Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterAbraham Lincoln lived a remarkable life.  He worked hard his whole life, freed America’s slaves, and re-united his country.

Oh… and he was also a bad-ass motherfucker who cut down hordes of Vampires with a silver-coated axe.

Every once in a while, a movie comes along where everything you need to know is in the title.  Snakes on a Plane, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Aliens…  every one of those movies tells you exactly what you’re going to see on screen.  Maybe there’s something more, maybe there isn’t.  But you know going in that you’re going to see some snakes on a plane, a chainsaw massacre located in Texas, and a shitload of fuckin’ aliens, man.

Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter is one of those movies.

That title tells you everything you need to know.  There are vampires, and Honest Abe just has to murder the living shit out of them with extreme prejudice.

The vampires are fuckin’ monsters, too.  They’re not sparkly, whiny wimps.  They are out for blood.  Some might like to play with their food a little, I guess, but they’re funny when they’re doing it.

Consumed with a lust for vengeance, Abe discovers that Jack Barts, the man who killed his mother, is more than just a man when shooting him in the face doesn’t do more than stun him a little.  Abe is saved by a mysterious stranger who is a is definitely not a vampire himself.  This mysterious stranger teaches Abe all the ways to kill a vampire (Pro Tip:  It’s exactly the same as killing a human, but with silver).  Now, the only thing more beastly than these good ol’ 80s style monster-vampires is Abe Lincoln.

Toss in a couple sidekicks who may or may not be 100% fond of one another.  Add a dash of couldn’t-be-more-cookie-cutter villains.  Pepper some love story bullshit for flavour, but just a pinch… and baby, you got a stew goin’.

I fucking loved watching this movie.  It’s a B-Movie that feels like it had a blockbuster budget.  The action sequences were fantastic, over the top, and ridiculous.  The choreography was great.  I’m a big fan of slowing down and speeding up the pace of fight sequences, using bullet time, all that fancy shit.  I love it.  It’s cheesy as fuck, but it makes the punches feel like they hit harder, and the axes feel like they axe harder.  Speaking of punches…  Every single punch landed is accompanied by a bass drop.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  ONE.

One element of the movie that absolutely fascinates me is that the screenplay was written by the same guy that wrote the book.  If you’ve read the book, and haven’t seen the movie, and are excited about this because that means it’ll stay close to the source material… throw that idea out of your head right now.  The only thing the two have in common are character and place names, and vampires.

The book tries to overlay–or underlay? I don’t know–vampires onto Abe Lincoln’s real history.  All the choices he made were “Because Vampires”.  The book has an almost biographic feel to it, despite the ridiculous notion that Vampires would secretly be running America from the moment the first settlers stepped out and started settling.  It’s this mix of the real and the unreal that makes the book appealing, despite a real pacing problem.

Despite coming from the same author, the movie abandons any notion of believability.  There are vampires, and they run the country, but we’re not expected to buy into it on any kind of a serious, dramatic level.  This is a fantastic direction to take with the movie.  Any attempt at realism would only slow the movie down, and it gets slow enough in the middle when Abe turns his axe in for a pen and politics.

Fortunately, the Civil War and personal tragedy force his hand, and he goes back to being an avenging angel with a weird moustacheless beard.  Cue BASS DROP.  Punch, kick, slice, hack, ‘splode.

Midway pacing problem and all, Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter eeks out a

5/5

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15 comments on “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

    • CURSE YOU, LINCOLN’S BEARD!

      I obviously loved watching it. It’s one I wish I could take back in time with me to college, and watch with everyone else.

      Take a shot each time they drop the bass… 90 mins later…

      I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth just thinking about it.

  1. Nice review. Yeah, it’s pretty fun but it could have been so much more insane and weird. Problem was, it was just a tad too serious for it’s own good.

    • I don’t know about it being too serious… at least I didn’t take it anywhere near as serious as the book was. But it definitely suffers midway when the action stops.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, but this bit… “I’m a big fan of slowing down and speeding up the pace of fight sequences, using bullet time, all that fancy shit”… pretty much kills it for me. For example, it makes the otherwise entertaining RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies nearly unwatchable for me.

    • I know you hate that stuff. It would be nice if we’d get an melee action scene every now and again that doesn’t do it… but I do really enjoy all that McG, Snyder bullshit. If they do it right (Watchmen, as a personal example) it’s pretty cool. If they do it “wrong” (this, Immortals, probably 300 I haven’t seen it in a while to remember how over done this particular aspect of the fights were) I find it to be hilarious camp. Win/Win for me.

      Since Snyder loves it so much… poor K2 is probably never, ever, going to get a(nother) Superman movie he wants.

  3. I haven’t watched this one… I think my basic issue with it is that it sounds like something that would make a good Saturday Night Live sketch (or similar show), but it doesn’t sound like something that would work in a 2-hour format.

    • I understand where you’re coming from, saying it would make a good comedy sketch. This is better than that. It’s funny, and a funny concept… but most of it’s greatness, for me, comes from it being a large budget B-Movie.

      It has solid action sequences (in my opinion, but yours would differ, like K2’s, if I remember your preferences correctly), but they’re also ridiculous. It’s basically a Kung Fu movie, really, where there’s just no way that guy can do all that stuff to all those guys…

  4. Pingback: Tribbles, Hangovers & the Great Gatsby | filmhipster

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