31 Days Of Horror: “It Stains the Sands Red”

 

 
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Direction
8.0


 
Acting
7.0


 
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6.0


 
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7.0


 
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7.0


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Posted October 5, 2017 by

 
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You gotta give credit, where credit is due. Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz (AKA The Vicious Brothers) accomplished something that is very difficult to pull off. They made a zombie movie that stands out, among the thousands that have come before. Not with a massive amount of special effects, or a star-studded cast, but by stripping the “Zombie apocalypse” theme down to bare bones and focusing on a tale of perseverance.

After Las Vegas falls to the undead, Molly (Brittany Allen) hitches a ride with her criminal boyfriend Nick (Merwin Mondesir) and the two set off across the desert, to meet up with Nick’s “associates” at an abandoned airfield. The plan is to fly to an island, where the infected won’t be a threat, and live a life of secluded luxury for the rest of their days. That plan quickly derails, though, when their car gets stuck on a stretch of desert highway, that is over 30 miles from their destination. When a lone zombie (Juan Riedinger) appears and sends Nick to the afterlife, Molly flees into the desert and must make it to the airfield on foot while also keeping distance between her and the zombie.

The film demands a lot of Brittany Allen, and she is more than up to the task. Molly has a sad past full of regret, and life as a Vegas stripper has made her even more rough around the edges. Allen does an excellent job at portraying Molly as a woman who is certainly damaged, but also determined to crawl out of her self-made pit and live a better life. Slowly, Molly even develops a strange kind of bond with her zombie stalker (who she names “Smalls”) ,and the movie has a handful of genuine laughs as a result.

Minihan and Ortiz have breathed life into worn out sub-genres before, and they hit another home run here. Making their story a one-on-one battle of wills, and adding a humanizing touch, The Vicious Brothers show that character development and originality are just as important as action and blood (although those can be fun too). You will notice a slew of typical, regurgitated zombie flicks appearing this October, but “It Stains the Sands Red” is one you shouldn’t miss. It is a tense, well-crafted zombie film and deserves to be mentioned alongside the best of the genre.


MikeD

 


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