Of all the movies listed in the SUFF schedule, It Stains The Sands Red was the one that had me the most intrigued.
Directed by Colin Minihan, one half of the Vicious Brothers who brought Grave Encounters to the screen, but don’t let that deter you from seeing this movie.
I did wonder how the premise of a woman stranded out in the Nevada desert during a zombie apocalypse whilst being pursued by a a lone walking dead, could possibly maintain its narrative without straining at the seems.
Whilst it does struggle in places, there is some nice enough moments broken with flashbacks detailing Molly’s dilemma.
Having fallen from grace and found her life spiral out of control Molly has landed in with a questionable crowd.
Heavily reliant on drugs, her clouded mind begins to clear as she is forced to endure the environment and head for an airport and ultimately salvation.
The fact that It Stains The Sands Red never shies away from what it means to be a woman from dealing with menstruation and turning that into empowerment is a huge salute to Minihan’s direction.
Brittany Allen cuts a fine performance as our lead Molly who is believable as we learn that she had left behind her son in what she believes is the safe hands of her sister.
The realisation soon sinks in that she must act, and take responsibility for him by getting back to him but not before going through a journey of humiliation, desperation, and appreciation.
One could argue that the BIG flaw of this film comes in the guise of the afore-mentioned Zombie, who Molly dubs Smalls after the size of his appendage.
But to state that means that you miss the point of the film, where Molly must find redemption in order to get her life back on track.
Her domestication of Smalls, ultimately lends her to adapt and by looking out for him, she can take on the skills she needs to look after her son once again.
By the time the film concludes, Molly could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with Ash (Evil Dead) in Her battle for survival.
Yes, she is a bad-ass, but needed to be forced into the unimaginable to get there.
This might not be for everyone and those expected an all-out gore fest in the heart of a desert wasteland maybe sorely disappointed, but I for one really enjoyed It Stains The Blood Red and feel that Minihan is growing from strength to strength as a director.
- Paul Farrell