What’s surprising about this 2012 straight-to-video feature film “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies,” is that the zombies are the old-fashioned sort. They walk very, very slow and are easily subdued.
Sure the zombies are still creepy and killing them by shooting them in the head is still a gory mess, but this was during the Civil War, a time when surgery to save the wounded often killed them. Think amputation of limbs and minimal sterilization of the tools. This was before germ theory became an accepted part of medical practice.
The Confederate Army isn’t entirely to blame for the zombies walking around. The young Abe Lincoln (Brennen Harper) has seen zombies before. His mother, Nancy (Rhianna Van Helton), had the disease and his father (Kent Igleheart) is emotionally destroyed. I won’t spoil who kills Nancy for you.
As president (Bill Oberst Jr.), Lincoln must unite the Union and Confederates to help him kill off the zombies at the Confederate-held Fort Pulaski. The sole survivor of the Union regiment sent to take the fort returns with the mysterious illness. The president leads the investigation at the fort.
There’s a bit of name dropping here: Stonewall Jackson (Don McGraw), John Wilkes Booth (Jason Vail) and a very young Teddy Roosevelt (Canon Kuipers).
Stonewall Jackson must help Lincoln and his team of special agents to defeat the zombie even though the Confederates at first balk at killing their comrades. But we know the answer to that. You can’t kill them. They are dead, just animated dead.
Karl T. Hirsch and J. Lauren Proctor are credited with the story with Richard Schenkman writing the screenplay. Richard Schenkman directs for The Asylum film studio. Asylum specializes in making direct-to-video productions meant to capitalize on major movies or blockbusters. In this case, the movie is “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”
This movie is good, but you probably knew that just from the title. The script is not particularly clever and even the costuming isn’t concerned with historical accuracy. The film was shot in Georgia, in and around the Savannah area. There is actually a Fort Pulaski which is a national monument. Completed in 1847, the fort was taken over by the Confederate Army in 1861 when Georgia joined the secession movement in February. In 1862 the Union Army asked for commander to surrender, but Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, refused. The usage of the new James Rifled Cannon breached one of the forst’s corner walls and the shells landed close to the main powder magazine of the fort. Olmstead surrendered. One soldier from each side was injured in the attack.
The fort would serve as a prison camp for Confederate officers who were used an human shields for 45 days. These 600 officers were known as the Immortal Six Hundred and transferred to Fort Pulaski after an outbreak of yellow fever in Charleston. Thirteen men of these men would die at Fort Pulaski.
The history of Fort Pulaski and the Immortal Six Hundred is more interesting than this movie although if you want to watch a really bad horror movie with a bunch of friends, this just might be what you’re looking for.