Picking up a few years after the end of the original Stake Land (one of the best fang bang pics in a damn long time in my not so humble opinion), Stake Land II begins as our hero Martin is a family man in New Eden, until a revitalized Brotherhood and their new vampire overlord (in this case a female bloodsucker who can produce monstrous offspring) lay siege to the town murdering Martin’s family in the process. This doesn’t sit to well with Marty, so he heads off into the badlands in order to find the one man, his mentor Mister, who can help him lay some serious violence on these nasty nosferatus. Well before long, that goal is accomplished, and the duo head to another settlement that is due for a vamp invasion.
Right off the bat I have to say that if any of you creeps and ghouls were worried that this sinister sequel wouldn’t live up to the legendary legend of the first film, you can put a stake right through those fears, because Stake Land II is every bit as good a picture as the first. Nihilistic, brutal, and pulling absolutely no punches, this is everything that was awesome about Stake Land with a new tale that doesn’t just rehash what came before. Martin has grown and evolved as a character to become a major force to be reckoned with in this vampire hell, just as his teacher Mister was in the first film, and as crazy at it seems, the badlands he travels are even worse than the nightmare experienced previous.
Helping make this a quality follow up is the impeccable writing of Actor/Screenwriter Nick Damici (who co-wrote the first film, and reprises his role as Mister), he understand this world through and through, and manages to keep the characters and situations consistent regardless of the fact that the Directing duties have been taken over by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (from Stake Land’s Director Jim Mickle. Also of note is the strength of returning actor Connor Paolo as Martin who displays a whole different range than was present in the first picture, as his character has gained maturity, and with it a hallow pain that can only be filled by unholy vengeance. Finally, mention needs be made to the top shelf gore and make-up effects as they really hammer home the outrageous horrors facing our grim heroes.
To put a beastly bow on the whole affair I will tell you this; if you enjoyed Stake Land you need to get your monstrous mitts on Stake Land II pronto; it’s that ultra-rare animal of being a sequel that’s the equal to it’s predecessor, and will doubtless become as much of a neo-cult classic!