It Stains the Sands Red is a quirky allegory about adulthood and a stalking zombie.
It Stains the Sands Red is an allegorical post-apocalyptic zombie horror that is a bit weird and quirky, but very original and creative. It has a deeper meaning than is seen at the surface and addresses themes like adulthood, motherhood, responsibilities and has a lot of symbolism and metaphors. With beautiful cinematography, an unconventional heroine and an unconventional zombie, this is a very special and unique film that has an important story to tell.
After a zombie apocalypse has destroyed Las Vegas, stripper Molly flees the city with her boyfriend Nick in his Porsche. His friend has a small plane ready at a small airport in the middle of the desert. But on the road they get car trouble and zombie trouble. After Nick is killed, Molly is left alone and tries to walk through the desert to reach the plane before they leave without her.
Meanwhile she is stalked by a zombie, walks into a sandstorm, is almost raped by two guys instead of rescued and she thinks of her six-year-old son Chase she left behind with her sister in Las Vegas.
Why you should watch it
It Stains the Sands Red starts out as a normal zombie film. With isolation, lost in the desert and a dangerous hungry zombie that follows her. Surviving on water and drugs to keep the hunger away, she proves to be very resourceful in surviving making her a very unconventional heroine. By means of flashbacks we learn more about Molly, her life and her son Chase. She starts out as a selfish drugs abuser who hates men and tries to escape the zombie and the apocalypse, for running away is what she did her whole life.
The film has a unique albeit a confusing tone. The film looks like it’s struggling to find its tone and voice, but when you take a closer look, contrary to Molly it knows exactly where it is going. Small clues gives the audience some idea what the film is trying to say.
The story revolves around Molly. She is the center of the film and her strength and growth define the film. The zombie she calls Smalls is a functional character that follows her, while she gets more insight into her life. That growth is interesting and very originally shown. It’s what makes this film a unique experience.
The desert is beautiful all by itself and the shots are evenly beautiful. Although Molly and Smalls are for most of the time the only characters, due to different shots and angles and great cinematography the film stays interesting and pleasant to look at.
Brittany Allen puts down and excellent Molly. She turns from unlikable into a character you will cheer for. She carries the whole film on her shoulders, with an outstanding performance and great monologues, with Smalls as her audience. He is literally and figuratively her propelling force that keeps her moving, but it also keeps the film moving forward.
Smalls played by Juan Riedinger has a very difficult task to create not a mindless stupid gory zombie, but a real character of importance whom we come to care for, just like Molly does.
In hindsight this film is excellently executed and resulted in a very unique film that deserves to be seen. It’s not a popcorn film but a film you have to chew over what it all means and then the film makes sense and is a well-crafted allegory.
My favorite part
I really liked how the relationship between Molly and Smalls developed. It’s a strange relationship to say the least, especially when it’s a one-way relationship. Molly does all the talking while Smalls does all the walking. The more she tells him things about her life, the more she gets attached to him or maybe to her own life. It opens her eyes, but that doesn’t prevent her from using him in a very effective way. First the tire she puts over his body so he can’t attack her and then she lets him pull the rubber boat with all her supplies. It’s brilliant and fun at the same time.
But weirdly enough he gets attached to her as well, resulting in a heartbreaking moment. Have you ever cried about a dying zombie? Chances are this can be your very first time. And it’s not at all strange. Because therein lies the heart of the film, not their relationship per se, but what it represents.
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
Read more about It Stains the Sands Red:
Cast and crew
It Stains the Sands Red is directed and written by Colin Minihan and cowritten by Stuart Ortiz. It stars Brittany Allen (Molly) and Juan Riedinger (Smalls).
Duration: 92 minutes. Music: Blitz//Berlin. Cinematography: Clayton Moore. Edited by: Colin Minihan. Produced by: Brandon Christensen, Colin Minihan, Stuart Ortiz, Bic Tran. Production companies: Digital Interference Productions, Grasswood Media. Distributed by: Dark Sky Films.
Check the trailer below
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