REVIEW: BYZANTIUM

 

CAST

Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones)
Gemma Arterton (The Voices)
Sam Riley (Maleficent)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Daniel Mays (The Bank JOb)
Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out)
Tom Hollander (Pride & Predjudice)
Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Conjuring 2)

Gemma Arterton in Byzantium (2012)In 2010, an old man, Robert Fowlds, picks up a discarded note dropped by teenage vampire Eleanor Webb, who has taken to writing her life story and then throwing the individual pages to the wind. Realising what she is, the old man invites Eleanor to his house and tells her that he is ready for death. Eleanor proceeds to kill him and consume his blood. Elsewhere, Eleanor’s mother, Clara, is chased from the lap-dancing club where she has been working by Werner, a member of the vampiric Brethren, who demands to know where Eleanor is. Clara decapitates Werner, burns his body and leaves town with her daughter.Saoirse Ronan and Caleb Landry Jones in Byzantium (2012)Eleanor and Clara seek sanctuary in a dilapidated coastal resort. There, Clara sets her sights on a lonely soul named Noel, who has just inherited the Byzantium Hotel, a once-thriving business that has fallen into disrepair. Eleanor plays the piano in a restaurant and is approached by a young waiter named Frank, who takes a shine to her. Having seduced Noel, Clara turns the Byzantium into a makeshift brothel and Eleanor joins the local college which Frank also attends. Interested in her past, Frank questions Eleanor, who writes her story for him to read. Not entirely believing it, he shows it to their teacher, Kevin.Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium (2012)The story, revealed in a series of flashbacks over the course of the film, begins during the Napoleonic Wars, when a young Clara encounters two Royal Navy officers, Captain Ruthven and Midshipman Darvell. While Darvell gifts Clara with a pearl and is kind to her, Ruthven convinces her to come away with him, to Darvell’s dismay. Ruthven, taking her to a brothel, rapes her and forces her into prostitution. Over the years he visits her and is physically abusive. When Eleanor is born in 1804, Clara leaves her at the local private orphanage and secretly visits her at night. Years later, Clara is dying of what appears to be tuberculosis when the brothel is visited by Darvell, who has become a vampire. He gives Ruthven a map to an island where people can become vampires if they are willing to die. Clara shoots Ruthven in the leg, steals the map and makes her way to the island to become a vampire. Darvell finds Clara and takes her to the Brethren, a secret society of vampires that protects the secret of vampirism.Thure Lindhardt, Sam Riley, and Gemma Arterton in Byzantium (2012)As their members have traditionally been male nobles, they are appalled that a low-born prostitute has joined their ranks but decide to spare her life, warning her that she must abide by their code but that she may play no part in their Brotherhood. Shortly afterwards, Clara’s decision to spare Ruthven comes back to haunt her, when the vengeful, syphilis-ridden Captain turns up at Eleanor’s orphanage and takes her to the attic to rape her. Clara brutally murders him but she is too late; Eleanor is condemned to a slow, painful death. Desperate to save her daughter’s life, Clara takes Eleanor to the island and has her transformed into a vampire, violating the Brethren’s code. The Brethren begin hunting Clara and Eleanor.Gemma Arterton in Byzantium (2012)In the 21st century, Eleanor falls in love with Frank and decides to help him turn into a vampire so they can be together, since he is dying from leukaemia. Before killing him, Clara finds out from Kevin that Eleanor has told Frank of their past. Noel is accidentally killed, falling down the lift shaft, when Clara tries to prevent Eleanor from leaving the hotel and succeeds in trapping her in the lift. While Clara is out dealing with Frank, Darvell and Savella, the Brethren’s leader, posing as police, find out from Kevin’s colleague Morag where Clara is and go to kill her. Clara leaves without killing Frank when she realises that Eleanor is in mortal danger. The Brethren kidnap Eleanor and drive her to an abandoned fairground to destroy her, only to be stopped by Clara. After killing Morag, Savella battles Clara and ultimately subdues her. Savella hands Darvell his sword (which he took from Byzantium during the Crusades) so he can kill Clara. Darvell has always harboured feelings for Clara and kills Savella instead. Clara gives Eleanor the money saved from running the brothel and tells her it is time for them to part ways; Clara and Darvell depart as companions while Eleanor takes Frank to the island to become a vampire.Gemma Arterton in Byzantium (2012)Byzantium is a great movie that really makes me feel passionate as a critic. In the years where films have been slightly hit and miss, this film is definitely a hit. It has a great vision and knows exactly what it wants to be. Supported by two stand out performances this is British-Irish film-making at its near best and as I stated it is one of my favourite films.

