Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 

If only 19th-century American history had been taught like this — in action-packed 3-D, with lots of slow-motion ax attacks.

Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) lets his silver ax do the talking.

Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) lets his silver ax do the talking.

p>Bloody limbs flying through the air! Abe Lincoln chasing a vampire atop a herd of galloping horses! Driving a train across a burning bridge! If only 19th-century American history had been taught like this — in action-packed 3-D, with lots of slow-motion ax attacks.

Timur Bekmambetov's actioner Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is adapted from Seth Graheme-Smith's novel, and employs little subtlety in relating the heretofore unknown aspects of our 16th president's lifelong anti-vampire vigilantism.

Abe's early forays are fueled by revenge, but as he becomes more politically engaged, Lincoln learns that vampires, based in the Deep South, want to claim the nation for themselves. Other scenes explicitly conflate the vampire menace with slavery and the South's succession. Naturally, there's a metaphor for the institution of slavery, in which the powerful drain the poor for its own gain. But in the corporeal world, the vampires also rely on "disposable" slaves as an easily acquired food source.

It all comes to a head during the Civil War, when the Union troops confront impossible-to-kill Confederate vampire-soldiers. Luckily, Lincoln figures out a plan to defeat the South's secret weapon and, as history does record, order is restored to the nation. But now when you peruse the Gettysburg Address, and read Lincoln's stirring words — "These dead shall not have died in vain" — you'll know he really meant the dead-dead. 

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