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Transylvania Twist

USA 1989
produced by
Alida Camp, Roger Corman (executive) for Concorde
directed by Jim Wynorski
starring Robert Vaughn, Teri Copley, Steve Altman, Ace Mask, Angus Scrimm, Steve Franken, Vinette Cecelia, Monique Gabrielle, Toni Naples, Howard Morris, Jay Robinson, Lenny Juliano, Joe Lerer, R.J. Robertson, Artur Roberts, Becky LeBeau, Stu Nahan, Brinke Stevens, Forrest J. Ackerman, Lisa Fedi, Valerie Fedi, Dean Jones, Boris Karloff (archive footage)
written by R.J. Robertson, Jim Wynorski, music by Chuck Cirino

Van Helsing, Freddy Krueger (cameo), Jason Voorhees (cameo), Leatherface (cameo), Pinhead (cameo), Elvis (cameo)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Since Marinas Morlock (Howard Morris) has died in his Transylvanian family castle, his daughter Marissa (Teri Copley) travels back to the old world to collect her inheritance, while young Dexter Ward (Steve Altman) has to go there because he has to retrieve the Book of Ulthar, that if fallen into the wrong hands, could throw the earth into chaos. And finally, there's vampire hunter Van Helsing (Ace Mask), who goes there because Morlock's brother Byron (Robert Vaughn) ... well, is a vampire.

Of course, Byron plays the typical generous vampire host who only waits for his time to strike, and of course he has three sexy young(-looking) daughters (Monique Gabrielle, Vinette Cecelia, Toni Naples) who cause a bit of chaos, and there's even the obligatory séance - during which the spirit of Elvis is summoned. During the reading of the will though it's revealed that Marissa inherits everything from her father, and the Book of Ulthar, which Byron needs to reach the next level of evilness or something, is hidden deep within the castle - and from now on it's human vs vampires, not at all helped by the fact that Van Helsing is turned into a vampire. Then Dexter finds the book though, but is almost instantly knocked out by Byron's daughters ... and when he comes to, he's to be sacrificed to a (allegedly Lovecraftian) monster looking remarkably like the monster from It Conquered the World. He is saved by Van Helsing though, who against all expectations has not turned evil just because he has been turned into a vampire. But in the end, it's Marissa, possessed by her own mother, who saves the day.

Genre fave Angus Scrimm plays Byron's butler, and popular horror series characters Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Pinhead all have guest appearances, but while Freddy, Jason and Leatherface are pretty funny when they get butchered by the exact vampire girl they wanted to butcher, Pinhead is wasted in a lousy punchline that has nothing to do with the film.

 

A horror comedy that has its high points but also its lows: What's great are Robert Vaughn as one of the campiest vampires in quite some time, the film's totally respectless approach to the genre, the likeable Corman formula of re-using old props (the monster from It Conquered the World) and footage (plenty of exteriors and even a scene with Boris Karloff from The Terror are thrown into here), and quite a few jokes are actually funny. What's not so great is that the movie quite simply goes after every punchline, to an exhausting degree, steals not necessarily great jokes from other movies even, and the lead good guys (Teri Bopley, Steve Altman, Ace Mask) are just not funny enough to carry all of this.

Still, accompanied by a few beers, this is quite a watchable movie, and horror fans will be delighted at least to find reference after reference in this one ... one just can't shake the feeling this could have been much greater if the script went through a rewrite or two that reduced the obvious sightgags to a minimum.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD