2014 / Director. Joe Johnson.
Review by Jarret Gahan.
Thomas Miller, an ambitious paralegal is dismissed from the prestigious law firm, RBE. Upon leaving, he observes a discreet exchange of a briefcase between two men in the foyer, the chap who retrieves the case takes the elevator to level thirty-four, the offices of RBE. Curiosity gets the better of Thomas and he trails the man, from there he becomes aware of all manner of suspicious activity including that of former-fellow employees. Things escalate when Thomas bears witness to the mystery man ruthlessly kill an employee and from there ensues a deadly game of cat and mouse between the unknown assailant and the remaining employees of RBE.
Clocking in at a mere seventy-four minutes, NOT SAFE FOR WORK is a suspense driven thriller interspersed with action set pieces that make for a terse yet tension-filled viewing. Screenwriting duo Adam Mason & Simon Boyes' taut and clever screenplay is complimented by the adept style of director Joe Johnston (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, JURASSIC PARK III, THE ROCKETEER) who turns in his most modest and least effects-induced effort since OCTOBER SKY.
Dumped to DTV by Universal Pictures mid last year, NOT SAFE FOR WORK arrived with little fanfare and zero marketing, allowing it to become an obscurity worthy of your discovery and potentially a cult-classic in years to come.
2014 / Director. Damien Chazelle.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I struggle with films during the Oscar season. More often than not the films rarely live up to the hype surrounding them and I feel like I am being forced into retreat. If I hadn't seen the films prior to their nominations then I tend to wait a lot longer before watching them, so not to be affected by the fanfare. WHIPLASH is an exception I made because it was released to home-entertainment the day after the awards and its subject matter was precisely what I was in the mood for on the day. Thankfully it lived up to my expectations and I can completely understand what people were raving about. I wont say that I would applaud it to the extent that many did but had I seen it last year I would have definitely put it into my top 10 and predicted an Oscar nod. It tells the story of a tenacious and dedicated music student who is hellbent on becoming someone "great". To accomplish his dream he must first surpass the expectations of the music school's vicious and nefarious head-instructor. The result is a mesmerising film that is more or less a one-setting narrative that takes place predominantly in a dark and sterile music room. The film's lead actor is the amazing Miles Teller, who has been high on my radar for a few years now. He first caught my attention in the frat-comedy 21 & OVER and he has forged his career by avoiding the cliched Hollywood spotlight and choosing his roles carefully (he was amazing in THE SPECTACULAR NOW). His performance in WHIPLASH is gruelling, exhausting and truly exceptional. Why he wasn't given an Oscar nomination is beyond me. His co-star in the film, JK Simmons, DID win the award for Best Supporting Actor and it was a win well earned. He is incredible as the cruel and feared teacher who pushes his students to physical extremes. What is even more impressive about WHIPLASH is that its director, Damien Chazelle, is only 30 years old. This is such an accomplished film for someone so young and relatively inexperienced. His previous writing credits include the Hitchcockian thriller GRAND PIANO. I praised some aspects of that film but was generally critical of it. It is only now with hindsight that I can apply greater significance to it. Its strong musical aesthetic has given Chazelle an opportunity to lick his chops with the subject and he has a clear skill when it comes to making music an integral part of the story. GRAND PIANO was an important stepping stone to WHIPLASH and he has announced himself as a talented young director with a big future ahead of him. There isn't anything I disliked about the film... heck it was even great to see Paul Reiser return to the screen. He leaves his old schtick at the door and provides a nicely understated support as the father who doesn't fully understand his son's passion... The whole teacher/student theme is a tried and true formula and it has been flogged to death over the years, but WHIPLASH offers a fresh new take on it that propels it to the heights of the most respectable titles in the genre....oh and the film's climax is transcending! Most excellent.
