In the throes of a zombie apocalypse, a troubled woman from Las Vegas with a dark past finds herself stranded in the desert with a lone and ravenous zombie on her tail. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58% (Critics) / 34% (Audience)
Directed By: Colin Minihan
Written By: Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz
Starring: Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir
Studio: Dark Sky Films
When this movie focused on the long and winding chase between a very determined zombie and Molly, the movie’s heroine who is a ditzy coke-sniffing deadbeat mother, IT STAINS THE SANDS RED is a pretty interesting and at times fun watch. Molly cracks wise with her relentless pursuer, makes dumbass mistake after dumbass mistake that almost gets her turned into zombie food and over time seems more likely to be killed by the harsh Nevada desert environment than by the hungry undead guy chasing her. That struggle for survival that fluctuates from darkly comic to downright horrific really works.
When Molly encounters other human beings is when things tend to fall apart for me with this movie. None of the characters she meets are very interesting and some are just downright terrible. More time with the damsel and dead guy would have been a smarter move.
I also really didn’t care about Molly’s backstory of abandoning her child and all of her guilt over that decision. Which meant I also didn’t care about Molly’s quest to get from the desert to the suburbs to rescue her son before he fell victim to the burgeoning zombie apocalypse.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Brittany Allen as Molly though. She had to do a lot of heavy lifting in this film since she was either doing scenes alone or playing off of a snarling zombie and she pulled it off very gamely.
The tonal shift this movie takes when Molly gets raped by one of the escaped convicts she mistakenly thinks are her rescuers was really jarring and actually didn’t need to happen at all.
Final Verdict: IT STAINS THE SANDS RED is an uneven but ultimately watchable film that doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to the zombie genre but does try to be something original even if it doesn’t always succeed. Some things are more successful than others though and an unfortunate inclusion of an unnecessary rape scene really puts a dark cloud over a movie that has some distinctive charm.