Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) Disappoints
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my vampires traditional-style—put stakes through their hearts and they’re out of commission (removing their heads and stuffing their mouths with garlic is always a plus), they can’t cross rivers or tolerate sunshine, and they can’t disappear at will, do gymnastics, or fly (unless they transform into bats). I am willing to accept that vampires could have evolved over the past 150 years, but that wouldn’t account for the super-duper powers of the vampires plaguing Honest Abe in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The recently released DVD casts Abraham Lincoln in a role few ever suspected (unless they’ve read the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith who is also credited with writing the screenplay). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an action-fantasy-historical fiction that plays fast and loose with history against a bloody background of decapitation, blood spray, and a huge serving of CGA. Dizzying editing allows the audience to see the mayhem without always knowing exactly what just happened.
Loving the premise that vampires were hell-bent on taking over the United States and conspired with Jefferson Davis to fight Union forces at Gettysburg somehow didn’t translate into love for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, its flaws (including inconsistent direction) far outweighing its promise. As much as I hoped to like this film, I was disappointed.
Because Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter includes real events and people, suspending disbelief is nearly impossible—the viewer’s mind putting those events and people in perspective, making comparisons, and constantly being distracted from the action. Despite its shortcomings, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter does entertain with its high-tech vampirics and re-imagination of the secret life of Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, it isn’t in a class with other historical re-imaginings such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.