Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies

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Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies
Film poster
Directed byRichard Schenkman
Screenplay byRichard Schenkman
Story by
  • Karl Hirsch
  • Lauren Proctor
Produced byDavid Michael Latt
CinematographyTim Gill
Edited byJames Kondelik
Music byChris Ridenhour
Four Score Films
Distributed byThe Asylum
Release date
  • May 29, 2012 (2012-05-29)[1]
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies is a 2012 American action comedy horror B movie directed by Richard Schenkman, with a screenplay by Schenkman based upon the story concept of Karl Hirsch and Lauren Proctor. Produced by The Asylum, and starring Bill Oberst Jr., the film was released direct-to-video on May 29, 2012,[1][3] following its May 28 theatrical premiere screening at the Telfair Museum of Art Jepson Center in Savannah, Georgia.[4][5]

In the tradition of The Asylum's catalog, the film is a mockbuster of the 20th Century Fox film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.[1][3][6]


After his mother Nancy Lincoln falls victim to an illness that requires her to be tied to her bed, vicious and cannibalistic, 10-year-old Abraham Lincoln sees his father Thomas Lincoln commit suicide at her bedside. Taking up a scythe, the distraught young Abe tells his mother that he loves her before beheading her. He then joins others in his community in containing a local zombie outbreak.

When an adult Abraham Lincoln has become President of a fracturing United States, he is apprised of rumors concerning a prominent Confederate stronghold. He is told that a regiment of 30 men had gone to Confederate Fort Pulaski to seize it from the Confederates and only one man returned barely alive. When questioning the survivor, Lincoln discovers the soldier has an illness that seems to bring corpses back to life. He then personally leads a team of the newly established secret service to accompany him in investigating the fort.

They get to the fort and are attacked by Confederate survivors led by General Stonewall Jackson as well as by several of the infected people. Abe kills one of his men who had been bitten by one of the infected and explains to the others in his party that if they are bitten or scratched by an infected person, or if an infected person's blood makes contact with their mouths or eyes, that they too will become infected and, within twenty-four hours, would no longer be considered "human". More are lost when attempting to investigate the surrounding neighborhood, and Abe encounters an old flame turned prostitute Mary Owens who is sheltering her help, including a young Theodore Roosevelt, daughter Sophia and prostitute Annika to protect them from the invasion.

The group makes their way back to the fort where Jackson refuses to kill the infected, believing them to only be sick and in need of care. He claims Lincoln's actions are only against the members of the Confederacy. Based on an old Bantu word he'd learned from his mother, Agent Brown names the infected persons "zombies". Pat Garrett volunteers to help Abe, and guides them to a nearby plantation that has farming implements and other weapons they can use to combat the threat.

When returning to the fort, Mary is splashed in the face with zombie blood and soon falls ill. Meanwhile, agent John Wilkinson protests the killing and asks to remain behind as the rest of the group heads into the township to kill off the infected. Being greatly outnumbered, only Abe, Theodore, and Sophia return when the others are slaughtered. Wilkinson, who is revealed to be a spy, plots to kill Lincoln while he is alone but changes his mind when he catches Abe praying, as in his mind prayer would ensure Lincoln's soul going to heaven. After being convinced by Pat Garrett that Lincoln is right and escape is unlikely, Stonewall shows Abe a secret cache of gunpowder. They then decide to use the explosive to blow up the fort after trapping and containing the zombies inside. When the fuse goes out, Stonewall ventures down alone to re-light it, but is over-run and killed by the zombies just after doing so. Abe and Brown escape just in time and the entire place goes up. Mary accepts her fate and goes off with Lincoln to die, much to Sophia's heartbreak.

Eighteen months later, Abe goes to visit Mary who had been in the care of a doctor investigating the illness in vain hope of finding a cure. As Abe cleans wounds caused by her restraining shackles, Mary grabs his hand, scratching his skin, infecting him (much to his horror), and forcing him to kill her. Knowing he is himself incurable, Abe requests that a message be sent to John Wilkinson, as earlier he had discovered that Wilkinson was actually John Wilkes Booth who had a plot to kidnap Lincoln in response to the end of the war and the Union the victor. The message gives Booth the information to know exactly where Lincoln would be the following night at the theater, thus leading to his assassination (purposely arranged by Lincoln to prevent another outbreak) at Booth's hands.



Casting took place in January 2012.[6][7] Using mostly local talent, filming began on January 28 in Savannah, Georgia. Originally the script was set to shoot at a fort in Tennessee,[8] but Savannah and Fort Pulaski were subsequently chosen for location shooting of scenes where Lincoln confronts zombies who had overrun a Confederate stronghold.[9]

Critical response[edit]

The choice of Bill Oberst Jr. in the lead role of Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies has been praised, with criticisms otherwise aimed at the film's plot, supporting cast members, character development, and historical inaccuracies.

Jason Adams of JoBlo wrote that the film was what might be anticipated from The Asylum, in its being "extremely repetitive" and having a script filled with "terrible lines." Adams stated that the actors "pretty much suck post-colonial wastewater", except for Bill Oberst Jr.[3] Scott Foy of Dread Central offered similar praise for Oberst's acting, but "overwritten dialogue scenes, wildly uneven pacing, and sometimes confusingly staged action scenes prevent Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies from fully living up to its full potential."[1] KDVR reported that in the film, director Richard Schenkman had created "an enjoyable little movie that is juuussttt this close to being great camp".[10] Jessica Leigh Lebos of Connect Savannah wrote, "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies is terrible. In the best possible way." Lebos said Bill Oberst Jr. "gives a believable turn as Lincoln-as-badass while imbuing the character with the president’s signature stalwart leadership; his Gettysburg Address is so compelling, you might forget you’re watching a monster movie."[11] Whitney Scott Bain of Starburst called Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies "a sluggishly directed film from a weak script" but "aside from all the historical inaccuracies, laborious direction and bad script, it's Bill Oberest Jr's stand out performance as Abe Lincoln that steals the show. He's worth watching and he's what saves the picture."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Foy, Scott (June 7, 2012). "review: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)". Dread Central. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Bain, Whitney Scott (May 27, 2012). "DVD review: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies". Starburst. Archived from the original on January 14, 2023. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Adams, Jason (June 20, 2012). "Awfully Good: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies". JoBlo. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  4. ^ Kingsberry, Janay (May 28, 2012). ""Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies" screening". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  5. ^ Boston, David (June 5, 2012). "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies premieres". WTOC. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  6. ^ a b O'Neal, Sean (January 5, 2012). "The Asylum preps Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, creates satirical black hole". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Moris, Clint (January 2, 2012). "Casting begins for…Abraham Lincoln V Zombies!". Moviehole. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Sickler, Linda (February 3, 2012). "Zombie horde attacks Fort Pulaski as key scene is shot for film". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  9. ^ Dawers, Bill (May 31, 2012). "Savannah's zombie apocalypse looks pretty good". Savannah Morning News. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "REVIEW: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (DVD)". KDVR. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Lebos, Jessica Leigh (June 26, 2012). "Four score & seven zombies ago". Connect Savannah. Retrieved June 5, 2012.

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