I rarely say it, but in this case… the movie was far better than the book.
If you recall, I gave my opinion the book AL:VH earlier this month. Not one single thing that happened in the movie happened in the book at all. AT ALL!
In the first few minutes, Timur Bekmambetov’s movie adaptation of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER was already better mapped out and plotted than the novel of the same name. It is as if Seth Grahame-Smith’s book were a long-winded outline for what could be a magnificent story, so Bekmambetov took off with that idea and headed for the stars. I am hard-pressed to believe that Grahame-Smith was afforded screenplay credit for anything more than to throw him a bone.
Had what I watched on the screen been at all close the story I read on paper, I’d have had a very different review of the book. The characters, both original to the book and those added for the film, were rich, textured, and above all, memorable. The introduction of Abe’s oldest friend, Will Johnson (a slave as a child), provided humanity that was not found in the book version of Lincoln. Mary Todd rose from a tertiary character. Speed, surprisingly, became a duplicitous character. Silver? What silver? Silver wasn’t in the book? A vampire hierarchy with character Adam as the patriarch gave more than just a semblance of order to the schemes of the undead.
The ONLY thing I missed from the book was Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.
I’m happy I re-read the horrible book in time to watch the fantastic movie the very day it was released to dvd. If you are a fan of Abraham Lincoln, vampires, or history mash-ups, skip the book and head straight to the OnDemand function of your cable carrier. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER The Movie is everything the book is not. Adventurous, ridiculous, action-packed, sometimes campy, always exciting and for goodness sake, has heart!
Fun fact bonus: The prosthetic makeup on the face of actor Benjamin Walker makes the character Abraham look like Liam Neeson.