Grahame-Smith’s Vampire Tale Spawns Plenty of Comment
Those of us in the know, of course, read and raved about Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer long before it became a cult hit on the big screen. There have been endless discussions across the web about the book and Seth’s handling of such a seminal figure in American history, President Lincoln, let alone what the film took on. But now that the film is coming out, I have found it interesting to see the kind of reaction it is attracting in the most unlikely of places. The Huffington Post is always a great place to look for commentary about pop culture events.
The History of Vampire Tales
I often find myself cruising through the various book reviews and film commentaries, and this week brought an especially interesting commentary from Associate Professor of History W. Scott Poole about this book. He uses the book to help teach his history students about the use of primary sources, which Grahame-Smith has done in this book so effectively.
He discusses the symbols for slavery that are used to such great effect and I was pleased to see that the class talks often looked deeper into the book. I have always felt that Grahame-Smith used the symbol of The Great Emancipator to make us see without hitting us over the head about it, that the concept of slavery goes deeper into the American conscience then most of us would like to admit. If this sounds like an interesting discussion on how vampire tales can infuse a history class, please do take a moment to check out his discussion here.
A Free Wheeling Vampire Film
Now the Detroit Free Press has a bit of a different take on the story. But then, since all they have to go on is the film, we can all just pity them for not knowing better. The brief interview with director Timur Bekmambetov doesn’t really do it justice and I get the feeling that the writer is mocking the whole concept. It is as if he lives on a completely different planet from Proffessor Poole and yet they are looking at essentially the same material. Check out what they have to say here to see what I am talking about. It is an interesting comparison to the same vampire tale material, just looked at in a very different way.
The Vampire as Tall Tale
Finally- on Hollywood.com we have a very interesting interpretation of not only why we want to read about Abraham Lincoln as a vampire slayer, but why we need any kind of fictional figure to be larger than life these days. Brain Salisbury, an old hand at the staff of parent publication Hollywood Magazine has been checking the pulse of the world of pop culture for quite a few years now and always has something interesting to say.
His comparison of Grahame-Smith’s latest vampire tale of monster killings by American presidents to the old tall tales of characters like Paul Bunyan is an interesting one. Could it be that our need to enjoy the latest vampire tale or superhero comic book is because we still need those outlandish heroes that tall tales gave us before the time of movies? He makes a pretty good argument for why we need these kinds of characters around, and why a vampire tale of a movie like this may just be in our blood. Check out his discussion of vampire slayer as folk hero here.
All in all, I would say that the film has been stirring up some interesting discussions across the web and on the printed page (for those who still read the newspaper). I love it when a vampire tale that we have all enjoyed as fans of the genre makes such an impact on the world “out there”. I think it will be interesting to see what the reaction is when the film is actually out. In fact, by the time this particular blog hits the web, it will have been out at least a few days. Did you go check it out? I plan to. What was your response?