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