This rated-R, straight-to-video fusion of the Civil Ear and the undead is . . . um, well, I was going to be nice and say “interesting,” but I simply cannot bring myself to do so. As the first pick of my “Alphabet Cinema” journey, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012) was not an auspicious beginning. Several times during the viewing I found myself thinking WHY am I watching this? It didn’t even qualify for the “So-Bad-It’s-Good” category.
Director & Screenplay: Richard Schenkman (The Man from Earth (2007), which was a good movie!)
Writers: Karl T. Hirsch, J. Lauren Proctor
Starring: Bill Oberst Jr. (The Devil Within (2010), Scary or Die (2012))
So why did I choose this movie then? 1) It’s what came up when I searched “Ab” in Netflix. 2) I’d heard about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), which, by Philip’s own admission wasn’t that bad. 3) The Abe-ster and I share the same birthday. I figured I should give it a shot.
Shoulda striven harder to find the vampire hunter version, Christine. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Nearly everything wrong with this movie was apparent in the first two scenes. (Two, not one, because I gave the first one a bit of leeway for the young actor with the horrible “OMG” face.) The plot offered more logic loopholes than swiss cheese, truly lamentable dialogue, and several pathetic (though gratuitously bloody) deaths. Terrible battle scenes with slow, weak zombies, bad tactics, the inability to freakin’ run when they should have ran; all were present, capped off by misplaced punching sound effects and broom-like beards and mustaches that gave me the heebie jeebies.
Pros? Um, hmm. Well, I liked the subtitle font, which looked appropriately calligraphic. (Dude, I guess that’s really a word!) A couple screenshots showed signs of nice lighting and framing. The accents were there and Bill Oberst Jr. (Abraham Lincoln) did a pretty good job at a Lincoln impersonation. Too bad he had this script. Too bad any of the actors had this script.
Basically, this dubious project was an attempt by history buffs to incorporate Civil War historical figures (Abe Lincoln, Mary Owens, Teddy Roosevelt, Pat Garrett, John Wilkes Booth) and their memorable quotes into a zombie movie. They tried to give the Gettysburg Address a dual tone.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it . . . The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. It is rather for us, the living . . . that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain . . .
Ugh. No thank you. Leave that speech alone. Please.
Rating: D- (Only, because I have seen worse.)
ASV Villainy Rating: God, I don’t know. I guess they could capture all the zombies and use them as weapons against the Confederacy. But, as cliches dictate, that plan would backfire sooner rather than later and they all die because of poor decision-making, unleashing zombies on the whole of America . . . Huh. So I guess, from sheer, stupidity, WF – We’re Fucked. (But only America. The other countries would eventually raze the continent and move on.)
Next up: Being Human (TV series)