Jim Mickle's post-apocalyptic vampire horror shows the monsters still have bite post-Twilight
Moving on from his impressive 2006 horror debut Mulberry Street, writer/director Jim Mickle scores a breakout hit with Stake Land, which fuses the post-apocalyptic journey scenario familiar from The Road or Zombieland with the current vogue for vampire mythology. The result is unashamedly derivative, but the atmospheric American Gothic feel of the film marks him out as a director to watch.
When society collapses under vampirism, teenager Martin (Connor Paolo) is fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of a ruthless vampire hunter called Mister (Nick Damici). Their mission is in search of New Eden, a safe zone somewhere beyond the Canadian border, but first, they face an arduous trek through a territory where a few shattered remnants of today’s society are divided, and easy prey for a strain of mindless vampires.
As with George A Romero’s zombie movies, Mickle brings a strong sense of political and social awareness to the material, portraying a ragged America searching for self-belief as their country’s values collapse into savagery around them. As with Gareth Edwards’ Monsters, Mickle’s use of real burnt-out locations offers a strong sense of a very personal Armageddon.
General release from Fri 17 Jun. See profile.