Stake Land Review

The Gist: Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death-dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden (taken from IMDB).

Survivors and Hunters: Connor Paolo ; Nick Damici, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris

The Flick:  Blood and grime cover this film in a haze of despair.  Happy times!  Vampires have taken over the world after a plague has spread through the population.  I was honestly so bored with the insipid dialogue that I didn’t quite follow where the vampire plague came from or if they said anything about the origins.  Martin a.k.a Boy witnesses the bloody demise of his parents and his infant sibling at the hands of a vamp.  Out of nowhere comes Mister to kill it, take its fangs and take Martin under his wing to train him as a hunter.  I’m also a little fuzzy on the timeline for events, like how much time has passed from when the vamps overtake the humans and when Martin’s story starts.  Has it been years, months? And if it has only been months, than the world fell fast into disorder and moral decay or would it really happen that fast without authority?  The pair are headed to New Eden, Canada, where it’s rumoured that there are few vampires because of the colder temperatures.  Yeah, because you know it’s always colder in Canada than the US. Along the way they pick up a Nun, played by McGillis, raped by religious fanatics (the Brotherhood, a new world religion), a marine and a pregnant girl, played by Harris. Mister isn’t really happy about having extra bodies but he doesn’t stop them from tagging along.  The religious fanatics seem to pose a bigger threat than the actual vampires – raping nuns and enslaving or killing everyone else that comes into their territory, which seems to be exactly where the crew of misfits always ends up.   Mister kills the Nun’s rapists and of course one of them just happens to be the leader’s son, taking us to an interlude of revenge that Mister overcomes without too much trouble.  And on and on it goes.  Bits of solace are continually interrupted with tragedy, which is all over laid with Martin’s drawl commentary.  The ending…well hope shines as Martin meets a girl hunter and has New Eden in his sights: Bienvenue!

Critique: I think it’s obvious how I felt about this but let’s go further. I was really looking forward to this movie and I heard good things.  Plus, the vampires were real vampires – scary, ravenous, murderous monsters.  I was sorely disappointed and bored.  It felt like the same scene was playing over and over again with the outcome also being the same or predictable.  The vampires were the best part of the movie but were sparse and usually shrouded in darkness so you couldn’t get a really good look at them. The exception was the child vamp which didn’t look like the others or act like the others because it was a child or as Mister calls them – Scamp. The acting was fine but felt stereotypical and contrived.  Nothing outstanding here either.  SPOILER: Oh and one other critique – the leader of the Brother is named Jebedia Loven and when he is turned into the only thinking vampire, he reminds me exactly of Jared Nomak in Blade II, right down to the bald head and the way he dresses and moves (watch that movie instead, way better and Luke Goss is great).

Yah or Nah:  Nah, unless it’s on a movie channel for free.  I just couldn’t get into it and I didn’t care for the characters at all.

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