Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sean Kelly

TADFF16: The Stakelander

We return to the vampire-infested American wasteland in The Stakelander. Over the last few years, Martin (Connor Paolo) has created a new life for himself in New Eden, with his wife and daughter. However, one night the vamp-worshiping zealots The Brotherhood attacks, accompanied by a one-eyed female vampire known only as The Mother (Kristina Hughes). Martin's family is killed in the attack and he finds wondering alone in the Stake Lands trying to find his old mentor Mister (Nick Damici), before embarking on a vengeful crusade on The Mother.

Jim Mickle's 2010 film Stake Land was arguably one of the best vampire films of recent years, with the film coming off like a vampire version of The Walking Dead. Six years later comes the sequel The Stakelander. While the film reunites lead actors Connor Paolo and Nick Damici, the latter of whom also wrote the screenplay, Jim Mickle has been replaced by the duo of Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. On Martin and Mister's vengeful quest against The Mother, they take in a feral woman named Lady (Laura Abramsen) and take shelter in one of the last remaining safe havens, lead by Mister's old friends Bat (A.C. Peterson) and Doc Earl (Steven Williams).

It didn't take long for me to realize that The Stakelander is a step down from Stake Land, in regards to budget and quality. I tried not to let the fact that this film premiered on SyFy last weekend cloud my judgement, especially since this was a director's cut that retained all the language and violence. However, The Stakelander pales greatly in comparison to Stake Land, which probably didn't need a sequel. While it is great seeing Nick Damici back as Mister, his mentor relationship with Martin isn't as strong this time. Altogether, this film was a huge disappointment.

4 / 10 stars
  DISAPPOINTED 

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).