Review – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a

  • biopic
  • about the 16th president of the United States, and his struggle to overcome the vampire infestation of our great country. Originally released as a novel by Seth Grahame-Smith in 2010, the movie chronicles Honest Abe’s life from the death of his mother at the hands of an evil slave trading vampire, on through the Civil War. At this point if you’re still reading and you haven’t seen or heard of this movie before, you’re probably thinking I’m insane, or that this must be one of those dumb spoof movies. And while it does poke fun at history, it is done in a much more dramatic way. It’s not all dick jokes and one off gags like you get in the likes of Scary Movie or Epic Movie. Generally speaking, if the movie ends in the word ‘Movie’, it’s probably not very good. On the other hand, if the movie consists of a famous historical figure and a monster, it’s probably a pretty kickass movie. This is made pretty obvious in ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’.

    To the best of our knowledge Abe wasn’t really a vampire hunter, but the story makes it seem almost possible. What if he was so behind the Civil War because the vampires used slaves as cattle to feed on? What if he was trained to kill these monsters with a silver edged axe? And what if he could cut down a damn tree in one swing? Well that’s what this movie is all about! We get to see some historical locals that if you’re a history buff, or a Lincoln buff you may recognize from your reads. Then there are the things like how he spends a good deal of time killing vampires.

    Like I mentioned earlier, the movie goes through most of Lincoln’s life, starting from a young boy with a bit of a temper when it comes to injustice. It goes on to when he was a young man looking to avenge his mother, to the great president . . . and vampire killing machine we know of from history class. We find out that Lincoln’s mother was killed while he was still very young by a douche of a vampire, and after years of letting his hatred stew, he goes to kill said vampire. Only he didn’t realize it was a vampire and shot him in the face only to nearly have his throat ripped out moments later. Lucky for him, a local vampire hunter happened to be watching him. After saving his life, the other hunter brings the future president to his home and proceeds to train him in the fine art of killing people with supernatural powers using nothing but an axe.

    After spending time training, Lincoln is sent out on his own with strict instructions to not become attached to anyone, and only to go after the vampires he’s told to kill. That works out great when he first befriends a local shopkeeper, then falls for his future wife Mary Todd, then reunites with a childhood friend. These four pretty much become the scooby gang minus the dog. Oh and Mary doesn’t really know much of what’s happening, but really, who didn’t see that coming?

    Overall this was a really fun movie, you can’t go into it expecting to be blown away. Go in to have fun and that’s exactly what you’ll have. It’s not a documentary, it’s a vampire killing movie and it should be treated as such. The cast does a great job in my opinion, Benjamin Walker captures a young would-be president great and manages to do the same to the wiser older Lincoln later in the film. Mary Elizabeth-Winstead being the female lead had the chance of suffering the classic ‘damsel in distress’ scenario. But she’s never really the victim which is nice to see in a movie, Abe may protect her but she’s never in that life or death situation like so many other movies do to their female leads. She’s also pretty badass near the end, you’ll have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about.

    The remaining two members of the scooby gang are Joshua Speed, played by Jimmi Simpson and Anthony Mackie as William Johnson. If you’re a Lincoln history buff you’ll know both of these guys are real historical figures. Speed was a close friend of the president and Johnson was employed in multiple jobs by Lincoln. The movie twisted their roles a bit, made changes to their history with Abe and made them cohorts in his desire to take down the vampires. I thought they both did a great job, especially Simpson who had scenes where you’re meant to feel like he’s being cast aside, and thanks to his ability to get those emotions across works perfectly and makes certain parts of the film all that more believable. At least from a character perspective, not in the I think Lincoln hunted Vampires, though it’s definitely a possibility. And the last good guy of the film, Henry Sturges, played by Dominic Cooper, was Abe’s mentor I mentioned earlier. He taught him the fine art of killing vampires and actually has a fairly interesting story throughout this movie.

    ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ is one of those films that makes you want to stand up and go “FUCK YEA!” during it. It evokes a sense a patriotism that not a lot of movies convey. Times in movies where you’re proud to be an American (assuming you are), like when Harrison Ford tells the guy to “Get off my plane” in ‘Air Force One’, or Bill Pullman’s speech in ‘Independence Day’, and pretty much any time Mel Gibson killed a british soldier in ‘The Patriot’. All those films made you go want to clap and cheer, ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ is another film to add to that list. When Abe is fighting a horde of Vampires on top of a moving train while the bridge burns, who wouldn’t get excited? It’s Honest Abe kicking vampire ass in one of the most epicly 19th century ways.

    If you’re one of those sceptics out there who wasn’t going to see this movie, change your mind immediately and go see it. Go have fun at the movies, because that’s what this movie is supposed to be – fun. It’s not going to make you cry, or think too much. There isn’t a hidden message or underlying theme. Abraham Lincoln was the president, he also happened to hunt and kill vampires, this is that story.

    talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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