A short review of “It Stains the Sands Red” (2017)

“It Stains the Sands Red” (2017) is a pretty decent zombie film; I’d rate it an 8 out of 10.

The fun starts with a truly impressive aerial shot of Las Vegas in the midst of a full blown zombie apocalypse — it’s great special effects work, and it’s almost enough to compensate entirely for the limited scope of the story that follows it.  (This film focuses largely on one stranded woman being pursued by one zombie antagonist through the Nevada desert.)

Although much of the film might be too slow for some horror fans, it’s actually surprisingly intelligent.  The movie focuses on things often neglected in survival horror scenarios like this one — factors like exhaustion, the elements, firearms proficiency, the availability of basic utilities and even the availability of addictive drugs.  There’s more to admire too — there’s a plot twist late in the game that I thought was skillfully executed.  (I won’t spoil it here.)  Finally, our ostensibly addle-brained anti-heroine does a couple of things that I never would have thought of in order to survive.

It also boasts an incongruously beautiful setting.  (This was shot in Nevada’s “Valley of Fire.”)

“It Stains the Sands Red” isn’t perfect.  There are a couple of stupid parts, particularly near the end of the story.  (Were these otherwise talented screenwriters just running out of steam?)  And there is one surprise plot development that will be sure to have some genre fans rolling their eyes and groaning.

Also, the makeup effects for the monster were good enough, but not stellar.  (Like many longtime fans of zombie horror, I think I’ve been spoiled by the genius of Greg Nicotero and Tom Savini.)

I ‘d still name this as a good movie, however, and I’d recommend it.

 

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