 

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REVIEW: MARVEL ANIME – BLADE

 

CAST (VOICES)

Harold Perrineau (Lost)
JB Blanc (Breaking Bad)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Troy Baker (Lego Batman)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)

Written by the son of the legendary Kinji Fukusaku, Kenta Fukusaku who is most well known for his work on both “Battle Royale” screenplays, chooses to resurrect Deacon Frost as the main foe for the run of the series.  While a little more ferocious in this animated offering, but the character just doesn’t feel like an adequate foe for the daywalker. English language voice actor J.B. Blanc does however turn in a much fine performance   , adding a proper air of regality to the character and is a strong contrast to Harold Perrineau’s intelligent, confident, and still powerful turn as the titular hero.

Blade like the other Marvel features, takes liberties with the characters including the back-stories, however, Blade himself outside the live-action films is safely classified as far less iconic than say Wolverine or Iron Man and the changes are less likely to stir unnecessary outrage. None of this however does much to overshadow the same issues the other series suffered from: too much happening too quickly and not enough of what’s happening being engaging. Blade as expected is pulled into a tangled conspiracy of the vampire underworld and the series follows a path of one thinly written plot development after the other, and yes, reaches the point where it tries to spice up the whole tale with a pointless Marvel cameo, Wolverine. The action including the predicable showdown between Blade and Frost might be bloody but isn’t very visceral thanks to the stylized method of animation. Ultimately, “Blade” squeaks by with just being entertaining enough to make the time spent watching his saga feel like it wasn’t a complete waste, but with the lingering feeling the story could have been so much more.

REVIEW: BLADE: THE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Sticky Fingaz (Next Friday)
Jill Wagner (Teen Wolf)
Nelson Lee (Vacancy 2)
Jessica Gower (Winners & Losers)
Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Bill Mondy (I Spy)
David Palffy (Stargate SG.1)
David Kopp (Freddy Vs Jason)
P. Lynn Johnson (50/50)
Don Thompson (Red Riding Hood)
Randy Quaid (Kingpin)
Adrian Hough (X-Men 3)
Ryan Kennedy (Smallville)
William MacDonald (Slither)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Sonja Bennett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Sahar Biniaz (Watchmen)
Emily Hirst (Smallville)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Larry Poindexter (Sabrina: TTW)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Richard Roundtree (Alias)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
John DeSantis (The New Addams Family)
Tom Butler (Painkiller Jane)
Lauren Lee Smith (Mutant X)

