Throwback Review: Stakeland Contains Vampires with a New Bite

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A friend of mine told me about a vampire move that he thought was a departure from how vampires are typically being portrayed as today. In other words, these vampires inspired fear and . Now, I’m a cynic at heart, expecially when it comes to vampires. Vampires do not sparkle. Vampires should not be wearing Renaissance Era lacy, frilly clothes.

Vampires are bloodsuckers. They are fiends.

Well now, this movie has a vampire Santa Claus.

I’m referring to Stake Land. This movie is really good. The vampires are more of an ever present background threat, but the immediate threat is the breakdown of civilization. Human beings acting out on their darkest, base needs and desires. I guess it’s a return to the old formula that used to be ever present in zombie media – It’s not the enemy without; it’s the enemy within.

 

One of other problem with many vampire, slasher, or zombie movie is the concept of the one strong “survivor”. To me, a more realistic scenario includes a group of survivors who work together to overcome, outlast, or just hunker down.

This movie is one of those. So far, you have the dedicated, mercenary vampire killer, his sidekick, a nun, a pregnant singer (Danielle Harris), and an ex-marine. It is a pretty interesting family dynamic. This movie followers their passage through a land devestated by the undead invasion, interacting with other survivors along the way.

Here is the description from Netflix (www.netflix.com):

This genre-bending thriller combines vampires, religious fanatics and post-apocalyptic horrors with a coming-of-age tale that finds drifter Mister (Nick Damici) training young Martin (Connor Paolo) to survive the nightmare that has become America as they journey to New Eden. While they combat the mutated bloodsuckers and vicious humans seeking to rule the land, Mister and Martin rescue other wanderers and become a tightly knit family of warriors.

When it comes to typically taboo items, this movie does have the gamut. From vampires eating babies, children dying, rape, a nun committing suicide, etc, this movie does include topics that most movies either throw in as shock value or avoid completely as a matter of meeting a PG-13 rating. In Stake Land, these topics are part of the pace. They don’t create jarring out of sequence scenes for grossing out the viewers. It is part of the story, showing how bad it is, and how bad it can be.

 Stake Land is an amazing movie and I highly recommend it, especially for horror fans who want their vampires to have a real bite to them. Thanks go out to Randy (Damocles66 on Twitter) for the recommend!

 

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