Ever since Lewis Carroll wrote his first book about a little girl called Alice, many writers have tried to put their stamp on the story. Some people have just rewritten the story completely. Others borrowed elements for their own stories. The movie Alice in Deathland is a little bit of both.
Alice in Deathland Movie: Down the Deadly Rabbit Hole
The story, as it always does, begins with Alice. Specifically, it begins with Alice Henrickson (Vanelle). She’s left her family and gone off to pursue the American dream. Upon returning, though, she finds herself falling down the rabbit hole, back into her old patterns of using. This isn’t Wonderland, though–this is Deathland, a nightmarish vision of her crystal meth-ravaged world.
Because now she has a new family. As the official plot summary says, they’re “…characters straight from the March Hare’s tea party; a dysfunctional crew consisting of an insane pimp, a worn-out prostitute, and a lethargic burnout.” Everything’s available, but everything comes at a price. And Alice must try to navigate this Deathland and find her way out, without losing her mind or her life.
And the Caterpillar Asks, Who Are You
Kristopher Rufty (billed as Krist Rufty) wrote and directed this movie, his fourth. His other movies include Psycho Holocaust and Wicked Wood. He also appears in this movie, Alice in Deathland, as Kurt. Since this movie’s release in 2015, Rufty seems to have shifted his interest toward writing books, instead. According to his author page at Amazon, he’s become quite the prolific writer of horror novels. Some of his stories include The Lurkers and PillowFace. He’s gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews on those, so they’re worth a look.
And speaking of prolific, Vanelle, the lead actress has also been hard at work before and after this movie. She continues to work as an actress, as well as taking on roles behind the scenes. For example, she’s the creator of the Inspiration Kids Pop-Up Bible Stories series. She even voices Gracie Bee for the show.
Billy Garberina, who plays Stan Whitehall, also continues to act. A frequent player in Chris Seaver’s bonkers movies, Garberina is Seaver’s Deathbone character. He has appeared as the character in a few different Seaver films, including his own Deathbone, Third Blood Part VII: The Blood of Deathbone. (Despite the title, it’s the only film in the series.)
Alice in Critical Response: What Reviewers Said
Reviews for the movie Alice in Deathland have been mixed. The movie is low budget and it shows, which was a hill some viewers just couldn’t get over. This manifested in typical complaints about aspects of the production. Some viewers, for instance, mentioned that parts of the movie are hard to hear.
However, not all reviews were negative. Other viewers, for example, appreciated the movie’s realistic look at drug addiction. As one viewer described, they felt like they were watching real addicts. (They meant that as a compliment.) They also felt that they did the best they could with the small budget they had.
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featured image via Wild Eye Releasing
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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.