Writer: Colin Minihan, Stuart Ortiz (Screenplay)
Starring: Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir, Kristopher Higgins, Andrew Supanz, Nico David
Plot: In the throes of a zombie apocalypse, a troubled woman from Las Vegas with a dark past finds herself stranded in the desert with a lone and ravenous zombie on her tail.
Tagline – If the heat doesn’t kill you, something else will.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Tense Thriller
Story: It Stains the Sands Red starts as Molly (Allen) and Nick (Mondesir) are getting out of Las Vegas after a zombie outbreak, breaking down on the side of the road through the desert, the two find themselves being stalked by a single zombie. Nick killed, leaves Molly alone, the problem is she can’t shake the zombie who she nicknames Smalls (Riedinger), who just follows her through the desert.
Continuing her journey Molly learns the hard way that Smalls isn’t the only danger she is facing in the desert. Can she make it to the airport before it is too late.
Thoughts on It Stains the Sands Red
Characters – Molly is our main character, she is party animal and stripper with a drug addiction using Nick to get out of the chaos that is zombie riddled Las Vegas. She is left along to make her way for the desert in hopes of finding the airport which should offer her safety. The problem is that she is joined by a zombie that follows her like a dog becoming almost like her guardian angel. Smalls is the zombie that is following Molly, he appears from nowhere only to constantly following her through the desert, he starts to listen to instructions to stay with her. Anyone else we meet are only used in small amounts of scenes including Nick the man that was taking Molly to safety and others along the journey.
Performances – Brittany Allen in the leading role is excellent, she must carry the film with her performance and even though her characters starts as an unlikeable character as the film continues her performance makes you care for the character. Juan Riedinger as the zombie is the next closest to any getting screen time and with the help of the make-up department never looks out of place in his role.
Story – The story here is very simple, we follow one woman during a zombie outbreak that finds herself stranded in the middle of the desert with a single zombie following her at a pace that she can easily outpace. The simplistic survival instinct that is shown by Molly from early in the movie. We have a character that must face her own demons that she gets to face in her search for survival, proving that her past can be what she needs to keep her going.
Horror – The horror in this movie focuses on the desperate attempt to survive in a zombie infested world, while we get to look at the idea that zombies are not the only threat within this new chaos.
Settings – The film keeps us in the desert for the most part, it shows us just how desperate Molly is to survive in this world that one of the most dangerous places in the world could be her only hope.
Special Effects – The effects are practical for the most part, we don’t get many and they are used for a mix of the zombies and the kills.
Final Thoughts – This is a good twist on the zombie genre, following the solo woman that must get survive with her lone follower a zombie.
Overall: Standout zombie movie.
This is under N because of the director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Roy Jacobsen (Screenplay)
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Alexander Morton, Stewart Porter, Maarten Stevenson, Matthew Zajac, Gordon Brown, Gary McCormack
Plot: Forced for some time to be a fighting slave, a pagan warrior escapes his captors with a boy and joins a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: What Was This?
Story: Valhalla Rising starts as One Eye (Mikkelsen) is forced into fights to prove his owner has the strongest fighter, waiting for his chance to escape, he does joined by The Boy (Stevenson) the two go in search for something more, when they join Kare (Lewis) as a Crusader heading to the Holy Land.
As the journey continues, One Eye slowly sees the Crusaders start to lose their own minds, believing they are doing God’s will, with their blind following, while One Eye proves just how dangerous he is.
Thoughts on Valhalla Rising
Characters – One Eye is a slave in early mankind, he is forced into fights, where he always kills the enemies, after he escapes, he becomes a warrior that leads people in a direction they aren’t ready to go down. He doesn’t say a word. Kare, Gorm and Eirik are Christian Vikings from the Crusades looking for the Holy Land, they each believe there is something different in the message sent to them with One Eye, which sees them lose control between themselves.
Performances – Mads Mikkelsen is the highlight of the film here, he keeps his character looking mysterious, while also being deadly. The rest of the cast might handle the dialogue which fills in a lot of the story, they don’t do much else in the film.
Story – The story follows a slave kept for fighting that breaks free going on his own adventure leading a group of Crusaders into the depths of a place they haven’t been to before. This is a story that doesn’t seem to get very deep, with most of the story being travelling and see how blind the Crusaders would be in their beliefs and see one man break free and becoming a leader, the ending will leave you scratching your head though.
Action/Fantasy – The action in the film follows the fight sequences that One Eye goes through, though a lot of action is being held back from what could happen, with the fantasy side of the film showing us just how the world doesn’t seem as real as the characters believe it is.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show the new discoveries that the character go on along their journey.
Special Effects – The effects are used for the brutality of the fights, which show us just what is going on in the fights.
Scene of the Movie – One Eye’s first fight.
Final Thoughts – This isn’t the most engaging film you will see, it seems to have plenty of walking and symbolism around the early era of the Crusades.
Overall: Something or Nothing.