Abraham the Vampire Slayer? Review of “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”

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I had the opportunity to catch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on Space last night and I was surprisingly impressed. What I thought was going to be a campy movie turned out to be entertaining with amazing CGI.

In case you haven’t seen it, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hypothesizes that former President of The United States, Abraham Lincoln, was a trained vampire hunter. After he witnesses his mother being killed by vampire, Jack Barts,  young Abe is trained by Henry to wield his silver-tipped axe to kill vampires. Abe wants to use his training to exact revenge on Barts, but he makes a vow to Henry only to kill those Henry chooses. After learning that the King of Vampires, the aptly named Adam, plans to take over the U.S., Abe take him on.

Like all paranormal hunter/slayers, Abe has his own “Scooby Gang”, composed of “Watcher” Henry, friends Will Johnson, Joshua Speed and wife, Mary Todd. I liked the dynamic between members of the gang, but would have liked to see Mary slay a few vamps of her own, no matter how out of character for the time. I also liked the revisionist history in the movie that draws a parallel between the fight for emancipation from slavery and the fight for the emancipation of the U.S. from becoming a country enslaved by vampires.

Benjamin Walker plays the part of Abe Lincoln well, and looks strong and sexy twisting his axe like a baton as he slices through attacking vampires. I was glad to see Rufus Sewell again, a favourite of mine since Eleventh Hour and Pillars of the Earth, who plays the evil Adam with great aplomb. Deserving equal billing with the actors are the CGI effects. There is an impressive scene in which Abe chases Barts on the backs of a stampede of wild horses. Equally impressive is the climactic scene on top of a speeding train and the final showdown on the burning bridge.

Though the title sounds like it promises to be a groaner, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a movie worth watching.

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