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on December 14, 2016
The Title Screams, "Watch Me". The previews with honest Abe swinging an axe to eradicate the evil lurking among us, seemed both ridiculous and inspiring. Here was our war weary president trying to reunite the country while kicking vampire *ss!. I mean, what more could you want?
As it turns out the movie pretty much lives up to the hype. There is an actual plot with characters we can get behind.
Of course some scenes are over the top or just plain silly, but to slay vampires you probably need a good sense of humor. The action is cool and it comes at you fast. When Abe wields his unforgiving axe at Vampire flesh, mayhem ensues. Just make sure to check behind you every once in a while...
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I enjoyed the heck out of this. It's an amalgamation of a book that was itself an amalgamation of history and high (dare I say it????) 'camp'!!! Not since the sixties and movies like 'Casino Royale' and 'What's New Pussycat' came out did you have this meshing of genre's with sly tongue-in-cheek humor (and maybe an 80's Most Excellent movie or two). Of course today with all the special effects and violence and 3D in your face action there's much to lampoon here and they do it with more reverence than you'd imagine. Of course knowing that Timur Bekmambetov (Director of Night Watch and Day Watch) is helming assures that you're not going to get your run of the mill Hollywood movie marvel (nee: Marvel Movie).

I'm sure that's what killed the box office, because the audience having been trained in the Hollywood Gerbil cage were not ready for this break the mold and run free kind of treatment. There is a story. There is lots and lots of action. And the Director certainly understands 3D...but most of all...he has that Russian sense of humor that comes through in every frame (do they still have those???). The whole movie is a kick and I enjoyed myself immensely.

So before you rush back to that Gerbil cage and start the coming Marvel Wheel Of Fortune spinning cash into Hollywood's bottomless craw again take a moment out for this prim and proper, sly and sedate, erstwhile look at our beloved 16th President in a new light.**

**(the views expressed in this review do not reflect per se the opinions or judgment of the author...but rather...per laugh)
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on April 28, 2014
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Great story, but I would think that the viewer must have some understanding of Civil War history to understand the goings-on with the film.

If you don’t know who Harriet Tubman is and the Underground Railroad, or Jefferson Davis, or Stephen Douglas, you might struggle through this story.

We meet young Mr. Lincoln as a boy, whose mother is killed by a vampire. At his mother’s grave, he resolves to kill the guy, not knowing that he is part of the undead.

Lincoln meets a man who claims to know how to get revenge, teaches him in the ways of whipping around an axe until it goes faster than the eye can follow. Lincoln also learns martial arts moves and runs up walls so he can jump down and swing faster.

Obviously one rolls one’s eyes, since martial arts was basically unknown in American society in the mid-19th century.

Still, it’s fun seeing the vampires get together to create a nation of their own, complete with a 5000 year old vampire who supports the South, so the slaves can be a constant source of blood for them. Yikes!

An ocean of horses, as a vampire runs and jumps from horse to horse, and breaks a few of the animals’ necks as he is chased by Honest Abe. No animals were hurt, since the CGI horses cannot be killed. But wow, so realistic!

The story is even better when we get to Abe stumping for president. When we see the guy before a mighty (CGI) crowd, giving his Emancipation Proclamation (look it up!) it is an amazing thing.

Tim Burton helped produce this one and it shows with the crazy imagery and the horrific attacks by the vampires.

Historic Perspective:

Yes, little Willie Lincoln did die at 11 years, though I’m doubtful it was by a vengeful vampire back from Abe’s youth to wreak havoc on his family.

Yes, the Union had a hard time at Gettysburg, though I doubt it was because of vampires being indestructible to lead bullets, nor that getting silver bullets and silver cannonballs turned the tide of war.

If there was a 5,000 year old vampire who witnessed the Jews being slaves to Egypt, why did it take Adam so dang long to get a following and a nation? You’d think after the first 2000 years he might get bored or something. Oh well.

Bottom Line:

The film is gory, horrific and a lot of fun. If you’re a Civil War enthusiast, you’ll have a lot more fun pointing out inaccuracies and such or even understanding the puns and humor of the tale.

I enjoyed the special features too, though the meeting of Lincoln and Poe and such were stretching it a bit.
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Top Contributor: Cookingon November 25, 2017
I didn’t hold a lot of hope for a vampire movie involving Abe but this was a pleasant surprise. There’s lots of action, the special effects are good and the cast are all rather likeable. If you’re looking for a good action movie with a novel twist this one should not be a disappointment. Of course, disengaging your brain prior to viewing is required.
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on January 11, 2017
This was a good action horror, definitely something that could appeal to the goth community. I think they could have done better especially in the acting department. The tie ins with reality and fiction is really interesting. Taking elements of actual history and fit it in with the fictional narrative they have going on. Give it a try it's got lots of action it and it's not boring.
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on November 10, 2012
My first encounter with one of the new "paranormal speculative fiction" historical novels was to screech to a halt in a bookstore and threaten to shout bloody murder. The very idea of Queen Victoria slaying werewolves or Abraham Lincoln taking after vampires offends my very historical-based sensibilities. Imagine my surprise therefore to take a chance on this big-screen adaptation of the novel and actually enjoy it.

What unfolds over two hours is a movie of more charm than I anticipated, particularly in its delightful depiction of the introduction and courtship of Abe and Mary. Immense changes were made from the novel, which disappoints book fans, but as someone who hasn't read the book, didn't prove problematic. Some of the action scenes are truly jaw-dropping, even if they go in for a touch of the macabre and absurd (one vampire hurtles a horse at Abe, who then promptly rides it in pursuit). The costuming is beautiful, as is the terrific cast, made up of little-known (and some, not so little known) actors. It's an interesting take on "alternative history," with style.

