As someone writing a blog on American Presidential history, and American history in general, it was natural my attention would be drawn by this latest film with the silly name “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. Please, don’t let the silly name put you off this film. Rather let the stupid, vapid, daft plot, the astonishing trivialisation of slavery put you off, let creaky dialogue put you off, let the so-so CGI dissuade you, let simple good sense put you off.
This is such a bad film on so many levels.
The basic premise such as it is, is thus: Abraham Lincoln the sixteenth President, the Great Emancipator, and the man who saw the US through its greatest crisis in the Civil War, is here shown as a Vampire Hunter. Hey ho. His mother, you see was eaten by one, or something like that, so he develops super-human skills with an axe and hunts them down. He then takes on the Vampires in the South who are farming slaves as fodder for their blood needs, and kills these vampires to free the slaves.
The Director, and schlock meister general of all this rubbish, is one Bekmambetov, in case you want to avoid any other offerings of his.
Ooooh deep breath time. Is this some kind of allegory? Is it a metaphor for our times perhaps? Is there a deeper sub-plot of dark satire here? Nope it really is just a piece of crap, and badly acted two dimensional poorly cut crap at that. Just another B-movie period piece, a bog standard hackem and slashem, axe-wielding, butt kicker.
And it might be very offensive to those who feel the issue of slavery still isn’t met with the seriousness it deserves.
At the risk of sounding all teacherly it is difficult enough to find Americans with any kind of solid knowledge of history at the best of times, and a film like this will not help. This is not a slight on Americans, who are by no means as stupid as foreigners make out, but rather a condemnation of the school system that does not encourage history as a subject, and the American media in general for dumbing down simply to gain the lowest buck. For instance I am always surprised that my post on John Hancock attracts so much attention, as it seems a sizable proportion of Americans imagine that he was black. Despite portraits that show he was white.
So this dod of old dreck portraying the Great Emancipator as Buffy with a beard is right up there with Marvel explaining the Cuba Crisis as being brought about by the actions of mutants.
What next? George Washington:Dragon slayer or Ben Franklin:Werewolf whisperer? Perhaps even Mother Theresa: Warlock emasculator?
It almost makes one look forward to Spielberg’s “Lincoln” as a remedy to all this foolishness, due out in December.
Copyright David Macadam 2012