Following the conclusion of Blade: Trinity, Blade (Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones) travels to his hometown of Detroit where the vampire nation is planning something big. Led by the wealthy and well-respected Marcus Van Sciver (Neil Jackson), The House of Chthon (one of the ten vampire houses) has begun development of a vaccine (Project: Aurora) that will cure them of all of their afflictions: silver, garlic and sunlight. It’s up to Blade to stop that from happening before it’s too late. Enlisting the help of computer whiz and weapon’s guru, Shen (Nelson Lee), Blade is ready for an all out assault to rid the world of more blood-sucking fiends.Doing her part in all of this is Krista Starr (Jill Wagner), a U.S. military combat medic who has just returned home from the war. Her welcome home celebration soon turns to sadness when she is greeted by the police, who inform her that her brother has died… or maybe he was killed. Convinced of the latter Krista takes it upon herself to investigate his mysterious death, which exposes her to the vampire world and leads to a meeting with Blade, himself. Banding together the two infiltrate Sciver’s inner circle, which results in Krista being taken and then turned into one of the undead. While Krista battles with the thirst and her unwanted transformation, she helps to feed Blade information from the inside. This information will allow the Daywalker to take down the vampire collective once and for all.The first half of this one and only season focuses a lot more on Krista’s character and less on Blade. That’s not a bad thing, actually. After going three films where Blade has been the dominant figure this show enjoys veering off and exploring other characters; giving us the chance to pick the side we like the best. Also, Krista’s character is very tragic. Losing her brother and then losing herself, so-to-speak, really laid the foundation for a woman who is torn between her human side and current vampire persona. Being a part of the sensual and romantic lifestyle that the vampires lead, it’s not easy for Krista to resist temptation. As she falls deeper into darkness, we see her crisscrossing between both of her personalities and watch her struggle to maintain some kind of balance. However, she unwittingly brings more of her family into this mess and that’s when things really begin to spiral out of control for her.The second half of the season gets down to business and shows us more of Blade, including the back-story of his childhood and life as a young Daywalker. In the episode entitled “Sacrifice” (probably the best episode of the season), we are shown Blade as a boy and experience the very first meeting between him and Whistler. You’ll get to see how Blade was treated as a child and even how Whistler got that nasty limp of his. In the episode “Bloodlines”, we are introduced to his former gang, the Bad Bloods, who are suffering from vampirism and are looking to exact revenge on Blade – or “Little Man” as they call him – for he was the one who turned them all into the creatures they have become. The gang hopes to wipe out Blade as a way to finally gain respect from the vampire houses and make their way into the collective, but Blade definitely doesn’t make it easy for them and does a bit of damage in his high-flying, kung fu way. There is also a secondary storyline where Blade meets FBI agent Ray Collins (Larry Poindexter). Prior to this meeting we watch this agent go on a bit of a trek of his own, tracking down cop-turned-vampire Boone (Bill Mondy). Now Boone makes an appearance in the pilot episode (as a “familiar”) and becomes almost the main focus in a few of the subsequent episodes until he’s gone for good. When that happens, the agent and Blade team up to try and take down one of the Purebloods, the very youthful Charlotte (Emily Hirst). This is a show that really knew how to cater to its predominantly male Spike TV audience. Blade hasn’t been toned down one bit and we are treated to tons of bloody kills and gruesome gore effects, along with quite a large helping of sexual content and nudity.Blade: The Series is still very much a Blade experience. Full of violence and gore, sex and f-bombs, this is a no-holds-barred action treat that, sadly, only lasted 13 episodes.

REVIEW: BLADE: TRINITY

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
Dominic Purcell (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jessica Biel (The A-Team)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Mark Berry (Quiet as Kept)
John Michael Higgins (Still waiting…)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Triple H (Inside Out)
Paul Anthony (American Mary)
Francoise Yip (Smallville)
James Remar (The Shannara Chronicles)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Patton Oswalt (Two and a Half Men)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Erica Cerra (Power Rangers)

