Categories
off topic post contains jokes post contains sarcasm

Is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter historically accurate? A somewhat belated investigation

Lincoln: Master of the ax?

By David Futrelle

I‘m briefly moving away from the main focus of this blog to bring to you an important scoop from the world of entertainment.

It has come to my attention that there are significant historical inaccuracies in the 2012 film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

As you may know, this film depicts Lincoln’s secret history as a vampire hunter, both before and during his presidency, as well as the Confederate Army’s use of vampires on the front lines in the Civil War.

But it turns out the film is not entirely historically accurate, as documented by the anonymous scholars behind the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) Goofs page on IMDb. Here are some of the most egregious errors, quoted directly from the source.

Mary Todd Lincoln grabs and uses a Spencer 1860 repeating carbine at Gettysburg; however, Spencer carbines were not present at the Battle of Gettysburg. Union Brigadier General George A. Custer’s Michigan cavalry unit did use full-length Spencer *rifles* in the battle, but there were no carbine-length variants, like the one used by Mary Todd Lincoln, in service at the time.

I hardly need to remind you how important it is not to romanticize Mary Todd Lincoln’s role in the battle against the Confederate vampire army at Gettysburg. as heroic as her actions on that day really were.

Little Willie is shown playing with toys in January or February of 1862. His toy fort is flying the Thomas Jefferson Flag – 15 stripes and 15 stars – which was never used after 1818. It is very unlikely that he has a 44-year-old toy or that his father President Lincoln wouldn’t make sure he’d have the right flag.

This may seem a small detail, but it is crucial to get every detail correct when telling the important story of Abraham Lincoln’s totally ass-kicking life as a dude who secretly killed vampires with an ax.

At the ball where Abraham dances with Mary, the music playing is Estudiantina waltz, or Band of Students Waltz. The Estudiantina waltz, or Band of Students Waltz is a musical arrangement, made in 1883, by Emil Waldteufel, which would be his Opus 191, No. 4. Its melody was composed earlier in 1881 by Paul Lacome, with lyrics by J. de Lau Lusignan.

Embarrassing! I’m sure every movie viewer with an encyclopedic knowledge of 19th century waltz history winced when they heard this in the middle of what purports to be a historically accurate movie about Abraham Lincoln murdering vampires.

Abraham expresses to Henry an interest in becoming a vampire hunter when he’s about 20, i.e. around 1829. Henry shows Abe a magic lantern slide show including several photographic portraits in Daguerreotype style which was not around until about 1838, the date of the first known portrait photographs. In 1829, only the most primitive, experimental, still photographs requiring extremely long exposure times were possible.

Another small but telling error that can only serve to undermine confidence in the historical accuracy of the film and give ammunition to those who contend that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t actually a vampire hunter at all and that vampires aren’t even real.

Lincoln’s stove pipe hat supports the full weight of Mary Todd. Any hat of this sort would easily collapse under the slightest weight of anyone’s foot.

AND EVERYONE KNOWS THAT! This error is so obvious and egregious I find myself wondering if the director of this film — Lincoln scholar and Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov —  is just straight up taunting those of us who still believe in historical truth?

Or, perhaps even more alarmingly, is it possible that he is secretly working for the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Truthers, that motley gang of conspiracy theorists who try to poison the discourse with claims that Abraham Lincoln was just a great President and not actually an ass-kicking vampire killer at all.

Everyone knows that hat skepticism is often the first step towards outright Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter denialism!

Timur Bekmambetov, I have some serious questions for you. If that even is your real name!

(Note: It is his real name.)

We Hunted the Mammoth is independent and ad-free, and relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

27 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
(A)utonomous Escapist
(A)utonomous Escapist
1 year ago

There’s probably a lesson in there about taking a work of fiction, particularly of the fantastical variety, as anything but entertainment and allegory, rather than ranting at great length (possibly online), about the purported unrealistic actions of various characters…

Shadowplay
1 year ago

Thank you.

