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Stake Land 2 [Blu-ray]
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When his home in New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized Brotherhood and its new Vamp leader, Martin finds himself alone in the badlands of America with only the distant memory of his mentor, the legendary vampire hunter Mister, to guide him. Roaming the wilderness of a steadily decaying country, Martin searches for the one man who can help him exact revenge. Once reunited, Mister and Martin prepare to confront the ravenous Brotherhood and its monstrous overlord. But it ll take more than the two of them to battle this terrifying new threat, and with the future of humanity hanging in the balance, the stakes are higher than ever before.
Reuniting one of horror cinema s most memorable heroic teams, STAKE LAND II is an epic exploration of a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by bloodthirsty vamps and social collapse, where only the strongest survive.
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Though I knew I had high expectations going in, I couldn't help but be disappointed by the sequel, made for cable TV. It has a new director, two of them actually, with Jim Mickelson, original writer-director listed only as Executive Producer, a position that is often given to include the person listed in any financial compensation even if they actually did nothing with the making of the film. The new directors are adequate but are unable to create the forlorn atmosphere that permeated the original film. The actors include Nick Damici and Connor Paiolo reprising their roles as Mister and Martin, a wise thing to do. However I think that part of the original film's appeal lay in the fact that Martin looked very young and rather fragile and in more danger and needing protection than he does here. Ten years have passed (Paolo grew a beard to look ten years older) so it's the story of two tough men looking for revenge rather than the more sympathetic story of a boy learning the ropes to survive.
But the real problem is in the writing. Most of the film is made up of standard action/horror elements from other films like Mad Max or The Road, so it's more of a standard action film than anything else. They did try to change the Vamps, but in a counterproductive way. Since this is shown in the first few minutes of the film I don't believe I am giving anything away. Now the Vamps are semi-intelligent and organized under the seemingly hypnotic power of "The Mother" a Queen Vamp" with special powers. In addition, while the original Vamps were just people infected by a virus, they now introduce "Berserker Vamps," huge, hulking, fierce monsters, which suggests some sort of breeding program like the Uruk-Hai Orcs in The Lord of the Rings. Though this makes them fiercer opponents, once you start adding intelligence and organization you take away their mindless monster appeal and turn them into just an angry bunch of people.
All this said it's still worth watching if you set your sights lower and expect no more than 80 minutes' action entertainment. It works that way. It just isn't an original and idiosyncratic genre masterpiece like Stake Land. The cinematography of the Saskatchewan countryside is beautiful and adds a great deal to the film. Room is left for a third installment.
Well I had a feeling this was gonna have a sequel and I loved it