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15 July 2012

Stake Land (2009)

I came to Stake Land knowing a little bit about the film... but only a little bit. I’d heard it described as an apocalyptic vampire film. As you know, I can take or leave the vampires, but apocalyptic, well, that’s a whole different plasma pack.

Uh oh! Here comes trouble!
Stake Land, Metrodome 2009

First, let’s take a quick pit-stop to discuss the name. You can almost imagine the brainstorming session that came up with it: “We got Vampires... We got Stakes… Hows about World of Stakes… Nah... Land of Stakes… Nah... Stake Land… Sorted!” I think they missed a trick not calling it Vampireland. A little too close to Zombieland? Anyhoo... it’s only a name. If the film is good enough, I’ll learn to love it.

What’s it all about then?

Hmmm... this doesn't look too good...
Stake Land, Metrodome 2009

Stake Land takes us into a world that has been plunged into chaos by the appearance of vampires. Virtually everyone is dead! The few remaining survivors are nervously bandying together. Some have bet the blood bank on finding safety in a place called “New Eden” (which thankfully is signposted). Others just want to make it through another day. The only given is that death is hiding around every corner and it doesn’t always have fangs.

Connor... I'm your father...
Stake Land, Metrodome 2009

We start our adventures with a bang as the two main characters (Mister - played by Nick Damici; and Martin - played by Connor Paolo) meet and do battle with a vampire in the rain. Don’t you feel that Horror is so much scarier when you add rain? It sure scares the hemoglobin out of me!

Honest! ;-P

Don't you just want to ruffle that mop! Come here...
Stake Land, Metrodome 2009

Mister is Aragorn-like as one of the last of the ‘hunters’ and Martin soon becomes his eager student. Think Karate Kid: Stake in... Stake out! Ha ha... I’m not making that up! Whilst I thought that Nick Damici was perfect for this part, I’m not convinced that he would have been able to do everything he does in the film smoking the amount of fags that he does. Connor Paolo is obviously a concession to appeal to a younger audience. You can imagine the whispers in the theatre: “Aww... he’s so cute! I hope that he gets a girlfriend!” Does he? Watch it yourself.

The apocalyptic slant is okay. It doesn’t have the grit or charm of something like The Road, but this isn’t a tale of nuclear holocaust; It doesn’t really need to be uber-bleak. Still, I would have liked more apocalypse than I got. I didn’t like the ending. I can’t put my finger on it, but it seemed so familiar to me that I feel sure that I’ve seen it before. That wasn’t the biggest turn-off though! Unfortunately I can’t talk about it without ruining the film. All I’ll say is that the baddies in this film weren’t to my liking.

Hold on a second... what sort of film is this!
Stake Land, Metrodome 2009

It’s not all bad though! I enjoyed the vampire scenes. I would have loved to have seen more. The special effects are good.

Okay - I feel like I’ve not really been able to talk much about this film due to me not wanting to ruin it for you. Let’s close this off. I didn’t love this film, but I didn’t hate it either. It’s worth a watch, but maybe only the one...

On the Triple-B I’ll show you a bag containing 6 fangs and you will know that I AM THE MAN!

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