Thursday, October 01, 2020

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

 It seems that most movies are either timeless or fated to oblivion.  Movies like Back to the Future or The Princess Bride can be watched by anyone, even if they weren’t children of the 1980s.  Others seem to fall by the wayside the instant they’re out of theaters, never to be heard of again.

That’s kind of surprising in the case of Transylvania 6-5000.  There are a lot of big names in the movie, including Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.  But it’s not a movie that I hear referenced a lot in conversation or in other movies.  (True, it’s not a particularly great movie.  But still…)

The movie starts with two tabloid reporters being sent to Transylvania in search of Frankenstein’s Monster.  Jack Harrison is the more respectable of the two.  He has aspirations of writing for a real publication, like Time Magazine.  Gil Turner is more of the lackey type.  It doesn’t hurt that his father, Mac Turner, runs the tabloid.  Mac got a videotape with some bad footage, which means that there has to be a story there.  So, he sends his two reporters to get said story…or get lost.

Things don’t look to promising once in town.  Any mention of the monster or footage is met with ridicule.  Add to this that the immediate area is basically a fledgling tourist town.  Mayor Lepescu doesn’t want any bad publicity, especially considering that he’s about to open his own hotel.

There are things going on in town and it might seem sinister at first, but everything has an explanation.  Jack and Gil do find the person assumed to be Frankenstein’s Monster, but there is a perfectly normal explanation.  The same goes for a werewolf, a swamp monster and a vampire.  Jack and Gil basically get their story, although it’s not the one Mac wanted.

I have to warn you that if you do see this, and I advise against it at this point, the replay value is going to be as close to zero as you can get.  Much of the humor is slapstick.  Consider that Michael Richards is in the movie as an overbearing butler who’s way too helpful.  He has all sorts of ideas that only serve to impede Gil and Jack.

It’s also not particularly complicated.  I think the movie is supposed to take place in Transylvania, but the movie’s title comes from the hotel’s phone number, which is rendered in the format of the exchange having a name, like Klondike for 55, so the hotel’s phone number would be 876-5000.  I would think that European countries would have had a different format.

I’m not even sure what prompted me to get the movie on DVD.  I guess I needed something a little different.  As I said, it’s not a great movie, but it’s not known for being horrible, either.  It’s the kind of thing that a broadcast network might have shown one Saturday afternoon.

I could see this being the format for an X-Files light show.  Each of the monsters get a back story, but none of it is particularly scary.  In fact, the only thing that might be objectionable for small children is that Geena Davis’s character is fairly forward, sexually.  At the very least, the movie does have a nice message of acceptance.  However, it wasn’t worth the buildup.  It was a hard movie to watch.  Maybe it was funny back then, but I’d recommend skipping it now.

IMDb page


No comments :