February 13, 2012
When Abraham Lincoln Comes Around
A new trailer came out for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that isn't that remarkable, except in two ways: it's strangely humorless and po-faced, like the movie itself is completely unaware that it's titled "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". And it uses Johnny Cash's menacingly biblical spoken word section of "When The Man Comes Around" as the soundtrack.
Johnny Cash released "The Man Comes Around" in 2002, and it was one of the last songs he ever wrote. I don't know if you've noticed this too, but this song gets used in movies and TV shows A LOT. I understand why it's become the go-to soundtrack choice for horror movies or any apocalypse-themed entertainment form. It's like a more poetic version of the (pretend) Bible verse that Samuel L. Jackson pulls out in Pulp Fiction: in Jules' words, it just sounds like some cold-blooded shit to say to a motherfucker.
So here's Johnny Cash quoting Revelations in the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer. Here he is again in the excellent opening credits sequence in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. And in the season 1 finale of the short-lived "Terminator" TV show, and in a (fan-produced) trailer for season 3 of "The Walking Dead". Any movie or TV show in the sci-fi/horror genre that involves a day of reckoning and/or the undead, this song fits so perfectly that producers probably need to stop using it for the next 10 years or so. Stick it in the penalty box along with the all-time champion of irritating soundtrack ubiquity, Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah".
I hope the Lincoln movie is goofier and more fun than the trailer makes it look--two hours of a solemn presidential hunk in a stovepipe hat screaming and swinging axes around in slow-motion sounds like undead tedium.
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