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The Dead Lands (2014)

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After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, the teenage son of a slain Maori chieftain looks to avenge his father's murder and bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones.


Toa Fraser


Glenn Standring
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Rolleston ... Hongi
Lawrence Makoare ... The Warrior
Te Kohe Tuhaka ... Wirepa
Xavier Horan ... Rangi
Raukura Turei Raukura Turei ... Mehe
George Henare ... Tane
Rena Owen ... Grandmother
Pana Hema Taylor ... Mana
Calvin Tuteao ... Ka
Jamus Webster Jamus Webster ... Tahi
Bianca Hyslop Bianca Hyslop ... Pipi
Isabella Rakete Isabella Rakete ... Keri
Matariki Whatarau Matariki Whatarau ... Tama
Wairangi Koopu Wairangi Koopu ... Raupatu
Jeff Ruha Jeff Ruha ... Mere


After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, Hongi, a Maori chieftain's teenage son, must avenge his father's murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains, Hongi's only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years. Written by GFC

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where the warrior spirit was born


Action | Adventure

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal bloody violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site


New Zealand | UK



Release Date:

30 October 2014 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Savasçi See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,327, 17 April 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,426, 3 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Toa Fraser's first name actually means "warrior" in Maori, though he is actually of Fijian descent. See more »


In reference to the previous statement about an apparent car in the back of shot, the viewer must have been seeing things. What it is is a Kereru (our native wood pigeon) that briefly and with much motion blur flies past the Warrior like a spirit form. See more »


The Warrior: I have a blackness that comes upon me - where even the God of War would not venture!
See more »


Waiata Atahu
Written by Te Manahau Morrison
Performed by Raukura Turei
See more »

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User Reviews

An Apocalypto rip-off, but quite fun too
17 October 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE DEAD LANDS is the Kiwi version of APOCALYPTO, there's no two ways about it. The two films are way too similar for the similarities to be mere coincidences. And as I consider APOCALYPTO to be one of the very best films ever made, this rather low budget riff can't hope to hold a candle to the calibre of the Mel Gibson movie. Even so, it turns out to be quite enjoyable as a straightforward action flick.

The story involves an upright, youthful hero whose tribe are massacred by enemies who then escape on foot across a barren and inhospitable landscape. He gives chase but can't hope to tackle them alone, so employs the services of a powerful and infamous warrior who eats the flesh of man to help him. This is where the film gets interesting: Lawrence Makoare (LORD OF THE RINGS) essays the role of the cannibal and is the only fleshed-out character in the whole thing. I love films where the bad guys are the heroes and Makoare's performance makes this film worthwhile and not JUST an APOCALYPTO rip-off.

Elsewhere, the film is heavy on the action, although not quite as grisly as you'd imagine. The good news is that the action direction is fine, with choreography allowing you to see the protagonists instead of over-editing things too much. As a whole, THE DEAD LANDS weaves a lush and vibrant-looking picture that brings to life the Maori way, and how many Maori action films do we get in cinema anyway? Watch out for Pana Hema Taylor (from TV's SPARTACUS) as one of the bad guys.

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