Made during the turn-Lincoln-into-anything-you-want phase that was popular for about fifteen minutes back in 2012, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies is a typical Asylum film destined for endless showings on the Scy-Fy Channel, meaning yes, it is a bad movie—a very bad movie. With a title as such, let’s not even pretend this film ever had a chance of being good, or be pretentious enough to actually sit down and take it seriously. Even with me being highly defensive of how the Civil War is portrayed on film, all I can do here is laugh and grunt “Oh my God” every other scene or two. Putting aside the fact that Bill Oberst Jr., who plays Abraham Lincoln, is an acquaintance of mine, he actually does a great job here, considering what he has to work with. He takes his role seriously amidst the chaos of a zombie apocalypse set in 1863, where both Union and Confederate soldiers are coming back to life.
Yes, he treats the role with respect, which can be appreciated. Had you taken his role and inserted it into a serious, low-budget Civil War movie, it probably would have been lauded as a good performance, but all is lost here once the film ends up on Scy-Fy. The story is a complete mess, and the make-up job on the zombies is even worse. The blood and background images are entirely computer generated, and the fake beards and uniforms are beyond compare. There are more beheadings in this film, I surmise, than the entire French Revolution. And I know we are suspending reality here, but “Stonewall” Jackson is a character in this film, even though it takes place after Gettysburg and he would have been dead by then. Oh right, we’re not taking this seriously.
Moving on: even though all we have here is a glorified, un-funny, period-piece slaughter-fest with a budget that could have purchased a few burgers at McDonald’s and hoped to jump on the Lincoln “Vampire Hunter” bandwagon, it still ends up being a fun movie to watch. If history nerds can get past the horror of a scythe-wielding Lincoln, they might actually enjoy the totally preposterous storyline and satisfy their lust for computerized blood. Fun fact: the film is rated-R for, specifically, “bloody zombie violence”. I can’t believe that is even the official term. Then again, I can’t believe this movie was actually made. “If the shoe fits”, as they say. Also starring Ken Igleheart, Debra Crittenden, and Bernie Ask. Directed Richard Schenkman.
4 out of 10 stars.
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