Review: Stake Land (2010)

Stake Land Poster

“They’re dead! There’s nothing to be done about it but kill that thing.”
– Mister

SYNOPSIS: Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden. – via IMDB

So I watched this a few years ago at the behest of some fellow bloggers, and remembered liking it, though not loving it. Recently on Netflix I saw the sequel, and figured I might as well give this a rewatch for refresher purposes and check it out. Now, this is actually a decent watch but it also has a lot of things that are annoying.

Let’s start with the vampires – I struggled with them because, well, they are vampires, but they behave just like zombies. While I appreciated a fresh, different aspect on the phenomenon, I also wanted more answers. Keeping it vague kept it interesting, but also frustrating. But then, as Mister says, “we don’t do history”, so that also ties in nicely. The acting at times is a little awkward, too. Like, Mister must be badass, and Mister is pretty damn cool, but sometimes it comes across like he is trying too hard.So I watched this a few years ago at the behest of some fellow bloggers, and remembered liking it, though not loving it. Recently on Netflix I saw the sequel, and figured I might as well give this a rewatch for refresher purposes and check it out. Now, this is actually a decent watch but it also has a lot of things that are annoying.

I really liked the relationship between the Martin and Mister. Like, the other characters come and go, and Martin becomes more attached to them than Mister, who has obviously been around long enough and lost enough people, yet he has this attachment to Martin he does not demonstrate to the others. It is them against the world. I was quite interested in the concept of this crazy Brotherhood and their special brand of cuckoo, and I saw Michael Cerveris in there and all I thought is “September went dark side”, like the Observers went more off the deep end before. I found the ultimate showdown between him, Mister, and Martin to be rather dull, and it had so much more potential, and it was built into this big thing.

I enjoyed the ambiguity of the story – no real history (though it could get frustrating at times), it just gets right into it, and we are told this snippet of a story by a boy who was saved by a stranger who has taken him on this deadly journey. The sets are great, and everything looks apocalyptic and dreary. The narration from Martin is sad and depressing, and the score works together to bring this all together.

Stake Land is a slight different vampire movie in the sense that we get zombie like vampires with no higher brain functioning, but it is a decent watch. You will be engaged throughout, and the dynamics between Mister and Martin are enough to keep you going, and to see how people have survived this apocalypse, or, more accurately, how they are trying to survive.

Rapid Review: Fright Night (2011)

fright night poster

“I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but that guy, your neighbor; yeah, he’s a vampire man.”
– “Evil” Ed Thompson

SYNOPSIS: Teenager Charley Brewster guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent, a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry. – via IMDB

fright night crucifix


I have a soft spot for this movie. I went it for it totally blind the first time I saw it, I didn’t know it was a remake or anything, and I had a total blast. It’s stupidly entertaining and I was interested throughout, and had a good time with the humour. I also really enjoy Yelchin, and his portrayal as Charley was spot on. He really gets that silly, quirky character every time. I always love seeing a grittier vampire film, and this was it. No love story. No softness, nothing. Colin Farrell was a great Jerry, too. He was menacing, he was crazy, and he totally fit the role. Let’s not forget David Tennant, either. What a chop, but oh, so enjoyable. And then McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse. I wish, wish, wish he had gotten more screen time, but he did own whenever he was on. Charley is an awesome character – it is hilarious to watch this high school student desperately try to maintain a relationship, be taken seriously, be a hero, and kill a vampire, all rolled into one. I liked the effects, too, nothing over the top, but not so bad you cringe while watching. I enjoyed the movie’s pacing, too, as it gives enough time to set up and then dives right into the action, too. I really need to get to watching the original, seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Fright Night is a fun watch that doesn’t require too much investment, and gives us nastier, more creepy vampires again, plenty humour and good effects. I could definitely recommend this movie for a watch.

Anne Rice Collection

Today I am just posting about my Anne Rice collection, or, more accurately, my Vampire Chronicles collection.

This was one of the most intense collections that I had to build up. It took me years, and a lot of time, patience and money, and I finally have it. I want to buy all the covers like the matte black ones, as I love that cover edition that was released. I have the Vampire Chronicles as they are, and one book from The New Tales of the Vampires, being Pandora

I was brutally disappointed with Pandora, and I am very fortunate that it was not the first book of hers that I ever read. Had it been, I think I would have given all of the books a skip, and I would have missed out. I also did not buy Vittorio, the Vampire. I borrowed that from the library and I was glad that I had not bought it. The New Tales of the Vampires are very disappointing. They seriously lack in rich writing style, succulent details or any of the old elegance.

I would not recommend The Vampire Chronicles for light reading, per se, as they are extremely well written, the language is amazing, and the sentence construction is great. It reads as though written by a language purist; that is to say, traditional English. However, they are very engrossing, with stunning stories and complicated characters. They are worth the read, in my opinion.

I have grown rather fond of Lestat, the Vampire, but only because he tends to be the central character of Anne Rice’s works. I would far prefer to read of many of the other characters, such as Armand, my favourite, Quinn, Marius and the rest of them. I feel that when breaking away from Lestat as a core character, she successfully wrote of others only in the original Vampire Chronicles. We read of Marius’s story in Blood and Gold, of Merrick in Merrick, of Armand in The Vampire Armand, Louis in Interview with the Vampire and Quinn in Blackwood Farm. The others are more exclusively dedicated to Lestat, although he has major roles in almost all the other vampires’ novels.

So there we go, my Anne Rice collection shared! Have you got any collections that took you awhile to build on, or that you are currently cultivating?