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08.17.2017
Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies (2012)
Movie Review by The Mortician
10.31.12

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies (2012) I must confess, I loved it when Abraham Lincoln beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise and fought beside Captain Kirk in THE SAVAGE CURTAIN on the classic television show, so I might have a predisposition to "like" something as oddball as this to begin with. ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES has gotten a lot of hate and actually, for an Asylum "Mockbuster" b-movie, it's not too bad. I mean...by the title alone you should know what you're getting into, right? So if you're in the right mood and want to see Honest Abe wield a large scythe and lop off undead heads...well, you've come to the right place! 2012 has been quite the year for Abe, as demonstrated by the Hollywood blockbuster treatment where he got to fight vampires and be blessed in Steven Spielberg's epic bio-pic. Hollywood loves Honest Abe! Not sure what's up with the resurgence of interest in the sixteenth president, but this flick takes some key events in his life and adds a zombie slant to them. Everything is played dead serious (even if the whole concept is camp) and this works well---the patriotic music score is splendid, the photography is lush, the script is fun and takes loose liberties with historical situations, the locations are believable, and the zombies walk S-L-O-W, Romero style. Through a prologue, we see that Abe has had to deal with the zombie outbreak once before as a child, and he helped stop the plague. Cut to THE NOW of the movie: Amidst the Civil War and preparing the Gettysburg address, THEY'RE BACK and EATING THE LIVING, and Abe sees the future of mankind at stake if the epidemic is not stopped. So Lincoln decides to lead a team of Secret Service Agents to fight the zombie outbreak in Savannah Georgia, which also includes running into Pat Garret, Teddy Roosevelt as a child, Stonewall Jackson and John Wilkes Booth (!). What sells everything is rising star Bill Oberst Jr.'s portrayal of Lincoln---he's passionate, he's serious, and he captivates the viewer enough to make you keep watching. I really enjoyed the scenes where Lincoln got directly into the action and was splattering zombies left and right. Fun stuff all around---silly, yes---but still fun! Which leads me to the gore factor---while it is there and competent, it's still mainly computer generated and not quite what old school Romero fans would want, but...it does sell the carnage adequately in that cartoony sort of way. I myself do yearn for the days of DAWN OF THE DEAD '78, when everything was done with practical effects, but sadly, not only are those days largely gone, even the master himself, Romero, went digital with the effects in his last zombie opus SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009). It's just the way movies are made these days. Anyway, back to ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES---you can do a lot worse in the incredibly oversaturated zombie genre these days (although I do wonder about the odd choice of having the zombies practically "sleep" when they weren't ‘hearing ‘anything interesting). Despite its obvious low budget and knock-off origins, ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES is no ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN- it's got a bit of heart and passion behind it and is miles above the Hollywood "vampire slayer" spin---and I absolutely loved the twist ending, which I didn't see coming at all. Very, very clever if you know your history, and done most tactfully. Enough to bring a smile to your face as the credits roll.

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