolute joy.  Plus, while not being wholly original, its able to take off and really be its own thing in the end.  Technical merits on this are very strong.  The supplemental features on the film are outstanding and give you a true sense of the history of this project.  One of the best original Scream Factory movies and one of their best Blu-ray collaborations with IFC Midnight.  Definitely pick this one up!

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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