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film rating



By Jess Fenton
7th June 2012

Once upon a time, a man stood in front of chocolate and peanut butter and the answer became so simple and obvious. In 2009 while author Seth Grahame-Smith was touring his best-selling novel ’Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, it also happened to be the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. In every book store Grahame-Smith entered he was confronted by tables littered with Lincoln biographies and ‘Twilight’. So once again the universe aligned and lightning had struck - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Fast forward to today, and the big screen adaptation is less than two months away from hitting Australian cinemas in spectacular 3D. The media were treated to a short (but by no means, small) sneak-peek of the feature. Also in attendance was the film’s star Benjamin Walker and Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the screenplay and produced it with good friend and collaborator Tim Burton.


Abraham Lincoln was not well-educated and had suffered numerous tragedies in his life, including the death of his mother at the age of nine. Yet Lincoln had a good heart and commanding physical presence, going on the become the sixteenth President of the United States and his country’s saviour - a man prime for a superhero story.

Walker and Grahame-Smith have embarked on a worldwide publicity tour, primarily to defend the film’s title - which didn’t stop the masses form purchasing the novel (and this reviewer believes it to be quite possibly one the greatest film titles in cinema history next to ‘Lesbian Vampire Strippers’).

During the media preview star Ben Walker was quoted as saying, “The joke ends at the title,” which from what we were privileged to see, couldn’t be truer. Based on historical accuracies, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is in fact an epic historical period film - with one minor adjustment... there are vampires looking to take control of a nation, a battle royale between the north and south disguised as a civil war over slavery. Brilliant!

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is in fact an epic historical period film - with one minor adjustment... there are vampires looking to take control of a nation.

The scenes we were privy to featured a naïve Abe seeking vengeance over the death of his mother at the hands of the great vampire Adam (Rufus Sewell), when he meets vampire hunter Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who provides him with the necessary tools and training to fight what Abe despises most in this world. His weapon of choice? A silver-plated axe which Abe/Ben Walker wields with fluidity and impressive skills yet to be matched. The second sequence was the film's climactic ending featuring... well, you’ll have to wait until the 2nd of August to find that one out - but let me assure you, it's not to be missed.

Director Russian Timur Bekmambetov (better known for the 2008 bullet-bending action extravaganza ‘Wanted’) flourishes his effortless action-directing prowess into each and every frame. Tweaked and slightly straying for the novel to give the film a more boisterous Hollywood story, Bekmambetov, Grahame-Smith and Burton have created one bold, daring and captivating tale - silly title and all.

RELEASE DATE: 02/08/2012
RUN TIME: 01h 45m
CAST: Benjamin Walker
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Dominic Cooper
Jimmi Simpson
Rufus Sewell
Anthony MacKie
John Rothman
Marton Csokas
Alex Lombard
Teri Wyble
DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov
WRITER: Seth Grahame-Smith
PRODUCERS: Timur Bekmambetov
Tim Burton
Jim Lemley
SCORE: Henry Jackman
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