I wanted this movie to be real. I wanted to pick up a history book and find a footnote that said something along the lines of, “Oh and when he wasn’t abolishing slavery, Lincoln often spent his days eliminating the scourge of vampires that once plagued this nation. He also had three children.” Timur Bekmambetov, the visionary director behind “Wanted” comes back full force with the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book, and though I haven’t read the actual story I feel that this representation was probably spot on.
The movie opens on young Abe watching as one of his slave friends is whipped, and through his rash actions winds up getting the family fired from the service of one Jack Barts, a slave and business owner of some sort. That night Abe witnesses the same Jack Barts come to their house and “hurt” his mother, resulting in her strange death within the next few days. Flash-forward about ten years and here’s young adult Abe sitting at a bar, gathering the courage he needs to plant a bullet right between Jack Barts’ eyes. During his drunken confrontation (in which he is losing the fight, badly) it is revealed that Jack Barts is actually a vampire. Abe is saved by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper…Iron Man’s dad in Captain America) who decides that he is going to impart his knowledge of being a vampire hunter onto Honest Abe. Through this montage of learning how to be a BAMF with an axe, we are told that apparently the United States were filled with vampires during the days leading up to the Civil War, a plague that needed to be eradicated. The lead vampire is simply known as “Adam”, which is quite fitting. I’ll point out that he’s played by Rufus Sewell, who after seeing “A Knight’s Tale” is pretty much locked as a villain for the rest of his life. This plot is discussed in more detail later on but the main reason is that many Confederate land owners were vampires and were happy with life because they could feed off the slaves they owned, while continuing to get new ones: hooray for a never-ending supply of food! Once Abe learns all of his awesome new ass-kickery skills, he is shipped off to Springfield, Illinois to kill the neck-biters in the area.
Enter Mary Todd.
One of the first rules of fight cl-er, vampire hunting is that you are not to indulge in romantic feelings with anyone else. Otherwise you’ll be creating a vulnerable spot for your enemies to target, and then nobody wins. Over time Lincoln decides to pursue Mary and his beliefs for abolishing slavery, which naturally enrages the Confederate vampires as their food supply would then run out. This leads to the Civil War as vampires are used as soldiers since they can’t really, you know, die.
But enough about the story, you’ll have to watch it to see how it all plays out and it’s well worth the watch. Normally you would think that a story like this would result in some sort of straight-to-DVD release because of how crazy it is, but Timur definitely knows how to weave a yarn together. He utilized a lot of the slow motion effects from “Wanted” into this story and it really works out. Nothing like seeing Lincoln to a backflip while decapitating vampires. The dialogue should be noted as well, as the actors really put a good effort into the South/North accents and the dialect at the time. Also, the line, “Abraham fu*kin’ Lincoln!” is spoken at one point, which I believe should have been his campaign slogan.
DIRECTOR’S CUT: This movie is awesome. There’s a reason Abe is on Mount Rushmore, and now we know why. You can cover it up all you want, government…but now we know the truth.
FLICKCHART RATING: 230/1948