Event Report: FANGORIA’s “WYRMWOOD” Screening at NYC’s IFC Center!Books/Art/Culture,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Last night, FANGORIA fans packed the house at NYC’s excellent IFC Center, which served as host for our free screening of IFC Midnight’s Australian zombie shoot-’em-up WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD. And while many in the horror community have complained about the surge of zombie fiction in post-WALKING DEAD pop culture, it’s this writer’s pleasure to say that WYRMWOOD is a kick-ass return to form for the genre, which brings some innovation and humor to the petrifying proceedings in a big way.
As dozens upon dozens of fright fans made their way into the theater, the crowd felt energetic yet somewhat curious. After all, the film brought down the house at Fantastic Fest just months prior, and has become one of the most buzzed about zombie titles around. Yet the fans of the film didn’t quite know what to expect, especially with an ad campaign that stressed the film’s similarities to THE ROAD WARRIOR. But soon enough, after a short introduction from yours truly, the lights went down and we found out for ourselves what WYRMWOOD was all about.
Directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, the film feels like a mix of THE SIGNAL, NIGHT OF THE COMET, THE BATTERY and 28 DAYS LATER, but all with the edge and audacity of George Miller’s MAD MAX films. WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD’s humor comes fairly early, which definitely helped fans separate the flick from the onslaught of super-serious zombie tales; the incredible amount of bloodshed doesn’t hurt either. But what all these comparisons do not do for the film is emphasize just how wonderfully original the film is: while definitely influenced, there’s more than enough truly great moments and aspects to the zombie lore that make WYRMWOOD one of a kind.
But what really made WYRMWOOD a memorable night out was how much of an audience picture the film is; in fact, if you’re an NYC resident, this writer would definitely stress that you check the film out when it plays at the IFC Center this weekend. Every gory shock, hysterical laugh or clever twist had the audience cheering, laughing and grinning throughout, and when the film came to a close, an earned round of applause broke out among the satisfied FANGORIA fans. Screw “cult classic”, this is a genre gem in the making, and one we can only hope to see more of.
FANGORIA would like to thank everyone who came out last night to the screening, as well as IFC Midnight and Mike Winton for helping make it happen. Keep a sharp eye out for more FANGORIA screenings as they come, and make sure to check out WYRMWOOD on VOD and in select theaters tomorrow!