I gotta give it up to Fox. I think they’ve won me over.
I am genuinely amused by this new trend of crossing one thing that’s not horror at all with something else that is totally horror. Seth Grahame-Smith should get full credit as the godfather of this sudden explosion of stuff, since his “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies” was the flashpoint. He also had a hit with his follow-up book, which was all him instead of cleverly repurposed Jane Austen, and now “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is gearing up for a summer release and revealing a new trailer that fully sets the tone of what you can expect to see.
Timur Bekmambetov is a perfect choice for a project like this. He indulges in what I call “the cinema of the possible impossible.” His specialty is designing a moment that is absolutely ludicrous and impossible based on all known laws of physics, and then finding a way to make it look absolutely real. It’s the reason his Russian films “Night Watch” and “Day Watch” were so intriguing, so promising regarding this guy’s voice. He made these little low-budget films punctuated with moments of pure “Holy hell, did I just see that?”
When he made the jump to Hollywood with “Wanted,” he made it well, and he indulged all the new tricks at his disposal to paint a world that exists only in the fevered brain of Mark Millar. I don’t love “Wanted,” but I think it’s pretty astoundingly made, and I acknowledge that Timur is a big ol’ badass when it comes to building these crazy action images.
So if you’re going to make a movie which deals with the secret life of our 16th President involving the wholesale slaughter of vampires, and you’re going to play it straight-faced, then you’d better find an overheated visual style that matches the sheer batshit absurdity of the premise. And it looks like they’ve done it, based on this new trailer which reveals a lot more than the teaser. The entire thing now is narrated by Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, and I think there’s something gloriously weird about this and Spielberg’s hyper-respectful “Lincoln” coming out in the same year. I don’t envy any actor playing the same role as Daniel Day-Lewis in the same year, but then when I look at this trailer, I have to ask… are they really playing the same role? Because this is so far out, so wackadoo crazy, that I’m not sure you can claim they really are.
At this point, I’m going to see the film and I’ll be open-minded. I hope for something that works on pure pulp power, and this trailer makes me think I might end up a happy man when “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” opens June 22nd.