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Stake Land


Stars: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Michael Cerveris

Director: Jim Mickle

America has been overrun by zombie vampires. Rescued from trying to help his dying parents by travelling vampire-hunter Mister (Damici), Martin (Paolo) joins the latter on a hazard-strewn trek to the 'new Eden of the north'.

En route they rescue a nun (McGillis) from rape, and cross a group of Satanists whose chief's son was one of the would-be rapists. Later, the little party is joined by a pregnant girl (Harris) and a lone soldier.

'Anything had to be better than what we left behind,' intones Martin, although there is no evidence to suggest this is true, especially when they end up in Strivington, a shack township manned by survivors that's invaded by parachuting vampires released by crazed Christian groups. It still seems more sensible to remain in Strivington, but instead they head north again. Grass is always greener, I suppose.

The ending is abrupt, with no guarantee of survival, but the film is actually a lot better than this synopsis might suggest, in spite of a lack of logic at certain times. It keeps going at a fair clip and never goes sentimental on us: the action, though bloody, has a Western feel, as if trail hands were trying to complete an arduous drive while constantly menaced by Indians. Decent performances, no-nonsense direction. Fans willing to ignore the absurdities will enjoy it.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Pathecolor.
96 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 12 Jun 2011