(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR! It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet. So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR! She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Wednesday, December 7th! Will she make it? Keep checking the site to find out!)
Stake Land 2: The Stakelander premiered on the SyFy network on October 15th. Normally, I watch and live tweet any and all SyFy premieres but I was actually on vacation when Stake Land 2 premiered. So, I recorded it!
And now, I’ve watched it.
Well, this is kind of a strange one. I have to admit that I’m a little bit shocked that this one premiered on SyFy without even getting a limited theatrical release. (I mean, Hell, even 400 Days played in theaters for a week!) After all, Stake Land 2 is a direct sequel to Stake Land, which did get a theatrical release back in 2010 along with positive reviews and a strong cult following.
In fact, not only is Stake Land 2 a direct sequel but it also features the return of almost the entire cast and the original screenwriter. Original director Jim Mickle — who went from Stake Land to Cold In July — does not return but he is on board as an executive producer. Though the film’s budget was low, it’s still obvious that the production cost a bit more than the typical SyFy mockbuster. So, I’m a bit curious how Stake Land 2 ended up making its debut on SyFy.
Well, regardless of how it got there, Stake Land 2 premiered as a part of SyFy’s 31 Days Of Halloween. One of the advantages of Stake Land 2 being a sequel to another fairly well-known film is that it was one of the few SyFy October premieres that did not play out as a rip-off of It Follows. Instead, it felt like a rip-off of The Walking Dead, except with vampires instead of zombies.
The film picks up where the original Stake Land ended. Martin (Connor Paolo) and his wife have set up a perfect life in New Eden but it’s all shattered when they’re attacked by a band of vampires that’s led by The Mother (Kristina Hughes). Seeking revenge, Martin returns to the Badlands of America and searches for his mentor from the previous film, Mister (Nick Damici). Mister is older and wearier now and he’s haunted by nightmares. But he and Martin can still kill vampires!
Anyway, the majority of the film is a lengthy road film. In fact, it’s a bit too lengthy. This is one of those films that covers for a thin plot by supplying a lot of filler. There’s a kind of fun scene set in an underground, Mad Max-style fight club and, along the way, Mister and Martin picks up some properly quirky allies. There’s a few good shots of the desolate landscape and The Mother is genuinely menacing.
But, especially when compared to the first film, Stake Land 2 is ultimately way too predictable and more than a little bland. Whereas the first Stake Land managed to create its own universe, one that you were actually curious about, Stake Land 2 is just another forgettable sequel.