Shudder presents the premiere of their upcoming supernatural drama, The Dead Lands, starring Te Kohe Tuhaka and Darneen Christian, with Episode 1: Tell the Dead I’m Coming. In Aotearoa, the time of stories, there is a warrior more monster than man.
After a brutal massacre, Waka (Te Kohe Tuhaka) is ambushed from behind. In the afterlife, Waka confronts a vicious and fast zombie. After failing to kill the zombie, Waka is suddenly rescued by a mysterious stranger. Because there is no place for him in heaven, Waka is forced to return to the living to find his purpose.
Upon his return home, Waka is stalked by a stealthy woman. While hiding in the forest, she remembers showing off her dead raven, with red eyes, to her father and brother. Something is wrong with the land. Mehe (Darneen Christian) has exposed her tribe to a horrible abomination, a curse.
After hearing loud moans in the trees, Waka discovers an undead woman, foaming blood at the mouth. After tying up the undead woman, Waka fights off an undead warrior with his sword. This time around, Waka doesn’t hold back and chops off the warrior’s head.
Waka ends up chasing after Mehe and gets caught in a trap, hanging upside-down. Mehe then ends up getting tricked in a surprise turn. Waka holds Mehe captive in his ditch, getting information out of her. She warns him that there are things that have crossed over from the afterlife.
Mehe promises Waka greatest treasure if he helps her. She knows he will do anything for a price. Waka refuses at first and leaves Mehe in the ditch. During his trip, Waka starts to regret his harsh decision, returns, and accepts Mehe’s green blade.
At the waterfall, Mehe has another flashback, this time when her tribe was attacked. She fails to save her father during the undead invasion. High above a tree, Waka and Mehe reluctantly hide from the screaming zombie. They travel and rest in the tree until a zombie learns how to climb up.
Mehe discovers one of her tribesman has been infected. The journey leads her to a bittersweet reunion with her brother. Mehe refuses to believe her father is dead, asking Waka to save him from the monsters.
Deep underground, Mehe finds her father, infected and slowly dying. Mehe struggles to kill her own father before she finally bashes his head in. After separating from a grief-stricken Mehe, Waka suddenly gets a visit from his mother.
Waka’s mother tells him there is a break; sacrifice the girl so the dead may rest. Refusing to follow his mother’s orders, Waka tells Mehe to pray. Tell the dead he’s coming after them.
The Dead Lands continues on Shudder and airs on TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand immediately after premiering on January 23rd, 2019.