Population Zero (2015) – Movie Review

Population Zero (2015) - Movie Review

Population Zero is a totally original, and incredibly convincing mockumentary that I had pleasure of sitting through about a month back.

It was actually part of a mockumentary feature night for me – first this offering, then Savageland (an all round good night!).

There’s something about these mockumentary offerings that puts them near the top of the list – somehow directors of these documentary-based films just get the ingredients right…time and time again!

The film is based on a bizarre schism in American legislation that’s linked to a triple murder. It’s gripping stuff…

The Plot

Okay, for once I was actually over-impressed by the plot bio IMDb had to offer on this movie. I steal these bios often enough – so it would make sense to include it here when it’s actually well thought out…for once?

“In April 2009 three young men were killed in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park. Authorities Never Found the Murderer. He Found Them. Only hours after three young men were gunned down in cold blood, Dwayne Nelson walked into a ranger station miles away and confessed to the crime. Despite his detailed confession, Dwayne Nelson was allowed to go free because of a loophole in the American Constitution. Award Winning Canadian Documentarian Julian T. Pinder (Trouble in the Peace, Land, Jesus Town) travels to Yellowstone in a cinematic and compelling chase for truth behind a crime that should have rocked the nation. How did the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the United States of America, let a guilty man go free? In his hunt for answers Pinder breaks the first rule of documentary film making by allowing himself to become a subject in the story; risking his life and others when he finds evidence that could re-open the case of the Yellowstone Murders years later.”

There’s actually more to that synopsis, I just thought I was pushing my luck if I stole any more of it!


I’m going straight into the conclusion here as I really don’t want the visitors I get to this site to miss this film – it’s an excellent addition to the genre and extremely well made.

For once it’s not a horror or a science fiction based plot – it’s more of a mix of mystery, crime and thriller. It really does make for a refreshing change!

I really liked the way that the lead character was played by real life documentarian Julian Pinder – it definitely gave something edgy and realistic to the movie’s journey.

He was able to act by doing his day job – what could turn out more natural than that?

I’m pretty sure that newcomers to this genre will watch the credits roll right until the end – just to make sure they have watched a piece of fiction (yes there are people that stupid out there – you should see some of the contact messages I’ve had off this site!).

How many of you remember Christopher MacBride’s The Conspiracy?

Most of you, I would hope!

Anyway, Population Zero definitely has that quality feel about it – much like The Conspiracy did.

Observational humor mingles with spine-chilling moments throughout the film. You would think you’d start to get bored of this sort of plot but for some reason…you really don’t!

A top quality piece of film making – a shining example of what can be achieved with no budget when you just get things right.




  1. Hey Chris. Thought I would let you know I watched The Dark Tapes and I was pretty impressed. It had a few different story lines and each one was solid. In fact I may watch it again tonight! Check it out if you haven’t already.

    • Hey Howard – watched it last night! (gave you a shout-out in the review as well!). Enjoyed it overall but I was expecting a little bit more after the long wait…
      Still a good film mind!

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