Sub-Genre- Vampire/ Post-Apocalyptic
Cast Members of Note- Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Connor Paolo, And Nick Damici as Mister!
What's it About?- In a post-apocalyptic world overrun with
As you can see, even we got confused as to what movie we were watching. All kidding aside though, it's pretty much Zombieland+The Road, but with vampires instead of zombies or a killer virus. No Woody Harrelson either. I know, that's kinda sad to us too.
The Good-It's nice to see a movie like this come along and breath some much needed life into the stale vampire sub-genre. Everything these days seems to involved vampires or werewolves moping around shirtless, brooding and looking gay, to appease an audience filled with clueless tweens and delusion old chicks, all of which seem so emotionally starved for "romance" that they'll accept the version of love that these movies offer as realistic.
Stake Land, on the other hand, is an actual vampire movie. You know, savage bloodsuckers out to drain any human of their life's blood that is foolish enough to cross their path. No glitter. No pouty posing. No sissy shirtless preening. No ridiculous love story. Just blood. Lots and lots of blood. It shows what might be a more realistic version of a world that's share with vampires, and it ain't pretty.
It's worth noting, and will undoubtedly be on a ton of people's minds after seeing this, that it bears more than a striking resemblance to 2009's The Road. It really does bear some similarity, but it's not in a rip-off or even an homage type of way; it's just... similar in some ways. In any event, rip off or not, it's a good story that's done well and entertains, so who cares. I mean honestly, what horror flick (or any for that matter) can't be compared to a number of other movies at any given time?
You can tell the movie was inexpensive, but it never feels cheap. You can see story elements present that you've seen before, but they really do take on a life of their own. And the vampires? They are pretty awesome. Minimal CGI is used on the creatures and their bloodletting, and the end results are impressive. Above all else, Stake Land is a character driven movie, though it does contain all sorts of violent and gory set pieces. Damici was pretty cool as Mister, and it's nice to see Danielle Harris get a meaty role for a change.
I've got to hand it to Nick Damici and Jim Mickle; they created a pretty engaging world for horror fans to get lost in for 90 minutes, and managed to give us one of the most engaging vampire flicks in recent memory. How about a sequel, boys?
The Bad- Excuse me Mister, but where do you think you're going? No really, where are you going?!?
The Downright Horrendous- *Spoilers are imminent* Why in the ever-loving name of Jeebus would you leave a pregnant chick alone, at night, while you run off into the forest-y darkness to chase a vampire? Their deaths are on your hands, you dumb bastards!
The Gory- The blood flow is liberal here, as you'd expect from any decent vampire flick. Plenty of staking, biting, slicing, splattering, dripping... even shooting.
The Naked- No skin in this one, sorry.
What did we learn?- Pregnant chicks slow you down. Also, movie bad-asses of late seem to wander off alone a lot...
The Master Says- A Stake Land was a welcomed surprise and an interesting melding of two sub-genres, giving us a post-apocalyptic world full of bloodsuckers instead of the usual zombies or infected. It's nice to see a good old fashioned vampire flick for a change. Bloody, action packed and seldom boring, this is one you need to see when you get the chance. It's been out in Limited Release and on VOD since April, so what are you waiting for?
Final Thoughts- They are in this, and all is good.