Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012) - High Cheese Factor-athon Film #1


Ingredients: Bill Oberst, Jr., Baby Norman, Bernie Ask, Jason Hughley, Jason Vail and Don McGraw. Directed by Richard Schenkman. Run time: 96 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: The Asylum makes some really bad movies. You know, drinking-game type movies like MEGA PIRANHA and MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS with "stars" such as Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Jaleel White. They're also really big on making cheaper versions of blockbusters and slightly changing the titles, e.g., TRANSMORPHERS, PARANORMAL ENTITY and SNAKES ON A TRAIN. Get it?

So, this is The Asylum's mockbuster of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER.

Meaning, it's essentially the same story, but with zombies.

When Lincoln was younger, his mother was bitten and he had to put her down.

Later, the undead appear during the Civil War and Lincoln recruits a group of men to help him get rid of the threat.

Tough to Swallow: The Secret Service was actually created by Lincoln on the day of his assassination (almost two years after the action in the movie takes place).

If you're going to brief your men before a mission, why not tell them what their opponents will be and how to kill them?

Like cows, zombies sleep standing up and you can walk by them if you're quiet enough not to wake them.

Now, if the above description is what you're shoveling, why walk through a crowd of zombies without them noticing you, then shoot one in the head in order to make your getaway? And, how does a creaking barn door not cause a stir?

Lincoln instructs his men to kill the zombies by gunshot to the head or beheading. However, some die from gunshots to the stomach.

The Union had control of Fort Pulaski (Georgia) before the Battle of Gettysburg started in July 1863.

Stonewall Jackson died on May 10, 1863 in Virginia.

Theodore Roosevelt would have been three months shy of his 5th birthday in July 1863. The film portrays him as a tween or teenager.

Pat Garrett would have been 13 years old, yet appears as a 20-something. Also, he was never a Corporal for the Confederacy.

There's some automobile traffic in the background of the scene where Pinn has run off and Garrett is picking up his gun.

Running away from a train while running on the tracks is not wise.

Two years pass and Lincoln's beard loses its gray.

How do you get infected if a zombie only scratches you?

Something to Chew On: The budget was $150,000.

The film was shot in Savannah, Georgia and at Fort Pulaski.

Schenkman also wrote the screenplay and had a small role as Dr. Malinoff.

I was surprised to find a connection to GUT, which was the last film I reviewed. That connection is Jason Vail. He is the lead actor in GUT and plays John Wilkinson here.

There are bits of famous quotes thrown about and a Shakespearean moment while President Lincoln is praying.

There are 154 people credited as zombies.

Jon Cryer is listed in the "Special Thanks" section of the credits.

Aftertaste: Aside from the historical inaccuracies, sleeping zombies, obviously fake beards and so-so makeup, it's not necessarily a terrible movie. Overall, the acting is mediocre, but Oberst plays Lincoln wonderfully. He's the highlight of the movie, for sure. Oberst's performance is definitely better than president/vampire hunter Benjamin Walker's. Vail definitely has more lines here than in GUT, and he's the better for it. He can be pretty over-the-top, and it's perfect for a period zombie flick.

Perhaps, the best idea was the inclusion of the Wilkinson character and his "victory" in the end. What we know about Lincoln's fateful night at the theatre fits perfectly with where the story takes us.

Hey, it is what it is. I had low expectations and they were achieved. I'm slightly disappointed there were no "Dancing with the Stars"-type actors in the cast though.

Like all movies from The Asylum, it's good for some laughs regardless of how bad it is.



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