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Non-Review Review: Stake Land

Stake Land is a B-movie. It’s pure schlock, with a hefty amount of cheese thrown in on top. That might sound like a criticism, but it’s more of a fact. The movie itself is well-made, a little bit sharp, not so insecure as to take itself overly seriously, and delivers something akin to an old-school creature feature with a hint of the social conscience one expects from horror. It’s not amazing, but it’s a solid addition to the slew of post-apocalyptic movies we’ve seen of late, with a refreshing awareness of its pulp roots.

He knows what's at stake...

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What is a Zombie?

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

It seems like a fairly straightforward question, right? A zombie is one of those rotting, decaying corpses shuffling around looking for brains, isn’t it? I’m not so sure that even that simplistic explanation is enough. I mean we classify a wide variety of films as “zombie” films, even if the creatures prowling the land don’t resemble the type of monsters I have described. I mean, if the simplest description of a vampire is that it sucks blood and the most direct synopsis of a werewolf is that it changes form into a beast, what is the most essential element of being a zombie?

Will I stumble across the answer?

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Are Werewolves The New Zombies?

Well, I guess Twilight: New Moon was ahead of the curve in at least one regard. Perhaps horror tastes are cyclical, as it seems that werewolves have cycled back into public consciousness after a few hundred years. Disregarding the aforementioned sequel, we have the release of The Wolfman coming up next year. That the werewolf has been chosen to spearhead the planned relaunch of classic Universal horror properties is perhaps a large vote of confidence in the beasts, and perhaps a long overdue one. How come, for all the cheesy B-movies they’ve been featured in, werewolves have never pierced popular culture in the same way that vampires, zombies or even plain old ghosts have?

Benecio del Toro looks only slightly hairier than usual...

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