Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Review)

“You’re on in 5 Mr Chuckles.”

You order a performing clown for your kid’s birthday party based upon a bright and vivid flyer. The day arrives and the clown shows up in full makeup, before carefully unloading all of the toys, props and stuff you would think and hope a clown might show up with. Everyone gathers around in a semi-circle facing the clown who…

… sits on an upturned box and chain smokes. For an hour.

You’d be pissed right? Then assume you confront Chuckles and ask what the hell just happened, and he calmly tells you the ‘ad was only for a clown, it never specified performance or hilarity’.

Consider Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as Chuckles the chain smoking clown.

If you build a film on the premise that one of the most famous US presidents of all time was a fully functioning vampire slayer for much of his adult life, you best have ticket-payers emerging from the cinema saying ‘can you believe that shit?’

If ever there was a film that needed a nudge-nudge, wink-wink every now and then it is this one. Strangely enough the end result is a film that would probably be easier to enjoy without the Lincoln angle, it would be less overtly gimmicky and publicity whorish and could just be a little curio of a film about vampire slaying.

Instead we have this.

As the man himself tells us there was a lot more to Abraham Lincoln than just being a famed and much loved president. History books ignore or simply missed out on certain facts that made the man that much more interesting. Funny, I would think no number of rounds of Chinese whispers could let the fact about his vampire hunting drop off the vine…

After witnessing his own mother’s slaying at the fang of a particularly nasty vampire, young Abraham swears revenge and as he matures is trained in the deadly vampire slaying arts, learning techniques and the rules on the fly. His weapon of choice? An axe.

As a young adult Abe works as a shopkeeper for his boss and friend ‘Speed’, chatting amiably to the public and catching the eye of Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a well to do young woman. But by night he is a slayer, taking out local personalities in secrecy once they are outed as vampires.

Abe continues along in this vein until he finds another cause to be equally passionate about; that being slavery and racism, especially when his childhood friend Will shows up to remind him that these things are bad. It helps Abe once he learns that the leaders of vampire-kind are in fact a driving force behind the pro-slavery forces of the South.

But enough of the dry plot, the action is what should have us salivating here, and to be fair a lot of the action exhibits flair and creativity; I’ve never seen a running battle that found so many ways to utilise horses – even as weapons. Elsewhere the visuals are striking and several scenes are assisted by clever CGI effects, though just as much of the film features wholly unnecessary CGI effects. It’s all just very perfunctory and dispassionate where it should be insane and jaw-dropping.

There are actors in this film, they are fine I guess, though none of them stand out or demand I mention them… Actually the film is much the same, fine I guess, but after the title has been spoken of, there is precious little that demands you spend more time considering Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

I do await the inevitable sequel though. Bill Clinton: Cougar Hunter.

Final Rating – 6 / 10. Who knew everyone in the 1800s practised martial arts?

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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