Stake Land (Blu-ray / DVD)



Stake Land Blu-ray/DVDStarring Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris, Michael Cerveris, Connor Paolo, Bonnie Dennison

Directed by Jim Mickle

Distributed by Dark Sky Films


A few years back Jim Mickle made a vibrant impression on the festival circuit with his fairly low budget and apocalyptic “were-rat” tale Mulberry Street, and since then gorehounds and film buffs have been patiently waiting for Mickle’s return to the director’s chair. Luckily the wait has ended, and Mickle's Stake Land is finally here on home video.

Unlike its predecessor, Stake Land shows its fangs early on as the film starts with a teenager named Martin (Paolo) being rescued by a mysterious vampire slayer simply named “Mister” (played by co-writer Nick Damici) after a vampire has massacred Martin’s entire family. From then on Connor is immediately thrown into a world where his teenhood must be sacrificed for hours of vamp slaying training and cross-country trips to “vamp-free” zones for food and shelter in a post-apocalyptic world.

After hearing about a place called “New Eden,” a place that is believed to be free of vampires, Connor and Mister embark on a long journey up north, and along the way a nun (McGillis), a pregnant young woman (Harris), and a young man named Willie (Sean Nelson) tag along with the pair in hopes of finding “New Eden.” Unfortunately, they all soon discover that vampires are not the only evil things they have to worry about.

Stake Land ReviewMickle and Damici once again deliver a script full of substance, character development, and meaningful social commentary lacking in so many horror films today. Mickle matches the strengths to the script with lush cinematography, risk-taking camera shots, and an eye for detail that should impress any cynical critic despite the low budget.

Although it starts off with a bang by bounteously showcasing a horrific vampire massacre (so horrific that one of the actresses left the premiere because of it), Stake Land is not just a regular vamp thriller relying on its bite and copious amounts of plasma-filled action to entertain its audience. While it certainly has its share of grisly and morbid moments, Mickle’s sophomore effort to Mulberry Street doesn’t just focus on the violence but rather devotes itself to evoking feelings of dread and hope in the viewer.

The film’s dark and doom-laden tone definitely elevates the art of playing with the nerves and expectations of viewers to new heights. Once the audience gets to know each character, they will be terrified to see them meet peril. Stake Land is the film 30 Days of Night should have been as it makes viewers believe they are actually spending days, if not months, with the characters.

In terms of home video, there are three packages available - Two disc DVD, Blu-ray, and single disc DVD. The special features for each are detailed below and if you're making your decision on quality and sound alone, the Blu-ray is your best bet as the transfer is as stunning as expected. Everything you need to revel in the world of Stake Land is right here at your finger tips. Two commentaries, footage from the Toronto premiere, seven short films offering the back stories of each main character, a making-of, and Jim Mickle's video diaries which delves into every step in bringing this film together from pre-production to post. Be prepared to spend some time. This is quite the haul.

Viewers may be reminded of The Road and Zombieland when watching this film, but Stake Land proves it is a taut thriller replete with gripping emotion behind it, making it a worthy contender in any film buff’s mental rolodex.

Two Disc DVD and Blu-ray Special Features

  • Two feature length commentary tracks: Writer/Director Jim Mickle, Writer/Actor Nick Damici, Actor Connor Paolo, Producer/Actor Larry Fessenden, Producer Brent KunkleWriter/Director Jim Mickle, Producers Peter Phok & Adam Folk, Director of Photography Ryan Samul, Sound Designer Graham Reznick, Composer Jeff Grace
  • Going for the Throat: The Making-of Stake Land featurette
  • Seven short character prequel films from Directors Larry Fessenden, Danielle Harris, Glenn McQuaid, JT Petty, Graham Reznick
  • Video diaries By Jim Mickle
  • Toronto International Film Festival Premiere Q&A Footage.

    Single Disc DVD Special Features

  • Two feature length commentary tracks:: Writer/Director Jim Mickle, Writer/Actor Nick Damici, Actor Connor Paolo, Producer/Actor Larry Fessenden, Producer Brent Kunkle, Writer/Director Jim Mickle, Producers Peter Phok & Adam Folk, Director of Photography Ryan Samul, Sound Designer Graham Reznick, Composer Jeff Grace
  • Trailer

    Film

    4 out of 5

    Special Features

    4 out of 5

    Discuss Stake Land in the comments section below!




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    EdHorrorClub's picture

    It's a good film. Check out our reviews and see what you think...

    http://edinburghhorrorclub.blogspot.com/search/label/Stake%20Land


    Submitted by EdHorrorClub on Thu, 09/01/2011 - 4:36pm.

    Stake Land was really good. The only mistake I felt the director made was a decision to bring back a certain character towards the end. That was stupid and it pissed me off. For the most part though, it was like a much more fun and bad-ass version of The Road with vamps.


    Submitted by LSD Zombie on Tue, 08/02/2011 - 8:45pm.
    kiddcapone's picture

    I am so over vampire movies. Every one is like watching bad sequels with minor differences. Unless someone seriously reinvents the genre with something truly original, I'm burned out and not interested. Pass.


    Submitted by kiddcapone on Tue, 08/02/2011 - 4:25pm.
    moderator That will be your loss dude.
    Steve Barton's picture

    That will be your loss dude. Give this one a chance. It's SO worth it!


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 08/02/2011 - 6:06pm.
    kiddcapone's picture

    I'll give it a shot since we're usually on the same page, but I just can't get my interest up for this at all. I've seen every possible direction the vampire genre can take and I'm growing so tired of it. There's been everything from Judas as dracula, to twinkling teens, to an HBO underwear model mini-series, 3D remakes, Corey Feldman never going away, to vampires being cured through ridiculous blood transfusions, etc etc etc...This just looks so 30 Days of Carpenter's Vampires to me...


    Submitted by kiddcapone on Tue, 08/02/2011 - 8:07pm.
    moderator You're making a mistake
    Debi Moore's picture

    You're making a mistake writing off Stake Land as just another "vampire movie". It's an overall great fucking movie - vamps or not.


    Submitted by Debi Moore on Tue, 08/02/2011 - 4:28pm.

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