I've seen a lot of things at the movies. Gory things, offensive things, full-frontal things, and so forth. Some were great, some were good, some were average, and some were very, very bad. Yet of all the things that Hollywood has put into the movie theaters lately (as opposed to the wild and woolly world of direct-to-video), last weekend's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter leaves me speechless. During the same summer as Battleship, a movie based on a board game, and it's this film that leaves me speechless. I thought that the humorless The Raven from last April that featured Edgar Allen Poe as an amateur detective was bad enough, but now we get the 16th President of the United States as a dour vampire slayer.
Come on, Hollywood! You've got a film about an axe-wielding president who kills monsters and this is the best that you can do? What, did the $70 million budget give you cold feet so you decided to play it serious for fear that a campy horror film would alienate or anger viewers? Did you get so high on CGI that the resulting digital haze made you forget how ridiculous this whole idea is? We live in a time where a toy series called "Presidential Monsters" is making its rounds among the horror collectibles crowd and yet you couldn't bother to include some inspired, morbid mayhem to salvage your misguided mash-up of historical drama and creature feature?
Yes, this action figure really does exist. Yes, a Lincolnstein movie would be
much more entertaining than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
I think they should've cast Hugh Jackman as Abe and rewritten the script into a movie musical, where Abe could sing and behead vampires while swinging his axe in rhythm with the tunes. Imagine Abe slaughtering the bloodsucking undead while singing the Gettysburg Address; what could be cooler than that? Throw in roles for other stage theater-inclined X-Men movie vets for name recognition purposes (e.g., James Marsden, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, etc.) and change the title to something more outrageous--say, Honest Abe vs. Dracula--and this could've been a b-movie blockbuster smash.
A 19th century historical figure that fights vampires?
Been there, done that, and on a cheaper budget too.
There is so much wasted potential in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I guess we'll just have to wait until September for FDR: American Badass!, which stars Barry Bostwick as FDR, Ray Wise as General MacArthur, and Kevin Sorbo as Abe Lincoln. Yes, really.
Here's Abe clobbering the cyborg version of John Wilkes Booth (a.k.a. "John Wilkes Doom")
during a time travel team-up with the Dark Knight on Batman: Brave and the Bold.