Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Leslie Nielsen, Diora Baird, Steve Howey, Kenan Thompson
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
In the vein of spoof cinema like Austin Powers and the Scary Movie franchise, Stan Helsing lampoons contemporary film audiences? never-ending fascination with what makes our blood curdle. In the story, hapless video store ... more »
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Even with rock-bottom expectations, I was disappointed
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 10/21/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The only things going for this self-proclaimed horror film parody are decent production values and attractive actresses. The movie itself, which is not really a parody of anything but just a limp comedy, is dumb and often dull. The attempts at humor are usually mean-spirited, too, and usually made at the expense of the female characters (who the producers apparently want us to look at but not respect).
Look, to carry over the vulgar parlance of the movie, I'm usually an easy lay with this sort of dumb comedy: I don't need or expect Shakespeare. Just keep things minimally engaging, throw a few chuckles my way, and I'll likely give it three stars and recommend it for some modest home entertainment. Nothing wrong with something silly and fun, after all. But "Stan Helsing" is just boring (the supreme sin of a creative work, in my book) and eye-rollingly stupid. I'm guessing that comedy icon Leslie Nielsen is thankful he was only subjected to a fairly small role in this production.
I'm sorry to say all this, as the actors and folks behind the camera seem like perfectly nice people in the 10-minute "making of" bonus feature (though the script makes me wonder about writer/director Bo Zenda), but I have to call it like I see it. In the end, if you're looking for a fun little horror comedy to get you in the mood for Halloween, let me quote one of Mr. Nielsen's much better comedies and say, "Nothing to see here, move along, nothing to see here...""
P. Mann | Los Angeles | 10/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It looks as if the cast had fun making this movie. Unfortunately, that fun doesn't translate into a funny film. Because I received a preview copy, I watched the whole thing, but had I rented or bought the movie, I'd have given up after at most fifteen minutes. At least this way, I know that I'd have been right.
The story, such as it is, involves four friends on their way to a Halloween party. One of the friends is the title character (played by Steve Howey, who, it seems, is supposed to kill "the six biggest movie monsters of all time" (according to the director). As a result of various detours, none of which has any particular purpose except to serve as fodder for jokes, the characters never make it to the party but instead go through numerous allusions to horror movies, some obvious (as in the character "Fweddy," a very slight parody of Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street) and some not so obvious. (In case you're wondering, the six monsters are Pinhead, Chucky, Jason, Freddy Kreuger, Leatherface, and Michael Myers.)
Unfortunately, the humor didn't work for me, and even Leslie Nielsen fails to save this mess. Airplane! this isn't. Rather, it's strictly for those who think sex jokes are automatically funny and can sustain a movie.
Extras include: Commentary with the writer/director and two of the cast, a "making of" featurette, a few extended or deleted scenes, outtakes, the trailer, a still gallery, and a storyboard gallery."
I've watched test patterns that were funnier than this.
The Matrix Fan | 10/25/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Before I start my review, I'll put this on the table - I LOVE spoof movies.
Airplane, Meet the Spartans, Date Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, Disaster Movie, Superhero Movie, Epic Movie, you name it, I've probably seen it. From watching all of these and more, I discovered that spoof movies have 4 main ingredients:
(1) They loosely follow the plot of another movie
(2) They make references to pop culture
(3) They have humorous musical numbers
(4) They have "star" cast members
In the course of 90 painful minutes, Stan Helsing managed to spectacularly fail in each one of these. I would say watch it yourself and find out, but that would fall into the "cruel and unusual" category of punishment. I'll do you a favor and spare you the real horror - I'll describe the film for you so you won't have to spend your heard-earned money to rent or (shudder) buy this film.
Let's go through ingredient #1: Does this movie loosely follow the plot of another movie, like Van Helsing?
No. The story centers on Stan Helsing, a Schlockbuster employee. Stan is getting ready to go to a Halloween party with his ex-girlfriend Nadine, his best friend Teddy and Teddy's date Mia. At the last minute, his supervisor tells him he has to deliver videos to his boss's mother's house. During the delivery, they run into the following characters: Lucky, Mason, Michael Criers, Pleatherface, Fweddy and Needlehead. As it turns out, these horror movie monsters are terrorizing the town of Stormy Night Estates and it's up to Stan Helsing to embrace his destiny and save the day.
