“History prefers legends to men…soaring speeches to quiet deeds…”
So begins the opening voiceover for the new “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” trailer, which intercuts footage of Lincoln delivering his famous Gettysburg Address with visually-stunning scenes of vampire action. Still notably absent are any glimpses of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln or Anthony Mackie as Lincoln’s personal valet William Johnson – a little odd given that they both play major roles in the film, but okay.
As with the first trailer, the Fox marketing team plays the inherently silly concept entirely straight, with no ironic “wink-wink” moments that let audiences know they’re in on the joke. Of course, the source material isn’t really played as a horror-comedy either, so in that sense director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted,” “Night Watch”) seems to have adhered closely to the tone of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel on which it’s based.
But while the trailer is certainly impressive from a visual standpoint – and while the studio has done about as well as could be expected in marketing a film called (eesh) “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – the entire enterprise feels like a losing proposition from the get-go. The problem is the premise itself – a high-concept gimmick that’s more likely to inspire groans than any genuine sense of excitement from moviegoers.
Trailer grade: B. After watching it above, rate it for yourself at top left!
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is slated for release on June 22.
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