The Stakelander (2016)
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"The Stakelander" is a decent sequel of the gem "Stake Land". The plot returns to the characters Martin and Mister with an ellipsis of many years after the first movie that is presented in flashbacks, with Martin raising a family that is destroyed by an insidious vampire leader and the brotherhood. The result is inferior to the original film but also entertains. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
This sequel was written by Nick Damici without the input of Jim Mickle, who co-wrote the first film. Mickle was tied up in other projects, but Damici wanted to return to Stake Land whether through film, TV or a web series, and producer Larry Fessenden agreed. Many directors were interviewed looking for a Mickle replacement. Ultimately, Fessenden (through Chadd Harbold) went with "extended family" members, Dan Berk and Bobby Olsen. Though they may not be big names, the successful execution of this film speaks for itself.
The film begins with a minor flashback to catch us up to speed. Without using footage from the original, we get a quick sense of the characters and where we are now. It is quite effective, and simple enough that someone who skipped the first film could watch this one without much difficulty. (Why they would do that, I have no idea.) For the first half of the film, there are plenty of shots showing the desolate wasteland (of Canada!), really driven by the score due to the lack of dialogue. How much this was taken from the script, I do not know, but it plays very well and credit must be given to composer Redding Hunter.
Damici's script is somewhat philosophical. We have the importance of hope to keep on moving forward in the bleakest of times (which could easily be seen as a metaphor). His own character, Mister, has a great role, very sage. He even paraphrases Confucius: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Our hero is the same as the first film, but a little bit older and wiser, and we also have new characters played by veteran actors Steven Williams and A.C. Peterson. Williams is especially enjoyable, and when you look up the mile-long credits these two guys have, you wonder why they're not bigger names.
Damici's script brings a western sensibility to the post-apocalyptic genre. (Western in the sense of cowboys, that is.) I am not sure how much the original was intended to be seen as a western, but this sequel really captures the feel -- wastelands replacing deserts, and survivors replacing lone gunslingers wandering through treacherous new towns.
The DVD / Blu-ray looks and sounds great. The special features are somewhat lacking. Perhaps I am spoiled, but I have come to expect audio commentary as standard, and no one has offered that here. However, there is a roughly 30-minute "making of" video that covers just about anything that the average person would want to know, so at least we have the next best thing. Fans f the original should not miss the sequel, as there is plenty to like here and certainly a world worth returning to a third time if those involved were so inclined.
This time around, the character Martin had a little more grit, depth and emotion, but I was still rather underwhelmed. Not terribly so, in that you can understand the "shellshock" due to his great personal losses, and hence a kind of detachment regarding anything except fighting and killing. "Mister", the unnamed aging vampire fighter played by Nick Damici, the writer of the story, is as intense and believable as ever, and the best part about the film in my opinion. Some old friends of "Mister" provide more backstory of his history, which content is not unexpected but welcome, and eventually influences the ending of the tale at this time.
There's a fair amount of blood and gore, a couple of surprises, and a revenge element that connects both of the main characters, as the necessity and burden of fighting for survival nearly becomes too much for each. I rated it a 7 mostly on Damici's performance, as the storyline is typical for post-apocalyptic vampire/undead movies, and the cinematography was pretty good. It's definitely worth a watch if you liked the first film, and you wanted to see what happened to Martin and "Mister".
As vamp movies go, there are a few with "cojones", like Daybreakers, presenting a complete society or Priest, with a new monster look, a better dystopian background.
Now for Stake Land: a nice add-on to the genre, a small movie that was nicely welcomed by anyone. The second part succeeded throughout the movie but failed with the opposite side, where they should have worked just a little more. If that part would have been explored properly, I do believe Stakelander could have been easily just as enjoyable as the first. Nevertheless it is a good movie on its own and I do recommend it.
All in all, I do hope for a third part, and with a little more effort, maybe we can have a nicely almost indie trilogy. One to remember!
