Stan Helsing

Despite what a lot of people say about it, I still really enjoyed Van Helsing. It was such a fun movie that I don’t honestly understand the hatred for it. Despite that, I know that a lot of people didn’t like it. Stan Helsing, just like you’d assume from the title, is a parody of Van Helsing, but only in title and in the lead character. In terms of plot and the majority of the situations, the two are nothing alike.

In Stan Helsing, there’s a character of that name who works at a local video store. He has to first deal with a giant cockroach, or his boss tells him he’ll be fired. Then, he has to bring some movies to a woman in a town, despite having a party to go to that night. That’s about as deep as the plot goes. Stan, and a group of his friends end up getting trapped in a town while going to drop off these videos, and wind up getting trapped in a town with a bunch of psychopaths dressed up as famous monster/slasher movie characters.

Or at least, that’s what I assumed was the case. There are poorly costumed versions of Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Chuckie, Michael Myers, and a couple of others. If Stan Helsing could have gotten one thing right, it should have been the costuming. Even that could have been done just for a few thousand dollars, and would have drastically improved the overall product. Actually, maybe “drastically” is a tad strong. It would have helped though.

Our cast consists of Stan (Steve Howey), a dumb blonde (Desi Lydic) who keeps changing her outfit, a brunette (Diora Baird) who at one point in the past dated Stan, and a chunky man (Kenan Thompson) dressed as Superman. This is also as deep as their characters get. Leslie Nielsen also makes an appearance later on, but is drastically underused and needed much more time on-screen. Or a more prominent character. Or maybe a better script, plot and project, because he deserved better.

Somewhat more important is the lack of anything humorous or clever. If this had been a movie that actually had subtle (or even not so subtle) references to Van Helsing, and they were funny, I probably would have had a lot of fun. Considering how much I enjoyed Van Helsing, and since I’m a good enough sport about these types of things, I would have appreciated having a laugh at it expense. But the few references to Van Helsing are not funny at all.

This is more of a general horror movie parody than anything else. There are a bunch of references to more well-known horror movies, but even those aren’t funny. The play between the four characters actually ends up being the most enjoyable part, however, that’s not all that fun either. I laughed a handful of times throughout, but I won’t remember any of the jokes or humorous moments in a few more minutes.

This is an empty film, one that fails on all levels. It isn’t funny, there is no creativity or intelligence to the script, nor are the actors any good in their roles. Here are what they need to do: The girls need to act like idiots and scream when something remotely scary happens, while the guys have to act like idiots and scream whenever something remotely — you get the idea. Oh, and Stan’s actor needs to occasionally try to look heroic, which looks even sillier than you might think.

This doesn’t even end up being true enough to Van Helsing to act like a parody. I mean, it’s not all that good regardless, but if had at least tried to follow a story that was similar to Van Helsing‘s, you could at least say that the filmmakers tried to make a parody, and juts failed in the execution. But the attempt doesn’t even look like it was there. You don’t need to include everything, but putting in some of the bigger moments wouldn’t have been too difficult. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money to do it, because using bad CGI could be part of the point.

I’m just incredibly frustrated when something like this comes along, promising to be a funny movie making fun of something I really like, but ends up being a terrible movie with barely more than a tangential connection to the source material. I felt defeated by the time Stan Helsing ended, and if that’s how I feel after sitting through a comedy, you know it wasn’t a good one.

Look, I didn’t have any fun with Stan Helsing, and I’m someone who often enjoys so-called “bad” comedies. This is one that definitely deserves the panning that its received, and there’s absolutely no reason for you to watch this movie. Just let it go away, and I’ll keep hoping for a true parody of Van Helsing. Or at least, something that’s fun to watch, has a decent enough story, or is in any possible way enjoyable. Because Stan Helsing certainly wasn’t any of those things, and was one of the worst movies I can remember watching.

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