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Book-2-Movie Night: Abe Lincoln: Vamp Hunter

If you read my book review on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you’d know I enjoyed it. Thought it was a pretty good fictionalized biography of a great man. So, I was eager to see the movie adaptation. Yes, I know movies are never fully like the books they represent, and yes, I know they had to take 400 page book about a man’s entire life and condense it down to a little under two hours. But, really? This is what Tim Burton came up with? Where do I start? Oh, yeah, with advice. Save $10 and two hours and read the book. I thought the movie would be like the book in that it would follow Lincoln’s life and put in the vampire aspect for the motivation behind certain actions and wars. Not so, my friends, not so. There were very few lines of truth that the movie followed in its adaptation. Where it strayed from the book:

  1. Nothing is mentioned of Abe’s sister, his step mother or his step siblings. In fact, it’s mentioned that his father dies fairly early in Abe’s life

  1. When Abe gets married, only one son (Will) is ever mentioned or shown

  2. Abe’s father comes across as a strong man, fighting for what’s right, where as in the book (and in history, I believe), it’s common knowledge that Abe’s father did as little as possible, beyond making sure his family survived

  3. In turn, Abe is portrayed as a very weak man begging for the tutelage of Henry to know more about vampires and how to kill them (this is perhaps what irked me the most about the film. Abraham Lincoln—in my opinion—was one of the strongest and bravest men in America, so to see him begging when he didn’t is a little distasteful. But I get the whole concept of showing his struggle with his hate, yada-yada-yada)

  4. Abe kinda really hates Henry, where as in the book, their relationship is one of mutual respect and a weird sort of admiration)

  5. In the movie, Abe doesn’t know that Henry is a vamp until well into their relationship

  6. Henry is upset that Abe is running for political office. This point (and the one coming up about the Civil War) I think is the most crucial. In the book, the “good” band of vampires set Abe up to run for office as well as win and lose according to their grand plan of expelling the “bad” vampires. In the movie, Abe is running because he believes in what he’s fighting for, and now that he’s married, he wants nothing more to do with hunting vampires

  7. The Civil War. The whole power source for the “bad” vampires is the slave trade in the south. This lucrative business has been providing a no-questions-asked source of food. The “good” vampires believe that if they end slavery, the “good” vampires will be forced to leave America. Thus, the Civil War must be fought. It was their plan from the beginning and Abe was the key to getting it done

  8. In the book, Mary, Abe’s wife, never knew that Abe used to hunt vamps. In the movie, she confesses to reading his journal and wants to help, diving in head first. Go Mary!

  9. The horse fight scene. Oh. My. Lanta. That was the most comical thing I have ever been a witness to. It took whatever integrity the film still had at that point and flushed it down the toilet.

There were some good things about the film. The cinematography was great and the special effects were pretty cool, too. It had more of a comic book feel to it (think 300) which was interesting given the movie, and there definitely wasn’t as much gore as I thought there would be. At the end of the movie, I told Michelle, “We have to come up with some rules or guidelines or something for future Book-2-Movie nights. Going to every single one could prove disastrous.” What about you guys? What’d you think about the movie? How’d you think it compared to the book?

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