The Dead Lands is director Toa Fraser's tilt at creating a whole new genre - the Maori martial arts movie. Like the best Asian films of the genre, it involves a quest, themes of honour, revenge and ancestry, and lots of fight scenes. Though in this one it's patu and taiaha instead of nunchucks and katana doing the damage.
James Rolleston stars as Hongi, the son of a slain rangatira out to avenge the slaughter of his tribe who must align himself with The Warrior - Lawrence Makaoare - a fearsome figure who rules over the Dead Lands. Written by Glenn Standring and featuring an epic soundtrack by Don McGlashan, the film also stars Once Were Warriors star Rena Owen, and veteran actor George Henare.
Watch the full trailer for The Dead Lands:
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The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival to an enthusiastic response from fans and reviewers and is due for release in New Zealand at the end of October.