Van it really as bad as we first thought?


Family Guy

Now, I know this is going to upset at least one person...but is Van Helsing really THAT bad?
It's certainly not the first film to re-write the monster The Wolf Man meets Frankenstein, Larry Talbot (the wolfman) discovers the body of the monster underneath the burnt out windmill encased in ice. He release the body and triies to get the monster to convince BARONESS Frankenstein to put him out of his misery...
Now we all know what really happened after that fatefull night of pitchforks and torches...the monster lived and went on to have his bride created. And I for one was shocked to find out that the Baron had had a daughter...or did the Baron himself have a sex change??
Van Helsing rewrites the events immediatly after the burning down of the windmill again...but, as I have said, it is certainly not the first film to do so.
OK - the acting wasn't up to much...and the storyline was a bit thin...but for really bad acting, see Bela Legosi as the Monster in the aforementione Wolfman Meets Frankenstein...truly terrible!! :rolleyes:


One of the worst films ever!
Why? Because films nowadays are taken more seriously. We dont accept poor actling like they used to in the 50's.

Family Guy

I have seen the film...what I'm sayig is was slated for changing the stories of the original movies...but as I've already explained, it wasn't the first film to do this.


Well-known Member
yeah but it makes them worse, i had started to think it was okish until i saw it again a mate had orrowed it so we watched it! Terrible! Too many merged plots and not enough action to make it worthwhile!

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Not enough action? It felt like there was a big set-piece roughly every 5 minutes to me, a bit like Bad Boys 2 where at the end you just feel like someones crashed a lorry through your house and you're left on the sofa feeling shellshocked :eek:

With Van Helsing some of the acting was (purposely) hammy (to be fair Anthony Hopkins won an oscar on the strength of a seriously hammy turn as Hannibal Lecter), the story was all over the place, the plot twists were ridiculous, character development was non existent... but at the end of it all I didn't hate it despite expecting to. I really didn't like The Mummy movies and I felt VH was more of a return to the kind of spirit he made Deep Rising in. It wasn't a "good" film but it never set out to be, it was far too long for its content, could probably have been a good 20 or 30 minutes shorter with a more streamlined story that knew where it was going. At the end of the day it was tongue in cheek all the way; it wasn't supposed to be anything other than a bit of popcorn escapism. In that respect it worked for me. Now, I've loved the Universal Monster oldies since I was a kid and just because someone made a second rate action B-movie based on a mish mash of a set-up that doesn't mean it has to have any effect on how much I like the Karloff and Lugosi classics and it doesn't, I still think they're far superior to VH in their scope and the context of "their time", I mean nobody's going to remember Van Helsing in 70 or 80 years time the way they do Karloff's Frankenstein flick. But that doesn't mean I can't glean a bit of entertainment from a substandard Hollywood bubblegum eyecandy movie.
VH wasn't special but it entertained me for a couple of hours albeit in a brainless way. I don't think its worth the vitriol that gets poured out against it, yes it's crap, but do people rag on about every crap film they see? They'd get ulcers if they did.

Its nothing but a bit of throwaway nonsense as far as I see it. Certainly no worse than garbage like Con Air or Cliffhanger... both of which entertain me just as much if I'm in that kind of mood. Can't have The Godfather spinning every day of the week.
I honestly don't think its any worse than half the stuff that comes out of Hollywood with the "action" tag, they could all be better than they are and with VH they threw far too much into the mix and it all came out half baked.
Like Army Bloke says, how many different spins on any of the classic monster tales have we seen? Dozens if not hundreds... this is just the latest


Well-known Member
it was entertaining, that's why i watch movies, to be entertained. Sure it bastardised quite a few legends, and perhaps the acting wasn't citizen kane standard, but it was loud and action packed, and i will be buying the DVD.


Rambo John J said:
Can't have The Godfather spinning every day of the week.
You sure can!!!! I only watch top class films. There is no need to watch such drivel as VH!!!!


it was entertaining, that's why i watch movies, to be entertained.
So do I, as do most people I would imagine. I doubt many people go to a movie hoping they're flushing a fiver down the bog. Although in the case of "Van Helsing" this option would have been preferable - you still waste a fiver but at least you don't waste over two hours of your life that you can never regain. It's that bad...

Part of the entertainment experience for me is, preferably, not to have my intelligence insulted by appalingly conceived and executed messes like "Van Helsing", that assume their audience is a mass of drooling retards that will accept any s**te that is served up to them, so long as the decible count is sufficiently high and lots of people / CGI thingies are knocking the crap out of each other every five minutes.

As I said in a previous post on this movie, I patronise films, I don't like it when they patronise me.

Yes, the classic monsters have been re-interpreted over the years and will continue to be. But not only is this the most expensive and lavish re-working of their legends it is by far the worst. The rich heritage and mythos of these characters is plundered in the most dull and unimaginative way possible. Namely your basic "boom-crash-thud", while someone who's taken far too many drugs goes berserk with a digital box of crayons.

The reason that good fantasy and SF stories work is that like any fictional form they have rules and boundaries. The drama / action unfolds within these boundaries. The reason movies like these have held audiences enthralled through the years is the excitement of seeing ordinary humans (us) pitted against and triumphing over the supernatural forces of darkness.

When the human protagonists (a la "Van Helsing") display abilities that would put Spiderman or Wonder Woman to shame then the drama is somewhat dissipated. When every fall from a castle or roof is resolved by an backflip 50 feet through the air, or when a human being is hurled 20ft across a room and hits a wall with an impact that shatters the stonework yet leaves them unscathed, then any drama, suspense, tension or excitement is lost.

The attitude when a character is in danger is, ho-hum, s/he'll do something physically impossible and totally unbelievable to get out of it. You just stop caring. Total non-involvement. That's why when one of the main heroes of the movie was offed, the only reaction engendered was "Oh good, that means it must be near the end!".

Indeed one of the best assessments I saw of this aspect of the movie was in a US review. The critic said that next time he goes to see a movie like this he will take along a gamepad or joystick controller and flick the buttons throughout the movie so that he can feel at least some sense of involvement with what is happening on-screen.

Add to this a total lack of characterization and a "plot" that exists purely to string together a series of overbaked CGI action sequences, and one is left with the dull and uninvolving experience that is "Van Helsing". Some people fail to grasp that it is indeed possible for endless wall to wall action to be deadly dull - it's all a matter of execution. They seem to be under the impression that because things are constantly whizzing around the screen and every speaker in the auditorium is strained to its limit that they must be witnessing "excitement".

It's as if Sommers didn't have the imagination to use the rich fantasy mileu at his disposal and simply resorted to endless CGI bunfights. I would go as far as to say that on the evidence of this outing he was more concerned about CGI than logic, character and plot.

"Summer blockbuster", "popcorn movie", "no-brainer" - even within the realm of the aforementioned oft-trotted-out excuses for what is often nothing less than bad film-making, "Van Helsing" plumbs new depths of awfulness.

No, great as it is we don't want to watch "The Godfather" every day, but there are decades of great movies from many countries to be explored, more than most people will ever manage to view in a lifetime, so Gorshin is right when he says there's no excuse for wasting time on drivel like "Van Helsing".

And that IMDB rating is appalingly high for this tosh - but then have a look at the "Van Helsing" threads and see the types who are voting for it! It too joins the ranks of the "Farhenheit 9/11" and "Passion of the Christ" IMDB threads in the " very afraid..." category...

So to answer Army Bloke's original question:

Oh f*** yes!!!

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