Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is hokum on a grand scale and silly… but fun
01:08 GMT, 22 June 2012
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (15)
Verdict: Silly, but sporadically funny
This weird mixture of sedate biopic and slash-and-decapitate horror stars younthful Liam Neeson lookalike Benjamin Walker as the young Abe Lincoln, who is understandably annoyed when a vampire (Marton Csokas) murders his mum.
Destroying the murderer isn’t enough for Abe. Aided and abetted by another guy with a grudge (Dominic Cooper), he takes time off from his career as shopkeeper, lawyer and politician to go on a rampage of vengeance against the bloodsuckers, who — organised by vampire-in-chief Rufus Sewell — take over the Southern states and turn the American Civil War into a conflict between the living and the undead.
Scroll down for the trailer
Benjamin Walker as the vampire-hunting ex-president
I bet you didn’t know Southerners drank the blood of their slaves, or that the North triumphed because Lincoln made sure his soldiers were supplied with silver bullets.
Though rather improbable, it’s certainly an original take on U.S. history.
Seth Grahame-Smith’s script, based on his own novel, has a tongue-in-cheek charm, as when Abe explains to his inamorata Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) how vampire-hunting can leave you feeling a bit knackered: ‘I’ve been working nights.’
Though rather improbable, its certainly an original take on U.S. history.
Towards the end, when most of the actors are covered in latex and facial hair, we even hear Mary utter the immortal line, telling her husband to hurry up: ‘You’re gonna be late for the theatre.’
This is hokum on a grand scale, though it’s emotionally cold and gets tiresomely repetitive, with scores of vampires baring their fangs before decapitation.
It’s at least half-an-hour too long but I nevertheless enjoyed the fights during a horse stampede and on a train crossing a burning bridge.
Historians are unlikely to warm to it. On a brighter note, if it’s a hit, perhaps we can look forward to Gerald R. Ford: Pole Dancer and possibly even Ann Widdecombe: Alien Exterminator.