Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Honest Abe and his trusty scythe.


If history has taught me anything, it's that no undead is safe from Abraham Lincoln!!  While he's not the only President to battle the supernatural (JFK helping Elvis defeat a mummy, and Franklin Roosevelt fighting werewolves to name a couple of examples), he is to my knowledge the only President to wage war against two different kinds of monsters.  And that's no easy feat dammit!!

Since my fellow colleague Boonsweet reviewed Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it seemed logical for me to follow up that review with The Asylum's version, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.  Now for those of you who aren't aware of the company The Asylum by now, they are known for being involved in such original gems as "Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus" and "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid", and mockbusters such as "Transmorphers", "Paranormal Entity", and "The Amityville Haunting", just to name a few.  Knowing this going in, I kept my hopes low in an effort to reduce disappointment.  Let's begin, shall we?

The movie begins with a young Abe Lincoln.  After hearing a gunshot in his home, he runs upstairs to his parents bedroom to find his father with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his undead mother tied to the bed.  With his dying breath, Abe's father apologizes to his son, and tells him that he must kill his mother.  Abe takes a scythe, does the deed, and breaks the scythe in half in a rage.  We then flash forward to his Presidential days where, after learning of a failed attempt at capturing a Confederate fort, Lincoln goes to see the only soldier to come back alive.  Lincoln sees that the soldier is near death, and the soldier's raving about a mob of people attacking and eating people from both sides of the battle convinces the President that the zombie outbreak from his childhood has returned.  Abe then goes to the fort with his 12 Secret Service men to investigate.  They engage the Confederates, but the gunfire attracts the undead, and they are forced to fight two enemies for a brief period.  In spite of the odds, Abe and his party manage to fend off the undead and capture the Confederates and the fort.  However, that's only the beginning of Lincoln's plan, as he is determined to put an end to this zombie outbreak. 

All in all, I have mixed feelings about this one.  Let's do a good point/bad point and vice-versa style this time.  We'll start with the acting.  Overall, the acting wasn't very good.  A few of the actors were pretty wooden at times, and just wasn't believable.  Some others were so-so, at least good enough to not have any major complaints about.  And then there's Bill Oberst Jr., who was above and beyond in his portrayal of President Lincoln.  His line delivery was fluid, and he had good use of facial expressions, especially the eyes.  I found any scene without him in it was just blander than normal.  However, I couldn't help but notice two things: one, his fake mole looked at times like it was barely attached to his face.  And two, his voice is uncannily similar to Lloyd Bridges.

Next, makeup and effects.  The zombie makeup was decent enough, not the best I've ever seen but certainly not the worst.  The effects however are another story.  The Asylum has a habit of using cheesy CGI effects for blood, monsters, etc.  And this flick was no exception.  The blood spatter was baaaad, it would visibly disappear in mid air most of the time, and there was one part where the mid-air blood effect actually hovered in one spot, see if you can spot it.  And there was some unnecessary use of green screening here and there.

Now I think I'll just mish-mash the rest of my opinions here.  The costumes and scenery were good enough, and the story itself?  Well let's just say it's Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, so the story is good for what it is.  There was one interesting thing done with the zombies I need to point out.  Whenever there is nobody around and little to no noise is made, the undead just stop moving and stand wherever they are in some sort of comatose state until something riles them up.  It's an interesting concept, but unfortunately it's not used very well.  It's really nothing more than plot convenience, and even then there are inconsistencies about when they wake up and attack.

Despite my issues with this flick, it did have it's moments.  If you have a love of zombies, or period pieces, or even cheesy effects and one liners, you should still check this one out.  It's on Netflix for those of you who have it.  In fact, I actually recommend watching other Asylum movies.  If anything they're great for a laugh or two.  You just have to go in with your brain shut off and low expectations, and fun will be had.   

Movie Rating:  2.5 out of 5 stars
Cheese Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

- Ken Bucklesworth, future President of Earth


Bill Oberst Jr. said...


Good eye on that mole and the Lloyd Bridges voice, man :D

Enjoyed the review! Thanks for taking a look at the flick.

with very best regards,

Bill Oberst Jr.

Boonsweet & Bucklesworth said...

Well Mr. Oberst, I appreciate you reading and enjoying the review. I look forward to reviewing more of your work down the road. :)