Reading reviews, particularly from more conservative sources, I anticipated the film to be bloodier than it really was... either the black blood of vampires doesn't seem as gruesome as most R-rated action films or the stylized manner of shooting the piece diminishes it, because it didn't turn my stomach. It's true that there isn't much characterization, and it almost seems clichéd to turn a champion of the enslaved into a vampire hunter (the metaphor is evident) but it's something different from what we've seen before, and it may (however indirectly) encourage audiences to read up on the real man, who was far more magnificent than this one, if not as downright cool.
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on November 2, 2012
Let me start by saying that I love alternative history movies, and I love vampire movies. This movie does not disappoint on either count. The movie does a decent job of transforming historical events into an alternate history where slavery is an opportunity for vampires to have a steady supply of a food source (slaves). The movie also credits the early victories by CSA armies to the fact that they had vampires fighting on their side.

The movie successfully turns a historical hero [Lincoln], and transforms him into a superhero vampire killer.

The movie also has exceptional production value, and has a particularly great action sequence where Lincoln jumps from horse to horse as the horses stampede away.

It is a good movie, and it is a fun movie (if you allow yourself to like it). I would have given it more than 4 stars if they had taken more care to do character development. The character development that they did accomplish seemed hurried and somewhat cliche. Foe example, Abraham was motivated to both abolish slavery because of a close relationship with a slave boy, but they didn't do much to develop the relationship. You are simply told that they are close, but they never demonstrate it. Similarly, Lincoln is driven to kill vampires because one killed his mother, but the director does not spend enough time on the pain of the event and how that transforms him to this driven man. Part of this may relate to the fact that the lead actor does not do a great job of bringing the emotional side of Lincoln to the forefront of the movie.
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on November 24, 2012
Movie Review Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
A movie that is great beyond its promise and premise.

The trailer for this movie left me stuck in the middle. We have an insane premise- that the 16th President of the United States did double duty as a monster killer and some wicked and slickly filmed chop chop action thrown in. Director Timur Bekmambetov, from the Night Watch and Day Watch movies, is no stranger to fangs in film. He channels his passion for all things dark and scary and then adds a pinch of Matrix (no surprise) and Brotherhood of the Wolf. The Brotherhood nod is for seeing early Americana mixed with Martial Arts.

It works. The movie succeeds- a huge credit goes to the serious handling of the iconic Abraham Lincoln character [played by Benjamin Walker] and the great lengths taken to capture the mid 1800s spirit. Writer Seth Grahame-Smith has layered a dark tale of vengeance around the most important issues of the time- slavery and the Civil War.

Vampire movies have always preyed and played with the idea of man verse monster. It's always been the choice between gaining enormous power and holding on to our fragile humanity. We parallel the struggle between the monstrous idea of slavery verse the inalienable rights of every man to be equal. Who would have guessed we'd tap such weighty subjects in a film about honest Abe obliterating bloodsuckers with an axe.

The fight scenes are a sight to behold and every element of film is used to enhance the action. We have great use of sound (albeit loud and obvious sometimes), slow motion and fast motion and even color takes an active role. We can see the obvious cooling and warming of shots, the isolation of colors, but the symbolism of color draining (like blood) is a marvelous touch. The visual respect for film matches the respect for the subject matter.

Throughout the movie, I kept thinking `They didn't have to go that far', but really- that pursuit of quality is what saves Vampire Killer from being a quickly forgotten b-movie. I believe they purposely walked the line of historical fiction and period piece drama as events in the movie closely follow history and Lincoln's personal story.

I liked it, I liked it, I liked it. This is one for the shelves even though every time I reach for it, I'll have to tell my company "It's good, trust me, it's good." Well done. I'm not a movie critic; I'm just critiquing a movie.
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on March 4, 2013
I'm just going to talk about the digital download for this film, since that was a little tricky. I actually had to call and talk to a live person at Fox, so hopefully this will help. If you want to download to iTunes, the steps remind me of a computer equivalent to the multiple doors at the Get Smart headquarters from the old TV show. First, insert the digital copy disc into your disc drive on your computer. Second, go to your Computer program and select the DVD and right click and Open. Third, double click on DVDROM. Fourth, double click to opent Media Manager. Fifth, at the bottom of the list is MediaManagerII.exe. Sixth, double click on that and it will open a box for fox digital copy. There you will have three more steps to follow! Sixth, enter the code from the DVD insert and then at step 2 pick iTunes for the platform. Step 3 will give you the actual code you need to enter in iTunes, so copy and paste it into the redemption code box in the iTunes store. Then, click your heels three times and say "There's no place like iTunes" three times. By then, it should start downloading.

I feel like I just completed a successful brain surgery on someone after getting this accomplished. I'm going to copy and past this review, because the same thing is needed for Prometheus. Thanks Fox for the telephone support or I would still be getting more grey hair on my head with this. Have fun and enjoy the movie if you are not too tired after getting the digital download accomplished!
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on November 1, 2014
This movie was just plain fun. I was hesitant to watch at first, although I generally love vampire movies. I mean, taking a man I greatly admire and adding vampires to the already hellish experience of the Civil War? I thought it would be blasphemous. But the movie had great special effects, more character development than I would have expected in such a weird tale, and an interesting take on history. The idea of slavery being championed for the sake of keeping vampires at bay can be considered controversial, perhaps even incendiary if one lives in the South and still flies the Confederate flag. (I don't fly that flag. I'm just saying.) But the superhero gymnastics of Lincoln kept me from dwelling too much on the God-awful waste of human life during the Civil War. The movie still captured the man's humility as well as his humor and his desire for justice. It was entertaining, but thought provoking as well.
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