What better way to honor Abraham Lincoln on President's Day than to create an action-packed supernatural movie imitating his life? It's true, our nation's 16th president will preserve the Union the best way that he knows how, by killing the undead. In June 2012, he will fight demonic creatures in a movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The title itself is comical and yet too strangely intriguing to resist the temptation of viewing the trailer. The opening begins with our president sitting by a fireplace, writing in his diary about an impending war. Although the viewer may assume that Lincoln is referring to the Civil War, the trailer goes on to reveal that it will not be a conflict between man and man. Then, ominous eerie music plays in the background, as Lincoln is confronted with a vampire. But suddenly, he turns into a Blade-like superhero, slaying the creature with an axe. Our ex-president concludes with an Oscar-worthy line, “I've been a slave to vampires for 30 years.” Remember that this is the same orator who delivered the Gettysburg address.
I had a similar awkward loss-for-words reaction when I saw a preview of Iron Sky, a movie about a group of Nazi descendants who are planning to wipe out all human life on Earth from their base of operations on the moon. After hearing about movies like this, I begin to wonder if it is as difficult to make it in Hollywood as everyone says it is.
Benjamin Walker, the leading actor who plays Lincoln in this particular, has had previous experience playing as historical figures in the past, starring in Broadway's rock musical incarnation Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He has also made film appearances in Kinsey, Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, and The War Boys. However, despite his incredible résumé, I feel that it will be a challenge for him to make the transition between these different genres. It may be difficult for him to channel his character, a politician in the morning and a vampire slayer at night given his lack of experience in fantasy movies. However, his oddly diverse portfolio of film cameos shows that he is a chameleon artist of sorts that could actually be perfect for the job.
Although I may never watch his upcoming movie or go theaters simply to laugh at its ridiculousness, I applaud the author for being so bold, innovative, and humorous. Smith has written parody novels before like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and has even produced works on television like The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a scripted television comedy appearing on MTV. There is an enormous risk factor to choosing such an outlandish subject like this to write about. I think that it is incredibly difficult for writers to keep readers thoroughly entertained. However, the success that he has had with these projects are obviously a living testament to his writing abilities. It is always refreshing to see something original and I welcome future writers to follow in his creative footsteps.
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