April 22nd 2011
Nick Damici and Jim Mickle
Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, and Kelly McGillis
In a near future, the North America is an anarchic country after a vampire apocalypse. The teenager Martin(Connor Paolo) is preparing to travel with his parents when they are attacked by a vampire. Martin is rescued by the stranger Mister(Nick Damici) and after killing the vampire, they head to the north expecting to reach the New Eden, former Canada. Along their journey through the destroyed country, Mister trains Martin and they rescue and befriend other survivors and have to fight not only against the vampires, but also a dangerous brotherhood of fanatic religious members led by the insane Jebedia Loven(Michael Cerveris). – Written by Claudio Carvalho
If ya’ll dug “Zombieland”, ya’ll will get a kick out of this movie, and no its not a do over nor a sequel. “Stake Land” literally starts out with the main protagonist explaining what happened in the world just before you see how he meets the other main character of the movie. Martin played by Connor Paolo who was getting ready to leave for new shelter and safety with this vampiric plague spreading through the states with his mother, father, the family dog, and their new born. Up until everything changed drastically when a vampire kills Martin’s family to which Mister played by Nick Damici kills the vampire, and takes the young Martin under his wing. Their end mission is to make it to Canada, to a place they call New Eden to live out their days without worry of the vampire plague, they later find themselves restocking at a local town to where Martin hears of a rumor that its not the vampires to worry about in New Eden, but to be worried of the cannibals. They continue their journey to New Eden to which they hear the screams of help coming from the nun Sister played by Kelly McGillis as two men are chasing after her, for what they had done to her Mister killed them for there was no place in this world for rapists. Sister disapproves of the life style for which Mister is raising Martin, but if he had not done so who knows what would’ve happened to our main character. As they proceed onward they thought they might have stumbled on to mass suicide that turned out to be a trap for any traveler passing through, where they were caught, and tied up before meeting the religious Jebedia Loven played by Michael Cerveris the father of one of the boys Mister had killed. As punishment for what Mister had done to Jebedia’s son, they take them out to the middle of “Their Country”, and leaves him to survive on his own without any of his usual equipment just a fire lit torch to fend the vampires off with. Martin makes his escape from Jebedia and the Brotherhood the next day, and with the training he learned from Mister he made his way back to the car to get his weapons so he can go find Mister. He is then reunited with Mister as he was in the trunk of the car, and saves Martin from a vampire that was running right for them just before Mister hotwires the car to run over the vampire a few dozen times. They later find themselves at a new spot for shelter where they meet and begin traveling with Belle played by Danielle Harris while slowly passing signs made by the brotherhood in search of Mister. They save and find the marine Willie played by Sean Nelson who was left for dead by the Brotherhood, with the help of Belle and Willie they run into Jebedia, and left him for dead instead after finding out that Sister had run away from them just as Martin had. After driving through the mountains the party had made it to a checkpoint for them to restock and rest easy for the night, as night fell they turned on a generator that turned some music on so that the townsfolk could have something of celebration to take their edges off, but as things got alittle too perfect the brotherhood began to drop vampires onto the checkpoint from a helicopter ruining the calm and hopeful settlers. Miles down the road the car they had been traveling in from the start finally died as the radiator blew out so they continued their journey on foot through the woods, and as they hiked through they became even closer to each other. They take shelter in an abandoned junkyard some miles through the woods, and as their make shift alarms go off at night they are attack by a group of berserker vampires. The berserker’s chase them into a cornfield where a tired Sister lures them away from the party before taking her own life, and ultimately saving the rest of the party. With their morale low the party continue through until they pass an old school bus in the middle of no where, with no sign of life around them so they make camp for the night as there was low provisions already stocked in the bus, but as they wake the next morning Willie had disappeared until they find his body some miles away from their camp spot. Not knowing what kind of vampire had gotten Willie the last three of the party continued on, though Belle is getting closer and closer to her baby’s due date. They set up a fire for camp to let Belle rest before they could continue when they catch ear of the vampire that had been hunting them, as they ran in the direction they heard it running though Mister and Martin ran towards its direction only to find that the sound was a decoy, and as Mister realizes this they head back to the campsite to find that Belle had been taken. They follow a trail leading to an abandoned house where they could hear Belle’s painful screams, and though Mister warned Martin of it being a baited trap for them he continued in hoping he could save her life. He ran in to see Belle tied to the wall dripping of blood with a bite on her neck before he was attacked from behind by a turned Jebedia Loven, and Mister finally made his way in to fight him head on. Jebedia nearly crucifies Mister to the other wall after knocking Martin unconscious, he explains to him how he became the way he was before attempting to take his life, and that’s when Martin staked Jebedia from the back with assistance from Mister though unfortunately Martin had to stake Belle before she could turn into one of them. They eventually find a new ride to travel with driving onward before stopping by a liquor store with a bunch of dead vampire infront of it, and as they checked the bodies they are then stopped by the local taking shelter which it is then after she feeds them do they meet Peggy who is played by Bonnie Dennison. As night fell Peggy was showing Martin how she had survived for so long by shooting the vampires with her crossbow, and as one that she had trouble killing showed up Martin headed outside to fight the vampire alone to show her how he had survived for so long with Mister who was watching him. As Martin and Peggy were asleep Mister was sitting in a chair drinking and smoking a cigarette, more then likely realizing that this was the time for him to part ways with Martin cause as he woke up the next morning there was no sign or trace of Mister except for his necklace he left on the side of the car for Martin to find so that he and Peggy could continue to New Eden without him, and so they did after packing some provisions and driving off the movie ends with them coming up to the sign marked for New Haven just before the credits take place…
Even though I summarized the entirety of the movie for ya’ll to catch a good feel of the movie, I left a lot out that ya’ll have to witness for yourselves to peep out such a dope movie. This movie has a great abundance of action and thrills that it will leave you on the edge of your seat for what may come next. But as dope as this movie is, there are some flaws to it for why I rate this movie 3 outta 5 stars, there are some graphic delays that most people wouldn’t notice, and there are some scenes the blood could’ve looked a lot more realistic but I digress.
All in all I highly recommend this movie to anyone that digs Vampire movies, especially ones of a post apocalyptic nature. You don’t have a whole lot of those floating around (cept for Priest), but still keeping a unique flow to itself as you build a relationship with these characters as the movies passes.
Ya’ll can currently watch this movie on Netflix, and I’m pretty sure most streaming websites, as well as being able to buy yourselves a copy here from amazon for just about 10 bucks, I hope yall dig this review I will be reviewing more unsung movies like this as the time passes for the year.