Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

“Emancipate this!”

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. And of course, flesh eating Confederate zombies. Those things are always a bugger on countries and whatnot. Those dang confederate zombies. After a prologue showing young Mr. Lincoln beheading his undead father with an axe, he soon discovers years in to his presidency that Confederate soldiers are rising from their graves and are spreading along the country to wreak havoc on the living. Abraham Lincoln takes it upon himself to lead the charge and stop the siege of the undead with a secret mission, and soon must fight for his life against hordes of the walking dead, alongside his brethren of pistol shooting suited men. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” is basically “Night of the Living Dead” but with a very twisted historical context. Instead of a farm house there’s a military fort, and instead of a group of survivors, there’s Abe Lincoln, a young Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of other characters that double for cannon fodder for the zombies.

Bill Oberst Jr. pulls in a damn fine performance as Abraham Lincoln, a valiant hero faced with a supernatural situation that only strengthens his belief in heroism and his God. Oberst really commits to the performance as Lincoln and does a wonderful job portraying this sane and sound man whose entire world is shaken when the dead begin to rise and people begin to count on him for life. Sadly, the film falters in delivering any other interesting characters, and I never really cared for anyone else beyond Lincoln and young Teddy Roosevelt. The emphasis on a young Teddy Roosevelt becoming the Robin to Lincoln’s Batman was often humorous and they worked well together in their fight against the dead. The set pieces for the most part are great, but director Schenkman’s direction tends to fall flat with the film giving a very dead and uneven atmosphere that failed to deliver any tension or suspense, even during the most horrific moments.

I also never quite caught on to what was causing the rise of the dead. It’s never quite explained and the only people who seem to understand its purpose is Lincoln, who knows more than he ever really explains to his cohorts. I also never understood how the prologue played in to the premise for Lincoln’s predicament with the dead, beyond Schenkman establishing that this has occurred before. In either case, “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” is entertaining cheese. Granted, it’s very flawed, but with the spirited performance from Oberst Jr. matched with the very clever climax, I didn’t regret watching this. This is likely the best film from The Asylum Studios I’ve seen in a very long time. While it does ape the premise of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” it still garners its own merits and high points, including Bill Obserst Jr’s. memorable performance as Abraham Lincoln, and a final scene that’s pretty damn compelling. It’s worthy of a watch as a solid bit of revisionist history.