Following the horrific demise of his family in a pulsating opening scene, Martin (Connor Paolo) is befriended by the mysterious stranger known only as Mister (Nick Damici).
The duo then head off into a world familiar to fans of zombie movies as they traverse ruined towns & cities meeting various characters along the way. Only this time it isn’t zombies that have caused the problem, it’s an epidemic of vampires.
Nick Damici is cool as the emotionless vampire killer and Connor Paolo is perfect as the vulnerable boy trying to survive. They meet up with a Nun (an unrecognisable Kelly McGillis) and a pregnant singer (horror movie regular Danielle Harris) but as is the case with many of these movies it isn’t always the vampires that are the most frightening thing they encounter.
The Brotherhood is a religious cult led by Jebediah (Michael Cerveris) and they believe God has infested the Earth with vampires to eliminate sinners from the world. Unfortunately Cerveris is the weak link in the cast, he too closely resembles comedy bald guy Evan Handler from Sex & The City and Californication to be taken seriously as a villain.
That aside I just wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it is. Can you believe it? It’s actually an original take on the vampire movie. Ok, it borrows heavily from films like 28 Days Later but throwing vampires into the mix is a clever and fresh move.
It’s a visceral and violent road trip that also provides moments of melancholy as the survivors long for a world they may never see again.
Metrodome release Stake Land on DVD in the UK on 17th October 2011.
Ric’s Rating: 77%