Parker Posey and Dominic Purcell in Blade: Trinity (2004)Vampires investigate an ancient tomb in the Syrian Desert, which they believe belongs to Dracula, the first vampire. To keep Blade from interfering, they frame him for the murder of a human familiar. FBI agents subsequently locate Blade’s hideout and kill his mentor and friend, Abraham Whistler. Demoralized, Blade surrenders and is arrested.Wesley Snipes in Blade: Trinity (2004)The vampires’ familiars have arranged for the authorities to turn Blade over to them. He is rescued by Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler, Abraham’s daughter, who invite Blade to join their band of vampire hunters, the Nightstalkers. From them, Blade learns that Danica Talos, an old enemy of King’s, has revived Dracula, or “Drake”, with the goal of using his powers to cure vampires of their weaknesses. As the first of the vampires, Drake’s DNA is untainted and he is able to survive in sunlight. Along with newly-innovative ultraviolet “Sun dog” ammunition, the Nightstalkers have created an experimental bioweapon known as Daystar, capable of killing vampires at the genetic level. However, they need a purer blood source to make it effective. As Drake is too powerful to kill via normal means, they hope that the virus will kill him and, with his blood in the mix, ensure the rest of the species is wiped out, but also fear that this will include Blade, too.Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, and Ryan Reynolds in Blade: Trinity (2004)Eager to test Blade, Drake isolates him from the Nightstalkers, as he considers them unworthy of challenging him. He explains that all humans and vampires are inferior in his eyes and that he intends to wipe them from the Earth. Abigail finds evidence of the vampires “Final solution”: a network of ‘farms’ where comatose humans are drained of their blood for vampire consumption. Told the humans are all brain dead, Blade deactivates the farm’s life support systems. Returning to the Nightstalkers’s hideout, Abigail and Blade find all of them dead except for King and Sommerfield’s daughter Zoe, both of whom have been taken captive. A recording left by Sommerfield, Daystar’s creator, reveals that Drake’s blood is all that is needed to make it complete and effective. King is tortured by the vampires for information, but refuses to talk, even when they threaten to turn him and feed him Zoe’s blood.Jessica Biel in Blade: Trinity (2004)Blade and Abigail arrive and free the captives. Drake eventually bests Blade in single combat and prepares to kill him with his own sword. Abigail fires the Daystar arrow, but Drake catches it before it strikes him. He drops it to the floor by Blade, not realising the danger it poses to him. At the last second, Blade stabs him with it, triggering a chemical reaction that completes the “Daystar” virus, releasing it into the air, the virus becomes airborne, killing Danica and the rest of the vampires. As Drake slowly succumbs to his wounds and the virus, he praises Blade for fighting honorably, but warns him that he will eventually succumb to his need for blood, thus proving that Blade already is the new type of vampire.MV5BMjE2OTM0NjU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjAxODQ3._V1_Using the last of his power, Drake disguises himself as Blade. The FBI recover the body and declare Blade legally dead (In the unrated cut, as the FBI tries to do an autopsy on “Blade”, Drake springs back to life, killing several of the autopsy members before ominously looming over one of the orderlies). Hannibal narrates that the virus didn’t kill Blade as the human half of his heart didn’t stop beating, it only slowed down, causing him to enter into a comatose state until his body was ready to fight again. Blade awakens several months later ready to continue his fight against the vampires.MV5BMGU2MzRmMGMtNGZmNS00NzU3LThkMWYtZDAzYTQyMTU4Mjg2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_Upon my first viewing of BLADE: TRINITY, I was disappointed to say the least. However, after watching it a second time, I found myself liking it a lot more. The problem was that I was expecting BLADE: TRINITY to be the best vampire movie of all time since David S. Goyer was both writing and directing it. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up being the best vampire movie of all time. That’s not saying that it’s a bad movie. It’s a fun, entertaining, and stylish picture, but the film suffers from action scenes that are over edited and a poor performance by Dominic Purcell as an underwritten Drake (Dracula). Still, I’d recommend it to fans of comic book movies as long as they don’t expect too much.

REVIEW: BLADE II

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Leonor Varela (Monsterwolf)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Luke Goss (Hellboy II)
Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)
Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf)
Donnie Yen (Highlander: Endgame)
Karel Roden (Orphan)
Marit Velle Kile (The Girl In The Cafe)
Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution)

