Friday, June 22, 2012

When the Vampire Hunter Becomes the Vampire Hunted


From "Young Mr. Lincoln"

There is apparently a bit of a mini-debate going on about whether it's morally appropriate to make a movie in which Abraham Lincoln is cast as a remorseless hunter of the undead and in which the vampires aren't just vampires but very specifically Southern slave-trading vampires. Anyway, I didn't get into all that in my mixed-review of the film for Vulture, in part because I don't really have a moral compass, or for that matter even a moral sundial.

But also because I actually think this sort of movie needs more trivialization, not less. (Maybe that's because I don't have a moral compass.) If anything, overt sanctification is more of a problem in the long, twisted love affair between movies and history.

That said, John Ford could compellingly, masterfully sanctify anything; and Quentin Tarantino seems like he can compellingly, masterfully trivialize anything. Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is neither John Ford nor Quentin Tarantino, and maybe that's the real heart of the matter.

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