Review: Van Helsing (XB) + Movie!

Van Helsing (Xbox)
Platform: Xbox
Rating: Teen
Developer: Saffire
Publisher: VU Games
Release Date: 05/06/04

**I don’t know if this has ever been done for the site before, if not, welcome to the first dual-review of a video game and the movie it was based off of, so don’t click back to the site after the game review because 411’s own Vampire expert Alex Lucard reviews the movie Van Helsing.

I’ve got a little bit of a streak of video game masochist in me, a part of me that gets drawn to games that I know will probably be really horrible but I pick them up and play them anyway. That is at least what originally drew me into playing Van Helsing. I thought the movie was a giant pile of shit, and since most video games based on movies suck I wasn’t going to go near the game. Last thing I wanted to do was see any part of that movie twice. Then I saw a ton of copies selling at used game stores near me the week after the game was released. Then I had to know how bad can the game actually be?


Story:

*-Warning, some movie spoilers ahead. If you don’t want it spoiled then just know the game’s story is really bad. Just like the movie.

I honestly feel bad for the poor bastard who had to take the movie’s story and try to fit it in some way into the video game. There was no way that this part of the game was going to be any good unless the developers had rumpelstilsken on staff and if he could spin shit into gold as well as he could spin straw.

The game very roughly follows the same plot of the movie. After Van Helsing encounters Dr. Hyde in France he is sent to Transylvania by a secret society of religions that have joined together to fight evil on Earth. This society uses Van Helsing to do their work with promises to reveal more of his forgotten memory. The Church is worried about the souls of a family who can’t get into heaven unless they kill Dracula, only problem is that there is only one member of the family left. So he has to go protect and help the last remaining member (Anna) so that the family can all get into heaven. Once he gets there Van Helsing discovers a bigger problem, Dracula is going to try to take over the world using his legions of children. Unfortunately for Dracula, all of his children are born dead. He needs the Frankenstein monster in order to bring his gargoyle looking pod children to life.

That’s at least what both the game and the movie share in terms of plot. Several things are different in the game such as most of the focus in the game is on Van Helsing, cutting out the sidekick completely and Anna makes only a couple appearances through the game where it was unavoidable. Some things were done very differently like the whole kidnapping scene with Anna, the game version of the kidnapping makes no sense with Anna disappearing in one place and reappearing in another completely. The game even points it out! Dracula surprisingly isn’t in the game very much and only has a couple of lines.

As if most of that wasn’t enough *BIG SPOILER* even though they mention Van Helsings memory loss through and has Dracula call him Gabriel”¦.they don’t ever say that Van Helsing is really an angel. Maybe they were asked not to put in the main shocking point of the movie, or the developers were too embarrassed by HOW FUCKING STUPID that is. The game also hints that 400 years ago, Van Helsing killed Dracula when he was human because they were both fighting over the same woman, which I can’t remember from the movie but I might’ve just repressed that memory along with most of the rest of the movie.

The best move the developers made for the game is that the game focuses much much more on the action and any parts of the story mentioned are brief.

Still, the story is retarded.

0/10


Graphics:

Aside from some very minor clipping issues everything looks great. The main characters/bosses in the game look close to their movie counterparts, and the monsters that aren’t in the movie (or most of the monsters you fight) are all well detailed and look great. The environments also look great with my favorite one being one where you’ve got to make your way up a waterfall to a castle. The environments and the levels are also small, and you’ll go through some levels more than once. Everything animates fluidly and there I never saw any slowdown even when there are a lot of enemies in one area and you’re flying around killing them all.

Then there is the camera. While the camera isn’t as bad some 3rd person action games, there are times when it does become a problem. The camera is a lot like the camera from the Devil May Cry games, you can’t manually change the camera but when you move the camera will either zoom in to follow you or it will switch to a better location. Sometimes there isn’t a better camera location and Van Helsing will either be really close to the camera or really far away. This isn’t that much of a problem in most of the games open areas but in the few tunnels you come across it gets annoying. Also you will occasionally be going in one direction, the camera will change and you’ll be heading in the opposite direction. The time the camera is the most annoying is during boss battles, particularly with either Igor or Dracula, or against flying enemies. The camera focuses on Van Helsing but in those situations where the enemy is farther away from Van Helsing and firing projectiles or getting ready to swoop down on him, they’ll be off camera completely and you’ll have to rely heavily on the targeting system to attack.

