Daring Political Leaders: FDR, Lincoln, Churchill as Action Heroes

Most Bleeding Fool readers are probably aware of 2012’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Asylum mockbuster cash-in Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies (of the same year), where Honest Abe took it upon himself to fight the supernatural enemies of both Uncle Sam and the wider world.


Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Official Trailer #2 - (2012) Movie

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies - Trailer


But these are just two examples.


As well as being the year of the Mayan Apocalypse, 2012 was a boffo year for US Presidents to be depicted as action heroes, as it also witnessed FDR: American Badass, with the wheelchair bound POTUS (Barry Bostwick) hunting down werewolf versions of Hitler, Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito. 


As you do.


It really is as bad as it sounds, the shocker being that half-way decent actors such as Bostwick (Rocky Horror), Ray Wise (Robocop), Lin Shaye (Something About Mary) and Bruce McGill (Animal House) took part.


Not so surprisingly, Kevin (Hercules) Sorbo turned up,  playing Lincoln’s ghost, whilst tubby Paul from Cheers was Churchill. 


FDR American Badass Official Redband Trailer - Barry Bostwick Movie (2012) HD


Speaking of Churchill, our chubby-chopped wartime PM was played by Christian Slater (oh yes) in Peter Richardson’s Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004):


Churchill: The Hollywood Years - Trailer


In earlier TV comedies the director had left-wing Greater London Council Leader Ken Livingstone played by Charles Bronson (via Robbie Coltrane) in GLC: The Carnage Continues (1990) and Al Pacino (Richardson himself) as Shredded-Wheat-haired Coal Miners NUM leader Arthur Scargill in The Strike (1988).


GLC: The Carnage Continues (Fan Trailer)


The Strike (Trailer)


Turning from Pols as Heroes, Richardson showed former UK PM Tony Blair as a fugitive on the run in his 195os film noir spoof The Hunt for Tony Blair (2011), whilst Richard Nixon has been a character in numerous fictional movies, including Watchmen and X-Men: Days of Future Past.


I rather enjoyed Dan Hedaya as #37 in Andrew Fleming’s comedy Dick (1999):


Dick (1999) ~ "Confronting the President"


Nixon’s National Security Adviser/Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was portrayed in Dick by Saul Rubinek (Hunters/Unforgiven). Kissinger also cameoed as himself (along with former POTUS Gerald Ford and his wife Betty) in a 1983 episode of Dynasty:



Contrary to most satirical conventions, SNL actually depicted Ronald Reagan (Phil Hartman) as a secret smarty-pants:


President Reagan, Mastermind - SNL


The accident-prone Ford (Chevy Chase) wasn’t so lucky…


Introducing President Ford - SNL



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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'