Clearly the best way to start your summer right is with a healthy diet of tribal warfare! There is no better way to lean out then watching a young warrior looking to avenge the slaughtering of his tribe by a group of heartless brutes. Toa Fraser’s THE DEAD LANDS is an fast paced thriller with amazing choreography that makes it one of the better action films this year. Take a little part of THE RAID and mix it with Mel Gibson’s APOCALYPTO and you will get a clear picture of what is to see here. Spears and two hand weapon combat are on full display in this bloody flick which puts a smile on the face of this combat fan.
From the trailers alone I felt this would be something special. We often see archaic entries like this but never with so much detail in the fighting choreography. The story is plain and simple and reminds me of other barbaric themed movies as we see a young man looking to avenge the wrongdoings of his people. He’s out skilled and out number and must enlist the help of a so called demon to fight the monsters that have taken everything from him. If you aren’t shaking and quaking by the time you are finished watching this film then you need to check your heartbeat. The fighting sequences were flawless and can rival any period action film released in the past ten years. I said shaking because there is a distinct way that the soldiers in the evil tribe prepare themselves for war that looks like they would hands down win a pop locking contest from the 80’s. No dancing here as these warriors are fierce and ready to kill but had their hands full with the monster of the THE DEAD LANDS.
I won’t spoil for you what this monster is but if you are a fan of classic Kung fu movies such as myself then you will see this is timeless story arch that still works to this day. With all the hatred and violence in the world it’s nice to escape to a time when people fought more for just social status and criminally insane injustices. There was a time when people fought for their land, their food and their overall well being. While it may not be as glamorous as a social media add it’s a stark reminder that with all our advances of technology today we are not too far off from these people. In the past few years we have seen a return to some high quality action thrillers and The Dead Lands will be one you want to make sure you see.
4 / 5
THE DEAD LANDS is directed by Toa Fraser and stars James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, and Te Kohe Tuhaka. Its is now available on demand courtesy Magnolia Pictures.