Friday, February 24, 2017

3 Short Paragraphs: Stake Land 2

2016, Dan Berk, Robert Olsen (Body) -- download

I prefer the alternate title, The Stakelander but sequels name as sequels do. I loved Stake Land. But I didn't love this sequel, yet dislike is not quite the right choice either. As a followup to a wonderful first movie, it was a disappointment but as a B-grade, indie, post-ap movie, its a cut above the dross. Nick Damici's writing is there, the torment and pathos, but the directing is very bland. Part of me envisions a late night drunk session where they came up with the idea of doing an Aliens to Jim Mickle's Alien. More vamp-monsters! Bigger fights! Less slow!

When last we left our intrepid hero Martin, he had escaped to New Eden, i.e. Canada. For some unknown reasons, vampires avoid the border and the weak explanation of 'the cold' doesn't hold much water, unless you include some seasonal mythos of Spring to Fall raids from The Stake Lands. ANYWAYZ, the story begins with one such raid as a strange one eyed vampire lady (or was that just Viserys Targaryen?) leads a bunch of the vamp-monsters (berserkers) against New Eden. Martin loses his family. Revenge must be had; so, south into the Stake Lands he goes. To find Mister, the skilled vampire hunter from the first movie.

The opening travel bit is apropos of a vampire world. If they live by killing humans and are not exactly discriminate, eventually humans will become scarce. Martin travels through rural wastelands devoid of people; it is lovingly haunting. Once he finds Mister, in a cannibal compound that is more Walking Dead than any original inspiration, the movie basically devolves into a siege story inside a 'lockup' or protected settlement. Lady vamp was looking to kill Mister, and had used Martin's tragedy to dig up the missing hunter. There is a single scene of why with a baby vamp, and no explanation. And there are feeble attempts to dredge up some emotion, but Berk & Olsen do a terrible job at pacing and editing, leaving me looking more at my phone than at the screen.