7/10 (for an Xbox game)


Sound:

Some of the voice actors for the characters are the same actors as the people who play them in the movie which helps, and the ones that don’t do their characters sound an awful lot like the actors. There really isn’t that much in the game in terms of dialogue but it’s all done well considering the scripts given. The music is great and brings up the atmosphere of the game up another notch. The weapons sound just fine and the sound effects for the monsters aren’t annoying.

A nice touch that I didn’t notice before was in the village if you stand near the doors of the locked houses and turn the volume up and the music down in the options you can hear the villages in their houses arguing about whether it’s safe to go outside or not.

Even Dracula doesn’t sound as much of a pussy in the game like he did in the movie.

8/10


Controls:

For the Xbox A jumps and you can do a double jump next to a wall for additional height, X controls firing projectile weapons, Y controls melee weapons, B interacts with objects like doors and pick up items. R trigger makes you lock onto nearby enemies, and in conjunction with the B button lets you used the grappling hook to get places you can get to by jumping and to pull enemies to you, with the A button and R trigger you can roll to dodge enemies. L trigger lets you use an alternate form of the weapons you have equipped, like explosive arrows for the rapid fire crossbow, but you’re limited to how much you can use the alternate weapons. White button pauses the game and lets you cycle through the available weapons, which you can also do without stopping the game by using the D-pad.

Everything is fast, responsive, and simple. The lock on really saves some of the problems with the camera. You can toss enemies into the air easily with the melee weapons by pressing away from the enemy you’re locked onto and Y and can suspend them in the air for a moment like in Devil May Cry. The grappling hook is a cool feature to have in there since you can pull guys over to you from halfway across the screen for some punishment and for flying enemies you can pull yourself to where they are and shoot them. The most disappointing aspect is that there are only a few combos you start out with or can unlock throughout the game.

There are a couple of weapons you’ll pick up through the game with their own uses to unlock certain doors. The dual scimitars just rock, I started a second game just to cream some of the early level monsters with them. Why couldn’t Van Helsing have those in the movie? Wish the combat had been deeper and more moves to unlock, as it is though the couple of moves you do have can get you through the whole game.

8/10


Balance:

The game is easier than a drunk prom date. The only moves you really need to memorize are how to dodge and shoot. You can honestly beat 90% of the game by dodging and shooting. You unlock a hard mode after you beat the normal mode, however you can start off with all of the power ups and weapons that you unlocked the last time through which makes the game a piece of cake.

The boss battles are simple. Most of it is dodging the bosses main attacks and shooting at them till they croak. Get used to every boss you fight, you’ll be facing them 2 or 3 times throughout the game. Some of them get stronger before the next time you face them or they’ll have a new attack they’ll throw in their pattern, but some like Frankenstein and The Wolfman seem to be exactly the same every time I fought them. Where the developers limited as to who the bosses could be? Because fighting the same guys over and over again was annoying.

Speaking of repetitiveness and balance, you’ll also play through some levels more than once. At least two levels that I can think of you’ll have to play through twice, with minor difficulty changes each time. There are 13 levels, and at least two you’ll play through twice, between that and the same bosses it was like getting Déjà Vu every 20 minutes. The levels are also very short, and the whole game can be beaten in 3-4 hours. You also don’t get to play as a werewolf against Dracula, which I was slightly hoping for.

6/10


Replayability:

There isn’t much of a reason to play the game over again if you’ve beaten it unless you just want to cut through enemies like a knife through butter (which is admittedly fun to do by the way) unless you really want to unlock all of Van Helsing’s abilities. There are two really cool things that the developers included in the game:

-If you explore around and area you’ll sometimes find Easter eggs which can be places on certain statues. When you do that you’ll be teleported to an arena with a couple of different locked paths (paths are unlocked when you find certain eggs) those paths are additional mini-games. Examples are staying on a platform while giant owls attack Van Helsing (which is very hard to do, the platform is tiny) and stuff like a maze to get through in a time limit. I love that this encourages exploring in the levels to find this stuff. What the reward for beating these mini-games? That’s the other feature I like”¦.

-Cheats! Throughout the game are marked doors and things like the mini games you can complete that will give unlock a cheat that you can switch on or off. Not a big thing but I thought this was awesome and something I’d like to see in more video games. The only way you could get some of these codes was by playing through the game again (some doors in the beginning of the game could only be broken by weapons at the end of the game) and it gives you a reason to replay through the game just to see how the different cheats effect the game whether it’s big/small heads cheat or the Sick Player cheat.

