I did not want to like this movie. When I first heard about this film, I thought to myself what’s next? “George Bush: Middle Eastern Werewolf Slayer“? However, being a fan of vampire films I went into this film with an open mind and am happy to say it was pretty enjoyable.
Abraham Lincoln, our historical 16th President, who fought for our country’s soul during the Civil War to end slavery and make all men equal…and to lay the smack down on vampires across the land? Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is probably one of the most silliest and unexpected titles I ever thought I would see for a film. I love popcorn and vampire flicks, yet I went into this movie prepared to roll my eyes and regret my $3.00 rental. I admit, I have to give director Timur Bekmambetov and co-producer Tim Burton credit, I was fairly entertained and surprised at this fun little vampire flick arriving just in time for a good October/Halloween rental.
The film begins in the year 1818 when our to be President/Vampire Slayer is a young boy living at home with his parents. From the beginning moments of the film I noticed two things. The first, this films style has Tim Burton written all over it (which is a good thing), and secondly the director is taking the original novel’s content (written by author Seth Grahame-Smith) quite seriously, while still having fun with the title. The film’s main star Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker), did a pretty solid job. He was funny, likable, and (I cant believe I’m saying this) a believable vampire hunter/President of the United States. Worth mentioning is the decent job New Orleans plantation owners, Adam, the head vampire (Rufus Sewell) and his sister Vadoma (Erin Wasson), did as the film’s top villains. Also I can’t forget Abraham’s childhood friend, the silver bullet gun weilding sidekick, William Johnson (Anthony Mackie).
As Always, I won’t spoil the key plot points. Let’s just say Mr. Abraham is going to have a bad night when after the passing of his father decides to execute a 9-year plan of revenge at the docks where his father worked. Which begins like many bad nights…at a bar, when our hero meets a mysterious man Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper). Little does our hero know that these next few hours will dictate the next 30 plus years of his life from being trained as a vampire hunter, earning a living as a shop keeper, getting married, being elected President, and not only freeing slaves but saving the world from the undead apocalypse in a heroic effort to get silver to the North soilders in the Civil War during a pretty cool climatic train on burning bridge. Some parts I couldn’t help but laugh at the way the director took real facts and incorporated them into the vampire story. Also the slow motion effects might have been a bit over done. And I couldn’t help but being reminded of the ’80s film Beastmaster every time I saw Mr. Lincoln swinging his silver dipped battle-axe in slow motion.
If you’re looking for a silly yet borderline serious Halloween vampire slayer rental and are a fan of Tim Burton, then I don’t think you will be disapointed with spending a few bucks for a fun rental on a dark and stormy October night at home. I think this is one of those films that was probably more criticized from viewers who went to see this at the theater, than those viewing it as a convenient cheap home rental.
I give this film an entertaining, 2 out of 4 Throwing Stars.