Mayu Kitsune
Mayu Kitsune
1 year ago

Fun fact, the book this movie was based on was written by the person who made Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and their idea for making this came from seeing an Abe Lincoln biography and Twilight being the best sellers at the book stores they were visiting during a book tour

bekabot
bekabot
1 year ago

At the ball where Abraham dances with Mary, the music playing is Estudiantina waltz, or Band of Students Waltz. The Estudiantina waltz, or Band of Students Waltz is a musical arrangement, made in 1883, by Emil Waldteufel, which would be his Opus 191, No. 4. Its melody was composed earlier in 1881 by Paul Lacome, with lyrics by J. de Lau Lusignan.

True, but in the text and cinematic versions of The Age of Innocence (both versions are good, BTW) when Newland Archer goes to the Beauforts’ ball near the beginning of the story he does so at least partly in order to get a look at a painting which, though recently acquired by Julius Beaufort in the world of the novel, wasn’t actually painted until 1886. (The story of The Age of Innocence supposedly happens in the early 1870’s: Middlemarch is hot off the presses.) IOW, this kind of thing happens all the time. There’s history and then there’s the depiction of history, and the two things are not the same.

Little Willie is shown playing with toys in January or February of 1862. His toy fort is flying the Thomas Jefferson Flag – 15 stripes and 15 stars – which was never used after 1818. It is very unlikely that he has a 44-year-old toy or that his father President Lincoln wouldn’t make sure he’d have the right flag.

Henry Sturges is Lincoln’s pal, and Henry Sturges is a vampire. Fill in the blanks.

Lincoln’s stove pipe hat supports the full weight of Mary Todd. Any hat of this sort would easily collapse under the slightest weight of anyone’s foot.

That’s because he’s had it reinforced inside with some kind of sheet metal and is wearing it as a helmet. (Duh. Just saying.)

Katamount
Katamount
1 year ago

I mentioned in the last thread that I used to frequent SomethingAwful. I stopped after probably 2006 or so, but on occasion I check the front page to see if there’s a new movie review or Photoshop contest that would amuse.

One such visit lead me to this absolutely hilarious fake IMDB page for Sharpe’s Piss Pot.

As a titanic Sharpe dork who has read all 25 books and viewed all 16 movies, this was absolutely pitch perfect.

My favourite “Goofs”:

Factual errors: French cavalry did not wear hats made from “the panties they cut from fallen ladies of Britain,” nor did they forge their sabers from “the bones of Stewart kings.”

Crew or equipment visible: The miniature of Major Sharpe is picked up and carried away by a cat in the middle of the first assault on Fort Attaboy.

Anachronisms: Horses did not make car horn sounds until the late 1950s.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Actor Sean Bean is obviously struck in the face by a boom microphone during the final assault on Fort Attaboy. There is no reason why a boom microphone could not have been fired from a French cannon.

Revealing mistakes: Several of the French soldiers manning the walls of Fort Attaboy are armed with Super Soakers.

Talonknife
Talonknife
1 year ago

@Katamount

Miscellaneous: While pleading with Major Ducos during the ambush scene a small rabbit is chased by a fox into actress Kate Winslet’s mouth. She swallows the hare without interrupting her dialogue or seeming to notice.

This is my absolute favorite one. I laughed like a giant idiot when I read it.

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
1 year ago

Thank you for this post. I can’t laugh out loud just now because it would make my head hurt (see my comment on a previous post for reasons), but it has provided a high point of the day.

jsrtheta
jsrtheta
1 year ago

It seems like you can’t trust anybody these days.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
1 year ago

One of my favorite movies. Seriously it’s like jojo tier at times. All you need is Hamon and it’d just be like Part One Phantom Blood.

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

Per the hat, the reviewers were obviously unaware of the UK Metropolitan Police uniform of 1829 to 1839. It included a reinforced top hat the officer could use as a step. There’s no reason for Lincoln’s hat to have collapsed under someone’s weight.

Of course Honest Abe was a vampire hunter.

Alexis Filth
Alexis Filth
1 year ago

I still fuck with SA now and then. The “That Insidious Beast” series of articles is still one of the best written internet fictions I’ve seen.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

This movie deviates in unacceptable ways from the definitive bio: “Abraham Lincoln: Fucklord of the Moon”.

Aunt Podger
Aunt Podger
1 year ago

I don’t… get why we’re mocking someone who likes historical accuracy in fiction, however outrageous the premise of the fiction in question is? Mr. Futrelle fights for a world where, as long as it doesn’t hurt others, people can let their freak flag show without fear, and this feels off-message to me.

