‘It Stains the Sands Red’ Review

Just how thin our pop-cultural vogue for zombies can be stretched is the pressing question behind “It Stains the Sands Red,” which hinges almost entirely on the suspense that can be wrung from one woman fighting off one bitey, bitey z-man. Is that premise enough for a feature? Not this one, not quite, although Colin Minihan’s film and his leading lady Brittany Allen can’t be faulted for lack of trying. Watchable if never really scary or funny enough to leave a memorable impression, this middling endeavor should nonetheless pull in a fair number of home-viewing horror fans with its offbeat theme and lurid title.

An impressive opening CGI shot shows Las Vegas in smoking chaos, presumably due to an outbreak of the undead. Fleeing that mess are Molly (Allen) and Nick (Merwin Mondesir), a crass couple whose precise alliance is vague (flashbacks make it clear that she’s a stripper, but whether he’s her lover, dealer, pimp or all the above is a bit murky). Not that it matters for long. Driving down an untrafficked desert road to a remote airstrip where they’ve secured spots on a small plane getting the hell outta Dodge, their car gets stuck in the vicinity of a lone, fugly albeit suit-and-tie-clad zombie (Juan Riedinger).

Nick runs out of bullets trying to stop the unstoppable man-thing, leaving the living duo no option but to hide in their auto until “it” shambles somewhere else. When it seemingly does … well, suffice it to say Nick’s role here is not a lengthy one. Grabbing a few water bottles, assorted recreational drugs and a phone (which contrary to modern horror cliché actually does work, complete with GPS), panicked Molly commences the only path left to her: hiking 36 miles cross-country to the airstrip.

She soon discovers, alas, that she has a companion: That walking corpse won’t go away, seemingly drawn by the scent of her, um, fresh meat. At first it’s easy enough to outpace his lurching progress. But unlike…

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