I've been meaning to start posting again for some time now, and I can think of no better reason than to post some musings on the horror flicks I'm watching this month with friends. The brainchild behind this ghoulish endeavor is none other than my friend, colleague, and trivia team member (shout out to team Allen Bader Ginsburg), Charlie Riccardelli, whose film knowledge is unparalleled.
For me, and interest in poetry and an interest in popular culture are not mutually exclusive pursuits. A poem of mine that I'm currently sending out called "The Horror" was born out of my desire to move beyond merely laughing at horror movie tropes to try to figure out why they exist and what they suggest not about the industry, but about us. So I think this stuff belongs on my site, too.
Needless to say, there will be spoilers ahead.
Our first film was 2015 Australian flick Wyrmwood: On the Road.
I couldn't choose which poster to highlight for a few reasons. The independent laurel wreaths or "seals" of approval of sorts do a great deal for the film's ethos on the first poster, but the striking, powerful image of the film's most interesting protagonist, Brooke (Bianca Bradley) on the second poster are hard to resist.
As the poster promises, Wyrmwood is accurately classed as "Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead." And as I watched, the major thought I has was that this film (directed and produced, respectively, by brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner) was made by excellent students of the genre—and according to the brothers' website, of genre films in general. In Wyrmwood, the usual suspects are all here: zombies, deranged physicians, a rag-tag pack of survivors, suicides and murders that serve the "greater good," rapid jump cuts, fisheye-lens shots, and even a scintillating, squalling, block-font title card that is absolutely a shoutout to another movie that I can't name for the life of me. Charlie? Bueller?
Already being hailed as a cult-classic-in-the-making, the Roache-Turner bros have stated their intention to film a sequel. If they do, hopefully it centers around Brooke and her ability to (get ready) control zombies with her brain.
Perhaps it's the literary critic in me, but I find the concept of a woman who has literally been silenced by the application of a muzzle to her face but who also turns out to have telekinetic powers over zombies to be incredibly interesting and symbolic. Brooke acquires her powers by being repeatedly injected with zombie blood by a maniacal "doctor" (Berynn Schwerdt) who was definitely giving me shades of Marty McFly as space invader mixed with a healthy dose of Christopher Lloyd in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? So in other words, she bests her enemies by becoming them to a certain degree. In a pretty little twist on the tale of natural immunity that the rest of the film promulgates (only those with an A- blood type are spared from the infectious zombie-making disease), Brooke thrives artificially by being exposed to not only zombie blood but also to the bilious poison of her male captors' oppression and exploitation. Neat stuff.
And while we're at it, why don't I go ahead and slap some ratings on these suckers:
RATING: Three bloody, farting zombie skulls out of five (3/5)
Thanks for reading, y'all. Stay tuned.