Finding an original idea within the zombie sub-genre of horror is near impossible so when a movie promises something a bit different it’s worth getting excited about. It Stains the Sands Red is one such film. A zombie horror that is something a bit different, up to a point.
A zombie apocalypse is occurring. How and why are not important questions. It’s happening and civilisation is falling. We only know this by meeting Molly (Brittany Allen) and her ‘boyfriend’ Nick (Merwin Mondesir). They have fled Las Vegas in a car but break down in the desert while on their way to meet up with some friends at a remote airfield in order to catch a plane ride out of the country.
The pair are then attacked by a lone zombie who kills Nick forcing Molly to run out into the desert on foot. She decides to continue towards the airfield but makes the unfortunate discovery that this zombie is persistent. It might be slow moving but it won’t stop.
Cool idea, right?
It really holds up well for three quarters of its run time too. Relying heavily on Brittany Allen’s performance, she is a fairly unlikable character at first but as the situation becomes more and more dire you’ll find yourself warming to her. She never really takes the threat of the zombie, who she names Smalls (Juan Riedinger), seriously as he is so slow. However, as he continues to follow her, as she runs out of food and water, struggles for sleep, he becomes her primary focus. So much so that she begins to see him as a friend even using him to get out of a very dicey situation.
As zombies go he gets way more character development then most!
This dynamic shift is initially interesting but as the movie reaches its climax it ends up rushing it and making it all seem a bit too forced. That is one problem but the bigger one is that it doesn’t end when it should, instead focusing on Molly deciding to find the child she gave up for adoption years before. It’s such a radical change for the movie and ends up treading the same worn path every zombie horror has before. Such a shame for a movie with such an original concept.
Well worth a watch for most of its runtime, just don’t expect a satisfying finale.
It Stains the Sands Red