‘Dead Lands’ Thriller

(Above: Te Kohe Tuhaka in ‘The Dead Lands.’ Source: YouTube video)

The Dead Lands, a supernatural action thriller set in a mythic Maori past, will debut two episodes next Thursday, January 23, on Shudder. The subscription streamer will release subsequent episodes on a weekly basis.

The eight-episode series – a co-production with New Zealand’s TVNZ – is described as “part Ash vs Evil Dead and part Xena: Warrior Princess.” A murdered Maori warrior (Te Kohe Tuhaka) is sent back to the world of the living to redeem his sins. There, he finds a breach between “Life and the Afterlife,” allowing the spirits of the newly dead to stalk the living. He proceeds to team with a young woman (Darneen Christian) to find the cause of the supernatural rift and repair it.

The show, inspired by Maori traditions and histories, is set in a mythical Aoteoroa (the Maori name for New Zealand), and includes scenes fought using the Maori martial art of Mau rākau.

“The modern Maori world thrives because our story traditions insist we respect the past before we explore the potential of the future,” said producer Tainui Stephens.

Shudder subscribers can also watch a 2014 feature of the same name.

In that film, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son (James Rolleston) must avenge his father’s murder – and bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones – following the treacherous slaughter of his tribe. This involves passing through the forbidden and forbidding Dead Lands and allying with the mysterious “Warrior,” a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years.

You can also watch The Dead Lands movie for free, with commercials, on Tubi; or rent it ad-free starting at $2.99 from FandangoNow, Vudu, Amazon and other providers.

Shudder costs $5.99 a month or $56.99 annually ($4.75 a month). Each option includes a seven-day free trial. For more info, including devices, visit shudder.com.

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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