2013 / Director. Uwe Boll.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Director Uwe Boll cops a bad wrap. He is often touted as the "worst director" of all time and ridiculing him has become a sport amongst the nerdier film circles. None of that sits right with me and I have a strong admiration for him as a filmmaker. He works outside of the studio system and dares to make BIG films on small budgets. Sure, he's made some bad ones... but where's the due credit for his good ones? Some that come to mind are STOIC, RAMPAGE, DARFUR, TUNNEL RATS and MAX SCHELLING. When you give his films some attention I think it's hard to deny his talent and the amount of work he pumps out is prolific. ASSAULT ON WALL STREET can be added to that list. This new indie film might just surprise a lot of people with its unexpectedly gritty and emotionally driven story of a man pushed too far. Dominic Purcell stars as a husband who loses everything when his wife becomes ill, his stock-market shares disintegrate and the banks come after him for everything he's worth. He is the victim of corporate greed and criminal bureaucracy. When he reaches boiling point he has nothing left to lose and unleashes an almighty blow to Wall Street by the way of killing every criminal motherfucker pulling the strings and screwing over the little guys. Yes it's a formulaic vigilante story and yes it is contrived and cliched at times... but we are compensated by a surprisingly well structured script that puts all of its energies into character development. This man's despair is fleshed out well and Uwe Boll has done a great job in giving his actions substance and justification. Dominic Purcell isn't exactly the greatest of actors but he has a firm grip on this character. He's very likable on screen and his emotional journey is believable. He is also surrounded by an unexpectedly good support cast including Michael Pare, John Heard, Keith David, Edward Furlong, Eric Roberts and Lochlyn Munro. They all offer understated and modest turns and Locklyn Munro is the biggest surprise as a shrewd high-end financial adviser. When the action kicks in, it's great. It's quick, it's violent and it's confronting.... and it never overstays its welcome. If you can accept that ASSAULT ON WALL STREET walks a well treaded path and is plays on several overused cliches then you might be surprised with the rest of it.
2012 / Director. Nadia Tass.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
See the poster? That is the same Nadia Tass who is responsible for some of Australia's most celebrated and unique films. She is the director behind titles like MALCOLM, THE BIG STEAL and RIKKI & PETE and she has always presented a unique examination of outsiders and explored characters with eccentricities. FATAL HONEYMOON is a film that exposes her vulnerabilities and sullies her reputation, which is such a shame considering that prior to this she had made a comeback (of sorts) with the wonderful MATCHING JACK. FATAL HONEYMOON is the true story of the death of American Tina Watson, who died under mysterious sircumstances on the Great Barrier Reef. Her husband, Gabe Watson was accused of her murder and the Australian police pursued him with ferocious tenacity. It was a case that made headlines around the world and the public interest reached fever pitch. It is a complex and tumultuous story too that deserves to be told on film... sadly this shamozzle does not do it any justice whatsoever. The first and most unforgiving flaw is that absolutely no attempt was made to differentiate the suburban Alabama setting from Australia. Shot entire on location in Queensland, the suburban Alabaman landscape looks identical to the backstreets of Surfer's Paradise... palm trees and all. The roof lines, the fence lines, the backyard BBQs... all fair-dinkum Aussie! The second undoing is the appalling American accents. With a predominantly Australian cast a whole lot of the yankie accents are dripping with Aussie ocker. Most frustratingly is that some of the insignificant characters NAIL the accents while most of the important key players fail stupendously. And then there's the film's lead actor, the legendary Harvey Keitel. I can only imagine that he took this role for the paid holiday. He does his best with the material but is never able to salvage what was a sinking vessel from the get go. So it is clearly a turd of a movie but here's the weird thing. I still enjoyed it. I've seen it twice (won't be returning to it again soon though) and there is something about it that kept me glued to the end. Perhaps it was the thrill of watching it crash in slow motion, or perhaps it was because there are some merits beneath the surface. I guess the film's pacing is good... and that's something. LOL. Keeping in mind that FATAL HONEYMOON was a television movie, I can forgive it a lot of it's shortcomings... but when everything is weighed up it is a very average "true story" which makes assumptions and pushes a clear agenda. If you catch it on the tube while channel surfing then definitely check it out. Otherwise don't spend money on it!
1985 / Director. Martha Coolidge.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The early to mid 1980s saw an influx of nerdy science related comedies saturate the market. Technology was on the cusp of a generational boom and the world was in a state of excitement over the possibilities. Films like REVENGE OF THE NERDS, WEIRD SCIENCE and MY SCIENCE PROJECT were some of the better titles amongst a bunch of geeky exploits. Another gem was REAL GENIUS starring a very young Val Kilmer. Having come off the moderate success of the Zucker brothers classic TOP SECRET he was proving to be a new Hollywood hot-shot and his performance in REAL GENIUS remains one of the best in the whole frat-house genre. The CIA are conducting a top-secret project, which has disastrous ramifications if in the wrong hands. With the ignorant assistance of some of Pacific Tech University's brainiest students, they are developing a laser strong enough to evaporate a human from outer space. For the students it's all too easy and they spend most of their time partying and using their genius to win chicks. I have always loved the film and I recently introduced my 13 year old son to it. As the final credits rolled his response was "that-was-AWESOME!" which proves that it has stood the test of time and definitely has a longevity. What helps sell the film's credibility is the fact that director Martha Coolidge and writers Pat Proft & Neal Israel (Police Academy) went to great lengths to ensure that most of the science was accurate and that the laser technology was scientifically credible, albeit far-fetched. Add to that some fantastic poster art and we are left with a classic 80's teen comedy that sets itself above many others. It needs a blu-ray released (kind of appropriate really).
2014 / Director. Zach Braff.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
WISH I WAS HERE is Zach Braff's long awaited follow up to his 2004 cult hit GARDEN STATE and it is definitely a spiritual sequel, although not an actual continuation. A decade has past and Braff returns to his director's chair with this equally offbeat and earnest story of a 30-something year old father whose life didn't turn out as he had imagined and he is faced with a series of confronting and terrifying crossroads. Again he plays a struggling actor with no foreseeable break in sight. His wife brings in all of the family's income and when he learns that his father is dying (taking away ongoing financial support) he is forced to reevaluate his life and choose between chasing his dreams or stepping up to his responsibilities. WISH I WAS HERE is a great little indie film and from just one viewing I can confidently say that I enjoyed it just as much as GARDEN STATE. Part of me wishes that Braff had written this character to be the same protagonist because he shares all of the same characteristics and attitudes. It would have been nice to see where he'd come to in life. Nevertheless this film boasts all of the same dynamics with a very similar narrative... and it packs a real punch. There is a much stronger emotional core with this film and it is handled respectably without ever being too kitsch. Braff is excellent and demonstrates a real level of maturity in both his filmmaking and onscreen presence. He is given wonderful support from Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Joey King, little Pierce Gagnon and Josh Gad. Jim Parsons even returns in a similar role and is a fun addition to the cast. The soundtrack is also a spiritual extension to GARDEN STATE and showcases some great indie tunes. These days a lot of films turn to Bon Iver to elevate their emotional impact and if Bon Iver hadn't already been saturated in recent films then it would have been an even more powerful motivator... unfortunately the song Holocene has been flogged to death and is beginning to lose its punch. But it is still used effectively regardless and one of his newest songs, Heavenly Father, is given its feature film debut (I think) which is also a nice touch. GARDEN STATE earned itself a strong cult following over the past ten years and while WISH I WAS HERE is an equal in my eyes, I can't see it having the same longevity... which is unfortunate. This is a solid and emotionally driven film that works on most levels.
2007 / Director. Scott Harper.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The Asylum make fantastic schlock movies and they make bloody awful schlock movies... and anything in between isn't worth the time. The further you go back in time, the shonkier they are. SUPERCROC was made in 2007 at a time before SHARKNADO, MEGA PIRANHA and MEGA SHARK. Back then they were still building their reputation and trying to establish themselves as an alternative indie b-movie studio. The budgets were significantly smaller and the quality of their "schlock" was arguably atrocious. SUPERCROC is stupendously awful and worth every minute of your time. Grab your mates, drink some beers, eat pizza and enjoy the show. A giant prehistoric crocodile terrorises a rural area of California and a group of soldiers must stop it before it reaches Los Angeles. This is one of the shonkiest of the Asylum catalogue with its low-grade set design, amateur sound recording and dial-an-actor performances. Much of the film takes place in a military control room, which was obviously a converted garage. The wilderness settings were probably filmed in the back yard (probably behind the garage) and the overall attention to detail was absent. Yep, not a single fuck was given when making SUPERCROC. Given its blatant awfulness, there is no question that it is a heap of fun. Like the tacky d-movies of the 60s, this one is something of a cult favourite. Watching it is easy. Ripping it to shreds with friends is even easier. Good fun.
