In the opening scene of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter we see a very young Abe Lincoln rush to the defence of his good friend, Willy, who is being beaten by a Slave Trader named Barts. Abe’s Father, who works for Barts, ends up joining in the fight. Barts is extremely angry that his employee stood up to him and demands full payment of a debt owed to him. Abe’s Father refuses to pay, so Barts tells him there is more than one way to collect a debt. It turns out Barts is a Vampire and sneaks into Abe’s house that night and kills his mother with a single bite.
Nine years later, Abe swears revenge on Barts and tries to kill him with a bullet through the eye. Barts, being a ruthless vampire, survives and completely over powers Abe and very nearly kills him. At the last moment, Henry steps in and saves Abe and explains everything about the Vampires. Henry asks Abe to join his cause to rid the world of Vampires. Henry then trains Abe to be a Vampire Hunter. Abe’s weapon of choice is a silver plated Axe, that he wields like a sword. Abe can chop through a tree with a single blow from his Axe.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith’s popular History/Horror mash-up novel of the same name. In the original novel, The story is told through the long lost journal of Abe Lincoln. It mixes real factual American History of the late President with supernatural Vampire fiction, an interesting combination to say the least. If you can manage to suspend your disbelief at the absurd storyline, Abe Lincoln has plenty for a genre fan to enjoy. I was expecting a light hearted movie, but actually the story is told very straight forward and serious. In fact I don’t remember a single joke being uttered, even though the story line was a perfect set up for one- liners.
Despite all it’s short comings, Abe Lincoln was really campy and fun to watch. The action scenes are completely over the top but well done, especially the Train scene. Lincoln comes across as an axe wielding Van Helsing character instead of the real “Honest Abe” from the History books. The 3D seemed to add to the big action scenes but I don’t think the film really needed it. The CGI enhanced Vampires looked good, but I would have preferred old school fangs instead. The over the top effects on the Vampires seemed out of place in a historical drama, but maybe that’s just me.
If you are looking for a Grindhouse style movie like Hobo With A Shotgun, you won’t find it here. Abe Lincoln seemed more like a mash up between Wild, Wild West and The Matrix and came across as a “Steam Punk” movie. There were plenty of slow motion action scenes and blood spurting from axe wounds. Also there is a very cool action scene with Abe riding on the backs of wild horses while dodging horses being thrown at him by the Villain. If anything Abe Lincoln is a completely original idea and not your typical Vampire story and for that I am very grateful.