And true enough to sequels as sequels usually go, then "The Stakelander" is just one of those movies that didn't turn out to be anywhere near the original first movie. And one such movie that you wonder why they actually took the time to make it, especially with 6 years in between the two movies.
That being said, then I will move right on to stating that "The Stakelander" was a massively boring movie, and it was a test of wills to actually see it through to the very end. I managed to do so, because I wanted to see if it picked up pace and became better. I didn't!
The characters in the movie were one-dimensional and could have easily been replaced with cardboard cut-outs. There were just no depth or motivation to the characters that trodded in and about in this movie. And it seemed more like a ragtag ensemble of odd characters coming together for making something resembling a movie.
The effects in "The Stakelander" were adequate, albeit not outstanding or memorable, mind you. So not even here does the movie have a chance to elevate itself.
Compared to the first movie, then "The Stakelander" was surprisingly devoid of action. Which was a shame, because that could at least have been something to keep the audience in their seats.
You are perhaps even better off just watching the 2010 "Stake Land" movie and letting it be with just that one movie. Because the 2016 "The Stakelander" sequel offers nothing important or outstanding to the storyline of the first movie.
This movie came and went without leaving a lasting impression. And it is hardly the type of movie that you watch a second time around, providing that you actually manage to get through it the first time.
This here was quite the disappointing and really underwhelming effort. Most of the film's problems are due to the fact that this one just doesn't have much of anything happening here, unlike the original which had a lot of enjoyable action scenes throughout. Instead, here the film is far more pressed for lame melodrama about the fight for survival in the wilderness and his search for his mentor that it takes plenty of time to actually get any kind of action featured within this one as we get scenes of him wandering around the wilderness meeting the loner family, finding him in the underground fighting club and the really endless scenes of the two of them hiking around with the captive woman that it really does feel like seemingly endless scenes that aren't in the slightest bit interesting and just really drag this one out. Likewise, once they get into the new compound the scenes of them meeting up with the locals living there and interacting with them as they get integrated into their lifestyle also makes this one quite overly bland and rather dull during here. That also produces the unwanted effect of keeping the vampires off-screen except for a few brief encounters throughout here which is the film's only good scenes but it really draws out how few scenes they're involved in when it's entirely possible to see how little scenes they're shown and comes off as furthering how flawed this is. It does come close to featuring some rather enjoyable moments here which is mostly centered on the vampires attacking as there's some rather fun, bloody sequences here that are part of the big encounters on display which includes the first encounter at the farmhouse which is really thrilling and gets in some decent brawling while the other encounters out in the wilderness comes across as rather bloody and exciting. There's still the finale of this one which is where there's plenty of rather fun and enjoyable action here which really works so well in generating the required action that carries this one off quite nicely with plenty of gunfire, explosions and brawling that takes place throughout the compound it really makes for quite the effective and rousing series of scenes that really manages to get the proper excitement and bloodshed required to end on a high-note. Still, it's flaws here really hold this one back.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Language.
The first film was theatrically released whereas this sequel is straight-to-TV. However, they're of about the same production quality because the first movie was low-budget (although you couldn't really tell from watching it). The main difference here is that the events take place on the Canadian prairie (shot around Regina, Saskatchewan) as opposed to the Northeast USA in the previous film.
I didn't like the eye-rolling gay subtext thrown in at the end (to appease SJWs, I guess), but it happens in a fallen world; and the post-apocalyptic 'world' portrayed here is decidedly fallen. Like the first film, "Stake Land II" is forlorn and gritty realistic, but the inclusion of The Brotherhood and the vamps usher it into Mad Max territory, although not as goofy. If you like post-apocalyptic adventures, like "Planet of the Apes," "The Postman" and "Dawn of the Dead," "Stake Land II" is worth checking out. The feral girl is akin to Nova from "Planet of the Apes" and is an interesting touch.
The movie runs 81 minutes.
