A vampire epidemic has swept across America and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get his young accomplice Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden.
The other day, Issy posted his Stake Land review (which you can read HERE) and quoted a little line I had made about the film. Only then did I remember I had even reviewed it, and after digging through my A-Z I noticed it had never really been seen. So since I’m
lazy busy preparing Friday’s FACE OFF I thought I would put this out in the hope of a few more people sharing their thoughts on a great little movie.
I picked Stake Land up cheap when it was released on dvd, and when a new release is offered at a cut price straight away I wasn’t holding out much hope. Boy was I wrong. What I got was a brilliant and unique twist on the more modern-day vampire films (Twilight I blame you!).
The film starts with a voiceover from our young lead Martin. We are then shown a flashback to his chance encounter with his saviour simply known as Mister. Martin’s family fall victim to a vampire attack and he has no other choice but to join Mister. Martin then goes through a karate-kid style of training as Mister teaches him the ways to kill a vampire.
Their journey north through a post-apocalyptic America is slowly paced but beautiful and harrowing to look at. They bump into fellow people struggling to not just survive but start a new life. Small towns and communities block themselves in and pray for sunlight in the hope they can survive each night.
The vampires aren’t the only danger, as Mister and Martin soon find out as they meet a crazy religious cult/gang. After they save a nun simply known as Sister from being assaulted (played by an unrecognisable Kelly McGillis, not quite the looker she was in Top Gun) the gang come after them. This ramps up the action in the film and we see how good Mister is at simply staying alive. A little later on the gang come across a pregnant girl called Belle (Danielle Harris) who decides to join them on their journey.
Minor Spoilers lie ahead……………..
Any time the action lets up and we think the gang can finally rest, a curve ball is thrown in by the film’s villan and cult leader. The scene in which vampires are thrown out of a chopper into a civilian safe place shows just how evil the cult is. A refreshing twist though, as I thought this was probably the best scene in the movie.
Despite the religious ‘this is gods will‘ undertones, Stake Land is a very good film. The acting was superb, especially by Mister, it looked so authentic and beautiful yet bleak and soulless at the same time. The vampires looked great, no poor prosthetics on show here, and whilst there isn’t too much blood and gore on display there are still some shocking moments, even in the opening family scene. Not something you see everyday……….
I’m so glad I picked this film up, and it’s arguably one of the best vampire-themed films I’ve seen. Stake Land definitely offers a unique take on the modern vampire craze. We get no explanation as to how or why the vampires have taken over and I like that. We just have to accept that’s how the world is. It has action, heart, great acting and I urge people to check this out if they ever get the chance.