If you’re looking for some alternatives to the Scary Movie and A Haunted House franchises…well, Stan Helsing and Transylmania might be just as good or just as bad, depending on how you feel about the other films….
STAN HELSING (2009)
As a former video store clerk, I was immediately drawn into Stan Helsing. Stan–played by cutie Van from Reba!–works at a video store. It’s Halloween night. Horror movie references are being dropped left and right. There are two lesbians in the ladies room. And Stan and his friends are headed to a Halloween party after work. But first, they have to drop off a bag of videos! Their journey turns into a trail of terror as they face off against numerous horror villains.
The awesome cast also includes Kenan Thompson (Snakes On a Plane), Diora Baird (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Night of the Demons, Days of Night: Dark Days), and Desi Lydic (TV show Awkward). Plus, Leslie Nielsen, the king of slapstick spoof comedy, has a small role IN DRAG as a waitress!
However, despite delivering some trashy laughs with shit humor, raunchy sex humor, and horror humor, Stan Helsing quickly drives right off the rails. Rather than having some semblance of plot structure, it meanders all over the place along with your attention. The characters simply pass through one comedy horror setup after another while being pursued by the likes of Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Frankenstein, Pinhead, and Chucky. It might as well have been a series of unrelated sketches because the movie just doesn’t gel.
Even so, I do appreciate the less commonly spoofed horror, such as Poe’s The Raven and Jeepers Creepers! And there’s plenty of dumb slutty bimbo jokes (they never get old) and stripper action, plus loads of gay humor, including a glory hole perv, a gay leather porn shoot, and a young priest who has a thing for Stan and wears women’s undergarments. But honestly, the cheap stupid joke that made my adolescent mind laugh the most involved Freddy trying to wipe after taking a crap.
Once again, the first few minutes grabbed me. A group of college friends is packing up to go study in Romania for a semester. Within minutes we see multiple boy butts, a dude gets a dildo shaped bag of drugs shoved up his ass, and another dude slams his wiener in a laptop (graphically). And as they begin their journey, we learn of a vampire who has been preserving his beloved’s body for centuries, waiting for the day he can retrieve her soul from a missing music box. Yes! Raunchy comedy in the style of the classic Euro Trip with a horror subplot?
The cast is perfectly versed in horror: Patrick Casey (Nailed), Tony Denman (Wolf Girl), Patrick Cavanaugh (Bloody Murder), Paul Hansen Kim (Jack Frost 2, One-Hour Photo), James DeBello (Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, Swim Fan), and scream queen Jennifer Lyons (Jack Frost 2, Killer Pad, Return of the Killer Shrews, Devil’s Prey).
While Transylmania follows a more defined plot than Stan Helsing, the exploitative teen comedy vibe virtually disappears after the first few minutes and we end up with a flat, uninspired horror comedy about kids and a leather-clad monster slayer babe trying to vanquish an old vampire and his minions. Not even fart humor, a sexually confused friend (who eventually scores a gay kiss), a buxom blonde bimbo (the awesome Jennifer Lyons), or puke humor can keep this horror comedy with a perfect plot from being a huge letdown (although the puke scene made me laugh way more than I care to confess).