Population Zero

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Population Zero
Population Zero poster.jpg
Directed by Adam Levins
Written by Jeff Staranchuk
Starring Julian T Pinder
Distributed by A71 Entertainment
Release date
  • April 26, 2016 (2016-04-26) (Newport Beach)
  • May 5, 2017 (2017-05-05) (Canada)
Running time
84 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English

Population Zero is a 2016 found footage crime thriller film that was directed by Adam Levins. The movie was shot in the documentary style and had its world premiere at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on April 26, 2016.[1]

The filmmakers were inspired to make the movie after learning of the existence of the "Zone of Death", a small portion of Yellowstone National Park,[2] that under the Sixth Amendment's Vicinage Clause, would enable "The Perfect Crime".[3] The Zone was first written about in a Georgetown Law Journal article, "The Perfect Crime," by Michigan State University law professor Brian C. Kalt.[3]


The film is a "mockumentary" examining the history of Dwayne Nelson, a suspected murderer. In 2009, Nelson confessed to shooting three men to death in Yellowstone National Park and despite his confession being accurately detailed, he was not convicted of the crimes because the crime occurred in an uninhabited area and as such, there is no chance of finding a jury to hear the trial. Years later Julian T. Pinder examines the crimes and the legal loophole that allowed Nelson to walk free. As the film progresses Pinder begins to receive strange and frightening items, evidence of Nelson's crime.


In its opening week in Canada, the film grossed C$3841 from 15 theatres.[4]

The Hollywood Reporter said that although the film was uneven in places it was also "creatively eerie".[5] Shock Till You Drop praised the movie, commenting that "Knowing that POPULATION ZERO is a hypothetical scenario played out is immaterial. The question of whether the film is real or not is not the point. The point is that the federal government recognizes that there is a “Zone of Death” in one of its national Parks, making this film far more unsettling and disturbing than anything to spring from one’s imagination."[6]


  1. ^ "'Population Zero' Premiere Set For the Newport Beach Film Festival". Bloody Disgusting!. 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  2. ^ "'Population Zero,' debuting at film festival, explores the Zone of Death". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  3. ^ a b Kalt, Brian (March 25, 2005). "'The Perfect Crime'". Social Science Research Network. SSRN 691642. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Hot Sheet: Top 5 Canadian films May 5 to 11, 2017". Playback. Brunico Communications. May 16, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  5. ^ "'Population Zero': Newport Beach Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  6. ^ Jackson, Camilla (2016-05-01). "Review: Chilling Mock-Doc POPULATION ZERO". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2016-05-02.

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