director Timur Bekmambetov
Ah, it’s great to see history come alive like this.
The less said perhaps the better about this action/horror film adapted from a popular mash-up novel by Seth Grahame-Smith in which history is re-imagined with vampires. And Abe Lincoln is an axe-wielding slayer of the villains.
I kept kind of waiting for a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)-style Abe Lincoln spouting, “Party on, dudes!” But for as camp as this concept has it, when Lincoln twirls his axe like a ninja, the comic effect has its volume muted and the attempt to be cool is amplified.
The metaphor of vampires as being the real reason behind The Civil War…well, I suppose you could make it work somehow, but here it’s insulting. Isn’t slavery horror enough? Is the metaphor apt? Is it just stupid? These things come to mind much more in a film in which comic asides and self-reflexive awareness of the inherent comedic value of Abe Lincoln looking anything remotely unlike himself could be.
The only extra point of interest here is in this film’s contrast to two other films of 2012, Steven Spielberg’s very serious Lincoln (2012) and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012). Now, I’ve seen neither of these films yet (Django has yet to be released) but something tells me that these films share a confluence of revisionist, post-post-modern perspective in a shared space of history. And my guess is that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will easily be the odd film out. Not simply for obvious reasons. The concept could have been worked somehow to be clever. But more simply because it sucks.