No vampires in my land. Off with their heads!
It turns out that the title of America's first superhero no longer goes to Captain America or Superman. The honour goes to none other than America's 16th President; Abraham Lincoln, who is actually closeted vampire hunter. Honestly, Honest Abe? Who would've thought?
The untold story of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” sheds new light on Lincoln and his vampire hacking days that eventually led to his rise to the presidency. The movie also recounts his battles through the Civil War and slavery years among other historical events in a new perspective.
While the title of the movie itself may have garnered some ridicule, here’s why we think you shouldn’t let the gimmicky sounding B-grade title fool you, lest you be an ignorant moviegoer (or a Robert Pattison fan).
It may seem a tad bit risky to cast a virtually unknown actor as a lead, and especially since the movie is produced by Tim Burton, one might even think his long time muse Johnny Depp may have cut it.
29-year-old Benjamin Walker may possess a CV that only consists of a Broadway role or two and a few supporting roles, but the actor who bears almost a striking resemblance to a young Liam Neeson and has experience taking on Presidential roles (Walker played the 7th President of America in the Broadway play ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’), managed to beat actors Adrien Brody, Eric Bana, Josh Lucas and James D'Arcy to don Lincoln’s top hat.
And hey, in case you didn’t know, let us save you the Wiki trip; Walker is Meryl Streep’s son-in-law. He is married to Streep’s daughter Mammie Gummer.
Action & Gore
As per the usual Hollywood fashion, the ‘safer’ your rating, the better your chances to rake in the masses for the big blockbuster bucks. But we have to warn you that it isn’t the case here, so thread precariously and abandon all hope ye squeamish who enter here!
Rated 18 without any cuts, expect no fast jump cuts, swish editing or overly jerky camera angles to distract you from the full-on violence in the movie.
We’d reckon Honest Abe to be swift competition to ‘Saw’s’ Jigsaw as his axe wielding moves chop limbs and hands with fountains of blood showering the screen. Well, speaking of the axe, that leads us to…
Thor has his hammer, The Bride her katana, Katniss her bow and arrows, and Gandalf his staff, which leaves us with Lincoln’s weapon of choice; his axe.
Historically speaking, before the 16th President took his seat, he was quite the woodsman. In the movie, vampire hunter Abe pushes things a notch higher and puts his skill to an even better use with a modified axe that’s not only perfect to hack heads off vampires, but also serves a gun when the head of the axe is dislodged.
Now if that kind of innovation using pre-Industrial Revolution tech is not making the most out of your era, we don’t know what is.
History made fun
If political movies like ‘The Iron Lady’, ‘Frost/Nixon’ and ‘JFK’ bore you to death, then what better way is there to enjoy rich history laced with a dash of supernatural fiction?
Can you imagine if this movie was just a plain old biopic of the 16th president? Well, actually there are already quite a number of straight-up Lincoln adaptations – ‘Abraham Lincoln’ (1930), ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’ (1940), ‘The Lincoln Conspiracy’ (1977) and the upcoming ‘Lincoln’ (2012) by Steven Spielberg which we bet you had never heard of.
Hopefully this mash-up will get directors and scriptwriters to conjure up more historical fact-meets-supernatural fiction flicks.
No sissy vampires
Expect no sparkly Robert Pattison, a seductive Lestat or even the rugged vampire neighbour-next-door Jerry, the vampires in ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ are pure blood-sucking nasties of the worst kind.
So that’s already more ‘bad-assery’ than one can expect as the nemesis of a president who instead of fighting rebels or an economy crisis, is fighting vampires.
Plus, who’d better to play the head villain vampire other than English actor Rufus Sewell who is known for movie villainy is films like ‘The Knight's Tale’, ‘The Legend Of Zorro’, ‘Helen Of Troy’ and ‘The Illusionist’. A match worthy of Abe and his axe we must say.
Kick-ass production team
In the words of Abe himself, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, so thankfully the production team consisting of producer Tim Burton, producer-director Timur Bekmambetov and novelist-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is the trio responsible for the movie.
In 2010, Burton and Bekmambetov paired up to purchase the film’s rights for the novel authored by Grahame-Smith who was just hot of the press promoting his other mash-up novel ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ which was very well received (and currently being adapted to a movie).
While the film was undergoing the pre-planning stages, Burton took on Grahame-Smith to pen his ‘Dark Shadows’, and the author was then hired again to generate a screenplay from ‘Abraham Lincoln’. The result is an original piece of work, with dark undertones and awesomely executed action scenes planned by the man behind ‘Wanted’ and ‘Daywatch’.