Stan Helsing (DVD / Blu-ray)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Leslie Nielsen, Diora Baird, Steve Howey, Kenan Thompson, Desi Lydic
Directed by Bo Zenga
Distributed by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
The Scary Movie franchise has long left a bad taste in my mouth. Simply put, I'm not a big fan of comedy mixed with my horror, unless of course it's done the right way. The old Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein formula is the one that works best. As funny as that flick was (and still is), what made it work was that the film's big bads played it straight and never became the butt of the joke. After all, once your main menace becomes a joke, then what's the point? What are the stakes? Nada. Yep, please, Hollywood, keep your slapstick silliness far away from my horror. Thanks.
That being said ... on to the review.
Stan Helsing (Howey) is your average stoner video store clerk. It's Halloween night, and Stan and his gang of miscreants (including a hilarious Diora Baird and Kenan Thompson in a Superman(!) suit) are in costume and ready to party. There's just one hitch ... before they can, Stan has to drop off a sack of DVD's to his boss' mom's house. Little did our group know that when they entered the residential development of Stormy Night Estates, things would go from bad to really fucking bad. You see, it's there that Stan comes to realize his true identity and destiny. He's meant to fight the forces of evil, who in this case are parodied versions of icons Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Pinhead, Michael Myers, and Chucky. The ultimate battle between good and evil is about to go down, but luckily for everyone involved, there's still time for a little karaoke.
In a nutshell that's Stan Helsing's plot, and while absurd, director Bo Zenga makes the most of it. In fact, I have to applaud him. Rather than take the mile a minute slapstick comedy approach to the material presented here, Zenga also takes the time to develop his characters and give the film an actual cohesive plot for them to populate. All this without constantly hammering you over the head with "Look How Funny I Am Supposed to Be" type tomfoolery. That's not to say Stan Helsing doesn't have its fair share of that, too, but at the very least it's for the most part well placed.
The DVD and the Blu-ray share the same set of supplemental materials - a much funnier than the movie commentary with writer/producer/director Bo Zenga and actors Kenan Thompson and Desi Lydic and the Killer Parody: The Making of Stan Helsing featurette, which is very watchable and easy to enjoy. Take on a few alternate, extended, and deleted scenes along with some outtakes, storyboards, and a trailer; and we're done and can leave this package without being mentally driven to suicide by the stupidity of the whole affair. I can assure you ... that's a pretty high compliment all things considered!
As far as these types of films go, Stan Helsing does its thing, and in the end I'm honestly not mad at it. Make no mistake though; its target audience is without question people who are just looking for a mindless good time and horny teenagers who find fart jokes to be the epitome of humor. If you fit into either of those groups, brother, you've just hit pay dirt.
2 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5
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