1950 / Director. Akira Kurosawa.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
"The Rashomon Effect" is a method of filmmaking that has been adopted by various films throughout the years. It is a style of storytelling where the same event is recalled from different perspectives and films such as GONE GIRL and HOODWINKED are recent examples. The term itself harks back to Akira Kurosawa's 1950 classic, RASHOMON. The film begins with three men sheltering from the rain beneath a decrepit gateway structure (a Rashomon). Two of them are troubled with their thoughts and the third is curious as to why. And so they tell their story. The facts of the matter are that a woman was raped and a man was murdered. Exactly how the events occurred is a matter of opinion and the story flashes back to a trial where the witnesses recall the events from conflicting perspectives. As with almost every Kurosawa film RASHOMON is an influential timepiece. It's groundbreaking structure, cinematic style, minimalist production design and iconic characters are undeniable... and yet, despite being one of his shortest films, I confess that I struggle with it. I've seen it several times and I am always struck by it's visual wonder, but the story itself is uninteresting to me and my patience is always tested. The crime depicted in the film is dull and to bare witness to it FOUR times is asking a lot. I'm happy to sit with the minority on this one, though. It is clearly an important and pivotal moment in cinematic history and it's influence is clear. It's a technically inspiring film with a droll and insipid story. Not one of my favourites.
2014 / Director. Craig Johnson.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Saturday Night Live alumni Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader ditch their comical personas in THE SKELETON TWINS and the result is a profoundly moving and deeply sombre drama, which explores the everlasting bond between two siblings. They play twins who have been estranged for over a decade because of a past scandal. Both are stuck in life. Both are suicidal. His failed attempt to kill himself brings them together and she asks him to move in with her. He is proudly gay yet feels stigmatised and she is settled down and married but feels trapped. Together they confide in each other and rekindle the strong bond they once had. This is a rock solid little film that maintains a level of modesty, despite the temptation to exploit its cast's comical talents. Having said that, both Wiig and Hader are given room to flex their comedic rapport and when they do, they smash it. They never overstep the mark and when they're funny, they're also heartbreaking. Director Craig Johnson clearly understands the material and pushes the storytelling in an eccentrically ernest direction. I would say that Alexander Payne and Ted Demme are clear influences on his style. Luke Wilson is also great as her oblivious, yet ever suffering, husband (gee I love that guy) and Ty Burrell embraces the opportunity to shake off his pigeonholed TV persona. THE SKELETON TWINS was a constant emotional rollercoaster. It had me laughing out loud and then with a lump in my throat moments later. It's poignant and heart wrenching honesty definitely did a number on me and I came away from feeling exhausted and elated all at once. I highly recommend this one. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are phenomenal.
2013 / Director. Kelly Reichardt.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
As I approached NIGHT MOVES there was a lot going against it. The title is terrible and uninspired (Gene Hackman's NIGHT MOVES owns the honour) and the synopsis suggested an eco-warrior type of preach. Add to that the fact that I have never warmed to Jesse Eisenberg as a performer (his "range" is debatable). What the film did have going for it, however, was an appealing wilderness aesthetic, the allure of a dark brooding plot and direction from Kelly Reichardt, whose previous films I have loved (Wendy & Lucy, Meek's Cutoff and Old Joy). Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard play three environmental activists who plot to blow up a dam wall, which is part of a wider hydroelectricity scheme. The film follows their preparations right through to the execution and then documents the aftermath. Thankfully there is no eco-message and the film isn't trying to be some kind of cautionary tale. Instead it depicts the characters are environmental terrorists and does not cast a forgiving light over them. The performances are all good... yes, even Jesse Eisenberg, who proves that less is more. He offers a subdued and withdrawn turn as the film's main protagonist and his character is lost in a perpetually deep seated state of inner-reflection. Kelly Reichardt has created a slow, drawn out drama and allows the mood and atmosphere to emphasis the story. In fact the characters almost seem insignificant as they play second fiddle to an overall melancholic and foreboding textural ambience (does that sound wanky?). No doubt NIGHT MOVES will test some people's patience but if you're familiar with Reichardt's films then you will relish her style.... but I'm still struggling with the title. LOL
2015 / Director. Justin Reardon.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Recently THEY CAME TOGETHER attempted to deconstruct the rom-com genre while also trying to BE a rom-com. It was a disaster of a film and (in my opinion) one of the year's worst. PLAYING IT COOL, on the other hand, attempts the same thing and absolutely nails it. Chris Evans plays a screen writer who has a talent for writing action films. When the studio promises him the next big action contract it comes with the condition that he must first write a rom-com. It's a deal he cannot refuse but it is also a challenge that he struggles to meet. In reality he has been unlucky in love and has no qualification to fall back on. Then he meets a woman, becomes infatuated and is faced with one almighty catch... she is in a relationship. The general crux of the story is fairly generic, which is the whole point. It takes what is an already familiar idea and strips it apart, layer by layer. With a strong fantasy element to help convey the inner-workings of the character's mind, PLAYING IT COOL becomes a strangely original and refreshing entry into the genre. Chris Evans is excellent in the lead and Michelle Monaghan is perfectly matched to him. They are also supported by a wonderful ensemble including Martin Starr (I love the guy), Luke Wilson, Topher Grace and Philip Baker Hall. There's also a string of cameos from folks like Patrick Wurburton, Beverly d'Angelo and Ioan Gruffudd among others. It never really oversteps its mark or becomes too sappy and director Justin Reardon clearly had full control of the reins. Sometimes movies sneak up on you and surpass every expectation. PLAYING IT COOL is one of them.
1992 / Director. Guy Magar
Review by Justine Ryan.
Continuing on from STEPFATHER 2, this second sequel begins with Jerry Blake/Gene Clifford going to a dingy, backroom plastic surgeon who successfully performs the operation. The stepfather dons a new identity –now known as Keith Grant (Robert Wightman) and once again is welcomed into a very friendly little town called Deer View.
Keith settles into his new life working at a tree and plant nursery. He soon meets widow, Christine Davis (Priscilla Barnes) and her pre-teen, wheel chair bound, computer sleuthing son, Andy (David Tom). Their courtship is short and they marry. Keith’s frustrations begin to flair towards Andy because of his unwillingness to try and walk (Andy was hit by a car and the doctors think his injuries are psychosomatic) and his lack of interest in father and son activities.
Keith and Christine also discover that she is infertile . Nothing seems to stay perfect in the stepfather’s world. The viewer can almost feel sorry for him at his perseverance in each film at trying to obtain and live the “American dream” and always somehow being disappointed one way or another.
Enter Deer View’s newest resident, Jennifer Ashley (Season Hubley) and her son, Nicky (Adam Ryen). Keith begins a relationship with her on the side, thinking he will start over. One day while delivering flowers to Christine (who is the local school principal), his two world’s nearly collide when he discovers that Jennifer is enrolling Nicky into the same school that Andy is going to. I won’t reveal anymore of the film but there are other interesting side subplots like the town’s priest, Father Brennan who reluctantly helps Andy with his sleuthing once he becomes suspicious of Keith and his past.
As a loyal fan of The Stepfather films, I didn’t love this film upon it’s initial release. Terry O’Quinn does not return as the stepfather but instead we have Robert Wightman filling his shoes. I revisited the movie in 2012, and I must say re-watching it as an adult, it is a much better film than I recalled. Wightman is no O’Quinn but he manages to deliver a decent performance. I think viewers won’t get too hung up on the absence of O’Quinn.
Director Guy Magar stays faithful to the spirit of the first two films and thankfully the Stepfather’s whistle of “Camptown Races” makes it return. Overall, I like this film a lot and it grows on me even more with each viewing.
1947 / Akira Kurosawa.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Akira Kurosawa's ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY is a sweet romantic drama set in Japan during the allied occupation. Two lovers meet on a train platform one Sunday morning and spend the entire day together. With only 35 yen (about a buck) to their name they're forced to pass the time without spending money and their poverty-stricken situation forces them to evaluate their lives. He is a pessimistic and depressed man who had lost his optimistic outlook on life when he returned from the war... whereas she is an upbeat, positive thinker who allows herself to dream big and live happily. It is a wonderfully romantic film with a strong social conscience as Kurosawa explores various social issues of the time. The film's aesthetic and production design is vibrant and depicts the occupied nation with a strong Westernised (American) atmosphere. The fundamental theme running throughout the story is the large discrepancy between the rich and the poor. The society depicted in ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY seems devoid of a middle class and Kurosawa's personal judgements are expressed candidly during a strange and unexpected break of the 4th wall when the actors address the audience directly. In what can best be described as a curtain call, the actress stares down the camera and encourages the viewers to applaud. It is only with such support that the male character can pick himself up and carry on with dignity. It's a bizarre moment that feels very clunky. What is an otherwise sincere and charming romance film is derailed by the filmmaker's audacious and unapologetic politics. If you research the film you will learn that this bold tactic divided audiences and the film was practically run out of theatres. With that said and with the benefit of time, the movie is a wonderful time capsule and I can't imagine it existing without that odd expression. Almost every shot is brilliantly captured and the artistic wonder of ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY screams Kurosawa. It's ever so slightly overlong and could have done without a few distracting sequences but it is, nevertheless, a delightful and heartwarming romance.