This sequel has a direct-to-video feel to it. Set a decade following the events of the original, this movie reunites Connor Paolo and Nick Damici, as the now-adult Martin and the enigmatic, vampire-killing powerhouse, "Mister." Paolo feels flat this time out, the movie is occasionally slow, and the action sequences are a little underwhelming.
Still, Damici shines. And I couldn't help but find myself engaged by the movie as a whole. Even if the film isn't a classic, the brutal, unflinching "Stake Land" fictional universe is still front and center. The post-apocalyptic setting and character backstories are so dark and unpredictable that the film is still fun for a seasoned horror fan. It's at least as interesting as an average episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead."
This film is not totally awful, but it's pretty darn close, and it doesn't hold a candle to the first film.
Stakeland was a movie that was lovingly crafted and made well on a limited budget - this is B grade schlock that was clearly rushed and nowhere near the same love and attention was put into it.
The acting is not as good, they've stolen concepts straight out of multiple other movies (The Book of Eli, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Road, just to name a few,) and the story is a rushed and incoherent mess.
The villain makes little sense, the interesting concepts of the film are woefully underdeveloped and presented in a totally contradictory fashion - we are told that the world has entered a new 'dark ages', but then everyone is still using modern technology likes cars, electricity, modern medicine, military weapons and armaments, etc. And we are introduced to 'the Brotherhood' who are supposed to be a Christian sect who are in league with a vampire and her vampire hoard despite the blatantly obvious fact that she (and her vampire brood) would clearly be considered as demonic minions from the pit of Hell by any such religious group - but hey, there's no need to tell you why this should be or even explain how this partnership came to be because... reasons.
But on the bright side, they managed to ham-fistedly shoehorn in a gay couple (did they get some sort of extra funding for the diversity points?) and then they keep labouring the fact that they're a gay couple - just in case you missed it the first time around.
When I think about it, this film kind of feels like a cheaply made attempt to make conservatives and Christians look evil and bad while the progressives are the good guys fighting on the side of the angels.
In a nutshell: this movie feels like a montage of set pieces and concepts that have been poorly put together, all the while someone forgot to actually write a plot to string all the various pieces (and concepts blatantly stolen from other movies) together as one coherent whole.
Zero character development, wholesale abandonment of the lore established by the first movie, zero character arcs, blatant copying of other apocalyptic movies (including it's predecessor), poor acting, poorly executed and contradictory story points, action set pieces were poor imitations of the original, nowhere near the same level of attention paid to costume and world development (don't get me started on that awful and cheap looking fortified compound!), nowhere near as many vampires, the musical score was nowhere near as good as Stakeland (and was it just me, or did it feel like the first 10 minutes of the movie was scored by someone totally different than the rest of the film?)
If this movie was a vampire, you wouldn't need to stake it through the heart because it was already dead on arrival.
It's a real shame, because the first movie was an absolute unexpected cult classic worthy of all the praise it gets - in fact, if you haven't seen it already, forget this one and go and watch Stakeland instead!
The new director (story written by Nick Damici aka "Mister"...way above his pay grade or writing talent ) has gutted the classic vampire tale of good versus evil ...there is no redemption for this half baked movie trying to cash on the original movie moxie by basically stealing scenes from other Sci-fi classics.
Here's what's dreadfully wrong. In Stakelander Martin/Boy has blissful happiness with his a new wife & child ...that is latter murdered by a vengeful Vamp Queen in in the first five minutes sending Martin into a gloomy funk (but oddly he seems rather disinterested or maybe just figures the script sucks) I knew the tale was going down that old cliché drain, killing off all the previous survivors ...it's not shocking just lazy story telling. So after killing off the girlfriend character from Stake 1 the "Boy" now looking like a sad lost Hipster seeks to find "Mister".
Now Hipster seems like a trusting Millennial Doofus getting ambushed a few times along the road, now the first ambush was forgivable but getting ambushed not once but twice in the woods, warehouse & latter at Mister's suburban shack while playing house is so awful it was embarrassing just to watch...for example the forest ambush H & M have a smoldering fire, coffee & are getting ready to sing Kumbaya as the Brotherhood zealots walk up on them... not sneak but walk!
