The Dead Lands

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Action, Adventure
Director(s): Toa Fraser
Production: Magnet Releasing
  4 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

Dead eyes of the night...

...stare at me not!

Long ago...

...our lands were the scene of a great battle.

It was a bloody and glorious time.

But now, peace reigns in these lands

and we all enjoy it.

Welcome, Wirepa.

Your father is not with you?

He apologises...

...and sends you his regards.

Let us go then... the Place of Bones.

It is noble of you to listen to your ancestors...

...and seek proper burial for them.

We have not hunted or fished here

since the great war...

...your ancestors have been honoured

all these years.

May you find what you seek.

Do you still walk here, my ancestors?

I will avenge your deaths.

You will sing my name...

...and of my glory.

Welcome me, my noble ancestors.

I have a gift for you.


You dare lay hands on a chief's son?


There in the forest...

...your son...

...defiling the bones of my ancestors.

I saw him!

Did you do what he says?

No, Father!

He did it.

This is his plan... blame us. I know it!

When my father finds out... will be war.

We are at the edge of a precipice, Lord.

If my son did this act...

...then I myself will kill him... that the bond between

our two tribes remains strong.


Be still, fool.

If I sacrifice my son... the God of War...

...would you consider the balance restored?

Will it end your grievance

against me and my kin...

...for now and always?

It is all right, Father.

I did not do this thing...

...but I embrace death, if it helps you.

You make me proud that you are mine.

Is it at an end?

Will his death serve to bring us together,

for all time... witnessed here by us all?


Or is it no?

No sacrifice can repair this insult

to my ancestors.

You are all responsible

and my father will hear of it.

And when he does...

...pray doom does not fall upon your heads.

Brave warriors!

War feeds our glory...

...there is no place for peace.

Do you want them followed?

We could kill them in their sleep...

...and feast on their flesh this very night.

There has been a desecration.

It was likely done by Wirepa himself...

...a pretext for what is to come.

If his father wants cause for war, he has it.

There is nothing that will stop it now.

Finally something honourable

for a warrior to do.

If you were not so stupid, boy...

...I would thank you.

I want to be a warrior.

Is it not good to die in a great battle?

Does it not honour our ancestors?

To the east of here...

...lies the place we call the Dead Lands.

Once, a great tribe lived there...

...but they disappeared.

One day they were there, the next...

...they were gone.

A land without people, a dead place.

I do not want that...

...for our tribe.

They sigh at us.

The dead moan at us from the earth.

We can hear them.

We must heed their call...

...listen to their sighs.

We walk with our dead...

...but we don't yet know it.

Murder! Treachery!

I underestimated you.

You are truly your father's son.


Before long...

...your tribe will be no more.

I will fill your daughter's uterus with dirt.

And that will be your lineage forever...

...dead earth.

Indeed... are a warrior, Tane.

You will remember this face.

I will stare at you from death...

...and wait for you to join me.

You and all here...

...are cursed.

Well said.

A glorious way to die.

Slaughter the rest!

We will eat our fill tonight.

We take his head.

You are cursed.

I pity you.

Did you find the boy?


The boy fled.

We leave.

Our men are dead...

...and they took your father's head.

Where were you, boy?


...see what you have done

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Glenn Standring

Glenn Standring is a New Zealand scriptwriter and film director, working in the horror and fantasy genres. Standring studied film at the Ilam School of Fine Arts, and completed a first class honours degree in Archaeology from The University of Otago in Dunedin. Later he moved to Wellington and began to direct comedy for television. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Dead Lands" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Jan. 2021. <>.

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