The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands

Toa Fraser (2014)

102min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Looking for a dynamic action fantasy with honour codes, violent battle scenes and a total lack of product placement? Try this atmospheric New Zealand production, set in the period of that country's history before the arrival of the first white settlers. James Rolleston stars as Hongi, who is accused by a passing tribe - led by the devious Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) - of desecrating a holy burial ground. Though he's innocent of the crime, it looks bad for the young man. But when he is spared, Wirepa's apparent leniency causes Hongi's trusting family to drop their guard. Overnight, Hongi's entire tribe is wiped out in a vicious surprise attack. Though outnumbered, he is determined to take his revenge, but the only way to catch up with Wirepa's men is through the forbidden Dead Lands, an area ruled by a terrifying cannibal warrior. Filmed entirely in the Maori language, this is an exotic and satisfying alternative to the average Hollywood punch-'em-up, an offbeat war story with a neat sideline in ancient magic-realist philosophy.

Cast & Crew

Hongi James Rolleston
The Warrior Lawrence Makoare
Wirepa Te Kohe Tuhaka
Rangi Xavier Horan
Tane George Henare
Mehe Raukura Turei
Grandmother Rena Owen
Mana Pana Hema-Taylor
Ka Calvin Tuteao
Director Toa Fraser
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Other Information

Language: Maori +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: IconGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVDReleased on: 29 May 2015