The acting, writing & set design looked like first semester film class 101 or teen friends making a Youtube skit in the woods. Also the misplaced feral mute playing cave woman with goofy facial expressions was cringe worthy.
Now for the meat of the movie. The Vamp Queen wasn't fleshed out, who was she and why should I care? The survivor fortress looked like shopping carts piled on each other. They went really really cheap in the special effects . The Mister gladiator scene was a crude copy of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome & an exact copy of 2015 Turbo Kid . When Mister escapes with Hipster they exit the arena cage entrance to where?...more locked cages LoL!
Also Mister looks like a bloated Steven Seagal (what the heck happened to the Kung Fu staking bad-ass,he wet all snowflake on me ) he even says he's tired of it all. So am I!
The two Hell's Angel gay grandpa's committing suicide together while taking out the vamp army made me laugh...the PC smooching was the pièce de résistance, so pointless,forced & out of place (Damici snuggling up to Hollywood Libs for Brownie points) Why did he ruin the original vamp classic memory & make this travesty is one of the great mysteries of Mister & poor Hipster. I figure Netflix offered a bag of gold for a half finished script or more like dozen stolen moments from other horror movies ...running with the bag & staking what could've been a epic trilogy right in the heart. What a waste & Nick Damici should be spanked with a vampire toothed plank.
Martin makes his way through a savage devastated landscape. He encounters a crazed homicidal old couple, cannibals and slavers on his quest to locate Mister. A rag-taggle team is assembled to battle The Brotherhood and their new She-Vamp leader.
Good Vampire/Post-Apocalypse Thriller. The Vampires are more Zombie like apart from their Alphas who retain a more Human appearance. Disturbing and not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. 7/10.
Like most sequels, they are never as good as the first and always leave themselves open for another sequel...even when you destroy the entire planet like that second ape picture. They live in "the new Dark Ages" as we find some history being told, and another battle between us and them. And "the runner" reminded me of a battle scene from "The Two Towers." Nothing like a flashback.
Guide: TV-14. No swearing sex, or nudity. Attempted rape. Minor salty slang.
That's sort of the way this movie make me feel too. It looked much more sleek, and polished. They must have had some better grade equipment, because even though the film was light on action, it looked and and sounded great.
Story wise, I was a little sad to see the fate of the love interest so early on. It felt a little incoherent the way it was edited with flashing forward and backward, but for dramatic effect it worked. I would have wanted to see more depth to the villain character, but the connection to the first film's villain was completely missed and I'm uncertain why the writers decided to overlook this.
All in all, the film was solid though, production quality was good and Nick Damici was extremely entertaining. I would highly suggest this film if you were a fan of the first, despite some of the tonal differences, it still proved to be a thankful addition to the Stake Land universe. The ending is bitter sweet and leaves you wanting to see more of these characters, so here's hoping for a follow-up!
However this same black person is gay? Gay people empowerment check? However the only females in this film are wild animals, murders ie...feral, cannibals or Vamps who have no personality and are just savages. Um,anti woman, women are evil and or animals check? If I was a social Justice Warrior, and I am the exact opposite, this film would set my tiny mind spinning.
So lets remove the odd PC or anti PC filth. That said this film could have been good, but was below average. It seems these "people" were not educated on how to pollute a film with anti family SJW garbage, however they tried hard but missed the mark. With the epidemic of heroine ion this nation, maybe we can blame that?
Plot is mediocre. The overall cliché: revenge and blah blah blah. I don't like when horror movies just happen. Like: oh, wow, a vampires out of the blue! I mean, c'mon! I need an explanation.
Everything happens fast and without explanation, much like the first movie. It just happens and ends, nothing new.
Should we hope for a Stake Land III? Why not, Stake Land II happened, let's just keep going. Maybe we need a Stake Land Origins so we can complete the full circle.
Watch it only if you've watched the first one or if you're after some good'ol B-flick horror fest.