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Friday, June 17, 2011

251. Stake Land


    In January I made the mistake of going on holiday for a week and just leaving the everyfilmin2011 blog in hiatus.
    We're now on our summer break (if any burglars are reading this, the house isn't empty) but this time I'm fully prepared.
    I'm stocked up with DVDs, so I can combine, sun, sea and sangria with keeping up with my movies.
    So, here I am, in the foyer of a hotel in Salou, bringing you the zombie nightmare that is Stake Land.
    And Jim Mickle's film is yet more evidence that an open mind is required when watching a movie.
    To be honest, zombie flicks do for me what motorbikes do. By and large I have loathed them.
    However, in the way TT 3D cast a new light for me on biking, so Stake Land has for the undead.
    Actually, it is not totally clear whether Stake Land is populated by zombie or vampires or, indeed a mix between the two but let's not be picky.
    The thrust is that our two human heroes Mister (Nick Damici - who is a co-writer of the movie) and Martin (Connor Paolo) run the gauntlet, not only of those who need a stake through the heart to finish them off but also a bunch of religious zealots who seem to think the zombies are a weapon of the Lord.
    Along the way, they come across more untouched folk who join their not-so-merry and rather small band.
    One of these, by the way, is Kelly McGillis. Yes, 25 years after Top Gun, she is virtually unrecognisable as a nun on the run from the savages.
    So, what makes Stake Land different from your average zombie gore fest.
    Number one, it helps that those taking part can act. Too often cheap in zombie movies means below standard  in look, script and performance. Not here.
    Mickle's direction really does create tension as does the edgy music score. Both give Stake Land an edge which earns it 7/10 - by far my highest score for a film of this genre.
    PS Thanks to Chris at Metrodome for the screener. Stake Land is out at cinemas now.

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251. Stake Land


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