Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Just a Girl and Her Zombie, or Thoughts on It Stains the Sands Red

So, full disclosure: I was basically over zombies when I started this blog.  And while the premise for It Stains the Sands Red (2017) sounds promising, the cynical cineaste (I like the sound of that) in me says what better way to cheap out on production values by having a single zombie chase a single cast member in the Las Vegas desert, instead of making the effort and shelling out the cash for a full-on zombie apocalypse.
Canadian actor Brittany Allen from Warehouse 13 and Defiance is Molly, a Las Vegas party girl stranded in the desert and trying to make it to a sketchy drug dealer air base in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.  She has a 30-mile trek on foot ahead of her, along with a supply of water, vodka and cocaine.  She also has a single zombie on her trail that she nicknames Smalls, for reasons I’ll let the movie provide.  Smalls is portrayed by Juan Riedinger from Narcos and Grave Encounters (2011).  The movie is part survival story, and part one-sided therapy session in the desert, which can generate a lot of emotional investment from the audience, if you’re into that kind of thing.  
The movie ends about 10 minutes after it should've ended and strays into Resident Evil (2002) territory, but you can't fault the filmmakers for wanting to appeal to the widest zombie aficionado spectrum available.  Written and directed by Colin Minihan of from Grave Encounters, It Stains the Sands Redalso has a surprisingly optimistic ending.  I mean, as optimistic as the zombie apocalypse can be.

Despite my misgivings, It Stains the Sands Red is one of the best zombie movies of 2017, but that doesn’t mean much in the over-saturated, post-Walking Dead world we find ourselves in.  Reminiscent of Kerry Condon as Clara in 30 Days Without an Accident (Season 4, 2013), the movie could easily be a stand-alone episode from that series or Fear the Walking Dead.  There’s just too many zombies now, and believe me, that’s a sentence I’d never thought I’d write.








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