Ron Perlman, Wesley Snipes, and Danny John-Jules in Blade II (2002)Two years after the events of Blade, a pandemic known as the “Reaper virus” has spread through the vampire community. Infected vampires are turned into ‘Reapers’, a mutation of vampires, immune to all vampire weaknesses with the exception of ultraviolet light, who kill humans and turn any vampires they feed on into more Reapers. Unable to contain the Reapers, Vampire Lord Eli Damaskinos sends two emissaries, Asad and his daughter Nyssa, to seek the aid of vampire hunter Blade and his team, consisting of weaponsmith Abraham Whistler and Blade’s new assistant Scud. Blade has since recovered Whistler, who had been held captive and tortured by the group of vampires for 2 years (since the end of the previous film). Wesley Snipes in Blade II (2002)Whistler had been turned into a vampire by them, and after returning to their headquarters, Blade gives Whistler an anti-virus vampire serum to revert him back to human. After meeting with Damaskinos and his human familiar, lawyer Karel Kounen, they cautiously agree to help due to the danger of the Reapers’ uncontrollable hunger and rapid mutation. Asad then introduces Blade and his group to The Bloodpack; a group of vampires trained for the sole purpose of killing Blade. In addition to Asad and Nyssa, The Bloodpack consists of Reinhardt, Chupa, Snowman, Verlaine, her lover Lighthammer, and Priest. To keep them in line and after Reinhardt’s racially charged remark, Blade humiliates Reinhardt and plants an explosive charge on the back of Reinhardt’s head.Thomas Kretschmann in Blade II (2002)On Blade’s advice, the team starts by investigating a Prague located nightclub frequented by vampires. When they do encounter Reapers, they soon discover their weapons and powers are completely ineffective. Blade is forced to kill Priest after he becomes infected, Lighthammer is wounded (and infected but he keeps this to himself), Whistler deserts his post, and Scud barely survives a Reaper attack by using UV lights to scare them off. Jared Nomak, ‘Patient Zero’ of the Reaper strain, attacks and nearly kills Blade before a burst of sunlight forces him to retreat. Whistler appears, and says he has been tracking the Reapers to a central nest in the sewers. The dissection of a Reaper corpse which was trapped by an electronic hatch reveals that most Reapers tend to burn out within twelve hours if they do not feed, as well as having an additional layer of bone, which surrounds and protects their heart. Having learned of this ‘Achilles heel’, prime weakness, he and Scud create UV projectors for the team.BladeII1While searching for the nest, Lighthammer succumbs to the infection, killing Snowman and chasing Verlaine up a manhole ladder before both die of light exposure when Verlaine removes the manhole cover. Chupa turns on Whistler and attacks him, only to die when a group of Reapers attracted to his scent tear him apart. Whistler survives an encounter with Nomak only because he reveals the truth of his condition and situation to Whistler so he can inform Blade. Asad is ambushed, dragged underwater, and killed. Using a special UV emitter bomb pack, Blade kills all of the Reapers with the exception of Nomak and rescues Reinhardt and Nyssa, but is betrayed by Damaskinos and his people, who stun Blade unconscious.MV5BNGMyZTJkYWEtMzFjNi00ZGZkLTg3NTUtYTdjMDVhNTljN2FmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzExMzc0MDg@._V1_After Damaskinos’ betrayal, he reveals that he created The Reaper virus in order to create a new race of vampires based on Blade and that Nomak is in fact his son. Scud turns out to be a familiar loyal to Damaskinos, who also works with Reinhardt. Blade turns the table on Scud, saying he always knew of Scud’s true allegiance, and kills him with the bomb he had placed on Reinhardt, earlier. Damaskinos then orders his scientists to dissect Blade so they can learn how to replicate his abilities. After escaping his captors, Whistler brings Blade to a blood pool, where he regains enough strength to kill Reinhardt and his men.ghost-rider-2560x1440-agents-of-shield-season-4-hd-2271Seeking revenge, Nomak tracks Damaskinos to his private heliport and kills him. He then bites Nyssa, infecting her with the virus while drinking her blood. Blade confronts Nomak, and after a ferocious battle, defeats him. With his now-broken sword, Blade stabs it through the side of Nomak’s chest and into his bone-protected heart, slipping it through the bone plates on the side. Nomak then commits suicide to end his suffering by shoving the sword all the way into his wounded heart. Fulfilling Nyssa’s dying wish, Blade takes her outside, where she dies while watching the sun rise before she can fully change. The movie ends with Blade in London, where he kills Rush, a vampire he encountered earlier in the movie.blade-2-wesley-snipes-leonor-valeraOverall, Blade 2, for the fans of the first one, will not dissapoint them. It contains enough imaginativeness and gore effects to brighten the most down of horror film and comic book enthusiasts.

