Stake Land (2010)
Thank God for Stake Land. Vampires are finally back as they should be; ugly, bloodthirsty monsters and not the coiffured ponces that we’ve recently been subjected to on every bus, poster…or any other viable advertising space for that matter. If any teen was stupid enough to fall in love with one of these babies she’d smartly have her head removed and be chugged like a beer keg.
The story follows two renegade survivors, Mister (Nick Damici) and Martin (Connor Paolo) (perhaps homage to a certain other vampire). The former is shrouded in a mysterious unknown origin and the latter orphaned at the start of the vampire apocalypse. Mister begins to train Martin to prepare him for the harsh and brutal place the world has become, making him an apprentice of sorts. We never find out the why or the how, but what we do get is a deep and fascinating look at those who are left to carry on. The interactions with vampires are really only secondary, the more fascinating story starts to emerge when we get a to see how the survivors interact with each other and the use of religion to justify their less savoury actions when law and order are no longer prevalent.
As the duo makes their way across America or ‘Stake land’, they frequently cross paths with other, less fortunate souls. Mister, though hard faced, never refuses them passage irrelevant age or even pregnancy, but remains focused on his journey to a safe territory, New Eden. Managing to dodge the cult Christians that have started to dominate the area they are travelling through they start to venture north, into the wilderness. The ragtag group begins to form a pack mentality to survive in the hostile terrain, trying to cling onto the hope of a better place.
The loss of several of the pack hits our original duo hard making them realise they are being stalked by a foe that’s unlike any of the other vampires they’ve encountered. When the secondary characters leave the story Mister always remains stoic and realistic while Martin is more mournful showing that he will never quite mirror Mister. This leads to a heartbreaking conclusion with a sobering, but hopeful close to the story.
Video sourced from Youtube.