Friday, April 22, 2011

SFIFF: Stake Land, A Solid Entry In The Vampire Genre

This review originally appeared on the San Francisco Appeal.

The San Francisco International Film Festival kicks into high gear this weekend, but if you thought it was nothing but snooty movies you have to read, think again! There's an honest-to-goodness horror flick screening tonight.

"Stake Land" is a post apocalyptic, vampire, coming-of-age, Western, road movie with a hint of Terrence Malick. Yeah. It's a mouthful. A bloody mouthful.

Connor Paolo--perhaps best known as Serena's gay brother on "Gossip Girl"--plays Martin, a teenage boy who is orphaned after his family is killed by the vampires that have turned the world into a ghost town. He is taken in by a man known only as Mister (Nick Damici--who also co-wrote the movie), a fearless vampire killer on his way north, to "New Eden," the country formally known as Canada.

As they travel across the vampire ridden wasteland, Mister teaches young Martin the ways of vampire slaying. Along their journey they face vamps, and the even more fearsome religious zealots who view this new world as their chance to rule. To top it off, an almost unrecognizable Kelly McGillis shows up in a small role as a nun.

Yeah, we're kind of up to our necks (sorry) with vampires these days, but "Stake Land" is a solid entry in the genre, with good scares, surprisingly beautiful cinematography, (some moments look like vampire slayers walked onto the set of "Badlands"), and did I mention, Kelly McGillis as a nun?

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