Trailer: The Dead Lands comes to Shudder in January
Staff Reporter | On 07, Dec 2019
Shudder is heading to New Zealand in the new year for new supernatural series The Dead Lands.
The subscription streaming service for horror is teaming up with New Zealand’s TVNZ for the new co-production, which charts an adventure set in a mythic Māori past. Part Ash vs Evil Dead and part Xena: Warrior Princess, the series features a murdered Māori warrior, Waka Nuku Rau (Te Kohe Tuhaka), who’s sent back to the world of the living to redeem his sins. But the world Waka returns to is ravaged by a breach between Life and the Afterlife as the spirits of the newly dead now stalk the land and hunt the living.
Waka encounters a determined young woman, Mehe (Darneen Christian), who becomes both his protégé and moral compass. Together, they navigate tribal politics, the unsettled ghosts of Ancestors and other forces both natural and supernatural, on a quest to discover who “broke the world” and how to repair it — if it’s not too late.
The eerie world and the characters brought to life (or death) within it are inspired by Māori traditions and histories. The series is set in a mythical Aoteoroa (the Māori name for New Zealand), taking full advantage of the natural beauty of its landscapes. The series features screen combat performed in the Māori martial art of Mau Rākau, while elements of action and fantasy throughout the story have been given shape by versions of Māori rituals reimagined for the show. In order to honor the Māori people and their culture, the creation of the series required authoritative Māori control and advice to be present in all areas, both in front of and behind the camera.
“The modern Māori world thrives because our story traditions insist we respect the past before we explore the potential of the future. With THE DEAD LANDS, we’re proud to bring our people and those traditions to global audiences,” says producer Tainui Stephens.
“The Dead Lands is a bold, exciting series unlike anything else on TV—an epic adventure in a breathtaking setting, based on Māori culture. It’s got action, scares and humor in equal measures, and we can’t wait to share it with Shudder members around the world,” adds Craig Engler, Shudder’s General Manager.
The series is written by Glenn Standring (Six Days) who also wrote the 2014 The Dead Lands feature, which is set in the same mythical world as the series but is unconnected to its characters or story. The eight-episode series from production company GFC Films is executive produced by Standring, Fraser Brown and Matthew Metcalfe, produced by Tainui Stephens and Liz Adams, and directed by Peter Meteherangi Tikao Burger and Michael Hurst.
It will premiere with two episodes on Thursday 23rd January on Shudder, with subsequent episodes arriving weekly. Here’s the trailer: