SxSW Reaction – DEADLAND

ABOUT: U.S. Border agent Angel Waters comes across what would normally be a routine illegal crossing, but It quickly devolves into his worst nightmare. Barely clinging to life, the immigrant utters, “El Paso, por favor”. In a tragic twist of fate the immigrant is killed while being held at a remote border outpost. Under the cover of darkness, Angel and his two fellow agents bury the body deep in the desert in an unmarked grave. Days later Angel is called back to the river where he finds the same migrant at the river’s edge. The man calmly utters the same bone chillingly request, “El Paso, por favor”. In a world divided, Angel will soon learn that divisions only run so deep.

JASON’S REACTION: A deeply involving border-town thriller, always a favourite of mine, the shot-on-film DEADLAND is gripping from its first few moments, immediately establishing interesting and conflicted lawmakers and the bad guys they fight against and the added benefit of some supernatural vibes. I quite loved the recurring character that just wouldn’t die and all of the unpredictable investigation that comes out of it. I got a heavy genre vibe out of this story as well and a very visually pleasing look with an emphasis on a modern cowboy story. Filmmaker Lance Larson shows incredible promise as well with such a visual energy that gave me some early 90s Carl Franklin and John Dahl vibes but also some genre elements as well that would even fit in the Midnighters section of SxSW. This is screening at the Paramount for its premiere and is a great place for a big screen presentation of this Texas story. 

This film and many others like it showed at South By Southwest this year from March 10-19. For more information on this and other titles, point your browser to!

Leave a Reply