When it comes to getting straight to the point, It Stains the Blood Red does everything right.
We’re plunged straight into an apocalyptic scene as the camera tracks over Las Vegas in flames. Buildings and cars are damaged and destroyed and two typical looking Vegas residents Nick (Merwin Mondesir) and Molly (Brittany Allen) are fleeing the scene in a Porsche.
After an impromptu stop, the Posche gets trapped in the sand and before Nick and Molly can shift it a slow lumbering figure heads toward them.
The cause of the apocalypse then becomes clear. As the figure gets closer there’s no mistaking the decayed, rabid appearance of a zombie.
After a failed attempt to ward it off, Molly runs into the dark, followed by the creature. But no matter what she does or how far she runs, she can’t escape it. And with only a smartphone for navigation and limited supplies she must try to make the 30 mile trip to the airfield on foot whilst being pursued by the ravenous flesh eater.
My expectations for It Stains the Sand Red were pretty low. Mainly the zombie genre has been exhausted. Or is it more that I’m exhausted with it? Either way…
Thankfully though, this film offers more than just another end of days scenario at the hands of the undead.
Starting a little clumsily and obviously made on a lower budget things were shaky until Molly fully embarked on her cross desert trek.
Wearing an impractical outfit and carrying a few limited supplies, it seems impossible that she would have any chance of survival. But as she clumsily makes her way across the rugged terrain, her brash personality and more grating traits fade and the viewer is left following someone that is worth investing in. And I’m not talking about the zombie.
The general concept of the film – that we should follow a long running zombie pursuit – is innovative. But It Stains the Sand Red goes further than that. By later building a relationship of sorts between Molly and her predator, an extra dimension is added which, while being a bit silly, is interesting to watch nonetheless.
From the perspective of a reviewer with zombie fatigue, it’s refreshing to watch a film that isn’t filled with hordes of the undead and big battle scenes loaded with headshots and flesh munching. The film ends up being a far more realistic scenario than you might expect, which is a pleasant surprise.
Brittany Allen does a fine job playing the lead role, particularly as the film progresses. As her character is worn down her performance improves. And as the film arrives at it’s more unbelievable parts, she puts in more conviction which seems to help balance the whole thing out.
It Stains the Sand Red is far from perfect. There are a few holes and nonsensical elements which mar the experience somewhat, particularly early on.
But if you can make it past the first 20 minutes, you’ll experience a refreshing film with a few unexpected turns along the way.