7/10


Originality:

It’s a clone of a ton of other 3D action games that you’ll find out there with very little new elements that separate it from any of the other action games available.

2/10


Appeal:

The game is based off of a license of a Big Summer Action Movie and while I personally think the movie blew a lot of people went to go see the movie so there will be a big curiosity appeal for the game. I got to question the amount of advertising the game had before it was released though, I heard nothing of a Van Helsing game before seeing a used copy of it. Or maybe I’m blocking that out too, a lot of stuff gets mentally blocked when it comes to that movie.

8/10


Addictiveness:

The game is too short and easy to be addictive. While you play it is fun enough and the game flows smoothly enough that you’ll want to play it through till the end, but you can beat it in about 3 hours. Had there been more depth to the combat system, more levels, and a good story not tied into that awful f*cking movie than I could easily see this being an addictive game. Not as addictive as cocaine, but about as addictive as say Nicorette gum. Since those elements aren’t in the game it is good enough to pass a couple hours with but nothing you’ll think about 10 seconds after you shut your system off.

3/10


Miscellaneous:

The game is better than the movie, at least it is more fun even if it makes about as much sense, and it is about the same length as the movie. If you’re considering seeing the film, waste the money to rent the game instead. There’s about as much CGI in the game, only you can interact with the game!

That is probably the first and last time I ever say it, but seriously, the game really is better than the movie and a fun little time waster if you like action games. I got to give some credit to Saffire for taking more time to make sure the game was good than those that made the floater in the toilet bowl of summer blockbusters that is Van Helsing.

9/10

Final Scores:
Story: 0/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Control: 8/10
Balance: 6/10
Replayability: 7/10
Originality: 2/10
Appeal: 8/10
Addictiveness: 3/10
Misc: 9/10

Overall Score: 58/100

Review: VAN HELSING
Tagline: This movie is so awful I wanted to stick a stake through my heart.

Staring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, Shuler Hensley.
Directed By: Stephen Sommers
Distributed By: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 5th, 2004
Rated: PG-13 for undead boobies and exploding vampire babies
Run time: Too bloody long

WARNING This review contains massive spoilers from an irate folklorist. Do not read unless you want to have this movie ruined for you. Then again, that’s all the more reason to read this as it will save you the cost of a movie ticket and dozens of brain cells

Wow. Worst movie with vampires ever. Worse than Vampire in Brooklyn. Worse that Dracula: Dead and Loving it. Worse than Dracula 2000. Worse than the episode of Buffy with Dracula. Worse than Children of the Night. Worse than Underworld. Worse vampire movie ever.

And it started out SO well. With an homage to James Whale’s work of art, the original Universal Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff. In fact, that was not THE first Frankenstein movie. That credit goes to Thomas Edison’s film which features one of the most amazing versions of the monster ever. But that’s a side point. The fact is the movie even has a great Colin Clive (original 1931 Henry Frankenstein) impressionist in Samuel West, although the character has been renamed to the original Viktor name that Mary Shelley gave him. Ah Mr. Sommers, you insulted us all by pretending to care about the classic horror movies of the 30’s. And yet when your best bit in the whole movie has a continuity error, there’s a big ass problem.

Anyway, we learn in the opening B&W montage that the Monster is actually part of a secret plan cooked up by Count Dracula to, dare I say it, RULE THE WORLD! Yes. The Monster is proof that God is not the only thing that can create life and Dracula plans to use Viktor’s knowledge to unleash a reign of terror over all humanity.

Let me say here that Richard Roxburgh is the worst Dracula in the history of Dracula’s. I can not emphasize that enough. It’s as if to prepare for this role he went to a goth club and started talked with a bunch of pasty white mascara wearing angst ridden effeminate Vampire: The Masquerade devotees. Vlad the Impaler was a Wallachian warlord who scared the entire Turkish Army and even his own allies! Even Stoker’s count was a dignified schemer and held true to the personality of the real Dracula whose tales Stoker collected from around Europe. It’s as if Roxburgh wanted to go down in history as the worst person ever to play Dracula ever. He simpers, pouts, screeches, and minces throughout the film in a way that not only makes the character unbelievable, but is an insult to every great actor to portray the count from Lugosi to Oldman. Seriously. Roxburgh made me actual hate my last name. The last time that happened was when that damn Dracula: The TV series came out when I was in sixth grade in Swim Team and I got shit all the time. Especially because another member of the team was named KLAUS. Thank god The only saving grace is the knowledge that NO ONE can do a worse Dracula than him, and that even a 5$ junior high movie made with a camcorder will have a better Dracula than Roxburgh.
But enough of a foaming at the mouth hatred for just one actor. Let’s share the love.

