Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Blu-Ray Review (Kirk Haviland)

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Blu-Ray

Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell and Jimmi Simpson

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Now out on Blu-Ray and DVD from Fox Home Entertainment, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the teaming up of writer Seth Grahame-Smith, Producer/Director Bekmambetov and Producer Tim Burton, to bring the first of Grahame-Smith’s books to home screens. With its over-the-top visuals and absurdist premise, will Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter be among this year’s most fun purchases for your home theater or will it be this year’s Jonah Hex?

We first meet Abraham as a child as he interferes with the beating of a local black child, Will, and ends ups getting part of the beating himself. After his father and mother interfere on his behest, Abe’s parents are fired and their debt is collected in the form of a vampire attack resulting in the death of his mother. An adult Abe (Walker) goes after the man who killed his mother, Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), after his father’s passing. Upon shooting Barts Abe discovers that he is indeed a Vampire and is summarily beaten to a pulp until a mysterious figure interferes on his behalf. Abe wakens to discover that his savior, Henry Sturgess (Cooper), is well versed in the vampire nation and has been fighting them since he lost his own family to them.

Henry takes Abe on as his apprentice, we get the obligatory training montage as Henry teaches Abe to focus his power and passes on the pertinent vamp killing info (in this tale silver can be used to strike down vampires), and it becomes clear that Abe’s skill doesn’t lie with firearms but with his trusty axe. Abe is sent off to New Salem in order to rid it of a vampire infestation hit man style with Henry assigning him targets. It’s here Abe meets Speed (Simpson), a local shopkeeper, the adult version of Will (Mackie) and the woman he would marry Mary Todd (Winstead). Things progress until Abe get the assignment he’s been waiting for in Barts. Soon after Abe’s successful destruction of Barts, he puts away his axe to focus on his political aspirations, but fate will intervene again many years later.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of the most ludicrous and insanely over-the-top films I’ve seen all year, and watching it again at home did not change the fact that I loved every minute of it. Bekmambetov plays out the entire movie with tongue planted firmly in cheek as the film never loses sight of what it really is, a goofy romp where nothing is out of bounds. The script is ludicrous in most parts, yet actually incorporates numerous real situations and events in Lincoln’s life, with the vampire slant of course. Thankfully everyone in the film seems to be in on the joke as well. Walker’s Lincoln is a straight laced proper gentleman but always has a mischievous look or smile not too far away; he is clearly having a good time. Cooper’s Henry Sturgess is a boozy vagabond with a troubled past, yet is never far away from a quick one-liner. Winstead’s Mary Todd is pretty much the one character played straight up, which is good as it reminds us that Abe’s actions will have consequences and grounds the film enough so that it doesn’t become so ridiculous that it’s unwatchable. Another standout is Sewell as the main villain. The effects work here is non-photorealistic, over-the-top and insane, but this adds to the overall tone and feeling of the film.

The Blu-Ray comes loaded with a feature length documentary on the making of the film that is informative and entertaining. We get a feature length commentary from writer Seth Grahame-Smith and a music video. Last but not least there was a fantastically executed special short film/motion graphic novel The Great Calamity.

So the question remains, is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter worth the purchase price or are you better of paying a rental price? For all its goofiness it is also packed with charm and wit, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a solid buy recommend.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review (Kirk Haviland)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell and Jimmi Simpson.

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of a line of mash-up books, including Grahame-Smith’s own Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which are currently extremely popular in the fiction world. Teaming up with Producer/Director Bekmambetov and Producer Tim Burton, and adapting his own book for the screen, Grahame-Smith brings the first of his two books to the theaters this summer with Abe Lincoln. With it’s over the top visuals and absurdist premise, will Abe Lincoln Vamp Hunter be among this year’s most fun excursions to the multiplex or will it be this year’s Jonah Hex?

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter traces the former president’s story back to when he was a child. We first meet Abraham as he interferes with the beating of a local black child Will and ends ups getting part of the beating himself. After his father and mother interfere on his behest, Abe’s parents are fired and their debt is collected in the form of a vampire attack, that Abe witnesses, resulting in the death of his mother. Sworn to an oath by his father to not seek revenge, an adult Abe (Walker) goes after the man who killed his mother, Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), after his father’s passing. Upon shooting Barts Abe discovers that he is indeed a Vampire and is summarily beaten to a pulp, but a mysterious figure saves him by interfering. Abe wakens to discover his savior, Henry Sturgess (Cooper), is well versed in the vampire nation and has been fighting them since he lost his own family to them. Henry takes Abe on as his apprentice under the condition that he focuses on the training and not revenge on Barts. We get the obligatory training montage as Henry teaches Abe to focus his power and passes on the pertinent vamp killing info (in this tale silver can be used to strike down vampires) and it becomes clear that Abe’s skill doesn’t lie with firearms, but with his trusty axe. Abe is sent off to New Salem in order to rid the vampire infestation hit man style with Henry assigning him targets. It’s here Abe meets Speed (Simpson), a local shopkeeper, who takes in Abe as employee and tenant, the adult version of Will (Mackie) and the woman he would marry Mary Todd (Winstead). Things progress till Abe get the assignment he’s been waiting for in Barts and what ensues is a bat shit crazy over the top fight sequence amidst a horse stampede. Soon after Abe’s successful destruction of Barts he puts away his axe to focus on his political aspirations, but fate will intervene again many years later.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of the most ludicrous things I have seen in a theater all year, and I loved every minute of it. Bekmambetov plays out the entire movie with tongue planted firmly in cheek as the film never loses sight of what it really is – a goofy way over the top romp where nothing is out of bounds. Hell there’s a sequence in which a Vampire THROWS A HORSE at Abraham Lincoln that he catches and spins IN MID AIR and then starts riding without missing a single step and galloping a full pace! Thankfully everyone in the film seems to be in on the jokes as well. Walker’s Lincoln is a straight laced proper gentleman but always has a mischievous look or smile not too far away; he is clearly having a good time. Cooper’s Henry Sturgess is a boozy vagabond with a troubled past yet is never far away from a quick one liner. Winstead’s Mary Todd is pretty much the one character played straight up, which is good as it reminds us Abe’s actions will have consequences and grounds the film enough so as it doesn’t become so ridiculous that it’s unwatchable. Sewell’s Head Vampire villain Adam dominates the screen whenever he appears as Sewell clearly knows exactly what the film expects and needs from him.

Will some people hate and despise Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? I’m sure they will. It’s certainly not high art or a historical cinematic achievement, but it certainly is a hell of a lot of fun. Abraham Lincoln is a recommend.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

Make sure to keep up with what’s going on at Entertainment Maven by liking our Facebook page and having updates delivered right to your Facebook News Feed. It’s the only way to stay on top of all of our articles with the newest blockbusters and all the upcoming films and festivals in Toronto.

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Contact me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com

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