The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

ZRC Review: ‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’

The ZRC saw ‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’ last weekend at Chicago Fear Fest, and, well, it’s pretty much just what it says on the tin: this is a movie about perhaps the greatest American president… fighting Zombies.

Innocent Zombies.

*sigh* Where to begin?

Update: See the full review behind the cut. If you need a quick rating, the ZRC had to award this film the lowly and much-dreaded ‘Living Supremacist’ award.

Emancipation, not decapitation!

‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’ is something of a rarity in Anti-Zombie film: the alternate history story. I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of Zombie hating movies are either contemporary, positing a Zombie Apocalypse that could be happening *as we speak*, or a sort of Found Footage film, where some past ‘outbreak’ of Undeath was ‘contained’, usually at the cost of the film protagonists’ lives.

‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’ goes a step beyond the found footage approach though, inventing an entire parallel world where Lincoln’s greatest concern was not preserving the Union but fighting the Undead, and toward that end in 1863 the President embarks on a mission with a handful of Secret Service members deep into the Confederacy.. to fight Zombies.

It gets better; one of his agents is a scene-chewingly treacherous John Wilkes Booth, and along the way he meets up with Stonewall Jackson and.. a very young Teddy Roosevelt, who is pretty good with a rifle despite appearing to be about ten.

Needless to say none of these events actually happened, or for that matter are terribly plausible here in the ‘real world’. For one thing, Roosevelt was born in October 1858, so he would’ve actually been 4 years old in the summer of 1863. For that matter, far from being unaccounted for somewhere in Savannah, Jackson was busy during the events of this film dying in Virginia after being hit with friendly fire in the battle of Chancellorsville. (He is missing his amputated arm in the movie though)

And John Wilkes Booth was occupied during the Civil War touring as an actor, apparently. But I digress; this is, as stated, an *alternate* history, and a history with a clear, one might say propagandistic, message:

‘All Good Americans can agree to hate Zombies.’

In fact, Lincoln says almost precisely that, stating in riffs on the Gettysburg Address that Zombies were a threat greater than the war tearing the country apart.

This message of togetherness (in the name of Living Supremacy) comes up again and again, as Lincoln’s mission goes horribly wrong and becomes trapped in a Confederate fort, surrounded by Zombies (who were probably aggrieved at their ill-treatment) and he seeks to make allies of the handful of Confederate soldiers still under Jackson’s command, all while Booth plots, transparently, to kill the man he supposedly guards.

Added to the mix are some civilians Lincoln’s party rescues in abortive raid on Savannah, including the young (though not young enough) future President Roosevelt and a trio of prostitutes, one of whom is in fact Lincoln’s long lost love.

In some ways, all of that, and even the Living Supremacist propaganda, is secondary to the film’s real draw: the audience getting to see Abraham Lincoln go all action-movie on the innocent Undead with pistols and a scythe.

Boy are we ever not the target audience for that.

The Zombie Rights Campaign gives ‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’ our lowest rating, that of Living Supremacist.

Boo.

Emancipation, not decapitation!


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

Comments

3 Responses to “ZRC Review: ‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies’”

  1. I don’t think it is fair to give such negative comments to a movie many people have not seen. One should just keep the spoilers to themselves, and just give a thumbs up or down review, NOT the entire thing.

  2. John Sears says:

    Claire -

    As to the issue of spoilers, I believe the ZRC was fair in avoiding most important plot points. Save for revealing the mere existence of a couple of characters, which was necessary (in our view) to discuss the rather heavy-handed twisting of historical events to serve the Living Supremacist purpose, I don’t believe we revealed too much. I suppose opinions on that will naturally differ.

    As to the idea of only giving cursory reviews if one’s opinion is negative, I can’t accept or agree to that; no legitimate reviewer, critic or activist of any sort would. ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’ may work well for small children, but it’s not a suitable guide for adult discourse. Neither would we agree to the idea of withholding a review until after a film had been widely seen; that rather defeats the entire purpose of a review, especially for an activist site such as ours. Reviewers want to influence the success or failure of given works and ideas in the general population.

    It is therefore not a stretch to imagine that the ZRC doesn’t want a movie glorifying alternate historical violence against innocent Zombies to catch hold in the culture without rebuttal.

    Most Zombie Friendly Regards,

    John J Sears
    President of The Zombie Rights Campaign

  3. Don McGraw says:

    Dear Mr. Sears:

    I just wanted to say that I absolutely got your review. The ZRC is looking at things from the perspective of how well/poorly zombies are treated, and the review is based upon that treatment.

    I do have a question, and I hope that I don’t include any undue spoilers. I have not yet seen the finished film. Like everybody else, I have to wait until May 29th. However, I know that the character I portrayed in the film (General Stonewall Jackson), had several scripted lines IN DEFENSE of the zombies. (I’ll give no more details than that, until after the film comes out.) My question is in two parts: First, did those lines make the final cut? Second – if they did make the cut – What does the ZRC think of those comments?

    Just looking for a little zombie love here … Take care and thanks for reading this!

    Sincerely,

    Don McGraw
    General Stonewall Jackson
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES

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