movie monday — abraham lincoln: vampire hunter


I don’t have anything eloquent to say about this movie so it is going to be a pretty short Movie Monday, but OH MY GOD I loved this movie. It’s like… Okay, The Avengers is a Good Movie. It’s not, like, Citizen Kane or The Shawshank Redemption or … idk whatever we’re supposed to accept as Good Canon, but it’s a well-written, solidly acted, beautifully shot, excellently directed blockbuster. It’s emotive and entertaining and fun. It’s not going to change the world, but god damn if it doesn’t make living in it a little better and more fun. (Disclaimer: I do not believe in some media being more important than others. If you like something… That’s it. That is literally all I care about. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures and I don’t believe you’re a better or smarter person because you’d rather watch… idk a Todd Solondz movie than The Avengers or Keeping Up with the Kardashians or whatever. I don’t care. If you do think that… I don’t want to say you’re a terrible person, but you’re probably at least no fun at all.)

BABE LINCOLN: VAMPYR MURDERER though? Is like… It was like… It was vampire action on drugs that make you care about history. It was SO FUN and likable and funny and watchable and delightful. It was about FRIENDSHIP which is my favorite and cool 19th century sunglasses and Dominic Cooper having the most beautiful bedroom eyes I’ve ever seen next to Robert Downey Jr. and Sebastian Stan and fighting on horses and then USING ONE AS A WEAPON.

When I went in this morning, I was like, “I really hope this is like The Covenant” and then it TOTALLY WAS. Where The Covenant has boy witches and swim team, AL:VH had vampires and the Civil War. I could get all into where it perpetuates the myth of white savior Lincoln and stuff, but the movie is ABOUT LINCOLN FIGHTING VAMPIRES and how the Civil War might have ended differently if Lincoln hadn’t had actual silver silverware. I mean… A vampire THROWS A HORSE AT LINCOLN. There is a loving slow-motion shot of a fork flying through the air with a close-up on Lincoln’s initials as a vampire dies. THEY LEFT IT OPEN FOR A SEQUEL WHERE DOMINIC COOPER CONTINUES TO TRAIN VAMPIRE HUNTERS IN THE MODERN DAY AND/OR BROUGHT LINCOLN BACK FROM THE DEAD AFTER HE WAS THEATER-MURDERED.

The best scene BY FAR though is when Lincoln and Mary Todd are flirting and Lincoln is like, “I MURDER VAMPYRS” and Mary Todd is like, “TEEHEE YOU ARE SUCH A DELIGHT. I THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T LIE.” and Lincoln’s like, “Shitfuck I wish she believed me.” And then they walk home together and he chases her with the picnic basket that he’s making bark and growl and snap at her like a dog. IT IS SO CUTE AND DUMB.

I also just need to take a moment and talk about this cast because… IDK, I really liked these people?

So beautiful, so delightful. PLUS SURPRISE ALAN TUDYK!! Which should happen all the time. Dude… Just… Howard Stark (aka Baz Stan Lite) fighting alongside young Kinsey (aka Liam Neeson Face) and Tupac and James Spader Lookalike (aka Noah the Skeeze from Loser). And Ramona Flowers. I DON’T KNOW.

BUT ANYWAY. This movie was all about friendship. From baby Lincoln trying to save Will Johnson from being beaten to him learning from, admiring and BFFing Henry Sturgess: Vampire/Vampire Hunter Trainer to him befriending Joshua Speed the shopowner who gave him a room on credit. And then after friendship, it was about Babe Lincoln handling an axe LIKE A BOSS and also having a hidden gun in it. Then it’s about badass, slow-motion action sequences with LOTS OF BLOOD AND DECAPITATION.


Anyway, I talk about this a lot IRL, but I LOVE Smokin’ Aces and I loved this in a similar way, except I think AL:VH is actually a MUCH better movie for a lot of reasons, namely it’s not totally convoluted and does not rely on a barely sensical twist to wrap it up. This also applies to Shoot ‘Em Up and to a lesser degree Crank which were both far more ridiculous than AL:VH. (Note: I watched Limitless not that long ago and, though it wasn’t… totally terrible. I kept watching and wishing it would have pushed itself harder and launched itself into that Smokin’ Aces/Shoot ‘Em Up stratosphere of insanity because it would’ve been SO FUN and I would’ve LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF IT. But no. It just stayed down at the mediocre-boring equator.)

I read a review of it today (not on purpose, while I was Wiki-ing it) that said that for a fantasy/horror movie, the portrayal of Lincoln was actually very somber and respectful and, like, for real. That’s accurate as hell. You LIKE this Lincoln. You want to be friends with this Lincoln. He seems vulnerable and human. But you also respect the fuck out of him?! He kills vampires, but he ALSO wants to save the United States. It’s such a one-note premise: OH! WHAT IF ABE LINCOLN KILLED VAMPIRES?! But then you get this really great Lincoln from Benjamin Walker. IT WAS SO WEIRD. But it also made the movie better, I think, because as much as it’s CAMP CAMP CAMP, it’s done with this careful, historical tone that was really weirdly immersive. IDK IDK IT WAS JUST COOL OKAY.

So yes. I honestly think you should go watch Abraham Lincoln kill vampires. The secret is to expect it to be really terrible and then you will love it. It’s a popcorn movie! Wear jammies! Sneak some snacks into your cheap theater! Have fun with it! DON’T BE SUCH A WET BLANKET.