Thursday, August 16, 2012

Abe Lincoln vs. Zombies and New Belgium's Belgio IPA

So it’s been a good week for me and zombie movies.  Yes my friends I’m back and more motivated than ever.  I’ve seen glory and the promise of a bright future.  It’s called Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies!!!!  How could one movie meld history (sort of),  humor, horror, and romance all in one movie?  I’ll tell you how….Abe F*ing Lincoln that’s how!  And I paired this movie with a New Belgium beer that my wife surprised me with the other day, Belgo IPA.  It’s supposed to be a perfect blend of Belgian Trippel and American IPA.  You had me at Belgian…….you had me at Belgian.
The movie starts off big with a young Abe Lincoln rushing into his parents cabin after hearing a gunshot.  He found his father sitting in a chair with a self inflicted and fatal gunshot wound.  His mother had turned and was tied up to the wall.  Abe does what needs to be done and beheads his own mother.  Talk about convictions.  Even as a young man they paint the picture of a man with strong character and resolve.  Fast forward to the middle of the American Civil War.  Abe gets a report of a failed covert union attack.  The sole survivor was a Major who was undoubtedly turning into a zombie.  Lincoln decides he will lead a team of twelve men to the sight of the attack to find out what happened.
As Abe formulates his plan of attack I formulate my own plan.  It includes opening the bottle, carefully pouring into my Sam Adams glass and repeating as needed over the next one hour thirty eight minutes.  The beer pours a bright gold with dark hues where the glass widens.  The two and a half finger head foams up in a lively belian fashion.  The aroma is intense and assertive.  Classic American IPA.  Citrus and fruit like a tangerine and orange peel being smashed in your face.  But it doesn’t end there.  No there’s a small child mashing banana in your hair and sprinkling ground cloves into the yellow mushy mess.  Just when you think it’s over and old lady who reeks of flowers comes in and smashes you about the head and face with a warm and toasty loaf of French baguette.  And you’ve only smelled it.  The taste is more intense.  So imagine the same thing but instead of a little scary (but sort of funny) it’s now the most horrifying experience of your life.  It hitting a fruit truck going 110 mph the wrong way on the highway.  After which time your dead body is beaten by a roving gang of flower smelling old lady armed with more French bread than you’ve ever seen.  Only you’re dead because it’s that awesome.  It’s 7% abv 60 IBU bliss.
New Belgium does something very interesting with this beer.  Instead of using a fair amount of a less colorful (less roasted malt) they used a small amount of a much more intense malt.  They achieve virtually the same color but instead of a soft bready sweetness give the beer a more robust and slightly more stringent bite.  It really helps to balance all those hops.  I also appreciate the hop choice on this beer; Simcoe, Cascade, Armarillo, and Centennial.  It’s very American and very Pacific Northwest…..which I guess is synonymous with American as most of our hops are grown here.  Below I’ve taken the flavor wheel from the New Belgium website.  It’s a great tool to capture the many complexities of beer.  Part of me appreciates the simplicity of Flying Dog’s 2 bar, hoppy matly meter.  But the other part of me dares for a more descriptive measure.  Those with a particular craving or especially refined palates will appreciate the flavor wheel.
I’m not going to give away the whole movie but I was comment on some of the hilarious references and interesting parts of this film.  There is a young man from New York whose parents are killed and he fights alongside Abe.  Teddy, none other than Theodore Roosevelt, is not given a gun or sword.  But Abe instead hands him a big stick and tells him to walk softly……awesome!  General Stonewall Jackson appears as the non compliant turned hero confederate general.  And the generally unlikable Thomas Wilkinson is perfect for the part of Tom Wilkes Booth.  There are several other references which escape me at the moment.  I am pretty sure that this is one of those movies where the more times you watch it the more you get out of it.
Several things really surprised me about this movie.  First was the high quality of the CGI.  Normally I really poo poo digital gore but in this film they really make it work.  No there’s not as much close up gut munching but the beheadings look pretty real for a straight to DVD movie.  I’m constantly amazed at what technology can do.  Big movies get bigger and smaller movies get bigger too!  The film quality itself is amazing.  It’s got this professional grey-ish feel that a lot of low budget films just can’t capture.  Aside from the horrible and obviously fake (I really hope) mustaches the props and the everything was first rate!  Especially the opening battle scene!  Cannons boomed and earth exploded.  It was WAY better than I expected.  Also to note is that all the sets were awesome!  Seriously!  The filmed one part at a real fort and then old buildings and even a white house look alike.  I’m amazed at the quality of this movie and I will be purchasing it.

Here's one more picture for good measure!

The Beer:
Aroma – 10/12
Appearance – 3/3
Taste – 18/20
Palate – 4/5 
   Overall – 8/10
Total = 43/50

The Movie:
Production – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 2/5
 Zombies – 3/5
  Overall – 3.5/5