Now this is one I’ve been looking forward to tackling for quite some time. It’s Stake Land, a copy of which the folks out at Dark Sky Films sent out for us to review. And if you like your movies big, loud, bloody and post-apocalyptic, then brace yourselves, because this is probably going to be the one for you.
Stake Land takes us to an America that’s seen better days. In fact, this America is a downright disaster, with economic collapse and civil order collapse and then, somehow, on top of it all, vampires. Now, with the America we know and love a blood-drained wreck, the only safe place in North America seems to be, for some reason, Canada. And a group of folks are on their way there, but first they’ll have to go through not only vampires, but also a gang of religious zealots calling themselves the Brethren. It’s going to be a long hard trip to Canada, but will anyone make it there alive?
Even just looking at the box art, you can kind of tell what you’ll be in for, and indeed, the movie itself will not let you down in several key points. There will, as the man once said, be blood. There will also be gunplay and violence and fistfights in a shattered world full of horror. It’s like The Road, if The Road had been, you know, entertaining, as opposed to a complete downer.
If you liked Daybreakers, then I can just about guarantee you’ll like Stake Land, which is a lot like a lower budget but higher energy version of same. In fact, it brings to mind all the best parts of John Carpenter’s Vampires, even though this was itself a sad sorry sight against the original novel. But either way, nothing here will sparkle, and no one will get angsty, so that puts Stake Land in the top tier of vampire movies as far as I’m concerned.
Zombie apocalypses make for fun movies, but the vampire apocalypse is a bit more depressing. Where in a zombie apocalypse you might hole up in a mall and enjoy some relative measure of peace, a vampire apocalypse depends a lot more on you moving, apparently, and this makes the whole thing a bit, well, sad. A bit depressing, even, but only just a bit.
But still, for action, bloodshed, violence, and a look at a world where the worst comes to pass, well, Stake Land will do it for you.
The Screenhead Ten Scale hands this frightful action blockbuster a nine out of ten–a vampire apocalypse is a bit depressing against, say, a zombie apocalypse, but it’s no less action packed.