REVIEW: BLADE

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Stephen Dorff (Brake)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
N’Bushe Wright (Dead Presidents)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Udo Kier (Ace Ventura)
Traci Lords (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Judson Scott (Star Trek II)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)
Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)

Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998)In 1967, a pregnant woman is attacked by a vampire while giving birth. Doctors are able to save her baby, but the woman dies of infection. Thirty years later, the child has become the vampire hunter Blade. He raids a rave club owned by the vampire Deacon Frost. Police take one of the vampires to the hospital, where he feeds on hematologist Karen Jenson and escapes. Blade takes Karen to a safe house where she is treated by his old friend Abraham Whistler. Whistler explains that he and Blade have been waging a secret war against vampires using weapons based on their elemental weaknesses, such as sunlight and silver. As Karen is now “marked” by the bite of a vampire, both he and Blade tell her to leave the city.Wesley Snipes and N'Bushe Wright in Blade (1998)Meanwhile, at a meeting of vampire elders, Frost, the leader of a faction of younger vampires, is rebuked for trying to incite war between vampires and humans. As Frost and his kind were not born as vampires and are therefore not pure-bloods, they are considered socially inferior. In response, Frost has one of the elders executed and strips the others of their authority. Upon returning to her apartment, Karen is attacked by a policeman, who is a “familiar”, a human slave controlled by a vampire. Blade subdues the familiar and uses information from him to locate an archive of vampire history. Later, at the hideout, Blade injects himself with a special serum that prevents him from succumbing to his desire to drink blood, which would ultimately turn him into a vampire. However, the serum is beginning to lose its effectiveness due to overuse.Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998)While experimenting with the anticoagulant EDTA as a possible replacement, Karen discovers that it explodes when combined with vampire blood. She manages to synthesize a vaccine that can cure the infected, but learns that it will not work on a human-vampire hybrid like Blade. Frost and his men attack the hideout, infect Whistler, and abduct Karen. When Blade returns, he helps Whistler commit suicide and arms himself with special syringes filled with EDTA.MV5BNGMyZTJkYWEtMzFjNi00ZGZkLTg3NTUtYTdjMDVhNTljN2FmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzExMzc0MDg@._V1_When Blade attempts to rescue Karen from Frost’s penthouse, he is shocked to find his still alive mother, who reveals that she came back that very night and was brought in by Frost, who appears and reveals himself as the vampire who bit her. Blade is then subdued and taken to the Temple of Eternal Night, where Frost plans to perform the summoning ritual for La Magra, the vampire blood god. Blade is drained of his blood, but Karen allows him to drink from her, triggering his vampirism. Frost completes the ritual and obtains the powers of La Magra. Blade confronts Frost after killing all of his minions, including Blade’s mother. During their fight, Blade injects Frost with all of the syringes, causing his body to inflate and explode, killing him. Karen offers to help Blade cure himself, but he asks her to create a new serum instead. In a brief epilogue, Blade confronts a vampire in Moscow.ghost-rider-2560x1440-agents-of-shield-season-4-hd-2271This film is superb! Wesley Snipes Plays Blade the vampire hunter with pure class, he kicks butt in such a fluid and violent way that would make Bruce Lee proud. The movie is a fast paced, thrill ride of action and superb stunts. Overall the film is sharp and stylish

REVIEW: STAKE LAND

CAST

Nick Damici (We Are What We Are)
Connor Paolo (World Trade Center)
Danielle Harris (The Victim)
Kelly McGillis (Top Gun)
Michael Cerveris (The Tick)
Marianne Hagan (Halloween 6)

Stake Land (2010)When a pandemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Large cities are left as tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearing nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward vampire hunter, called Mister (Damici).Stake Land (2010)Mister takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America’s heartland, searching for a better place in the famed ‘New Eden’, up north, while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way, they are joined by fellow travellers, the first being a nun known only as Sister (McGillis), whom they rescue from two young rapists whom Mister kills without hesitation. They continue to move north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brotherhood, a fundamentalist militia headed by such fanatics as Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris), who interprets the plague as God’s will at work.Nick Damici in Stake Land (2010)The group is then captured by The Brotherhood and it is revealed that one of the rapists killed by Mister was Loven’s son. As punishment, Mister is left at the mercy of a group of vampires, while Sister is taken as a sex slave and Martin will be kept as a forced convert to the Brotherhood. Martin promptly escapes the Brotherhood camp and discovers that Mister has survived the vampire attack and they drive off together, unable to help Sister.Kelly McGillis and Michael Cerveris in Stake Land (2010)Coming across a survivors’ roadhouse, they pick up another traveler, the pregnant Belle (Harris), who hopes to make it to New Eden to have her child. Later, they also pick up Willie (Sean Nelson), a former Marine, who is found hiding in a workmen’s toilet having been abandoned as vampire bait by The Brotherhood. Willie informs the group that American military forces were withdrawn from the Middle East to help contain the outbreak, and that there is no Middle East to fight over anymore, as it is completely overrun by vampires. He goes on to say that The Brotherhood was partially responsible for the fall of America, ramming cars filled with vampires through blockades and crashing airplanes filled with vampires into cities. Overwhelmed as the plague spread across the U.S., the Armed Forces collapsed and no longer exist. The four decide to go after Jebedia, whom they successfully ambush, then tie to a tree and leave for the vampires. The group next encounters a survivors’ settlement and discover that Sister also escaped. The same night, celebrations are interrupted when The Brotherhood, using helicopters, drops vampires into town, killing many residents. Though invited to stay and help rebuild the settlement, the group decides to move on towards the north again.Danielle Harris in Stake Land (2010)Midway, their car breaks down and they have to continue their journey on foot. They manage to avoid dangerous areas for some time but, while sleeping at an abandoned auto junk yard, they are attacked by ‘berserkers’, the oldest and strongest kind of vampire. They run into a corn field, and Sister diverts the chase away from the others, then shoots herself in the head when overrun. After several days of walking through the wilderness, they take shelter in a broken-down school bus turned camper and notice in the morning that Willie is missing. The three search for him, first finding his blanket then finding Willie killed and strung up in a tree. Mister notes he has never encountered a thinking vampire before and warns the others to stay alert. Despite their best efforts, Belle is taken from their campsite during the night and Mister and Martin find her in an abandoned silo the following day, wrapped in barbed wire and bitten. Jebedia Loven, now a thinking vampire thanks to having given himself willingly to the vampires that attacked him, reveals himself and attacks Martin and then Mister. Martin manages to impale Jebedia, and an injured Mister is successful in finishing him off. Martin mercy kills the dying Belle, saving her from becoming a vampire.Nick Damici and Connor Paolo in Stake Land (2010)The duo then heads north again, acquiring a pickup truck, and they meet Peggy, who lives alone in an abandoned restaurant and who picks off approaching vampires using a crossbow. Martin and Peggy have an instant connection, and Martin easily attacks and kills a vamp outside the restaurant that night, with Mister covertly looking on. The next day, Mister is gone and Martin finds his mentor’s skull pendant hanging from the truck’s mirror. He and Peggy head off by themselves, finally arriving at the border to Canada, or the New Eden for which they were searching.Stake Land (2010)Watched this film last night and was amazed at the level of suspense kept throughout the picture. From the opening scene to the final credits it manages to keep you on edge, mostly with clever use of flicking backwards and forwards between day and night so regularly. The whole post apocalyptic world portrayed is fantastically grey and creepy and the addition of a religious fundamelist outfit takes the film to another level. The acting is solid and all of the main characters hold their own independently. Nick Damici should be proud of his writing and acting in this and also newcomer director Jim Mickle will be one to watch out for in the future. All in all if you like vamp films then this is an interesting twist on the genre, definitely a must see!