Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Stake Land Once Bitten
Year: 2010
Director: Jim Mickle
Stars: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Michael Cerveris, Sean Nelson, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris, Bonnie Dennison, Chance Kelly, Adam Scarimbolo, Marianne Hagan, Eilis Cahill, Traci Hovel, Stuart Rudin, Lou Sumrall, Gregory Jones, Brian Spears, Tim House
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Martin (Connor Paolo) lives in a world that has gone to hell, and he would have been one of the victims if it had not been for one fateful meeting on the night his parents died. The land had been gripped by a plague of vampirism, fuelled by rabidly fundamentalist Christians who had seen an opportunity of bringing about the apocalypse they had always wanted, and Martin's countryside home was not immune to the approach of the legions of undead. He had seen his parents killed by one of the vampires, but someone had been there to prevent that happening to him...

Stake Land was one of those movies where the comparisons to other films came thick and fast as you were watching it, yet crucially remained its own entity. You could observe director Jim Mickle and actor Nick Damici's script as being indebted to anything from The Road to Mad Max to Zombieland, and there were certainly echoes of many a post-armageddon epic here, but as this took itself incredibly seriously there was a distinctive mood that capitalised on the low resources to offer a convincingly blasted landscape. Maybe not so much blasted as desolate thanks to the trappings that came along with it.

Damici was our fearless vampire killer who makes his mission to not only destroy the initially zombie-esque bloodsuckers (by severing their spines, usually, an interesting addition to the myth) but to save the potential victims as well, hence he rescues Martin and takes him on the trail of the North, as Canada is known as New Eden now and represents salvation for the hapless Americans who don't fancy getting offed by the plague of monsters. This being a road movie, there is a variety of communities they encounter as they travel, from the small peaceloving societies to the more sinister Christians who have made it their duty to spread vampirism.

It's a fresh take on the real villains, and an intriguing corruption of the traditional view that faith in God will stave off the vampires as here no cross will help you for if the Christians are right, it is He who has visited this disaster on the globe. If they are not, then even more arresting is the notion of certain sections of humanity so keen on the idea of the apocalypse and the subsequent hoped for salvation and accompanying punishment for those sinners and non-believers that they are willing to move things along by their own actions. This scathing take on blind religious fanaticism erupts in some powerful scenes.

Such as the sequence where a peace-loving community has their party gatecrashed by mad Christians flying overhead in helicopters and dropping ravenous vampires on the revellers, a truly nasty representation of how some people just can't stand to see others enjoying themselves. Meanwhile our two heroes pick their way through the debris and gather their own tiny tribe, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who they save from rape, and a pregnant woman who wants her child brought up without all this hassle, played by Danielle Harris, a notable scream queen since her childhood days. Stake Land was not afraid to be as grave as it possibly could be, so while it conjured up impressive setpieces you couldn't call it tremendously enjoyable to watch, but as a Larry Fessenden production it carried his mark of novel twists on the horror genre, and making the most of that small budget. Music by Jeff Grace.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3180 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: