When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Remember that point, because this is actually where Stake Land ultimately fails, by violating its own internal logic later in the film. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter simply known as "Mister" (Nick Damici) whose new prey is the undead. As the pair journey through the locked-down towns of America's heartland, they are joined by a ragtag band of fellow travelers including a nun (Kelly McGillis), a marine newly returned from the Middle East (Sean Nelson) and a pregnant woman (Danielle Harris). As this disparate family cautiously moves north toward Canada (which is now New Eden), they are plagued by a fundamentalist Christian militia called The Brotherhood, headed by Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris; aka "The Observer" on Fringe) that believes the vampires were sent by God to do his work. This particular sect is much more of a threat to the group than the vampires, who frankly just aren't all that scary. The most threatening type of vampires, called berserkers, are harder to kill as their chest carapaces have become like toughened leather, so they have to be staked through the base of the skull to kill them, and even when some of them actually show up, there isn't any real sense of palpable tension on display in the film.
|Nick Damici as "Mister" (top) and Connor Paolo as "Martin" (bottom)|