Makes you glad he died at the theatre

The title is a gimmick that may make you smirk. The concept is a gimmick that may make you smile wryly. The 3D credentials are gimmicks that go largely unnoticed. However, the fact that the script made it past the front door of any film studio is no gimmick. It is simply astounding. Having spent much of this so-called film wishing that a frontal lobotomy had been dished out at the door rather than 3D glasses, this particular reviewer is no longer smirking or smiling, and would have preferred to have been simultaneously hit by a bus and struck by lightning while in the throes of an epileptic fit than sit through this so-called film.

The jaw-dropping begins instantly. The so-called film opens with a biblical quote from Genesis 17:5: “Your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations”. As an atheist who paid little attention during religious studies at school, I may well have my wires crossed here, yet I’m fairly certain this particular reference tends to be associated with an altogether other Abraham than the 19th century version depicted here, with or without the historical bastardisation. Still, same first name and both had beards, so why not? The so-called film then goes on to proclaim that “History prefers legends to men”, presumably attempting to excuse and validate the premise of this back of a postage stamp-scripted, fortune cookie-inspired, matchbox platitude.

This may well be an exercise in the ‘secret history’ fantasy sub-genre, which here posits the involvement of vampires in the story of the United States right up until the end of the American civil war. Writer-producer Seth Grahame-Smith may well have enjoyed publishing success with his previous venture into the search-and-replace historical horror genre, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but none of this disguises the fact that this is simply another thinly veiled marketing fad from Hollywood’s whoremongers, a stick of quick-melting chewing gum for an ADD generation, and a pubescent pop-up genre that should have been popped well before it got infected.   



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


Dir: Timur Bekmambetov,

US fantasy / horror, 2012, 105 minutes; Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Premieres August 2