Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a strange film to process because a person can go down to roads while watching it.  The first road involves taking everything that is going on in the film at face value.  This road will make most people HATE the film because it is too serious for the type of film it wants to be, the plot holes would seem amazingly stupid and the casting would do nothing but make the eyes roll.  The second road is one where it is believed that the whole film is very tongue and cheeks and the movie taking itself seriously makes it even funnier, the plot holes, casting and overall tone of the film all are purposely done in a way to make the film even more outlandish.

I am a person that went down that second road.  I always remember Quentin Tarantino talking about films that he had either written or directed being in two camps; the real world that has people from movies like Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction and True Romance inhabiting it and the fake movie world where such movies as Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn would be showing.  What QT was saying is that in his mind, if Butch from Pulp Fiction went to see a movie, he would probably pick the film where the Gecko brothers were killing vampires.  With this said, I believe that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter belongs in this fictional world where it would become Clarence Worley’s favorite film.

"Split This!" The unused catchphrase that could have made this into a billion dollar franchise.

I took the movie as one big joke, where the ultra seriousness of the plot made it funnier.  Here we have a movie where Abe Lincoln’s mother dies not from illness but as payback from a vampire mad at the family.  In the movie we have the hottest Mary Todd Lincoln in the history of film, Lincoln’s made up best friend who is a free black man that he takes with him to the White House and Jefferson Davis pleading for vampire help to win the Battle of Gettysburg.

How can a person take any of this seriously?  The way that this movie would have been unbearable is if the movie winked to the camera every time it did one of these jokes or if there would have been bad action lines that referenced future events that the characters would have no way of knowing.  Thankfully Vampire Hunter avoids all of these hurdles and tells a crazy story of a president who battles vampires while fighting the Civil War.

Vampires and the Gettysburg Address two things that go so well together.

Although I have spent the last three paragraphs explaining why I liked the seriousness tone on the surface level only vibe of the film, this is where I am going to contradict myself a bit by saying I wish the director would have gone a little crazier.  The director, Timur Bekmambetov, is the insane Russian director of Night Watch and Wanted; I wish he'd bring the craziness that he brought to those other movies to ALVH.

This is the man who took the awful Wanted but made it watchable because he directed the movie like a mad man adding curving bullets, people jumping out of buildings and Morgan Freeman cursing up a storm.  I wanted him to do something crazy in this film like the curving bullets but the closest he got was having a character throw a horse at Lincoln at one point of the movie (which was awesome!). The action scenes were still really well directed but they were missing that extra something that I was hoping Bekmabetov would have brought to the movie.

A vampire hunter/rail splitter's most valuable weapon

At the end of the day, I think I was laughing with the movie instead of laughing at it.  I believe that every thing the film did that would kill my history loving soul was done on purpose to add silliness to the proceedings.  I think the movie is bad because it wanted to be; that the timeline on getting the silver to the battlefield was impossible on purpose and that the creators of the film knew that Mary Lincoln looked NOTHING like Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  I went along with the ride and enjoyed myself.

Yet, if I was wrong and the film wanted to be taken seriously, HOLY SHIT, that was one awful film!

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Posted by Ryan

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. My favorite part was that EVERYONE knew kung fu. This was a historical kung fu vampire movie.

  2. Your review has me intrigued — and considering my interest in the film prior to reading some of this review was incredibly low, job well done.

    It does appear to be the type of endeavor where you have to go into not looking for much, and just sort of “go along” with its inherent silliness. Which I’m always down for.

    Oh, and not to be a grammatical Nazi, but the first sentence of your review should read *two* roads not “to roads”.

    Keep up the great work guys.

    • I think the key to this movie is believing that the movie is the way it is on purpose. If you watch it and point out all the errors and plot holes the movie would drive you insane.

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