Produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Tim Burton
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Marton Csokas, Dominic Cooper
Don’t pay attention to the (other) reviews, this could be the most entertaining film you see all year. If you’re looking for mouth agape, heart beating, palm sweating action this is where you’ll find it.
You probably know that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of The United States of America. Only they weren’t so united back in 1860. Lincoln’s election was the catalyst for the Southern states to declare their secession from the Union in order to protect their ‘rights’ to own slaves. This lead to the brutal and bloody Civil War.
What you might not know is that while fighting against slavery, Lincoln was also fighting against vampires.
When Lincoln was seven years old his mother died from what history records as milk poisoning. In reality she was killed by evil slave trading vampire Jack Barts (Invercargill boy Marton Csokas). Out for vengeance, the adult Lincoln returns to kill Barts but finds himself battered, bruised, and under the tutorship of Henry Sturges, vampire slayer (played by the endearing but one-note Dominic Cooper).
Lincoln is remembered for his brawn and his ability as an axeman (of the wood chopping variety), and in the film Lincoln’s vampire-dispatching method is by silver-coated axe. As Lincoln, actor Benjamin Walker displays fine acting chops and swashbuckling axe-handling skills.
Naturally the film includes generous lashings of fighting, romancing, plot twisting and vampire killing. It’s suspenseful and gory, but not in a “I just watched Saw 5 and now I feel violated” kind of way. It’s more like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ meets ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’ with a good dash of classic horror-suspense thrown in. Fight scenes range from a fierce one-on-one grapple with a vampire pharmacist in an underground torture chamber, to an elegant battle in a Southern Homestead reminiscent of Tara, backed with a mighty rock n roll soundtrack.
The film is shot in a painterly style that reflects the historic and fantasy elements of the story. The opening scenes depicting 1800s America, and a see-it-to-believe-it horse stampede battle are the finest examples of this style. And in 3D it’s extra scary fun.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is a fun romp and a great way to learn a little altered history about a president who vanquished evil.
Kathryn van Beek www.joyriderpromotions.com