Stake Land II: The Stakelander (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier ‬

STAKE LAND 2

Directors: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Writer: Nick Damici
Stars: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Laura Abramsen

‪Plot:  When his home of 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 and legendary vampire hunter, Mister, to guide him.‬
‪Running Time: 1 hour 21 minutes ‬
‪IMDB Score: 5.3  There’s no Rotten Tomatoes Score ‬

‪Why I watched it: You’ll be shocked but I saw the first one, pretty much any horror sequel comes out I’m illegible to watch it.  ‬

‪Random Thoughts: First off some places just call this The Stakelander, I saw it on Netflix Canada and they had it as Stake Land II: The Stakelander, what’s interesting is that on some titles they don’t officially call it a sequel.  I liked the first to a degree, it was a different take on Vampires, they use them again more like zombies but they threw in a different element, you dealt with this Vampire invasion who are trying to turn everyone into vampires but you had a group known as The Brotherhood who weren’t turn but were holy rollers using this as the word of God and were also killing and trying to take over.  The first one was very bleak, it was about survival and yes there were parallels to The Walking Dead.  ‬

‪What I liked:The set is pretty good for a sequel as Mister who was the main lead in the first one has moved on and the younger boy/man is now a man and has a family, as you might guess it doesn’t work out well, his family is killed and were introduced to a new character called Mother, who is this vampire who controls the vampires and is working with the Brotherhood now.  She looks like Tilda Swinton, but I realized  maybe it’s Tilda Swinton that looks like female vampires.  So Martin is not the side kick or the student this time, he’s out for revenge and he’s seeking to find Mister to help.  It’s clear they didn’t have the money that they did for the first one, this one looks cheap and the main cast is small, so it starts as a road movie until of course he finds Mister then it kind of becomes a siege movie.  Connor Paolo is good again as Martin, he’s a quiet actor, he does show some range here and he’s older this time out so he has more to do. Nick Damici is back as Mister he also wrote both films, he’s find here, he gets to play the cool vampire killer role.  Now one thing that I think is worth noting is that when they get to a camp where we meet  people that the Mister knows there’s two guys played by Steven Williams and A.C. Peterson and at first they did things and I was like oh they’re kind of hinting at them being a couple but it wasn’t clear so i thought when that’s interesting but near they end they do kiss and say they love each other, now that’s not something you see in horror films also add that Williams is black and Peterson is a big guy who almost always plays bad guys, two have a gay couple and not make it an issue was nice to see in this kind of film.‬

‪What I didn’t like: The budget kills this film, it looks cheap and at under 90 minutes there’s not a lot of story to tell.  Some of the acting isn’t great and the direction isn’t first rate, now I get it the first one wasn’t a huge hit but it did have a following as much as a low budget horror could have, I think what hurt the first one is that it’s depressing and a very sad film, it’s not Blade about having a cool time killing vampires, this is a bleak world where most of the people are either dead or evil so I get where getting money for a second one might have been tough.  I do wish they took more time with the script cause it’s pretty bare here, it’s a revenge film really and because of the budget the scoop is really small this time out.  This is an interesting world they created I wish they took it in a different direction.‬

‪Final Thoughts: I thought this one was a little more hopeful and not as bleak and I do like some of this film and if you liked the first one give this a watch. Some people will be put off by the look of the film but I was fine, i will say the pacing for the first half is slow so be warned it does pick up.‬

‪Rating: 5/10‬

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