I wrote this ages ago when the site was down and have neglected to post it until now:

Took a trip down memory lane last night with Lisa to the Regent cinema in the city. They hold the Brisbane Film Festival at this cinema and it is wonderfully ornate. Films I have seen here include classics such as City of Lost Children and Spanking the Monkey. A new classic I can add to the list is Van Helsing. Why would I rate this as a classic when it has such bad reviews. Mainly for the reason that it is so crap it is funny.

From the scene for scene theft of the first ever Frankenstein film at the beginning to Dracula’s evil “industrious” ewoks, this film steals from every movie ever made in the past 80 years. The most obvious theft is from Moulin Rouge. Not only do they steal the sweeping Paris computer generated images for the fight against Mr Hyde (who was stolen from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), but they steal Richard Roxburgh to reprise his evil character and then stage a Moulin Rouge type masquerade party. Mind you, I didn’t know if I was watching Spiderman in that scene either – I kept waiting from the Green Goblin to pop out through the whole movie actually.

It would be a perfect film to study at film school due to the multitude of nods it made to other films. See if you can pick the scenes where it references:

The Matrix
Silence of the Lambs
Lord of the Rings
Eyes wide shut
League of Extrodinary Gentlemen
Every Bond film ever made
Lethal Weapon
La Bamba
Reservoir Dogs
Every John Woo film
Rocky Horror Picture Show

It was kind a movie paint by numbers.

1. Get good looking hero with no memory of his past and operates outside the rules
2. Insert bumbling side kick with “humourous” lines and all the brains
3. Good looking girl who kicks ass and allows for fights scenes where she and the hero can be placed in sexual positions
4. Evil character who wants to take over the world and has a history with good looking hero. So it’s personal
5. Misunderstood ugly bad guy turns good
5. Lots of guns and explosions etc.
6. Happy ending

My two favourite parts were the exploding wooden horse drawn carriage (where did the fire come from?) and the wolf howling in the window at the end. I actually laughed out loud at the wolf howl, which was rather innappropriate. It was very Richie Valen’s brother on the bridge if you know what I mean?

I predict that in years to come, people will adopt this film in the same way they adopted Plan 9 from Outer Space. It was just so much fun – especially the over acting.

I didn’t expect I would see a comedy when I bought the ticket.



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