Cut to Van Helsing chasing one Mr. Hyde through Paris. I wanted to make some LXG comment here, as it reminded me not only of the movie, but the comic series as well. In fact the CGI Hyde, voiced by the incredible Robbie Coltrane, looks way too much like the LXG version for comfort. A battle ensues. A decently rendered one thanks to the wit and charisma of Coltrane, and giving Jackman his first (and only) chance to act in the entire movie. Of course, Van Helsing kills Hyde. Normal people are like “That evil man! He killed Dr. Jekyll!”

Then we learn Van Helsing is an amnesiac working for the Holy Roman church. Oh. And that the Church fosters a secret order from all religions, from Muslims to Buddhists that band together to destroy monsters. Make of that bit of PC claptrap what you will. Yet even thought they go out of their way in this brief informational about the Order Van Helsing works for, the movie then goes back to only showing the Judeo-Christian god, from crucifixes to angels and a holy teleporting device that is activated by praising God. I kid you not. This is all in the film.

Let me take a break here and bitch about the titular character. The true Van Helsing from Stoker’s book is semi-autobiographical character based on Stoker himself. Stoker’s own journals comment on this. Van Helsing is not a Mary Sue type character like he appears in this movie. He’s a 60 year old overweight lecher who, unlike Stoker, comes from Eastern European decent. You want to know what Van Helsing should look like? Go get Bram Stoker’s Dracula and watch Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal. Give the guy a shock of red hair and THAT is Stoker’s creation. I’ll admit this alone has made me bitch about the film for months. And again Sommers shows a lack of continuity because they tried at the beginning to tie in the original 1931 Frankenstein movie, but then forget the Lugosi Dracula film ever existed! ARRRRGH!

We also learn Van Helsing is an amnesiac. Because all great anti-heros have to have no memory of their past life. It’s ANGSTY!

So Van Helsing gets assigned to kill Dracula, because the family that has been trying to kill Dracula for 400+ years has been failing miserably and there are only two members of the family left: Velkan (Will Kemp) and Anna (Kate Beckinsale).

So Jackman and his comic relief Friar friend who also acts as Q to Van Helsing’s James Bond hit the high seas for Transylvania. One thing I will say they got right is the look and feel of Victorian age Romania. The Alps are all around and play a pivotal role in the film, and the second they leave Transylvania, they are immersed in forest. Because after all the word Transylvania means “Land Beyond the Forest.”

Everyone in Transylvania is an ugly drab antisocial individual. Except Beckinsale’s character. She’s beautiful, wears red instead of soiled gray, and has a corset! Oooh!

Once we get to Transylvania, the feces hits the fan. And sadly it is the audience that gets the spray. We learn Dracula is immune to everything: Daylight, silver, crucifixes, things through the heart. All weaknesses from folklore and created by Hollywood. Yet his three brides can be taken down by Holy Water! But the movie never says WHY. It just makes one reference by Van Helsing that he is the spawn of the devil. Right. Works for me.

Beckinsale’s character has every cliché in the book. She is a full blooded stone cold monster killer, then sobs like a little girl when she learns her brother is a werewolf. She’s beautiful and because of that, her bruises go away seconds after getting them. She’s an experienced monster hunter, having done it all her life, yet she leaves her windows open for monsters to get in while she sleeps. A two dimensional character in every possible fashion. Horribly enough, when Sommers tried to give her some sort of depth, in which Anna longs to see the sea and has some fixation with it, it comes out so stupidly with the dialogue Kate is forced to make Anna say, you will laugh out loud. And then even when Anna finally does see water as far as the eye can see, he one tear cascading down her face again is enough to make the audience of the theatre (yourself included) bust out a belly laugh. As pretty a woman as she is, Kate has been in two back to back special effect laden but totally mindless vampire movies that have done well the first week at the box office and then thankfully died a quick death. She is the kiss of crapulence to any film that features inhuman beasties on the silver screen. And of course, Underworld 2, which is coming out in 2005 is going to make Kate 0 for 3. Maybe she needs to find a new agent. Or start reading some scripts.

And from here it just gets even worse. Frankenstein’s monster is hilarious when it first appears because they foolishly decided to make him into an amalgamation of steampunk cyborg and flesh golem. Thank god he is intelligent and articulate like in the original novel. Which is of course the exact opposite from Whale and Karloff’s rendition where the monster had an abnormal brain. He does retain the Karloffian creature’s fear of fire however and Shuler Hensley’s portrayal of the tragic Creature is the second best bit of acting in the film. But appearance wise, it’s horrible. Just simply horrible.

The werewolves are either okay, or horrible. The first werewolf in the film looked decent. The second made me think “Hey! The Howling had better special effects!” Sadly this one was of course the one that appeared in the film most often. The third and final werewolf was amazing in appearance. It’s sad that they couldn’t achieve some common level of decency with the CGI with some characters (Hyde, Werewolf 3) being very well done and some (Creature, Werewolf 2) being as bad as the Scorpion King monster in The Mummy Returns. Funny enough, that’s a Sommers film as well. Shock of shocks there”¦

Then we come to the real bits of the movie that basically show that either Sommers didn’t care while writing the script and just decided a medium sack of cash for doing a two hour movie filled with pouting instead of a plot that wasn’t an insult to toddler or older was better than getting a HUGE sack of moolah if he had creative a more cohesive and even remotely believable plot than what we were given.

Case in point: Dracula’s plan to rule the world? Well it turns out when vampires f*ck, the female vampire gets pregnant. And lays thousands of pupas. Yes. Pupas. Looking just like what happens to Mogwai’s when you feed one after midnight. You know those sacs they gestate in while they become Gremlins. They look just like that. And here’s the kicker. They’re dead when they come out. Still born. However Dracula and Viktor Frankenstein came up with the Frankenstein monster as the key to bringing these things life. See, he’s actual a life conduit to channel life energy into the dead beasties. I know, I know. It makes no sense. And why it had to be a thing like the Creature instead of a human or collection of My Little Pony figures isn’t clear. Remember: Sommers doesn’t care! That’s the key to the whole understanding of the film. It doesn’t have to make sense because SOMMERS DIDN’T CARE ENOUGH TO TRY AND MAKE ANYTHING MAKE SENSE!

And so what do baby vampires look like? Well, gargoyles! Duh! Isn’t that obvious? Not like little babies or anything! But like werebats! Hooray! And without Creature energy, they explode after a few hours into goo. Because they’re unstable! I swear, this movie prompts you to laugh so hard and never for the right reasons. It makes you wonder what the test audience did when they saw this film. And why Universal didn’t heed the big red flags that had to have come from it????

Quite possibly the worst part of the whole movie is when Dracula reveals he knows Van Helsing as Gabriel. Yes. THAT Gabriel. The left hand of God. The trumpet playing Angel. And that Dracula became a vampire because Gabriel killed him 400 years ago. They don’t say why. They just state this and expect you to accept that an Angel just swoops down and kills a human who was defending Christianity against the entire Turkish Army with the full support of the Holy Roman Empire, the same group Helsing works for now with amnesia, and you aren’t suppose to care about the contradiction. And of course, Dracula, now being a vampire is more powerful than an angel thanks to having magical Satan powers and a immensely laughable half-man half-bat form with a huge receeding hairline.

And the friar learns the only way Dracula can die is from a single werewolf bite. Yes people Werewolves > Dracula > Archangels. So remember, if you believe in Revelations, get some sweet lycanthropy because then you’ll being taking down both the asses of demons AND angels. Wolf power RULES baby! The catch is, all werewolves are automatically slaves to Dracula for some reason. It’s the ultimate catch 22! The only thing that can kill Dracula is his own slaves. And so of course, while killing a werewolf, Van Helsing gets lycanthropy. Because Angels can get disease. And get the hots for Romanian women with British accents. And so we have the ULTIMATE Mary Sue character out of all Mary Sue characters in a Werewolf Archangel! As one friend put it, “This movie is like watching people play Vampire: The Masquerade with AD&D Second Edition Rules.” Not only does this make Van Helsing quite possibly the lamest most ultra powerful munchkin character in moviedom, but it ruins the effect of the film. Van Helsing SHOULD have just been a human beating the odds and defeating evil with skill, intelligence and luck. A triumph of will and the human condition over darkness. But instead every human that fights evil dies a terrible death while the Amnesiac Angelic Loup-Garou takes down everything. It’s basically saying “Humanity consists of a bunch of pathetic idiots who can only fail at whatever they try to do. Sorry, but evil will always beat down a good person and sodomize them because they are lacking powers from God to smite baddies.”

