Strange breed, the comedy-horror. Rarely do they turn out to be both funny and frightening. It becomes even more of an uphill struggle if the movie in question is also a spoof: welcome to Transylmania.
Yes, here we go again with yet another example of the genre that outstayed its welcome around about the same time as George W. Bush, and least he could be unintentionally funny. Transylmania rarely lets up with the puerile humour. Rather than going with cunningly interwoven, it’s just one big, ugly Bayeux Tapestry of feeble gags.
It’s a shame really, because if it wasn’t so hell-bent on aiming for the lowest common denominator all the time, it could at least be finding itself in the same ballpark as, say, Fright Night: not exactly top drawer, but far from a waste of an evening.
Which, despite the authentic setting, stylish vampire erotica (at times) and original take on the legend, is pretty much what this is. It all starts when perennial loser Rusty (Oren Skoog) meets (online, of course) a way-out-of-his-league East European girl (Irena H. Hoffman). Rusty and assorted college friends then embark on a semester in deepest, darkest Romania. Fortunately for them, their rather gothic castle-come campus, Razvan University, also doubles as party central. Unfortunately for them, in amongst all the ensuing merriment, they manage to awaken the soul of a centuries-dead vampire sorceress, which in turn possesses one of the hapless crew, and so… well, you can probably fill in most of the blanks.
In fairness to the cast, they’re a bright, and in places quite talented, bunch who are trying their best with the inept script. Perhaps they should have thought twice before signing up for a David and Scott Hillenbrand film, a duo who apparently do a lovely line in straight-to-DVD. Like the rest of their ‘Dorm Daze’ series before it, this third instalment goes straight for the self-gratifying jugular.
As already alluded to, the whole thing does actually look quite polished in terms of the film’s main backdrop. There is a hark back to the good old days, with a Van Helsing-type character thrown in for good measure. We do at least then, get some respite from stateside suburbia, as well as the generic punk-rock soundtrack which have both become firm ‘spoof staples’.
But it’s all reminiscent of Vampires Suck, not just in the obvious sense, but because hardcore vampire fans will inevitably recoil in horror at this assault on their pride and joy; they are quite protective of their genre and don’t take kindly to such send-ups. Transylmania lucks out in a big way.
Which is being kind. If you’re wearing ear defenders you could well end up enjoying yourself.