The zombie thirst is back. A thirst that can only be quenched, by watching ridiculous amounts of zombie films and shows. So, why the hell did I end up watching stake land, when it’s a vampire movie?
Stake land, is one of those films that dance with the line between zombies and vampires. Their vampires, behave like zombies, look like zombie and feed like zombies, however obey 2 important vampire rules (these being, they have fangs and burst into flames in sunlight). Essentially, more zombie like, than vampire. So, I renamed these creatures, zompires.
Stake land is about a boy (Martin), who is orphaned after vampires (zompires) devour his family. Martin is saved from this fate, by a vampire hunter called Mister. Martin’s father uses his last breath, to ask Mister to save his son. Mister then takes, Martin under his wing and trains him as a vampire hunter.
In an attempt to escape, the growing numbers of zompires, Mister and Martin travel north. This turns out to be a very eventful journey, involving mutant zompires, cults and survival of the fittest.
For a vampire movie, this wasn’t bad. It’s one of the better vampire films, I’ve seen. Even as a zompire movie, it was okay. In saying that, it does have a lot of flaws. The biggest being, poorly edited scenes. Throughout the film there’s scenes, where characters magically appear and disappear and jump from one position to another. Making the movie look very choppy, at times and badly Frankensteined together. Having watched so many zombie films (both high and low budget), I can forgive this and in whole, it doesn’t destroy your enjoyment of the film.
It also had a lot of subplots, that went nowhere. For example, Martin was warned about survivor in the north, resorting to cannibalism and no cannibals materialised and there was no more mention of these cannibals. Being cannibalised, is the scariest thing I can think of, so this was very disappointing. It got my hopes up, that I’d be scared by cannibals and there was none. There was a lot of other nowhere-subplots like this, that just left you disappointed or confused about the direction of the film. Due to this, the film had a very unsatisfying ending.
Despite its short comings, Stake Land had a lot going for it. Such as Mister. Mister was extremely bad ass. He single-handedly, knocked rainbows out of the zompires and completely destroyed them. He survived being thrown to a pack of zompires, with no weapons. The zompires really didn’t stand a chance, against Mister. (He was also rather nice to look at, for an old guy.)
His relationship with Martin, was really sweet, too. They had more than, just a teacher pupil relationship. It was more like, father and son. You could tell they both, cared very much for each other and that they weren’t just using each other, as tools to survive. You could tell, they seen each other as family. This made Stake Land, really nice to watch and very touching. However, this is what makes the ending, kind of sad and unsatisfying.
Finally, the most important thing. The quality of the zompires. They were pretty good. They looked scary, weren’t incredibly cheesy and didn’t look fake. They weren’t TWD quality, but are probably as good as you can get, without making them look too graphical or unrealistic. They were still creepy as hell. They drooled blood and made what I think is, bear noises. Creating a very disturbing and frightening looking zompire, that when vocal, sent chills down your spine.
However, there wasn’t very many of zompires and no super gory or comical zompire deaths. For a vampire/zombie horror movie, I would have expected a lot more zompires and would expect them, to be more of a problem. They just seemed to be a background danger, that wasn’t that big of a threat. But, I think this was down to, the film focusing more on other groups of survivors, as a bigger threat.
Overall, this film was a very mild horror movie. It wasn’t scary and could be watched, by those easily scared, without becoming too frightened. It did have a jump scare in the first 5 minutes, but after that, it was very mild and there isn’t very many scary parts. It also took in interesting look at, how religion would impact society, if the world was filled with zompires, which is kind of scary, but fascinating.
Stake land isn’t that bad of movie. It’s okay, but just okay. I would only recommend it, if you were stuck for something to watch and wanted a horror. For hard-core zombie fans and lovers of gore, this film will not quench your zombie thirst, but is a good start, in a zombie film binge watch.