“For what ever else I am…I shall always think of myself as a man who struggled against the darkness.”

As a lark, I rented Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for my President’s Day observance this year.  (Normally, I would make a cherry pie and perhaps imbibe on my mom’s Lincoln Log dessert, but as my Lenten promises prohibit this tradition, movies seemed an obvious fallback.)  Oh sure, I could have rented a serious documentary or caught an airing of Killing Lincoln on the History channel, but really: Why slog through such as that when our mythic accounts so often reveal just as much, if not more, of our heroes’ stories?

I firmly believe I made the better choice.

First of all, credit must always be given where it is due, so many kudos to Seth Grahame-Smith for originating the story on which the movie is based.  His creativity in blending the absurdly supernatural with classics is both amusing and genius.  I wish I had read the book before seeing the movie, but since he also wrote the screenplay, I don’t have too much guilt.

It’s an obvious blend, really.  What are vampires, after all, but that which allures, corrupts, and ultimately kills – for the lucky; the less fortunate are converted and cursed forever.  Is there a better depiction of the roots and legacy of slavery?

In fact, when the credits began to roll, I sat back with a surprising sense of satisfaction.  Between Lincoln, Django Unchained, and now Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I felt that I had completed a perfect complimentary trifecta of films that together captured different but valuable pieces of the Civil War struggle.   Lincoln explores the sticky political battle (mostly of the white man), Django showcases romantic justice (in vengeance for the black man), and AL:VH rounds them out with a metaphorical good vs. evil battle to which anyone can relate.

Mostly, though, it was just good fun, and a reminder of why we wish our real life heroes could always win so neatly in the end.  Whatever shall I do to top this next President’s Day?


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