Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
I hereby resolve to kill every vampire in America.
A book by Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice And Zombies.
Young Abraham Lincoln sees his mother die when he is just a boy. He soon discovers that a vampire is responsible. Swearing vengeance, Lincoln goes on to moonlight as a vampire hunter with the help of friendly vampire Henry Sturges. Along the way, a large number of historical figures from Lincoln's era are shown to be either vampires, vampire sympathizers, or vampire hunters.
Also, the Civil War was a proxy war between vampires who wanted to rule humanity, and vampires who wanted to be left alone. Guess which side was which.
The book manages to stay true to the events of Lincoln's life, except of course for adding vampires. His resurrection as a vampire after his assassination, however, is another matter.
A movie adaptation will be released on June 22, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, produced by Tim Burton, and starring Benjamin Walker in the title role. Seth Graham-Smith adapted the screenplay himself.
- Actually Not a Vampire: A funny shortened version where Abe and Edgar Poe meet on the street and mistake each other for vampires (because of the way they were dressed and for recognizing another man who actually was a vampire). Of course, they straighten things out and become friends.
- All Just a Dream: A Running Gag. Basically, if the chapter opens with main characters being randomly killed by vampires, expect to shortly read "Abe awoke with a start."
- Truth in Television: Lincoln was known for melancholy and dreaming of dire portents. He wrote in a note to his wife,
"Think you better put 'Tad's' pistol away. I had an ugly dream about him."
- Arc Words: "Judge us not equally."
- "Some men are just too interesting to die."
- "These are the last seconds of my life."
- "All of us deserve Hell, but some of us deserve it sooner."
- And Then Lincoln was a Vampire
- An Axe to Grind: Abe's weapon of choice is a woodcutter's axe.
- Alternate History: Averted. The book claims to be the true history of Lincoln, and historically things go much the same way as they did in real life.
- Ax Crazy: Averted. Lincoln's Roaring Rampage of Revenge is cool, calm and methodical, and also kept secret from anyone but his closest friends.
- He does have one moment of ax craziness near the end, where he snaps upon being offered the chance to resurrect Willie, and tries to behead Henry.
- Back From the Dead: Abraham Lincoln is a vampire.
- Badass Beard: He is Lincoln, after all.
- Bad Dreams: Abe suffers from these frequently, at least once proving to be prophetic.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The book lives on this trope. Lincoln was a vampire hunter, Edgar Allan Poe was a vampire fanboy, the Roanoke colony was killed off by its vampiric doctor, and John Wilkes Booth was, you guessed it, a vampire.
- Berserk Button: Do not speak callously about any of Abe's lost loved ones. Being a vampire is also a bad idea.
- Big Damn Heroes: Henry rescues Lincoln from Jefferson Davis's ambush.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The vampires' pupils are dilated to the point that it looks like they have these.
- Bloodier and Gorier than its contemporary vampire stories. But a lot of the carnage is unrelated to the vampires themselves with regular old-fashioned human-on-human war and murder being large parts of the book.
- Dead Little Sister: Lincoln has an awful lot of these by the end of the book, starting with his mother and ending with his son Willie.
- Driven to Suicide: Abe, three separate times. He doesn't go through with it.
- Also most vampires. Henry explains that it only takes about 300 years to literally do everything there is to do, and most vampires grow sick of living before they finish their 3rd century.
- Elite Mooks: The Confederacy deploys vampire infantry.
- Eye Scream: The above vampire infantry are described having mutilated several men, including poking out a drummer boy's eyes.
- Footnote Fever: Grahame-Smith uses footnotes to explain places and terms that readers might not know, references for quotes (usually the Bible or Shakespeare), or how recorded history got some actual event wrong.
- Foreshadowing: The aforementioned dream sequences have a lot of this.
- Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who had to study American history in grade school knows how the war turned out and what happened to Lincoln, and all it takes is a quick internet search to find out the fates of most of Abe's family and friends.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Henry Sturges. He is obliged to feed on people, but makes a point to only kill bad ones, or those so old or ill they're about to die anyway. to quote: 'all of us deserve hell, but some of us deserve it sooner.'
- Heel Realization: Stephen Douglas when Lincoln tells him the vampires he was preaching for intended to enslave all of America, just like the blacks were enslaved to whites.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Henry, though mostly by assisting mortal hunters rather than doing much hunting himself.
- Hurting Hero: Abe.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: With a title like that, what did you expect?
- Lesbian Vampire: Edgar Allen Poe tells Abe a story of two lesbian vampires in East Europe (one of whom was the infamous Lady Bathory) who were into some 'kinky stuff' i.e. torture, rape, and murder.
- The Lost Lenore: Anne.
- Meaningful Name: Lincoln refers to the primitive incendiary devices he created to blind vampires before attacking them as 'martyrs'.
- Motor Mouth: Joshua Speed.
- Nice Hat: The iconic stovepipe hat.
- Noodle Incident: World War Two, of all things. It is referred to briefly as "the Second Vampire Uprising".
- The Obi-Wan: Henry. Albeit the version who doesn't die.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Most of them are at least tolerant of sunlight (the weakness fades with age), garlic has no effect, and their eyes turn completely black when they're about to feed. They can also do things like jump from one bank of the Mississippi to the other in one leap. Their existence is also known to many of those in power, and a faction of them is allied with the Confederate States of America.
- Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: Especially in one scene where a couple of amateur hunters destroy the pipe system a wealthy vampire was using to siphon blood from living people.
- People Farms: The ultimate plan of a huge alliance of American vampires.
- The Quisling: Jefferson Davis is more than happy with handing humanity to the vamps.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Abe does this several times, usually after the death of a loved one.
- Unusual Euphemism: Henry calls vampires to be killed 'those who deserve it sooner' in his letters.
- Vampires Are Rich: They tend to be, yes.
- Vampire Hunter: Abe obviously and a couple of his friends whom he recruits to help him. Several others are mentioned in passing or play small roles.
- Vampiric Draining: The old-fashioned kind, bloodsucking.
- War Is Hell: Shown clearly and graphically as well as outright stated.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Early in his mentoring, Henry gives Abe a lecture on the disadvantages of being immortal, to explain why so many of his kind commit suicide in their third centuries. "Without death, life (becomes) meaningless. It is a story that can never be told. A song that can never be sung. For how would one finish it?"
- Females Are More Innocent: Averted. Abe seems to think this at first, incredulous that one woman is a vampire (expecting it to be her husband), but quickly learns better.
- You Killed My Father: Lincoln's mother is killed by a vampire. So is one of his sons.
- So was his grandfather, although his death was blamed on Indians.
The movie provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Seth Grahame-Smith has admitted making changes to his book's story to make it a better fit to the screen, including creating a specific antagonist and some larger-scale action sequences.
- Historical Beauty Update: Most of the historical characters if we go by the casting.
- Market-Based Title: Foreign markets have given the film several different titles, including President Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Thailand, Taiwan), Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Hong Kong, South Korea), The Legend of the Vampire Hunter (Italy), and Secret Diary of the Vampire Hunter (Portugal).
- The Mockbuster: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, courtesy of The Asylum. Notably not that bad as far as mockbusters go.
- Not Wearing Tights: Seth Graham-Smith and Timur Bekmambetov have both likened the movie to a superhero origin story.
- Of whom no known portrait exists, but by written accounts isn't nearly that pretty