An American Werewolf in London Review

This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would likely be more negative

Not another Werewolf film! These tend to always be really bad and unfortunately this one is no exception. Put it this way, you’re going to see the usual scenes of the Werewolf running around and eating everyone but the film isn’t trying to be more than that. I give it some kudos for trying to throw in some humor. The comedic moments are when the film is at its best but once it gets back to the actual werewolf moments then that’s game over. There is just no avenue for victory.

The movie starts with David and Jack hiking in the middle of nowhere when they finally come across an inn. They desperately needed a place to rest so this is perfect but there is one issue. The people here are all rather mean and tell the guys to get lost. It doesn’t help that Jack can’t help himself and talks about the odd pentagram they had in the inn. So back outside they are attacked by a werewolf. Jack is quickly murdered while David is saved by the innfolk showing up to dispatch the creature rather easily. No need to be afraid of the monster when you can just blast it away right? Unfortunately the werewolf curse has gone over to David now.

The ghost of Jack appears and warns David to finish himself off before the full moon or he’s going to murder a ton of people. David doesn’t believe this initially plus he is also busy trying to pull the moves on Alex, his nurse from when he was in the hospital. They have a quick affair and it’s all going well for him until he does turn into a Wolf. Now he knows that it is possible but the time is ticking and it is nearly time to transform again. Does he have any options to remove the curse or is he doomed to be a Werewolf now?

As you can probably guess, Jack is the most annoying character here. A lot of the bad things that happen to them can be directly attributed to him. He shouldn’t have caused trouble at the inn when they badly needed to rest. Then as a ghost he does try to help a bit I suppose but he isn’t super clear about it. If he joked around a little less and had a heart to heart with David then maybe he could have gotten through to the guy a little sooner. It’s an idea at least and I do think that it would have had a reasonable shot at succeeding.

As for David, I can’t say that I liked him much either. He was flirting way too quickly and the romance was really weak. It was really fast without much development and while it’s all very lucky for the guy, he also appears a bit easy as a result. If not for being a Werewolf I suppose he was pretty well set off for the rest of his life. I guess he’s just that charismatic but he definitely isn’t well equipped to deal with the curse. By the time he does know that it’s real he doesn’t make a whole lot of headway on stopping himself from hurting people. I actually think he should have gone with Alex back to the doctor to see if sedating him would work. Running off wasn’t going to help anybody.

Alex isn’t the most believable character around since you’d think she would have found his advanced annoying while she was trying to work. It’s another reason why the romance doesn’t work but at least she is very loyal the whole time and was trying to help him. So she gets points for effort and having the right intent there. Then there is Dr. Hirsch who is a solid character. He doesn’t believe in any of this supernatural stuff but once the facts stop adding up he does actually look into things. He doesn’t just shut off his ears and run around, he’s proactive about doing something and that’s why I give him some credit here. Other doctors would have just stayed in the office the whole time.

Inspector Villiers doesn’t have as much to do though. He’s around as you always need an inspector in all Werewolf films but doesn’t do anything beyond his role. You’d forget that he was in the film half the time. It’s not like he is effective at stopping the Werewolf. There is quite the body count here. Even some of the murders are done in a bit of a comedic way but the film still doesn’t hold back on the violence. It’s one of those titles that is really violent while also keeping a chipper tone the whole time. I do think that’s a pretty solid way to do things but it’s only a small consolation in the end.

The transformation scene may be iconic but it is much too long. I would have definitely shortened it quite a bit so he just powers up into Werewolf mode. The actual form is also very different from most Werewolf forms. It’s more of a beast on 4 legs than your standard two legged Werewolf. As everyone is brutally murdered you’re just waiting for someone to take him out already. A few good bullets would do the trick but unfortunately most of his victims don’t really see the attacks coming so they aren’t quite prepared for this.

Outside of the violence the film also likes to go for rather gross imagery that doesn’t help matters either. Jack looks more and more disfigured as the film goes on. It’s not afraid to be as out there as possible and having him just be bones would have been preferable. There’s an interesting meeting where the victims meet together to tell David to bump himself off. It’s definitely a big moment of dark humor here as they are relentless but it works rather well. The backdrop just should have been anywhere but at the theater since the film that was playing was very sketchy. Not the kind of audio backdrop you want for such a big conversation.

Overall, An American Werewolf in London may have a little more fun with the premise but ultimately it still runs into all of the same old issues. It’s a little too violent for its own good and a Werewolf doesn’t make for a very imposing villain. I think you’d have done better with throwing in another Werewolf to fight or maybe add in some supernatural elements. Something to keep this from being just another Werewolf movie would have been ideal. I do think the genre is more or less doomed though as there is only so much that you can do with the premise. I think that’s something that this film is seeing the hard way. I’d definitely advise you to skip this one.

Overall 1/10

House of Dracula Review


We are now entering the climax of the Universal monster movies. This one is definitely more of a standard experience as it doesn’t really do a lot with the premise but at least it’s fun to see all of the characters together. It would be nice if they all could really interact and have a big fight though. It feels like the film always finds some kind of excuse to keep these guys separate for the most part and I feel like that’s odd. People get excited for crossovers for…the actual crossover after all. So we want to see these guys mix it up.

So the movie starts with Dracula showing up to the well respected Dr. Franz asking him for a cure to being a vampire. The Doctor is ready to help but is Dracula on the level or is this some kind of scheme? Larry Talbot shows up shortly afterwards looking for a cure to being a Werewolf and the Doctor is eager to help him as well. Unfortunately he is rather busy so it’ll be tough to help them. Talbot doesn’t want to wait and jumps off a cliff but there he finds Frankenstein’s monster. During this chaos, Dracula makes his move and kidnaps Milizia. Can this monster be saved and will Talbot finally have his peace?

There is one plot that is very satisfying here at least and that is that Talbot finally gets some peace. After all these years of constantly being on the run or forced to turn into the Werewolf, it was nice that his plot had a satisfying conclusion. He was always the best part of this shared universe and so it was important that he got a good ending here. I don’t think this movie would have been as good otherwise.

It’s always fun to see him here and Talbot certainly aged quite a bit since the first films so you can really see how he was dealing with this curse for a long time. The other characters aren’t quite able to match him in terms of being as intense or interesting. First off we have Dracula but he doesn’t look very good here. He mainly relies on cheap tricks and deception in order to get ahead but his weakness to the sun is still quite massive. There’s one scene where he looks real awful because he’s running from the doctor so that he can get to his coffin. He goes in and locks the door. Well….the doctor just walks in and opens it so he dies instantly to the Sun.

I know time was of the essence but that’s just a lousy way to go. Meanwhile Frankenstein’s monster shows up to just be a mindless monster that is quickly dispatched. He has almost nothing to do with the actual story at all. He’s basically just here for the crossover so they awaken him just to take him out again. It’s all so brief that it’s almost funny but I don’t think any Frankenstein fans will be super satisfied with his portrayal here. It could have been way better is one way to put it at least.

As for the Doctor, well the power gets to him and he loses control so he gets no points for having any kind of strength of will. It’s good that he’s super smart and able to pull off some cures but he’s probably not the guy that you want on your side. If anything he was going to easily fall for Dracula’s tricks if the girl hadn’t given him a heads up. There’s also an inspector who appears briefly as always but he doesn’t get much to do. In effect this film is like a speed run through the usual Universal monster film template only with a few extra monsters.

The writing is decent at least, it’s always fun to see the characters having a polite conversation the whole time. The cast is small but I’d say they were mostly decent even if they weren’t too memorable. Seeing Talbot use a gun near the end was also fun since he’s more of a hand to hand guy usually with the Werewolf skills. It would have certainly been better if the movie embraced the crossover factor more but in the end I’d say this was a good movie. Maybe not “Very good” the way that it should have been but I could watch this one again.

The movie is short so it doesn’t drag on and meanwhile the pacing is on point. We don’t get too much of Dracula running around and causing trouble which is good since he’s usually the one who could make things a little dicey. If you’ve seen the rest of the Universal movies then you should watch this one. It’s not going to change your life but even if you’re just watching it for Talbot, it’s a nice way to end things off.

Overall, The House of Dracula forgot that it was a big crossover film and kept the plots a bit separate. Not completely separate like in the last one but I’d still like a modern remake to go all in with the premise. There’s really a lot you can do with all of these monsters meeting up and having it out. Well, this movie plays things by the books so if you want a low key Universal monster movie then this is a fun one to check out. Give it a spin and feel nostalgic as you know that you’ve arrived at the end of the journey. A small part of me will miss these titles or at least I’ll miss Talbot with all of his fun adventures.

Overall 6/10

Cry of the Werewolf Review


It’s time to look at a really old Werewolf film. This one changes things up a bit from the usual formula, but I can’t say that it ever gets to the point where you start to think of it as an amazing title. It’s just hard for Werewolves to be particularly impressive. With the main character being rather sketchy as well things got tough for this flick, but I will say that it still did manage to be better than expected. After all, we have a good actor for the Werewolf and he seemed to be having a good time here so that was good.

The film has an intriguing lore. Essentially there is a tribe of Werewolves. Nobody knows about them and they want to keep it that way. Unfortunately word starts to get out and the bodies begin to pile up. Our main character may not be the brightest one out there, but he starts to figure out that something is wrong. The Werewolves decide to silence him as a result. That will be the only way that they can ensure nobody visits them. Of course, it’ll be tough since the main character’s best fiancee is also related to the tribe which is a security risk. How can the leader of the tribe hope to stop this main character?

Well, the main character is pretty bad so that part isn’t really much of a challenge. It’s hard to explain just how bad this guy is, but there’s one scene in particular that makes it easy. So, he’s pretty sure that this group is the one who murdered his father. (side note, the father didn’t look very good the whole time either. A mysterious idol appears in his house one day and he doesn’t question it. It’s a doll that is meant to be interpreted as a threat but the doctor/professor doesn’t take it seriously. He probably should have) He heads to the morgue to search for clues and that’s when the leader appears to try and talk him over. She uses her charm to get him to her apartment where he is immediately defeated and distracted long enough for her to put an actual charm on him. He eventually gets over it, but considering that he is prepping for a wedding you would think that the guy would be a little more prepared right? Well, that was apparently not good enough for him and he was so close to wrecking his chances with the fiancee.

Then the heroine isn’t great either. She may have the Dracula accent, but she doesn’t actually use it to try and fight against the villains. On the contrary, instead she is content to stay on the sidelines and faints when the leader even talks to her. She simply can’t fight back at all and it’s always annoying to see that happen to the heroes. Why should she be any weaker than the leader? Those mental energy bolts shouldn’t affect her quite so strongly. She spends enough time fainting and almost murdering the main character where it’s just hard to take her seriously.

If you want a good character then look no further than the chief of police. That guy may have had the wrong man for most of the film, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. This guy was actually taking his job seriously and can you really fault him for doubting that it was some kind of supernatural culprit? It technically makes sense that this would not be the case. He also did come around by the end and didn’t deny the evidence right in front of him so that was good. He may have been rather late to the game, but better late than never right?

Overall, The Cry of the Werewolf isn’t the best film out there, but it was rather entertaining. I liked the Cops here and while the main duo were pretty bad, they could also be unintentionally funny. I do think that the film was a little all over the place though. The whole tribe of Werewolves thing was a little odd. Why didn’t the followers try to help out as well? Whether they worshiped the leader as a werewolf or feared her, they should have stepped in. The heroes wouldn’t have stood a chance since they were so outnumbered and the tribe would get off scot free since nobody would believe that they were Werewolves. This film will leave you with some questions for sure. Whether they are big enough for it to matter to you is another story. At the end of the day, I guess the film at least did a reasonable job of trying its best to find a different way of telling the classic Werewolf story.

Overall 5/10

Monster on the Campus Review


Time for a classic creature feature film. This one doesn’t exactly do anything new with the genre and will feel quite familiar as you watch it. That being said, it still plays out fairly well and I was pleasantly surprised when the dog actually made it out okay. We had a tricky scene involving a giant wasp where fortunately the effects were quite bad. It’s a fun film, but you do have to throw logic out the window quite a few times.

The film revolves around Donald. He’s a professor who likes to research prehistoric animals on the side. The giant fish that he ordered a while back finally comes in. Donald figures that since it’s dead he has nothing to worry about so he puts his hand in the things mouth, but suddenly it bites him. Turns out that dead animals still have muscle memory and now Donald is doomed to turn into a crazed monster as long as the blood is in contact with Donald’s bloodstream. Fortunately, it only lasts for about 15-20 minutes, but he likes smoking and won’t let monster blood stop him either. He keeps turning into a monster so does Donald secretly enjoy the power or is he simply inept?

You do have to wonder why Donald is so bad at his job. Why would you carry this rare fish around by the mouth? Aren’t you worried it’ll break and you’ll have wasted all of your money. Once he gets bit, Donald also makes the worst decisions possible. There is a sink/faucet right in the room. The cameramen weren’t quick enough to get it out of the shot so I saw it, but in universe he doesn’t seem to notice. Instead Donald puts his hand in the dirty water surrounding the fish. Doesn’t he know that if you contaminate a cut like that you are putting yourself in serious danger? That can even be lethal depending on the bacteria in the water. Not noticing that there was blood in his cigar pipe was also a little laughable.

Even Donald’s plan to get evidence for himself wasn’t great. He goes to a cabin and gets a bunch of cameras, but what’s to stop his monster self from destroying them? Somehow the cameras stay in tact, but he didn’t think it over very well and didn’t even tie himself up so breaking out of the chair was easy. I won’t get into the ending, but it was another pretty iffy decision. Self sacrifice for the greater good can always be a pretty emotional thing to do and you typically can’t fault the hero for it since it’s usually the right thing to do. That being said, going that route when it is not even remotely necessary is another matter. Donald just wanted the easy way out.

The main reason why the film lasts so long is because everyone wants to keep secrets. Two students found out about how the blood from the fish was turning everything into a giant monster, but Donald told them to keep quiet. Donald thought about telling everyone else, but then realized that he would look guilty so he decided to keep it quiet. The kids finally tell someone, but unfortunately they go to Madeline (the main heroine) who has a vested interest in making sure that nobody else knows about it so she goes to the cabin on her own. If the cops had been informed from the start, they would have been in a much better position.

Of course, the cops don’t look great the whole time. Keep in mind that even when Donald transforms he is not all that powerful. Physically he is stronger to be sure, but he’s not super fast or anything and a bullet will still take him down. The guard still doesn’t to notice him in time though since he was on the phone and even when he could fire off a shot he just panics and stares at the gun. Truly a rookie mistake.

On that note, the ending was a little humorous in an unintentional way as the monster shows up again. Everyone very clearly tells the cop not to shoot him, but he just laughs and shoots anyway. There is no wy he didn’t hear them in time so he was just shooting because he felt like it. The guy was definitely quick on the trigger for once and I think the stress of the case finally got to him.

You’ll feel bad for the poor park ranger though. He was just trying to help save the main heroine, but he gets a pretty grim fate when he tries to go up against Donald. Another lady also get destroyed near the beginning. The film made sure to portray her as a very morally dubious individual so you knew she was going to die, but dying of fright is still so unbelievable to me. I get that it is possible, but in this particular situation I just don’t think it would be valid.

As for the animals part, the dog was the first one to be infected as he turned vicious. I was nervous because you can never trust these old films when the dog is involved. Fortunately the effect wears off as an old guy breaks into Donald’s lab to test that out and the dog gets away without a scratch. A bunch of close calls with that one, but he got the last laugh. The transformed wasp was probably a lot scarier since it actually turned huge as opposed to simply growing fangs. I don’t think the humans should have captured him so easily though since he supposedly moves at lightning fast speeds, but didn’t even try to escape as they threw a net over it. Plot convenience and all.

The film was just enjoyable though. The dialogue was sharp as you’d expect from the good ole days. The cops were fairly direct in their accusations the whole time as well. You can’t really feel any sympathy for Donald since he isn’t a good main character and kept making the wrong calls, but at least he would always run off rather than defend himself when the other characters were tearing his theories apart. Running up the school bill with a super long foreign call was a little short sighted though as it didn’t help win him any favors with the principal.

Overall, Monster on the Campus is a decent film. It has its moments and the time will go by pretty quickly while you’re watching. It’s just not a very realistic film and I’m not talking about the giant monsters and sci-fi aspects. I mean that Donald keeps falling for the same tricks over and over again to the point where you just have to shake your head. There is no way you should transform 3 different times by mistake. He just wasn’t likable regardless. So if you haven’t checked this film out yet, I’d recommend it. It’s fairly obscure so you can brag about seeing a film that many have not.

Overall 6/10

Werewolf of London Review


It’s time for another film about Werewolves. I’ve had this review on the backburner for quite a while so it’s nice to finally get it out. That being said…it’s a film about Werewolves. You can bet that it isn’t very good. We even have more than one Werewolf this time and no happy ending for the main lead. It’s a rather grim tale with the situation gradually getting worse and worse.

Glendon heads over to Tibet to find a rare plant. He obtains it, but not before getting bit by a Werewolf. He slowly starts to transform into one and realizes that his only cure is the flower that he found, but it has to bloom first. It will transform into 3 spores, but can he resist his primal urges until then? In this film, Werewolves go after the people most dear to them and destroy them so he can throw himself a pity party. It’s an odd twist and I guess it’s like the Werewolf wants to turn against himself. The question is…will the other Werewolf be a wild card here?

I have to say that the villain wasn’t very subtle. A guy named Yogami appears and mentions that they had met in Tibet. Glendon doesn’t remember him though since he stayed to himself and only met a Werewolf over there. Nah…it couldn’t be right? Yogami warns Glendon that he will soon turn into a Werewolf and then dashes out. Glendon basically shrugs this off, but then two of the spores are stolen so Glendon is unable to stop himself from becoming a Werewolf. Yogami pulls this stunt again later on and I have to say that Glendon should guard his stuff a lot better. You can’t trust a guy like Yogami and since Glendon’s life is basically depending on the flower, he should really stay with it.

Instead, Glendon ends up murdering a few people in Werewolf form. He has no will power and even comes close to murdering his wife, but fortunately the cops arrive and take him down. Glendon thanks them since it could have been a lot worse, but it doesn’t make the ending any less grim. It’s a rather somber way to end the film because the hero basically lost. The Werewolf form proved to be too much for him and the moral is basically that once you get bitten by a Werewolf, it’s over. Perhaps it would have gone better if he had told everyone what the situation was from the start, but the leads in these kind of films never actually want to do that. It’s a shame, but it’s how it goes.

There are a few supporting characters aside from Glendon and Yogami, but they didn’t do all that much. It’s been a little while since I saw the film so it would be hard to nail down specifics with them. They seemed like reasonable characters the whole time, but didn’t stand out much and weren’t given many scenes to stand out in the first place. They were just there to represent more potential victims for Glendon so that he could hide himself for the majority of the film. The problem is that his Werewolf form would break free every time so I think Glendon did a pretty bad job of capturing himself. That being said, there’s not a whole lot that he can do to stop himself without putting his normal form in lethal danger. With proper prep time and all he could have come up with something really strong and tight to tie himself up with and then a button that his primal form wouldn’t know to press. That’s pretty convoluted though and wouldn’t work on short notice.

What this film needed was some fun. Following that logic, I think Lon Chaney would have made for a much better lead. He would come into the franchise 6 years later so clearly the writers realized this as well. The problem is that the film just isn’t any fun. It’s rather boring and takes itself way too seriously the whole time. Is it supposed to be entertaining to see Glendon keep on isolating himself so he can find a cure but then gets tricked twice? Granted, it’s better than getting real edgy and adding in animal violence, but there should have been something more to the film.

At the very least, I suppose I can say that the writing was pretty solid. The film did a good job on that which isn’t surprising since retro films like this one are usually pretty good with that. It’s not particularly engaging, but at least every character stays professional and classy even when the stakes are pretty high. You don’t see people speaking so respectfully the whole time in modern movies.

Overall, This is your classic Werewolf film in a nutshell. It has a pretty sad ending and the Werewolf isn’t taken down quickly enough as he gets a pair of victims first. Nobody really wins at the end as Yogami is also murdered for betraying Glendon and now Glendon’s wife will be on her own. Still, it was nice to see the cops step in so quickly and handle the situation. They may not have been taking prisoners, but at least they were prepared to do something. That’s an automatic step up from some of their film counterparts. I’d advise skipping this film. There’s really nothing in it here for you that you can’t find in another Werewolf film.

Overall 3/10

Van Helsing Review

van-helsing
It’s time for a vampire film review! After Twilight, I know that it can be a little hard to take vampire films seriously anymore. To my defense, I have always been against them. They just don’t make for very interesting characters. Luckily, we also get Dr. Hyde, Frankenstein’s Monster, and a vampire hunter. Adding in all of these fighters should help to make things better….I hope!

The plot revolves around the hunter known as Van Helsing. He’s notorious around many regions of the world and everyone has heard of him. He has quite the reputation after all. He finishes off a few monsters and his boss sends him to go meet Anna. He has to keep her alive to foil Dracula’s plans. Unfortunately, her brother has already been taken down so Dracula’s plan is almost complete. Will the heroes be able to put aside their differences and defeat him? It’s a longshot, but it may be possible!

Well, this is essentially how I pictured a film with Dracula as the main villain. I’m sure that Dracula may become a cool character someday, but I’m just not buying it. I really didn’t like him here and disliking the main villain can definitely hurt in the long run. Before we really discuss the film, let’s look at the cast involved.

Van Helsing is our lead and he’s basically the Jonah Hex of the group. He’s the confident professional who always gets his man and he doesn’t back down from a fight. That’s pretty noble is it not? Well, I’d argue that he’s all talk. His first fight scene against Mr. Hyde is supposed to show us just how hardcore he is. It only serves to prove the opposite as Van Helsing continues to brag despite being outmatched. He should have been destroyed several times during the fight and he only makes it out thanks to Hyde’s overconfidence.

After that, he gets beaten up on by Dracula’s two henchwomen before getting knocked around by Dracula himself. Van Helsing may not be human, but he may as well be for all the good that it does him. He’s just completely outmatched and that makes it tough for him to pose a threat to anyone. His personality is really generic in the end and there’s nothing to separate him from the other main leads of a hollywood film.

Anna is certainly not the next Black Widow. She takes pride in her overall ability, but it’s simply not enough in this film. Perhaps she could give the average human a run for their money, but she definitely wasn’t prepared for Dracula and his cronies. Due to her family history, you would expect her to have a little more experience. Unfortunately for for her, Anna gets thrown around for the entire film. Van Helsing even takes her out with his handy dandy sleeping gas. Anna continues to talk tough until the very end, but it’s very hard to take seriously.

How can anyone really take a fighter seriously when they talk tough and get defeated the next moment? I believe that it’s supposed to be inspirational to see the hero mocking the villains even while being kicked around, but I can’t say that it’s very good character development. Anna essentially serves as a parody to the tough female lead that we are used to seeing nowadays. She never really had an edge in any of her fights and it definitely wasn’t a fun showing for her. Perhaps things will turn around if this film got a sequel..too bad it won’t get one at this rate. At least she beats most of the other characters in the film…it just isn’t saying much.

Dracula is the big bad. He’s the head honcho and the ultimate evil in the film! His design is a little off putting since Dracula’s hairstyle is usually a little more subdued. Nontheless, it’s always good to have a powerful villain. Unfortunately, Dracula loves to squander his power as he holds it all back until it’s too late. He spends a lot of time talking to his minions and showing us why he’s such a terrible villain. It’s impossible to root for him while he’s so preoccupied in doing things that don’t really help his plan. His minions are constantly distracting him.

Dracula is also supposed to be immensely powerful, but we don’t really see a lot of this. His two guards seem to be a lot stronger than him. They could move at super speed! Dracula didn’t really show a lot of that, but he does have a good amount of regeneration at the ready. If it could have worked more towards the ending, things would have gotten pretty interesting. This is one of those times where power isn’t enough. Dracula is powerful, but he’s still not a great villain. He simply doesn’t have what it takes and that’s the way that I see it. Dracula’s brides were no better. They were mostly there to be really dramatic and help Dracula in his inevitable downfall. They didn’t have much of a role as characters.

Carl is Van Helsing’s assistant and he’s here to keep things light. It’s sad when characters are really just in a story for comic relief. Carl should at least try to be helpful and get some big moments. Technically, fans could argue that he had a crucial role at the end, but I can’t say that I buy it. They were really generic moments meant to make us like Carl a little more. No! Carl is the type of sidekick that I just can’t root for. Give him a few years to learn how to fight and improve his tech…then we’ll talk. As it stands, Carl was definitely expendable.

Frankenstein’s Monster disappears for most of the film, but he finally comes back towards the end. He’s played off pretty accurately from the book. He’s a misunderstood hero and everyone wants to destroy him as per usual. It’s definitely not fun to be a monster. His design was definitely hard to look at and while he could fight..he was pretty slow. Making him so traditional may not have been a great move. At least he helped to add to the monster count, but he was mostly unnecessary.

Igor is one of the more minor villains in the film. He defected to the side of the villains so that he could fulfill his evil ambitions….or not. I wish that it had been for such a deep reason. Regardless, Igor just isn’t a good villain. He’s very weak and he doesn’t stand a chance against any real character. He likes to hit people when they’re down, but he’s no match for a real opponent. Igor typically isn’t a likable character in the films and this one is no exception.

Velkan is a supporting character at best. He does get a decent number of scenes though and he may be stronger than we thought. There’s a plot twist that keeps him relevant for a while. Needless to say, he lacked strength of character and I can’t say that he was very impressive at the beginning of the film. Everyone looked bad though, but the overall plan was terrible. His reaction times weren’t great either and it’s a lose-lose situation. If only he had been stronger!

It should be noted that some scenes will stretch your limits for disbelief. The “plot hax” in this film isn’t concealed very well. Anna is thrown through a window and she bangs a lot of wood beams and the wall as she went crashing down. It was a pretty big blast that a human likely wouldn’t survive. Likewise, Dracula’s brides kept slapping her around while throwing Van Helsing into walls. Both of them should have been out of commission considering how powerful they were.

The biggest moment where you may have to facepalm is the final fight between Dracula and a powerful creature. By all accounts, Dracula should have crushed his opponent. The film didn’t show us anything to suggest otherwise so I don’t see why it was such a close fight. In fact, Dracula is on the defensive the entire time and he seems very worried. He should at least try to act tough on the outside since that’s what all of the heroes do anyway. This film just made the mistake of making the villains too powerful. When that happens, the heroes always have to win in really fake ways like what we saw here.

The fight scenes ranged from pretty good to decent. The final fight with Dracula is pretty fun to watch since it’s essentially a monster bout. It was also good to see Dracula’s brides take on the village. Their super speed feats were pretty impressive and they should have destroyed everyone without any real effort. The plot wouldn’t allow it, but that’s how powerful they were. Other battles were less interesting like Van Helsing versus Hyde. It was way too one sided and the fight was pretty boring.

The soundtrack was mostly absent from the film. Luckily, there is still a really good theme that plays during the ending and at one point near the beginning. It’s very operatic and that’s the kind of theme that can make a scene become a lot cooler. It would have been cool if it had played more, but it’s enough to grant the soundtrack a passing score.

Finally, the film did have some unnecessary romance. It’s squeezed in at the last second for the heroes so you can tell that they just wanted to throw it in. Dracula and his brides also have some wince worthy scenes that are pretty sad. Sure, it could be worse, but this certainly didn’t help the film win any points.

Overall, This film lived up to my hopes for a Dracula film. I’ll never like Vampires at this rate and there will likely only be a few exceptions by the end. (Strauss is epic) There was a moment where some animal violence concerned me, but the animal lived, which was great. Still sad to see it get hit, but at least it managed to tank the blast. The film mostly suffered from the fact that it dragged on for too long and it wasn’t terribly interesting. Cutting out Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster would have helped it a lot. Or, make Dracula a compelling character as he punches people out instead of biting them. That could have been a nice twist. This film felt like I Frankenstein, but the normalized version that can be more acceptable to the crowds. Unfortunately, the crowds didn’t include me this time. If you like Vampire movies, then you should like this one. Otherwise, I’d advise you to steer clear of it. Watch I Frankenstein if you want a film with lots of magical creatures going at it. Perhaps I was a little harsh on the film since it could have made more mistakes, but it definitely made enough of them. A cooler cast with better action scenes could have potentially bumped this up to a 6 if handled right. Maybe next time.

Overall 4/10