Tag Archives: space

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.

“Orphan Black” is Mind Blowingly, Jaw Droppingly Satisfying


That’s the sound of my mind being blown.

“Orphan Black” does it again with this week’s episode, “Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things.”

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If you aren’t watching “Orphan Black”, you should be, so let me catch you up. Street thug Sarah Manning discovers she’s a clone after watching her “identical twin” commit suicide by train. She joins forces with her clone-mates, suburban housewife and mother, Alison Hendrix, scientist Cosima Niehaus, and her actual twin, the wild Helena, to figure out the story behind the clones’ origin.

This week, sick Cosima can be cured using Sarah’s daughter Kira’s stem cells; both Sarah and Kira are on board with sharing a little of Kira’s DNA. Dr. Aldous Leekie (love that name) is given a chance to live by evil clone Rachel provided he run and never look back. And Alison blabs about her role in her neighbour’s death to Vic (Sarah’s ex) who is selling her out to cop Angela Deangelis (Angel the angel – another great, if not redundant, name).

On to the mind blowing. Fuse Number One: the reunion of Sarah, Felix, Vic and Alison in a clever moment of comic relief.

The last time these four got together Vic lost a finger. Since then, he’s enrolled in rehab where he meets Alison. The two strike up an unlikely friendship which is understandable once we realize Vic plans to sell Alison out to Deangelis. This week was Family Day. Vic won’t send Alison up the creek if she arranges a meeting with Sarah so he can atone for his sins. Sarah and Felix arrive at the facility. Sarah is confused for Alison and forced to role play with Alison’s husband, Donny, with laugh out loud results. Poor Vic is drugged by Felix and everyone in the facility thinks he’s relapsed.

Donny is the key to Fuse Number Two.

Alison has always suspected Donny was her watcher. This week we learned he thought he was involved in a sociology experiment, like they did in university. Turns out he had no idea who he was actually working for or that Alison was a clone. When Alison accuses him of ruining their marriage, Donny seeks out Leekie, forces him into his car at gunpoint and Leekie confesses. Donny accuses Leekie of ruining his marriage. Leekie berates him. Donny gets angry and bangs his hand–and the gun–against the steering wheel. The gun goes off. Leekie’s brains are splattered all over the inside of the car.

My jaw dropped and stayed unhinged for several moments thereafter.

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Then I laughed.

Then I cursed. How dare “Orphan Black” keep me hanging as to what comes next for an entire week?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Variations Under Domestication

I love Orphan Black. (I’ve gotten past the inconsistency issue I blogged about earlier.) “Variations Under Domestication,” last night’s episode, was a brilliant comedy of errors, in which Sarah’s, Allison’s and Beth’s lives come together in “Scarberia”, aka Scarborough.

When subplots collide, there can only be two kinds of results – explosive or comedic. “Variations Under Domestication” followed the latter with genius results. Suspecting all clones—or genetic identicals—have watchers, soccer mom Allison is convinced it is her husband. She knocks him out with a golf club to the head and then ties him up in her craft room and tortures him by dropping hot glue onto his chest. Sarah comes to the rescue, switching places with a drunken and self-medicated Allison. She calls Felix in to bartend. If that weren’t bad enough, who should show up but Vic and Paul. The comedy ensues watching Paul brutalize Vic and seeing Sarah try to keep the neighbours—at Allison’s for a block party—out of the basement where Allison is unconscious and Donny is tied up, eyes covered with a pink sleeping mask and pink fuzzy earmuffs. With Allison’s neighbours convinced she is having an affair with Paul, Sarah and Paul sneak out to the garage where Vic has taken a nail through the hand. Sarah gets rid of Vic and she’s left to deal with Paul, who seems to be as in the dark as Sarah and her duplicates. Canadian Eric Johnson (whom I miss from his prior Rookie Blue gig), plays a randy neighbourhood husband. Hilarity, some slapstick (as in the torturing of Donny), some darker (as in what poor—yes, poor—Vic has gone through  with respect to the loss of fingers, beatings and now nailings, since the start of the series.

In the mean time, Cosima is at university, getting to know a blonde woman whom she suspects is her watcher. The blonde has ties to a scientist who preaches taking control of your own, personal evolution (played with gusto by Matt Frewer) and you just know he figures into the story behind Sarah and her “sisters’” cloning.

The episode begs the question of whether the clones really do have assigned watchers. If Paul was Beth’s watcher, Allison suspects Donny of being hers, and Cosima suspects her new friend of being hers, who is Sarah’s watcher? Maybe it’s Vic and that’s why he refuses to leave her alone. I’m voting for Felix in the role. Think about it…they’ve known each other since they were kids and he knows exactly what’s going on. Felix’s primary role is as Sarah’s confidant and fixer, but other than that, he’s comedic relief on his own. Aside from fencing stolen drugs and prostituting himself, Felix has to have a larger role. Wouldn’t it be great if he were simply playing the fool when instead he was the mastermind of the whole affair, or at least in league with the masterminds?

One more thought occurs. Allison adopted her kids because she couldn’t have any on her own. All of the sisters were surprised that Kira was Sarah’s natural-born child. What if that’s because Kira is another clone? Sarah could carry her to term because Kira’s DNA would have been genetically identical to her own. Keep in mind that other than the fact that Kira’s father isn’t Vic, we have no idea who the father really is. What if that’s because there is no father because Kira is yet another Sarah clone?

Time will tell, I guess, and we have a lot of that, considering that it’s been reported Orphan Black has been renewed for another season.

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About the Author

Elise Abram, English teacher and former archaeologist, has been writing for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until she was asked to teach Writer’s Craft in 2001 that she began to write seriously. Her first novel, THE GUARDIAN was partially published as a Twitter novel a few summers back (and may be accessed at @RKLOGYprof). Nearly ten years after its inception Abram decided it was time to stop shopping around with traditional publication houses and publish PHASE SHIFT on her own.

Download PHASE SHIFT for the price of a tweet. Visit http://www.eliseabram.com, click on the button, tweet or Facebook about my novel and download it for FREE!