Warning: This is an opinion piece because CHUD.com is built on opinions.
There’s nothing wrong with seeing an opportunity and taking it. The Mystery Science Theater crew saw public domain films as a way to do their thing, and a lot of books and movies and spoofs have been built on existing properties that were either freely available or worth the effort based on cursory name recognition. With that said, I loathe Pride and Prejudice with Zombies. Great business decision, and it’s led to other similar projects but the act of adding zombies or vampires to anything over the past half decade has been maddening and true examples of both a complete lack of respect for the genre and massive self-promotion on the backs of established foundations. The follow-up by that book’s author, Seth Grahame-Smith is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and it furthers the cutesy blending of classical literature and overused modern horror staples.
I hate these things blindly based on what they represent but judging from the Amazon comments they’re well-written books. It only makes me sadder at the misuse of skill in favor of smashing two existing things together. It’s a shortcut and it works. Just like remaking television shows, cover songs, and in avoiding any sort of brand new intellectual property. Products like these represent something that is akin to graverobbing and it lures readers away from the stuff more deserving of their time.
This is good business and executed in a way that somehow seems cool and fresh even though to my mind it has less creative scruples than an ‘Weird Al’ song or one of the hundreds of parody books in the humor sections of bookstores across this world.
And now apparently, the Lincoln book is part of a bidding war in Hollywood. A big one. One that involves major studio players, Tim Burton, and Timur Bekmambetov. This all comes courtesy of Deadline’s Nikki Finke. Her article goes on to display the lengths in which the studios are going to in order to secure this terrifyingly original concept. Read it. It can either be viewed as a sad state of affairs, high comedy, or that I’m a bitter and grumpy person who is dead wrong in his take on the matter.
Actually, since I find Tim Burton to have dissolved into a one-note hack and felt Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted and ‘Watch’ films to be visually arresting but vacant maybe I should just be thrilled that all of these things that I find overblown are falling into a project together to keep them from the really choice stuff out there.
Yeah. Good on you, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter!