Gritty, gooey and gore galore gives the original post-apocalyptic web series, Lady Wasteland a strapping gun-toting formula suited for sci-fi fans. The series runs rampant with zombies, cannibals and human targets who struggle to stay alive by a new set of rules.
The internet provides innumerable ways to survive a zombie apocalypse, and this online program makes outliving the undead seem easy enough. Always be silent, keep a lid on your food, and eat it fast. Simple, right? Don’t be fooled. These zombies can sniff out a three-course meal a mile away.
Produced by Wasteland Films LLC, Lady Wasteland launched in 2007 with an initial run of seven episodes. The creators Mark Roush and Greg Demchak, big fans of dystopian films and novels, believed that they could craft a post-apocalyptic world (shot in Oregon, no less) combining need, greed and impending doom resulting from a global economical recession, over population and ongoing oil crisis. Thus, Lady Wasteland was brought to the internet casting a dismal, sun-drenched glare over the lives of a forsaken civilization.
The series revolves around three separate stories, with the idea that they will all eventually interconnect. That includes the tales of Lady, the gutsy, heroine; Henry and Samantha, a father and daughter who fight to survive; and Yuri, a murderous, tortured soul who speaks in riddles while eliminating the population one by one.
Lady is played by the sultry Brynne Worley who could have been a bit ballsier in her leading role – she’s no Milla Jovovich – but word on the street is that she’s no longer involved with the project. Jon Lee does a better than decent job at rhyming nonsense, no doubt heralding forthcoming plot twists. Stage actor Harold Phillips plays Henry, a doting father whose goal is to equip his young daughter with survival methods via the “rules of the road.” Young novice Kyra Walters plays Henry’s daughter, Samantha, who reluctantly follows her father through desolate territories while resisting the rigorous lifestyle.
Complete with zombies and arse kicking combats, the series offers an absurd, wandering perspective on the collapse of a society in a Waterwold meets 2011 suburbia aesthetic. We aren’t sure just why the world has met its demise, but the seeds have been planted in a story rooted in possibilities.
We meet the cast under grisly conditions. The characters are shot, maimed and/or eaten throughout the pilot and only a few narrowly escape the bloodthirsty baddies. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SciFi Channel took notice of the viral potential and memorable monster moments reminiscent of Mad Max and Land of the Dead. Every webisode had me glued to the screen in horrific anticipation as I watched the blood ooze from each victim and the story unravel slowly and deliberately. Roush and Demchak should be commended for bringing their unique, macabre vision to life.
Roush accompanies the action with a haunting and unsettling score by award winning composer Rob Simonsen (500 Days of Summer) that helps to set up the overall bleak mood, mixing it with just the right balance to exhume human emotion. The makeup FX are top-notch and action scenes are well choreographed. The website housing Lady Wasteland is inspired, and the creators have certainly taken the time to fuel the mood by capitalizing on the overall design with and industrial feel and clever clicks. The dialogue in the series is the only thing that’s lacking, but when the rest of the show looks this good, it doesn’t really matter.
Watch it online at LadyWasteland.com.