Director: Damon O’Steen.
Writer: Gary Weeks.
Deadland is a film being distributed by Lightning Entertainment on DVD November 23rd. The trailer for the show has already been posted (here) on 28DLA and this is an independent film that has won many awards for excellence. This recognition is deserved, as writer Gary Weeks pulls double-duty by being the central writer and main character. This post-apocalyptic, gripping story of what happens after the fallout of World War III, shows that love still matters and that following your heart, while often punishing, reaps great rewards.
The film’s central story follows character Sean (Weeks) through a battered landscape and through a whole heap of trouble to find his lost wife, Jane (Emily-Grace Murray). Now, after a pre-emptive nuclear strike from North Korea, the United States is reduced to thirteen provinces. In these provinces are loosely banded military organizations, who are fighting off a lingering plague. This plague is caused by the remnants of the nuclear fallout and through a manufactured disease (biological warfare). Is Sean able to make it through these obstacles to find his wife?
Readers will have to watch the film when it releases, in a short while for the answer. But almost everyone likes a happy ending, don’t they? However, happy endings come at the expense of lost friendships. Very few find themselves in the final act, as warfare riddles the ranks of characters.
Technically, there are no problems in execution, with director Damon O’Steen focusing on the characters. A review of the film at the Gainseville Times notices the well drawn characterizations: “the filmmakers wisely focus on the many intriguing characters, including brilliant crackpot Shiv (William Katt) and surprisingly strong survivor Zoona (Davis Neves), more than the big concept.” The challenges that Sean faces would build character in most anyone and this is one hero who keeps fighting till the end. And some things are worth fighting for.
Even the villains in Deadland are given attention. Their chilling ways of social interaction often involve torture, rape, or humiliation and those watching will soon be cheering for the film’s central character (Sean). The well balanced story does not forget that the schemers and plotters are people too. However, those who peddle in the dehumanization of the weak find themselves on the wrong side in a final climactic battle between the resistance and the Province’s soldiers.
Lightning Entertainment has passed along the extras on this title and they include: trailers, a director and actor commentary, and a making of Deadland featurette. None of these extras can be reviewed here, but the film itself was an enjoyable time. The after effects of a nuclear apocalypse are not so bad when the leading man deservedly gets the girl he is after. See this one November 23rd for a fun jaunt through ashes and action in just under two hours.
Acting/believability/characterizations: 8 (this is the film’s strong point, along with story).
Story/writing/development: 7.5 (believable story, multi-dimensional characters and a worthy climax build lots of suspense and tension).
Overall: 7.75 out of 10 (a few more action scenes could have been added, but the flashbacks really helped this film along – character motivations).
Become a fan of Deadland on Facebook:
Deadland on FB
Visit the film’s website:
Deadland’s Official Website
Or read another glowing review of this title:
Deadland at the Gainesville Times
Or watch the trailer:
Deadland on 28DLA