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  • Writer's pictureHorror Spinsters

Stake Land

Review by Kelly

“In a world of vampires, an expert vampire hunter and his young protégé travel toward sanctuary.”

When I first saw this movie a couple of years ago I immediately fell in love with it. Released in 2010, written by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, it's set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by scary ass vampires. These are not our romanticized sensual vampires but monstrous beasts that want nothing more but to take your life. It stars Nick Namici, Connor Paolo, and horror star Danielle Harris makes a good supporting appearance.

The movie opens with Martin, a teenager, losing his parents to vampires and being saved by a mysterious man named Mister. Mister then becomes a surrogate father figure who teaches Martin the ways of the new world and all about how to kill vampires. Mister is a hardened vampire hunter, who smokes, drinks and is quite the hard-ass. Though of course, he's a bit of a softy on the inside while remaining pragmatic in this post-apocalyptic world. He protects his ragtag crew akin to Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon’s show, Firefly. An example of Mister’s character is when Martin and him are driving down the road, they see a nun being chased into the street. Two men follow after her, one pulling up his pants. She obviously has been battered and raped. Mister gets out of the car, kills the two men and saves the Sister. She quickly becomes a beloved part of their group.

In a post-apocalyptic world not only do you have to fend off the monsters but the human monsters as well. A chronic antagonist is something called The Brotherhood. They are a religious cult of zealots who believe that vampires only feed on the unfaithful. They wield a lot of power and do a lot of harm. The leader's’ name is Jebediah (of course). He makes his mark on our band of survivors, in more ways than one. They believe so strongly in their dogma that they even go as far as dropping vampires in the middle of innocent towns.

Sometimes we have to tragically say goodbye to people we have grown fond of or even love in a film or television series. Thus, in the film world of Stake Land, there is no difference. The trials and tribulations of this group can be absolutely devastating to witness. I am not going to lie, a certain death and a reunion definitely made me weep.

The movie has a wonderful and introspective spoken narration done mainly by Martin. The score is bloody fantastic. It's haunting, beautiful and foreboding, just like this goddamn movie. I have said this before but this re-watch definitely confirmed it: Stake Land, along with Let the Right One In, are my favorite modern/recent vampire releases. It blends vampires with John Hillcoat's The Road in its absolute bleakness. This is definitely not a feel-good movie but it is so damn wonderful.

Jim Mickle wrote and directed another movie called Mulberry Street. It was co-written by Nick Damici and stars him as well. I am quite a fan of that film so I would recommend checking that one out.

Oh and I totally forgot….Nick Damici is sexy AF!

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