Director – Tom Wadlow (Hit + Run)
Starring – Shameer Seepersand (Cannibals and Carpet Fitters), Jessica Messenger (Devil’s Tower), and Mark Drake (Nazi Vengeance)
Release Date – 2013
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “In the end, isolation is the lease of your worries”
Zombies are now officially ingrained into pop culture and it going to take a huge cultural phenomenon to shake them off. This was actually prophesied by director Robert Rodriguez on the set of his 1998 sci-fi/horror classic The Faculty. Rodriguez said that in 10 years or so the world of horror would be dominated by the undead. Jump to 2007 and he directed Planet Terrorwhich was his contribution to theGrindhouse double feature.
Just 3 years later The Walking Dead premiered and zombie films have never been more popular. A few weeks ago my friends over at Brain Damage and Midnight Releasing sent me the zombie apocalypse flick Wasteland. The title was very disappointing and left me with little hope for the film…which makes me a fool.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a man who is roaming the countryside seeking food, water, and searching for his lost love. She ventured off when the undead first appeared to check on her family and never came back. At night he speaks with other survivors via radio as a way to stay in touch with the outside world.
A group of survivors lose their fight with the undead and leave all their rations and gear to him forcing him to leave his home and find theirs. He soon finds his lost love and discovers she is bitten. He is then forced to kill the only thing that has kept him alive. He then leaves his home and runs into two masked people wielding weapons.
They soon reveal themselves as friendly and find themselves in the middle of a zombie attack where one of them loses their life. This leaves him alone with a teenage girl forcing him to take care of her and giving him something to live for.**Spoiler Alert**
Zombie films has diluted the horror genre right now with so many of these films following the same god damned story. Most follow a survivor or group of survivors that have to fight off the undead while dealing with other issues such as food and other humans. This story has been done to death with several television shows outside of theThe Walking Dead borrowing it. TheWasteland was more of that but for reasons I can not figure out, I actually enjoyed this low budget zombie fair.
The acting in this one is mostly a one man show with Shameer Seepersand running the show. He does a decent job at holding the viewer’s attention but is very poor when it comes to the action scenes. Lucky for us the film only has a few of these scenes. The remainder of the cast is in the film for about 5 minutes or less of screen time. What time they are on screen is solid as well making this cast very well rounded.
The story for this one is one we have seen so many times with shows like TWD, Z Nation, and films like Silent Night Zombie Night, The Mad, Night of the Living Dead, and pretty much every other zombie film you can think of. The film offers up no originality but is able to hold the viewer’s attention. I blame the cast for this and not the story itself.
Finally, the film does have a few kills scenes but they are so rapid and off center of the screen that we, as blood loving horror fans, do not get to fully enjoy them. They are quick when they happen but they are a bit of a let down. Overall, Wasteland is a solid film that is far from original and not as bloody as one would expect from a zombie flick. If you like character driven pieces then this one is up your alley. Check it out!