I have to admit, when I first saw the posters for this and Tim Burton’s name attached to it, I immediately underestimated this film. And I’m a big fan of Tim Burton. But what I expected was more of the camp romp that pervades his earlier works such as ‘Beetlejuice’, ‘MIB’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Willy Wonka’, ‘Alice In Wonderland’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ ‘Dark Shadows‘.. you see where my mind immediately went between the title and Burton. Semi-slapstick with an oddly ghoulish sense of humor. But not so with ‘Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter‘. This was more like something along the lines of George Romero meets the History channel with plenty of cut and slash destruction of evil-doing Vampires. Especially in 3D. (More on that in a moment.)
Now.. I will admit not only did I NOT read the book beforehand, I didn’t even know there was a book. I just figured a screen-writer somewhere drew two random topics together and challenged himself to write something of it. ‘Abe Lincoln’ and ‘Vampires’.. make a story out of that. But the word is that the screenplay for the movie is not like the book. I can’t elaborate on it more than that for obvious reasons. But if you are one of those who read the book, there’s your spoiler. Big surprise.. Hollywood can’t produce a film from a book without wanting to add in Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, explosions, hot women or a Broadway dance number.
From all that I could muster up on the fly from past history classes, it would seem a lot of pains were taken to make this a story that could dove-tail into existing history. Hidden history, if you will. While not as ‘heavy’ as “Saving Private Ryan“.. it is far more interesting a film mentally than MIB. The costumes, the Civil War scenes and even small details like the spectacles were all done with great detail.
It has lots of slashing, beheading, blood flying in slow-motion (3D optional) and blunt head destructions so if you love that sort of thing.. be ready for a feast. If not, you should have gone to the theater next door showing, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid‘ instead. As for gripes, there is a female vampiress who is introduced early in the film as some sort of female bad-ass Vamp. That was a real let-down. Nothing special about her at all. I was hoping for a Vampiress vs. Harriet Tubman throw down.. never happened.
I will give Kudos though for it’s handling of the whole ‘S’ subject. (Slavery) Rather than using this as an expected moment to instill another layer of white-guilt.. instead the subject was handled in such a way that it made me proud to be an American. Not because we had slavery, but because the issue of “..all men are created equal” was finally rectified despite great and forceful opposition to such change. (Such freedom was supported by the Republicans, I must add and opposed by Democrats in the Senate when it went to a vote for amendment.. but who’s keeping track, right?)
My daughter (21) loves bloody, slashy, gory films and she was very happy with this movie as we left the theater. If you love seeing vampires take the blunt side of an axe to the head.. you gotta catch this. My only complaint about the 3D is that other than perhaps 4 scenes.. the ‘depth’ seemed kinda flat. I don’t feel much would have been lost seeing it in 2D without the eye-strain. All-in-all.. I give it 2 thumbs ‘Up’. (Oh.. and it turns out that Mrs. Lincoln is really hot.)
Author: Henry Velez
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.