Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is going to be one of those guilty pleasure movies I watch late at night when I can't sleep. I enjoyed this a whole lot more than any of the 4-minute Twilight segments I've forced myself to watch from time to time, and more than the stultifying Interview with the Vampire for sure. I'd put it a little below The Hunger (can't explain why here, Dad propriety, but if you're a guy just trust me and watch for it), Love at First Bite ("Come back, black chicken!") and From Dusk Til Dawn in my Vampire Movie Hierarchy. It's about equivalent with the Blade series. I haven't seen the Underworld saga yet, and I exclude the classic Dracula movies from this discussion because of their high-falutin' literary classicism.
It's easy to justify multiple watchings of AL:VH, because of its educational value. President Lincoln was a badass martial arts expert? I never learned that in high school! I had no idea that his mother was killed by a vampire, or that the death of his young son in the White House was in retaliation for the vengeance he had taken on the killer. I had never heard of his trusted advisor, Henry Sturges, who was actually a turned vampire himself and is still actively recruiting vampire hunters in the present day.
There are more historical revelations in this film than I could have possibly imagined, and the scope is so much larger than the myopic Lincoln and all of its dry, covert political machinations. No one had ever explained to me the intricate connections and political ramifications of the Vampire Colonization of the South and the role that Slavery played in its containment, nor the enormous risk posed to the Northern States from the vampire population by the Emancipation Proclamation. The alliance between the Confederacy and the vampires to preserve slavery makes slavery even more repugnant than it already was (and I have to say that I'm more than a little disappointed that Quentin Tarantino didn't address this in Django Unchained). I've been to Gettysburg several times, and never once has anyone mentioned Mary Todd Lincoln's Underground Railroad delivery of silver weaponry and ammunition that allowed the defeat of the Confederate Vampire Army.
I learned all of this for the first time last night. I was a great admirer of Lincoln before I knew any of this stuff. But now? My eyes are opened. He wasn't just our greatest President, but also our bravest and most selfless secret warrior. At least until I find out how George Washington triumphed over the Redcoat-Werewolf Alliance during the Revolutionary War.
Ok. So this ain't the Oscar bait that Spielberg and Doris Kearns Goodwin put together. Clearly, those two sycophants don't know what the hell they're talking about, unless Daniel Day-Lewis just couldn't master the silver-tipped axe.