Sitting in a private Soho House screening of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter last week, I was forced to ask myself three questions: What is this crap? Why do I absolutely love this? And most surprisingly, when is Harriet Tubman: Werewolf being released?
This isn't a review of the film. It's just the musing of prolific moviegoer and temporary departure from my usual Huffington Post blog, More Reasons to Leave New York. But, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter really makes you think, or better stated, dream.
Sure, it reminds you of a number of things you already like. It has the conveniently re-imagined mythology of vampire creation, life and death found in the Twilight series or True Blood. It has the instant accumulation and perfection of supernatural abilities found in Wanted or The Matrix. It even features a character who can only be referred to as a magical negro, reminiscent of a little Bagger Vance mixed with servants in The Help.
The only things missing are a hooker with a heart of gold and perhaps the kitchen sink.
But what results on-screen is a delicious concoction of a quasi-historical, supernaturally thrilling, absolutely jaw-dropping, unintentionally funny action film spilling over with enjoyable nonsense. And if loving that is wrong, I don't want to be right.
In fact, I didn't want it to end. I wanted to see what they'd have the imagination and audacity to do next. Often, you find yourself in movies wondering if they "will take it there." Not only does Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter take it there, it pours liquor down its throat, dry humps the stuffing out of it, and leaves unsolicited money on the nightstand.
What is "it" you ask? "It" is that thing that makes you feel so good about the money you spent seeing a film, you tell friends they need to see it just so you can talk about it. And of course, "it" makes you willing to see the sequel, or in this case, support the spin off.
Which brings us to Harriet Tubman: Werewolf.
The character of Harriet Tubman makes a short, but meaningful appearance in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. And spoiler alert, she is quite the hero. And it all took place under a full moon. Coincidence? I think not.
It's all there. She evaded capture as she engineered and operated the flight to freedom for countless slaves. In the entirety of our nation's history, her vision, ingenuity, and bravery remain beyond comparison. Her exploits were nothing short of miraculous and thus, she is legendary.
All Hollywood needs to do now is show her getting bitten by a werewolf in the woods one night and it's on! And I will be sitting there, front-row center, as she romps and chomps her way from South to North and back, over and over again. Freeing slaves, making waves, and biting the faces off of plantation owners and bounty hunters who dare to stand in her righteous way.
This isn't a racial, or gender, equality play. I'm not saying Lincoln got a new film. So Tubman deserves one. I'm saying Harriet Tubman: Werewolf should be next on deck because it sounds ridiculously awesome and likely would be. So, it is just good business.
Audiences, young and old, from far and wide, would flock to see where and how Ms. Tubman lived before Mary Todd called upon her to help President Lincoln turn the tide and win the Civil War against the South's vampire armies. And everybody knows werewolves and vampires are natural enemies anyway. It's gold!
Plus, it has franchise written all over it. Benjamin Franklin: Silver Surfer. Or, maybe you'd prefer Amelia Earhart: Shapeshifter. Turning history's most pivotal players and storied icons into modern era styled super-beings cannot be a "one-off" experience. There are far to many to choose from and far too many powers with which to pair them.
Surely some will say such fantastic and fictional portrayals only serve to confuse and diminish the memory and impact of what they actually did. Some will say their exploits and contributions need to be told, and nothing more. Since they've already shaped the history of this country and the world. And they probably have a point.
But for me, when it's so wrong it's right, all I want to do is sit back and enjoy the show.
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