Monday, June 18, 2012

An open letter the moviegoing public of America

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes out next week. And you need to go see it. If you’re anything like the (admittedly small) cross section of moviegoers that I’ve witnessed react to the trailer, you likely think this is the dumbest thing to come out of Hollywood since, well… ever apparently. I’ve heard people laugh at the trailer, remark on its supposed idiocy, scoff & deride it. All the while not being able to figure out why they seemed to hate it so.

We are a fickle bunch, to be sure. We bitch about overdone franchises with pointless sequels (Transformers, Pirates), unnecessary reboots (Spider-Man), unwanted remakes (Footloose), lack of original ideas (Battleship) adaptations that were being clamored for by nobody (Dukes of Hazzard), adaptations that didn’t need to be movies at all (Simpsons, X-Files)… and yet for the most part we throw our hard-earned dollars at this dreck at the very same time that we mock it.

From a pop culture perspective we love vampire movies. Always have. We love vampires when they’re the framework for nothing more than a teenage love story (Twilight). We’ve had vampires in pretty much every genre. From the classic interpretations (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), to comedy (Love at First Bite, Once Bitten), period piece (Interview with a Vampire), comic book sensibility (Blade, Van Helsing), teen/coming of age (Lost Boys, Buffy), sci-fi (Lifeforce), to every angle of modern-day horror (Fright Night, Near Dark, Dracula 2000, From Dusk til Dawn)… and even the worst of those have never been met with the sheer derision that seems to be brewing for Abraham Lincoln.

You guys love True Blood, for fuck’s sake! And that’s the same fucking thing- vampires in the south! Why are you so resistant to the idea of an actual historical figure interacting with them? Genre mashup is an amazing storytelling device. This is satirical revisionist history at its finest. Directed by Bekmambetov and produced by Burton!!! At the very least it'll be visually amazing. Unfortunately the population at large seems vehemently opposed to such genre mashup. Movies about vampires are ok, and movies about history. But people can't seem to appreciate a little creative crossover.

If this was just another vampire period piece set against the Civil War and the rise of our nation, I have no doubt that it would be much more palatable to the audience at-large. In fact, people would probably enjoy it. But for some reason, making it about an actual historical figure just destroys any credibility it could have from a pure storytelling perspective. You people loved it- LOVED it- when the President of the United States (albeit fictional) fought aliens in Independence Day. Why not give an actual President a little creative license?

My concern is that this will be Scott Pilgrim all over again. A fresh new movie based on fringe literature that brings an innovative story to the screen like we haven’t seen before- or at least in a long time. And what did you guys do with that movie? You shunned it. Office Space bombed at the box office and went on to become a cult classic. Big Trouble in Little China- one of the boldest examples of genre mashup- found a place in American cult-cinema. All I’m asking is that you keep an open mind.

We constantly bitch that we want something new, something different. And when we get it we mock it incessantly. This movie could very well suck. It could be boring. It could be tedious and plodding. It could be a complete piece of shit. But it definitely won’t suffer from lack of originality. And for that alone it should earn your business.

Hit me up, we’ll go see it together, and I’ll even pay for your fucking ticket.

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