Okay, so the plot is unique - there's still a chance for this movie to be good, right?
Here comes ingredient #2: Referencing pop culture.
Stan Helsing tries to do this, but it's in a very strange and haphazard way. There is one scene where a Michael Jackson look-alike sells phallic shaped ice cream to children. The director HIMSELF says in the commentary "Michael Jackson died 3 weeks ago, now we feel kind of weird about this scene"...and yet he kept the scene in the movie. Top Notch. Later on there's a segment with Barack Obama dancing, but it makes no sense, much like the rest of this film.
That's two strikes, but can the #3 ingredient save the film: Humorous musical numbers?
Again, it's attempted, but the humor is non-existent. In one scene the horror movie villains sing "YMCA". It had the potential to be funny...but not with lyrics like this:
"Hey Stan, there's this thing you should know,
we said hey, Stan, when we're done with this show,
you can stay here, and I'm sure that you'll find
that we're here to rape and kill you."
What about the last ingredient, the "star" cast members?
Leslie Nielsen is our shining star, a man with more than 100 films to his credit and a comedian extraordinaire. You would never know this, because his lines are delivered so flat, you'd think someone had to jab him with a stick to make sure he was still awake between takes. For the life of me, I honestly think the only reason he did this movie is because he wanted to support Canadian filmmaking (either that or no one would let him leave the set).
But what about the jokes themselves? They have to be funny, right? Here's an example of the lines I had to listen to:
"Does my vagina make me look fat?"
"No. I can't even see your vagina. I wish I could, though."
"He's so sweet."
"I can't believe I ever even went out with you."
"The best six weeks of your life."
"It was two weeks."
"Yeah, but I was doin' you in my mind for the other four."
"I think that one girl was ambidextrous."
"Wow, I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous."
I'll spare you from worse dialogue than this (you're welcome).
So it looks like the movie is a bust - but what about the extras? Let's see:
(1) Commentary - this was done with the director Bo Zenga, Kenan Thompson and Desi Lydic. Here's a few excerpts:
Bo: "Well, I went to see Van Helsing, it was horrible (Sorry Universal Pictures, I still want to work for you), I thought, like, it should be a spoof and suddenly it's a spoof."
Kenan: "I wanted to try and pee on myself but I didn't know if I had enough suits."
Bo: "Can you see that we had a tampon hanging from the bear, do you remember that? It's in the shot!"
I think Steve Howey and Diora Baird faked their deaths to skip this recording session.
(2) Killer Parody - The making of Stan Helsing: Each cast member offers their humorous thoughts on the film; the highlight is Leslie Nielsen setting off a fart machine during his interview segments.
(3) Extended/Alternate/Deleted Scenes: The strippers bare more, so you can overcome the "titillation without representation". A few scenes are dragged out even longer, and if you wanted to see the Lucky doll getting raped by other dolls, you'll find it here. Yes, you read that correctly.
(4) Outtakes: I'd like to say these were funny clips, but they reminded me of the film I had to sit through twice.
(5) Trailer: I'd say all the best parts of the movie were in this trailer, but I would be lying to you.
(6) Still Gallery: You've got 33 pictures of various cast members to look at in this portion.
(7) Storyboard Gallery: Small drawings you can barely read. Argh.
I know that Stan Helsing was not meant to be taken seriously, but I was expecting the movie to at least make me LAUGH. I would say that Steve Howey should pay for acting lessons, but he doesn't need to - HIS DAD IS AN ACTING COACH.
If a friend suggests you should buy or rent this movie, they're playing a cruel, cruel joke on you. Avoid this at all costs."
Tim Lasiuta | Red Deer, Alberta | 10/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
Spoofs of franchises either fall flat, or exceed expectations. Not having seen any of the Scary Movie Franchises, I came into this film with absolutely no preconceptions.
From what many have said, that was probably okay.
However, this was not a terrible film if you look at it with an eye that says, ignore the girl with the halter top, or the short dresses. The Fat Superman, the vampire hunter cowboy, are just as spoof-ful and given the premise of the film, match whatever level the humor/quality is.
Jokes based on sex, destiny, torture, product endorsement, stupidity, and sex are rampant. Some are funny, while others fall flat. The dialogue is sharp, predictable, and cynical. It is clear that some money was spent on production quality.
One of these days, these guys will do an original film.
Watch it for a laugh. A second time might be too much.