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Stake Land II (Blu-ray/DVD)

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Stake Land 2

Stake Land 2 213x300 - Stake Land II (Blu-ray/DVD)Starring Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Laura Abramson

Directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen

Distributed by Dark Sky Films


I’d honestly hoped and prayed for any old sequel to 2010’s Stake Land, simply due to the fact that the film firmly planted some titanic cojones upon the vampires that as of that time, had lost a little bit of their edge…getting a bit soft in the tooth, perhaps? Well, have no fear – the sequel is here, titled Stake Land II and although it does have its flaws in some areas, it’s still a worthwhile addition to the story, and brings an even more dour peek into an apocalyptic world riddled with berzerker-like bloodsuckers.

Connor Paolo reprises his role as Martin, who at the film’s onset is still grieving heavily over the tragic slaughtering of his wife and small daughter by The Brotherhood (recently reformed and badder than ever), and a vampiress known as The Mother…and yes, she is one bad-ass mother. The losses have left Martin withdrawn and infinitely vengeful, all the while searching for the man that took him under his wing some time ago, Mister (Damici). He sees a reunion as the only way to exact his revenge against the horde of killers and their “cleansing” of the Canadian refuge known as New Eden. His pursuit takes him directly through the savage land he’d hoped he’d never have to return to, and when the two finally do meet up, it’s indisputable that time and distance have changed them for many a reason, and they’ll have to once again rely on one another to destroy The Brotherhood and their leader for good. As the film begins to make its ascent up that steep hill, one would hope that it would cut the brakes in the second half, and careen recklessly out of control (in a good way, of course) – all in the name of unbridled, end-of-the-world entertainment.

Sad thing is, that the brakes get pumped quite a bit as we make our way back down this hill of nightcrawling terror, instead focusing on our two main characters and their sullen ways – not to say we haven’t been down this road before, but for those infinitely in love with all the butchery of the first film, you might be a bit let down by the overall amount in this sequel. Both Damici and Paolo are at their usual best when portraying these characters, but I for one would have enjoyed a bit more of the relentless, vamp-bashing as opposed to the morose, retrospective take that was employed, but hey, ya get what ya get! There still are quite a few surprising moments in this new division, and far be it from me to shoot a random spoiler off into the sky – forget it, cause it won’t happen. The film’s locales are a shining light here, with even more of the desolate countryside brought to the forefront, surrounding the viewer with a sense of abandonment in an open-air environment – pretty creepy stuff, indeed. Overall, the film acts as a serviceable addition to the story, but the regrettable element is that it could have been so much more – still is worth a watch for fans who sharpened their fangs on the first movie.

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