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Stake Land (2010)

  Tags: action, Adam Scarimbolo, Chance Kelly, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris, Glass Eye Pix, Jim Mickle, Kelly McGillis, low budget, Marianne Hagan, Michael Cerveris, Nick Damici, post-apocalyptic, Sean Nelson, stake land, survival, vampire

Your rating: None Average: 7.5 (8 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

stakelandposter.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Jim Mickle
Runtime: 
98 minutes
Cast: 
Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Connor Paolo, Michael Cerveris, Chance Kelly, Adam Scarimbolo, Sean Nelson, Marianne Hagan, Nick Damici


Director Jim Mickle returns behind the camera after 2006's Mulberry Street (which I liked) to bring us Stake Land, an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic America overrun by vampires. The best way to describe the film is The Road with vampires, as they both offer a gritty and somewhat realistic take on a broken down society that forces the remaining populace to survive under harsh and violent means. In this case the leads not only have to fend against vampires, but also religious fanatics and (of course) cannibals.

With the post-apoc backdrop, we follow a teenage boy traveling alongside a badass veteran vampire hunter named "Mister", as the two make their way up north to "New Eden," a place formerly known as Canada that's said to be a safe haven from the vampire menace. We witness the duo travel from one town after the other, picking up people along the way, and navigate through a variety of obstacles, from the obvious bloodsuckers, to the crazed religious fanatics.

Being a fan of survival and road-themed movies, I figured I'd like the flick, but Stake Land really surprised me, because not only did I enjoy it, but it also proved how so much can still be achieved, even with a limited budget. The flick is well paced; never offering a dull moment, and giving us just the right amount of action. It was also a relief to see that we wouldn't just be stuck with just the vampires as the antagonists, as the religious fools were just as much, if not, more trouble to our leads than the bloodsuckers were.

As far as the vampires go -- they were pretty vicious and the makeup effects were above-average, in my opinion. We eventually learn that there are a few dif. types of vampires, from the slow and dumber ones, to the quicker ones that seem to move in packs. As we travel along with the leads, they pick up characters that we learn and care about over time, one of them being horror hotty Danielle Harris, as a pregnant singer.

There's a decent amount of blood and gore, as expected from a movie like this, and a couple great surprise moments that showed how there's never really a good time to sit back and relax for these characters. As I said early on, the flick spares no expense in showing us the harsh realities of a world like this, and luckily steering away from predictable outcomes. The ending, although ambiguous, was satisfying enough for me and will hopefully lead to a sequel.

Stake Land is a surprisingly well made low-budget vampire film that gives us an intriguing and creative storyline, along with an interesting and eclectic group of characters. Additionally, a strong pace and its unflinching approach towards the harsh realities of this post-apocalyptic worlds makes it a somewhat unpredictable and highly enjoyable watch. Definitely worth a look.

Posted on June 5, 2011 - 4:24pm | FrighT MasteR

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