Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stake Land (2010)

The most dangerous thing is to be alive.

Synopsis: Martin (Connor Paolo, 'World Trade Center', 'Camp Hell') 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 (Nick Damici, 'Mulberry St.', 'World Trade Center'), a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent's New Eden.

My Thoughts: It’s been a few years since director Jim Mickle’s last film, the ultra low budget ‘Mulberry Street’. You would think after such an impressive debut we would’ve heard from him again a lot sooner. Although far from perfect, ‘Mulberry St.’ showed Mickle’s true talent as a director.

In his second effort, Mickle kept the same group together, including co-writer/leading man Nick Damici and his talented cinematographer Ryan Samul. He also added a couple screen veterans this time around with Kelly McGillis ('Top Gun', 'Witness') and the extremely busy scream queen Danielle Harris ('Halloween 4/5', 'Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2').

The strength of this film comes from the quality of the acting and the incredible camerawork, not so much from the story. I’m not saying I didn’t like the story because it did keep my interest, it was just nothing special. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before in just about every other lower budget post-apocalyptic movie. One thing that I could’ve really done without was the depressing narrator. The narrating thing is played out already and when you add that to the film’s overly dramatic score. It was just overkill. We get it, everybody’s sad.

As far as the horror stuff goes …the gore was really well done and there was a good amount of it, something that Mickle’s first film was dearly missing (most likely due to a lack of funds). The fight scenes were top notch with a few nice kills. I also thought the zombie look of the vampires was pretty cool.

My Rating: 7 / 10

Overall, I’d have to say I wasn’t blown away by it, but it was another solid effort from Mickle and his crew. Worth a watch.

"click here to see the trailer"

"click here for more reviews of 'Stake Land' at Horrorphilia.com"

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