But you know what was even worse? Yes. There IS something even worse plotwise in this damn movie than Van Helsing Angel. Even worse than the fact Dracula didn’t go “Hey! This guy killed me before a few centuries ago. I should kick his ass and KILL HIM instead of just talking to him for a while and then running off.” Worse than Gremlins and the fact Sommers appears to have directed everyone with the constant line of, “Pout and scream. That’s all you have to do: POUT AND SCREAM.” Worse than even Roxburgh’s vile attempt at Dracula that makes me want to take a bath in lye because it would be so much less painful?

The fact Dracula had an army of evil Jawas doing his bidding. Yes. Jawas. Those midgets from the first Star Wars movie Luke bought C-3PO and R2D2 from. He’s got a bunch of Jawas that speak in gibberish and that have lots of sharp chattering teeth like one of the Cenobites from the first two Hellraiser movies. Jawas to run the electrical machines of Viktor Frankenstein. Jawas to attack Anna and Van Helsing. Jawas Jawas Jawas. Last I checked, Dracula in the book has Gypsies to do his bidding. But somehow in Sommers mind the following had to have occurred:

“Hey. We’ve got a hot chick in a corset in Kate. And we’ve got three vampire chicks busting out of their outfits. We don’t really need any sizzling hot gypsies to help Dracula. That’s too much sexy. I need something vile and evil for Dracula’s henchmen. But what? Invisible Men? No. Creatures from the Black Lagoon? No. Gamera? No. There’s only one Gamera. What is plentiful and strikes fear into the hearts of all who see them? Ninjas? Well yeah. Everyone likes Ninjas. But Ninjas aren’t white. Pirates? Pirates would work, but Johnny Depp costs too much. Pokemon? No. Then we’d have to pay Nintendo and Game Freak. Hmmm”¦”

And eventually, Sommers flipped through TV stations randomly until Star Wars came on and thought, “Well, I’ve raped every last bit of dignity and charm out of Universal’s Monster Legacy. Can’t hurt to throw some JAWAS in!”

It’s the only explanation. How else could they have gotten in the film? I’ve said it before and I will say it again: WORST VAMPIRE MOVIE EVER.

I just honestly can’t believe films like this, Underworld, and Gigli have an audience out there somewhere. People who write fan fics and slash about the characters. People who can’t wait for the launch date of the DVDs. People who are probably serial killers waiting for that last little burst in their synapses that tell them to listen to the toaster in terms of deciding who lives and who dies.
In the end this is a movie that was put together to make a big buck. Aside from two actors previously mentioned, everyone else was phoning in their performances with nothing but scowls and screams intermixed with deadpan monotone commentary. The special effects never stayed constant, either being very good, or below mediocre. There is only the most threadbare, shallowest, and intelligence insulting of plots that manages to contradict itself every 15 minutes. This is by far the easiest contender for worst film of 2004 and will probably make a good sweep at the Razzies.

But as I’m bitched about how horrific this film was to sit through, I will leave you with my own personal mark out from the film. The fact they recited the poem from the original 1941 Universal film, “The Wolf Man,” which completely transformed the entire world’s perception of what a lycanthrope is; managing to overtake millennium of folklore and passed down cultural beliefs in less than 30 years. “Even a man who is pure of heart
And says his prayers at night
Can become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright”

Thank you Stephen Sommers for not bastardizing that piece of Universal history.

The 411: For months, Stephen Sommers has promised his film VAN HELSING would be a tribute and homage to the classic Universal movies; movies that helped to shape Americana and 20th century monster folklore more than any books of films of that century. Instead, the end result was a steaming pile of rancid animal droppings from a man that just didn’t care about anything but a paycheck. This film was like digging up the remains of Claude Raines, Karloff, Lugosi, Carradine, and Chaney Jr. and having their corpses rape each other. If anything deserves a stake through the heart, it is Sommers himself and his bastardization of classic cinematic characters.

Addendum- And which I find totally ironic but forgot to add last night when I wrote this, the ultimate in irony is that the movie was released on May 5th. This is when Stoker erroneously put down as St George Day, when in fact it is April 23rd. In Eastern Europe many centuries ago in early Christendom, it was believed that St George’s day was the one day of the year where Satan held sway over humanity. When the treasure of evil that was hidden from mortal eyes would glow with a blue flame.