Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DVD Review - Abraham Lincoln VS Zombies

    I would have to say Abraham Lincoln has always been my favorite president. As a kid, I read books about him, and I did an oral report on Abe for my 6th grade history class, where we got to dress up like someone historically famous. Years later, I learned through genealogy that Abe is a distant cousin. Now it looks like Hollywood has become interested in him, again, with the upcoming horror flick Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and Steven Spielberg’s bio Lincoln. In addition, The ASYLUM has released their own horror flick titled Abraham Lincoln VS Zombies, in which they have nicely sent me a complimentary DVD for this review.

 It seems like zombie tales have been done to death since the success of The Walking Dead, but as I am a zombie and an Abe fan, I was intrigue by the title. The prologue shows that a young Abe had to kill his mother, after she was an infected with a zombie virus, with a sickle. (What a horrible thing to experience at a young age.) Years go by and Abe is now President of the Untied States during the great American Civil War.

    Abe gets word that there are fallen soldiers returning from the dead at a fort, and having been in a zombie situation before, he immediately take action in fear of a major infestation among the American citizens. Our President is responsible in protecting us from all dangers, even the undead. Thus, Abe puts together a team of his best soldiers, the Secret Service. They find a few survivors including a prostitute whom Abe had a previous relationship with, besides from a few conversations there is not much of a romance here, but one would have to remember that Abe was a loyal married man.

    With his Secret Service at his side, a few prostitutes, a handful of soldiers (Union and Confederate), and a young boy, Abe takes on the zombie infested fort, mostly by beheading them. Let’s just say this is a low-budget movie, with no CGI zombies (except for some head flying scenes) or expensive make-up effects, therefore what we get here is a Night of the Living Dead style zombies - pale makeup, a few blood spots, zombie grunting and slow walking.

    For history buffs, you will be extremely disappointed as there are several history errors, but this is a zombie movie and we are here to watch zombies. One error that did bother me was the mentioned of the men being the Secret Service, which makes no sense as the legislation for creating the agency was on Abe’s desk the night he was assassinated. The Secret Service Division was only used to investigate counterfeiting crimes until 1901 when they were assigned to protect the President.

    The acting throughout the film is mediocre with mostly unknowns, except for Bill Oberst Jr. who plays Abe. At first glance at him in a top hat, I laughed as I thought he looked nothing like Abe, but after he began talking, I actually believed I was watching our sixteenth President. The actor obviously did a lot of research for the role and impressively took on Abe’s spirit, but at the same time adding something new to the character. He stays in character for the entire movie, even during the action scenes where he beheads dozens of zombies with his neat, but deadly sickle.

    Abraham Lincoln VS. Zombies is never going to win an Oscar with its thin plot and cheap effects, but as a zombie movie lover, I had fun watching it. ASYLUM did extremely well by casting Bill Oberst Jr. as Abe, and the director Richard Schenkman did the best he could on a low budget. The result is that we get a decent old-school zombie flick that any zombie fan should enjoy.

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