Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov will bring Seth Grahame-Smith’s “historical revision” novel to stylized life with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Today, we can offer a red-band trailer that features much of the same footage displayed in previous theatrical promos – where Abe unleashes his mad, ninja-axe skills on his supernatural foes – but also includes the bloody payoff.
In other words: vampire killing galore including throat-slicing, decapitations, and even death by being smothered with fire.
Vampire Hunter chronicles the “secret” life of Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) as he wages a lifelong war against creatures of the night – whose leader (Rufus Sewell) is hell-bent on making the United States a breeding (and feeding) ground for his vampiric brethren. That conflict eventually culminates in the U.S. Civil War, where the vampires take the side of the Confederacy.
Abraham receives help along the way from his mentor (Dominic Cooper), a vampire sympathetic to Abe’s plight – and his childhood friend/partner (Anthony Mackie), who’s always willing to lend a helping hand (usually, one holding a gun).
Based on trailer footage, Vampire Hunter does look like the result of a genuine historical drama being mashed together with a hyper-stylized comic book movie (300, Wanted). That may allow the film to work as a pure summer popcorn flick, but those who were hoping Bekmambetov’s adaptation would retain the grounded feel of Smith’s source material – and play out like, say, Gangs of New York with vampires – might be disappointed.
As was discussed during a recent SR Underground podcast: Smith’s subpar screenplay for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows movie has also raised concern about Vampire Hunter (which Smith scripted). Then again, given the campy, B-movie title: most people who go to see this movie probably won’t be expecting much in the way of quality storytelling.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on June 22nd, 2012.