I know. I know. You watched this movie and you didn’t like it. But you couldn’t quite pin down why you didn’t like it. I can help. The narrative contains a subtext that is, simultaneously, unnerving and right on the money.
Let’s get right into it. The crux of the plot is that the now dominant vampire population is running out of human blood. They’ve literally consumed themselves to near extinction. Okay. So that’s basically what I’m choosing to call “the point” so hang onto that.
The vampire effort is going full tilt boogie to come up with a blood substitute. The project is helmed by the guy who ruined Uma Thurman for the rest of us, Ethan Hawke. Ethan sort of sucks (HA!) at his job so the blood substitute isn’t going overly well. We know this because someone comically explodes. Therefore, artificial substitutes for natural things are a bad idea. You’ve got two hands so hold onto that too.
Ethan Hawke: Dad Of The Year
Blood is just an abstraction for something more ordinary. Within the horror genre, the horrible things are generally abstractions for something more mundane and real. The vampires in Stake Land represent the Tea Party. Swamp Thing in Swamp Thing represents the dangers of science. The vampires in the Twilight series represent self-loathing homosexuals. Do you have it yet? Do you know what the secret liquid is?
He took those out of another dude's mouth.
You think it could be oil? It’s not. But that was a good guess.
The liquid in question is High Fructose Corn Syrup. The devil’s candy. The sweetest cancer. And if you read the Wikipedia page on HFCS, It’s probably how the Japanese got back at us for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Your fat stupid kid could have just been stupid if it weren’t for Robert Oppenheimer. (Look, ma! Science is bad!)
You need some convincing? Alright, back to the movie. Blood is consumed by the vamps. HFCS is consumed by us. As a matter of fact, blood is almost the entirety of their food supplies. Just as matter factly, if you’re living precisely the wrong kind of way, HFCS is much of your food supply. There’s more, but if I make too compelling and complete an argument, you won’t do any work for yourself. If you don’t do any work you’re never going to get rid of those last 50 pounds.
The Hawke man discovers or proves that the cure for vampirism can be cured by sunlight. This is when the film makes its most compelling argument against a lifestyle dominated by HFCS. Sunlight is the cure. That means go do stuff outside you lazy corn fattened farm animal posing as a human fuck.
I know it’s harsh but trying to eat in America without eating HFCS is harder than not loving a vampire anymore.
That’s why you didn’t like the movie. Because you’re still unwilling to give up your Christmas ham with the Pepsi glaze and your regular old boring Wednesday night Twinkie and Ding Dong casserole.
Also, Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe would love it if you could get the government to stop subsidizing corn so hard.
1. It takes place in a dystopian near-future suffering from some flavor of economic devastation, so it may offer important insights for your retirement planning.
2. Some moments are genuinely funny without a hint of cynicism. This film can remind you what life was like before the hipster takeover of our culture.
3. It has an incredibly effective minimalist soundtrack. Sometimes less is just less Justin Bieber.
4. Television is the enemy. Hulu’s allegiances remain unclear throughout the film.
5. The lead actress is absolutely baffling. She’s either a bona fide alien or a Terminator.
6. It questions capitalism, but doesn’t offer any answers. However, the creatures in the film have positions available for hobos who are allergic to work.
7. This movie ends with Rowdy Roddy Piper’s finest death scene. He really commits.