As a dork who does sometime get taken out of the moment by anachronisms, and someone who likes to see that fellow dorks get hired as accuracy consultants on Hollywood sets, I’m a bit saddened to read this post.

Makroth
Makroth
1 year ago

So… is the fact that Abraham Lincoln never fought vampires ever mentioned as a goof at all?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

It’s a light hearted post about the absurdity of worrying about the small details of historical accuracy in a fantasy adventure movie about Abe Lincoln hunting vampires.

Occasionally those stereotypes about SJWs being offended over every little thing is true, I guess.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I know I saw Atomic Blonde, but I honestly can’t remember a single thing about it.

The one historical inaccuracy that actually does bother me is when vikings are depicted with horn helmets. I’ve read that some of the costumes in the show Vikings are not accurate, but they don’t wear horn helmets, so I don’t care! Sadly, living in Minnesota, I have to put up with the NFL Viking logo all the time, and I hate it so much.

epitome of incomprehensibility

I read The Da Vinci Code when I was 17 and complained to a friend that the first anagram message (“O, Draconian devil! Oh, lame saint”) was “unrealistic” because of the different spellings of o/oh.

Everything else in the book was super realistic, though. 😀

Shadowplay
1 year ago

Missus complained like hell about the Nike swoosh on the armour in A Knight’s Tale. Rest of the movie were fine though.

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

@David Futrelle:

“Putting Out Fire” has been my personal shit’s-going-down anthem since its 1982 release as the theme to Cat People; Quentin Tarantino put it to so much better dramatic use in Inglourious Basterds that I’m willing to forgive him the musical anachronism. (I mention this because, although I’ve yet to see Atomic Blnde, I believe it’s featured in that film as well.)

That said, I have a similar problem with Sucker Punch, and it has to do with the climactic action sequence: steampunk and video games weren’t things yet in the Sixties, so how is our narrator’s personal mythology expressed in that idiom–rather than, say, a comic book or an espionage-a-go-go adventure?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

Historical accuracy is important, but worrying about the number of stars on a toy flag seems a little beside the point when we’re talking about a film that involves Lincoln fighting vampires.

It’s the same phenomenon whereby fanboys don’t bat an eye at all the fantastically whimsical alien creatures and physics violations in a sci fi movie, but then complain bitterly that a female spaceship pilot is SO unrealistic.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
1 year ago

Abe Lincoln Vs. Zombies (2012), the Asylum knock-off of this movie, is better than it has any right to be, largely because of Bill Oberst Jr.’s completely playing-it-straight performance as Lincoln, but I have a lot of quibbles with the costuming.

The zombies’ outfits can perhaps be excused on the basis of there having been not enough money to outfit so many extras in period clothing, much less to dirty the clothes up; but most of the female characters follow the costuming rule of “sex workers must look sexy to a modern audience, historical accuracy be damned,” and wear what appear to be late-1990s prom dresses.

Rahu
Rahu
1 year ago

To correct the correcters…

I had plenty of 44+ years old toys when I was a kid.

QED

(Not sure if this proves, or disproves the existence of vampires, though…)

Nick Rowan
Nick Rowan
1 year ago

I write and watch spec-fic. I find that it’s never the big things that kill suspension of disbelief. People will accept vampires, ghosts, marauding monsters and all manner of things, if you get the real world details right.

Don’t run I-66 north-south through Missouri. (I’m looking at you, Supernatural.) Even numbered interstates are east-west.
Don’t make the Kansas girl get back into her wrecked truck in the face of a tornado, Smallville.
And don’t let somebody stand on Abe Lincoln’s hat.

nparker
nparker
1 year ago

I agree with Aunt Podger. I don’t get this at all. Are we supposed to just not note interesting innacuracies whenever a film doesn’t 100 percent depict things that happened? Perhaps I’m not allowed to note innacuracies in Titanic just because the characters didn’t really exist? This is just mocking people for their fandom.

There’s also no need to be fucking rude, wt:cm.

MD
MD
1 year ago

I’m sure people have said this already – but AL:VH is a movie that says the antebellum South was run by monsters who fed off the blood of others for power, so you know it’s already one of the more accurate movies about the Civil War.