Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies & Beyond the Grave

Posted: 09/08/2012 in Movies
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Summer has just about wrapped up and that means that another season of Zombie Movie Night is concluding as well. October will bring about Season 4 and the List will swell to over 100 movies, but before that happens, let’s see what the end of Season 3 had to offer.

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies

Earlier this summer, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was released in theaters. Quick to jump on that gravy train, The Asylum released tonight’s ZMN gem. ABv.Z follows in the proud tradition of movies like Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train, 18-Year-Old Virgin, I Am Omega, and AVH: Alien vs. Hunter (these are real movies, look it up!) Fortunately, zombie movies have a decent track record when it comes to direct-to-DVD crap and biting off other’s success (Zombie 2 was named so that people would think it was a sequel to Dawn of the Dead).

ABv.Z doesn’t waste any time in setting up the action. In the midst of the Civil War, zombies have been found near a Confederate Fort. Honest Abe has some experience in this area as he had to kill his mother and father after Mom became a zombie. He quickly organizes a small group whose mission is to clear the area of all zombies in order to stop the spread of the zombie disease.

THE GOOD: ABv.Z may take some tiny liberties with American history, but it never tries to be more than it is. I really had a lot of fun watching this. It includes Stonewall Jackson, John Wilkes Booth, and a young Teddy Roosevelt fighting by Lincoln’s side. It’s all wonderfully ridiculous. Amidst all this, is a surprisingly good performance by Bill Oberst Jr. playing the 16th President of the United States. Maybe he just looked good because every other actor around him was god awful, but still, it seemed like he did a better job than anyone involved in this production had a right to do.

THE BAD: It’d be silly to expect good acting or dialogue from a movie of this caliber. ABv.Z has lots of terrible lines, poor delivery, and an abundance of bad looking fake facial hair.

THE ZOMBIES: Standard shuffling zombies. You get bit, you die, you come back as a zombie. The one odd thing that ABv.Z throws in is that for some reason the zombies spend a lot of time standing completely still as the heroes run by unmolested. Apparently it takes quite a bit of noise to rouse Civil War-era zombies into action. Threat Level: 5

THE VERDICT: This easily could have been a painful movie to watch. Luckily, the film doesn’t take itself at all seriously. It’s really everything that a movie about one of our greatest Presidents cutting off zombie heads with a scythe should be. Grade: B+

Current ZMN Rank: #21 out of 87

Our next movie adds Brazil to the ever-growing United Nations of Zombie Movies:

Beyond the Grave

In the world of Beyond the Grave the zombie apocalypse has already decimated the Earth’s population and with it brought a bunch of other strange shit to the surface. Trying to keep some semblance of law and order is our hero, Officer. He doesn’t look like a typical badass, but we quickly learn that he is because he….gets his ass kicked and avoids having his head cut off by pure luck. OK, maybe he’s not as tough as some other zombie movie heroes. Though, I got the sense that for some reason we’re still supposed to believe he’s a badass. Anyway, Officer is tracking down the main villain, The Dark Rider, an evil entity who can be killed, but quickly jumps bodies to continue to create evil havoc. We’re introduced to some other survivors and the Dark Rider’s bizarre henchmen along the way and the zombies really become just part of the scenery.

THE GOOD: BtG is a weird movie and it’s not always action-packed. However, it held my interest and never seemed to drag. The story and characters were decent and developed enough that I cared when people died.

THE BAD: BtG is a weird movie and it’s not always action-packed. Sometimes the weird vibe worked, but overall it left me feeling unfulfilled in the end.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies in BtG look nice, but they aren’t really given a lot to do. Our heroes aren’t too concerned with them and are often seen casually shooing them away. They do get one pretty nice attack scene, but overall they’re playing second fiddle to the Dark Rider. Threat Level: 4

THE VERDICT: To end a ZMN season that featured a slew of middle-of-the-road zombie fare, it’s fitting to have another film that isn’t terrible but isn’t terribly good. BtG gets a C.

Current ZMN Rank: #46 out of 87

Current ZMN Standings

  1. Zombob says:

    I haven’t even heard of ‘Beyond the Grave.’ Got a new one to look for!

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