Saturday, February 18, 2012

When Horror Meets Alternative History Fiction

I know I've told you that my reading habits have been less than stellar, of late. I used to read at least two or three novels a month. Now I'm lucky if I get through two or three a year. That makes me sad, because there are tons of novels I am dying to read. But between work, rehearsals, my own personal writing and blogging, I just don't have the time and patience. The only time I get to read is either waiting in doctors' offices or while on vacation at my sister's in Florida.

In fact, the last two novels I read were while on vacation last spring; Joe Hill's "Horns" and Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I enjoyed Hill's "Horns" (Hill is the son of prolific horror novelist Stephen King) but I loved Grahame-Smith's alternative history tale even more. Combining actual people and events from the era with traditional vampire lore, Grahame-Smith wrote a fascinating and highly entertaining tale that returns vampires to their monstrous status (F*ck You, Stephanie Meyer) and creates an even more heroic portrait of the Man from Illinois. And unlike Grahame-Smith's previous novel "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," which built upon existing fiction, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a totally original tale. Also unlike "P&P&Z," "AL:VH" has actually been adapted for the screen.

Produced by Tim Burton and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), the movie is scheduled for release this coming June. Starring relative newcomer Benjamin Walker (Kinsey; The Notorious Bettie Page); Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing; Scott Pilgrim vs the World); Dominic Cooper (Captain America; The Devil's Double); Alan Tudyk ("Dollhouse;"  "Suburgatory") and Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has the potential to be one of the coming summer's huge hits. I, for one, can't wait to to see it.

Here's the movie's official trailer:

And here's the book's trailer:

Hopefully, this will be the film that returns the Horror to the vampire genre.

More, anon.

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