By: Danny Templegod
Set in a post apocalyptic Mad Max style landscape, Wasteland starts out very slowly. Literally a turtle walks by in the opening credits! The camera angles are tight on said turtle, and obviously well directed by Kantz, our turtle carefully saunters off screen, this reptile knows his cue, and even has an encore appearance later in the film. This is an obvious metaphor for the journey which is in front of Keo Tanaka (Garret T. Sato). Keo witnessed his family murdered and sets out on an quest to find the man responsible.
A wayward turtle sets the pace and landscape for Wasteland!
This Wasteland is full of an amalgamation of crazy things. There are mutants who burrow underground and leave a trail like not unlike the sandworms in Dune. In addition to these mutants are The Lee Sisters who are a much cuter and softer form of danger! They like to wisecrack, shoot guns, and sneer. Actress Sherry Shaoling stands out in the group with her commanding voice. One of Lee Sisters grabs a guy’s ballsack and says “you don’t have the equipment I am looking for.”. My question, where does one obtain this equipment, Amazon? There is a maniacal priestess played with feral energy by Heidi Marie, her character should have been given more screen time, she had some intensity to her, she brought some passion. With this kind of madness standing in his way, Keo’s journey is full of peril.
This is one nice vision in the desert! or is it? The Lee Sisters contemplate strategy.
Mutant Priestess, in her church it is her way or off with your heart!
The story progresses with a mish-mash of martial arts style fight scenes, interspersed with gunfire as Mr Sato dispatches the bad characters. The final twenty minutes gets a bit more serious and there is a nice twist at the end.
Wasteland is well shot and edited. The sets, camera angles and lighting obviously were well planned and professional for an ultra-low budget film with a very short shooting schedule. I cannot say the same for the consistency of the acting, I hoped for a bit more natural behavior from some of them, loosen up, let the character flow, don’t just read the lines. Lead actor Garret T. Sato seems kind of mellow and understated for a guy surviving 17 years in the desert.
Despite some uninspired acting I rate Wasteland a 6 out of 10 a definite rent, and possible purchase if you like low budget action. I am looking forward to see what is coming out of twisted the mind of writer/producer/Kantz!
Wasteland is currently available for purchase nationwide. Purchase direct @ Amazon