It Stains the Sands Red (2017)
Starring Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir
Directed by Colin Minihan
One of the best lines in Colin Minihan’s zombie film It Stains the Sands Red is when a lone flesh-chewer is stalking a couple as they remain locked in their vehicle, and at one point the man says to his girlfriend, “Give it like 5 minutes, and maybe he’ll lose interest!” Oh, if those words were more truly spoken, my good man.
What exactly is keeping the zombie sub-genre alive? Fresh ideas? New direction with each passing TV show or film? Whatever it is, this undead train just keeps a rollin’, and I honestly cannot foresee it derailing any time soon.
The film picks up seemingly after the zombie apocalypse has devastated Las Vegas, and we’re speeding down a dusty stretch just outside the city limits with Molly (Allen) and her “boyfriend” (Riedinger) as they hope to make it to a nearby airfield where they’ll be hopping a puddle-jumper to Mexico – much safer idea, you two. As a zombie film would dictate, their vehicle has a bit of traction trouble after an unscheduled stop, and that’s when Molly’s beau becomes chow for the undead – surprise, surprise.
It’s now all in Molly’s hands… or shall I say in her 6-inch stripper heels as she’s forced to traverse the blistering sands to escape…you guessed it, ONE zombie. What starts off as a dizzying sprint suddenly slows to a staggeringly depressing shuffle through the desert as she realizes this rotting bag of suited death won’t be catching up to her anytime soon unless she lets him.
The odd thing about this film is that after a while, Molly begins to feel a bit of sympathy towards her dogged pursuer, and at one point he even comes to her rescue after an attack from two supposed saviors – odd, I know, but this is the kind of thing that separates this particular presentation from so many other zombie flicks before it. Is it goofy at times? Of course it is – what did you press play for, a compelling dramatic storyline? There are numerous instances where one would scream at the screen for Molly to finish her falconer off once and for all, but that isn’t necessarily what Minihan is after, and oddly enough it works to an extent. There is a bit of “personal regret” to sift through on Molly’s part, but it does break the film up a little bit, especially for those who might begin to get a bit tired of the open-chase format.
Also a slight bit of note: If you’re not particularly a fan of a used feminine hygiene product being implemented as a bit of zombie bait, then you might want to look away when the scene readies itself.
Overall, Allen’s performance as the stripper hell-bent for leather in hot weather is an admirable one, with enough mild humor infused to swerve up the straightforward premise. It Stains the Sands Red won’t bowl over any zombie aficionado with a wrecking ball, but its skewered delivery could be just enough to make ’em sway when the wind kicks in – worth a one-time peek.