If you were to listen to the mainstream reviews of It Stains the Sands Red (i.e. Variety or The Hollywood Reporter – how the hell did a low-budget zombie flick get reviews in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter???), you’d probably pass on this film. But listen to those of us who know zombie cinema, who love zombie cinema (Horrorfreak News, Culture Crypt, and Scream Horror Mag, for example, and now Psycho Drive-In); this is one to check out. Directed by Colin Minihan and co-written with Stuart Ortiz (formally known as The Vicious Brothers), It Stains the Sands Red is a novel enough premise to begin with – with a burgeoning zombie apocalypse on the rise, Molly (Brittany Allen) and her boyfriend, neither of whom are the respectable sort, are high-tailing it into the deserts around Las Vegas to a remote airfield where some bad dudes are planning to get them out of Dodge. After some car trouble and some bad shooting, Molly finds herself alone and on the run across the desert on foot with an extremely persistent zombie tracking her every move. With just some junk food, a few bottles of water, and a baggie of cocaine to keep her going, Molly and the zombie, who she affectionately nicknames Small Dick, or Smalls for short, cross the desert, encountering a few more bad dudes, the military, and a healthy dose of madness before the film slides into fairly comfortable territory with its conclusion. But honestly, it’s a payoff that works given all the groundwork that has been laid up until then. Some might complain that the film is tonally all over the place, but that’s some horseshit right there. Minihan and Ortiz’s script does a fantastic job slowly raising the stakes and Brittany Allen gives a virtuoso performance, going from what seems to be a shallow cokehead to a crazy person to then finally a responsible adult hero. I don’t want to say much more than that, as Allen’s transformation is a joy to watch. Molly’s sarcastic, caustic, desperate, angry, determined, and crazy, and Allen nails every shifting moment. This is a film that lives or dies on the performance of the lead, and Allen brings hidden depths to the role, owning every scene. There’s mostly just one zombie through the course of the film (until the climax, anyway), played with verve by Juan Riedinger and as weird as it is to type this sentence, it’s true: the relationship that develops between Molly and Smalls is really the heart and soul of the film. Sure, Molly’s got a kid she misses, but really it’s all about Smalls. Again, to say too much would ruin it, but there are some really strange things going on here and I loved every bizarre twist the story takes us through. Hell, I’d love to see this staged as a live performance. I think it could work. The emotional journey that Molly takes is an experience that only the most jaded viewer could dismiss. This is one of the good ones, folks. Take it from the guy who watches zombie movies for a solid week and a half every Easter. It Stains the Sands Red is a fairly low-budget affair and Minihan and Ortiz make the most of every dollar, filming without permits, shooting in some shady-looking sets, and apparently investing in a drone for some overhead shots that really do add value to the overall feel of the film. Fuck crane shots, man. It’s the dawn of a new day. See larger image It Stains the Sands Red [Blu-ray] New From: $19.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.