1991 / Director. Akira Kurosawa.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Akira Kurosawa was 81 years old and legally blind when he made his second last film RHAPSODY IN AUGUST... mull that over for a moment. He had also just come from directing his most personal film to date, DREAMS. That film was an existential surrealist film that explored some of Kurosawa's deepest fears and inner thoughts. The running theme throughout the film was the effect that the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on him. These sentiments carried over into RHAPSODY IN AUGUST with the film telling the story of an old woman who recalls the war to her grandchildren. Set in a remote village the old woman is caring for her grandkids for the summer, while their parents are visiting a lost relative in Hawaii. Their curiosity and ignorance of the war inspires questions and the old woman finds herself describing the loss of her husband and the physical effects the Nagasaki bomb had on the friends who survived. She, herself, bears the effects with her thin hair and cranial scarring. The film was heavily criticised upon its release (even from Japanese commentators) for washing over Japan's own dark side of the war. While the film doesn't paint America as the bad guy, it is heavily critical of their part in the war and there is no question that this is a patriotic love letter to Japan's wartime history. When you consider Kurosawa's age at the time and his contribution to cinema, I think he had well and truly earned his right to express his views however he pleased. The film itself is minimalist with most of the story unfolding in conversation at the woman's humble country home. It is far less visual than most of his other work and with a stoical theme lining the narrative, it works well. The dialogue is where the film is let down the most. It is poorly written and appears to be poorly delivered... but of course much of that fault may lie with a bad transcript of subtitles. It is far from Kurosawa's best (very very far) but it is no less significant when you consider his age and failing health at the time. Richard Gere also appears in the film as one of the woman's American nephews and he delivers a generous performance. Most of his lines are in Japanese and apparently he learned them all phonetically. I don't speak Japanese myself but his performance seems to be solid enough in comparison to all of the other players. Imagine being 81 years old and blind... then imagine making a film. Incredible. A true master of his craft to the end!
2014 / Director. Kiah Roache-Turner.
Review by Jarret Gahan.
When a mysterious meteor shower turns three quarters of a regional community into ravenous flesh-eaters whilst simultaneously reanimating the dead, the paths of three strangers are thrust together. Barry, Benny & Frank, through their varying degrees of tragedy, have a unified sense of survival and with a plan to rescue Barry's sister Brooke from a classified government research facility, they have purpose.
After the deluge of z-films in the past decade, particularly zom-coms, it's refreshing to witness one that takes a distinct approach to a dying subgenre. By bridging elements of a road movie with motifs of the aforementioned subgenre and several unique twists of its own, WYRMWOOD proves to be a varied and engaging ride. Unapologetically Australian in its colloquial dialogue, true-blue characters and scenic landscapes, the film teeters on stereotype but manages to efficaciously utilize them to drive both the narrative and humour in a manner that separates this film from the myriad of its ilk.
While successfully forging its own identity, WYRMWOOD also plays as a love letter to the subgenre with many an interlaced reference throughout, including a non-too-subtle nod to the vastly underrated RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3. Influence is non-exclusive to subgenre, with digitally altered colour schemes in key sequences to create hyper-real visuals that mimic those of a comic book while tribute is also paid to Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD TRILOGY through sharply cut prelude-to-action montages.
It's evident that WYRMWOOD is work of passion for first-time feature filmmaker Kiah Roache-Turner, as while it's rough around the edges, almost guerrilla-like at times, it gusts with a love and deep understanding of not only genre but the very medium itself.