Monday, February 13, 2012

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"

Okay, so... I don't want to be "that guy," but... didn't we learn from "Snakes on a Plane" that the whole "OMG LOL THATLOOKSLIKEAFAKEMOVIEBUTITSAREALMOVIE LMAO!!!" thing drives up your online traffic but doesn't actually get people into theaters?



This got greenlit a few years ago, back when "actual books that look like parody book-titles from a Simpsons background-gag" like this were a big bookstore fad. The progenitor of the trend, "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies," has gone through about a dozen failed starts so far.

I hate to be a spoilsport, because I like most of what I'm seeing - Bekmembatov, Burton etc. clearly understand that the central joke of Lincoln-as-Blade is funnier if the movie keeps a straight face and doesn't acknowledge that it knows it's funny; and that last shot is just about perfect - but that's the problem: is "Hah! This exists!" amusing enough to sustain a whole movie... and will people show up to find out?

I haven't read the original book yet (guess now I should...) but I'm given to understand that the "key" (and the reason it initially "broke-out" from the parody-book pack) is a certain degree of political-subtext drawing paralells between Vampirism and The Confederacy - in this version, vampire-hunting is Abe's "true calling;" and he becomes President and wages Civil War because The South is actually controlled by vampires who use the slave-trade as an easy food supply. That's clever, and if it makes it to the movie intact one imagines the outcry from the "stop picking on us!!!!" Lost Cause Revisionism crowd will be entertaining as hell in and of itself...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What made the book so good in my opinion is how Seth-Grahame Smith mixed the awesome silliness of Abe fighting vampires with what was pretty much a biography on his real life. The book was pretty brutal and sort of realistic (as realistic as Abe vs vampires can get), too. I hope that this movie is good, but it just looks meh, like they didn't get what made the book so surprisingly good. Also, the fact that the director is the same director behind Wanted makes me even more worried.

Angry Man said...

Entire trailer in slow motion = go fuck yourself you stupid piece of shit movie.

Anonymous said...

The fight scenes (at least judging from the trailer) seem a bit too bombastic and kung fu-y whereas the fighting in the book was more brutal and bloody. In the book Abe relied more on his boxing/wrestling skills and brute force and didn't swing the axe around like a freakin' katana.

I haven't read the book in a while, but I have no memory of some of the things in the trailer happening in the book, especially the two(?) train scenes and the bit where he decimated the tree.

Danny said...

I'm liking the look of this. I agree with you, Bob, that these things work better if they're played straight(ish). I just wish that Iron Sky understood that concept.

biomechanical923 said...

I don't recall people having this much unbridled rage toward Bubba Ho-Tep.

The trailer (and title) is telling the audience exactly what they're going to be seeing. Abraham Lincoln beating the shit out of a bunch of vampires.

While the premise may not seem like much more than that, the "mainstream audience" (I'm starting to hate that term) really won't expect much more than that.

Whether or not the movie is going to fill seats is another question entirely, and is based more on serious business questions that arise when scrutinizing the industry as a whole. Namely, whether the concept of going to a theater is sustainable for the foreseeable future.

I'd love to see Bob do another Big Picture / Intermission examining whether movie theaters will go the way of Newspapers and land line phones, and what can be done about it. There was a time when you needed to wait 6 months to a year fore a movie to come out on VHS/DVD. Now movies are on blu-ray within 2 months of release. The only real draw is "the screen is bigger and the speakers are louder".

Holly Elvins said...

and on this day abraham lincoln got 10x more awesome

some guy said...

Speaking as both someone who has read the book and is from Georgia. I'd say this looks pretty good. I remember thinking that the confederacy=slave owning, vampire collaborators story was a little about as subtle as an especially blunted brick. But, I liked the story and found it strangely reverent toward Lincoln and pretty touching toward the end. I'm looking forward to this.

Smashmatt202 said...

If that was released in theathers near where I'd live, I'd TOTALLY watch it.

Although, I'd have a hard time trying to get someone to come see it with me. Seeing movies alone is pretty dull...

Anonymous said...

I think it's adorable how you are willing to induce rules from a single instance of something, Bob. DON'T EVER STOP.

Sarge said...

Especially when he constantly criticizes Hollywood Executives for doing exactly that.