Sweet mother of all things holy. I have lost faith in humanity after watching this one. I have found it difficult so far to one-up each week’s movie in my quest to find some of the worst films ever made. So, in a way, I guess I’ve been successful this week. This was the worst movie I’ve watched thus far while writing these articles. I wrote in my first piece for Reel Reactions about why I loved watching movies. I wrote about the horror flick Venus Flytrap, and how I felt nothing after watching it, whereas great movies have the capacity to invoke any array of emotion on their viewer. At the time I thought that was the worst possible reaction to watching a movie, to feel nothing. But now, I have discovered that feeling nothing isn’t the worst way to react to a movie. Watching a film repeatedly fail to achieve anything, in this week’s case it is Transylmania trying to evoke even a single laugh from me, which is the worst thing that could happen. It is so horrible because I had to genuinely ponder if anyone could find any of this funny. And then the prospect that someone might actually find humor in this film hit me, and I felt sad. I felt scared. I felt alone. I loved movies a little less. That’s the worst thing that could have happened. It’s your entire fault, Transylmania. I hate you.
The film acts as a sort of sequel to National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 2. If this isn’t enough of a tip to not watch this movie, I’m not sure what else is. The film clearly draws in viewers in the same way that the other assortment of National Lampoon movies have been doing for the last decade. There are scantily clad busty co-eds, booze, pot, and a whole heap of potty humor. For anyone who has watched any National Lampoon movie, you will know the incredible quantity of jokes—these films scarcely go 30 seconds without a pun or anecdote. And when these films work, it is really a laugh riot, you’re sides ache from being assaulted by one joke after another. Now imagine that not one single joke hits the mark in one of these films. There must be hundreds of attempts at some type of joke in Transylmania, and I can say with certainty that 0-1% of these jokes could provide even the smallest chance of your lips turning upwards to form anything that could even resemble a smile/laugh.
The film follows a group of college students who decide to spend a semester at Razvan University out in Transylvania. Here’s an interesting tidbit for the readers: the title “Transylmania” was created because the movie takes place in Transylvania! Even the title is a terrible joke. Ugh. When the students arrive it becomes immediately apparent that this is no normal school, and that the entire surrounding area is cursed and haunted by vampires. Worst of all, the Vampire Lord Radu has awakened from his centuries long slumber and has decided to reclaim the castle in which the students are studying. Of course, there isn’t too much studying going on, because as everyone knows COLLEGE KIDS FREAKIN LOVE TO PARTY. In fact the only girl who isn’t down to get down decides to stay in one night, and is then kidnapped and decapitated while her sister hooks up with her boyfriend out in town. The film is full of gross out humor courtesy of a local nympho with a grotesque hump on her back. As is assured with a National Lampoon movie, the film is sexually charged. But during the sex scenes I was reminded that I’ve seen more erotic lovemaking in The Sims. And trust me, I’ve played The Sims a lot. Like a lot a lot.
Look, a good word for this film would be insulting. It isn’t the content that is insulting. It is the fact that the writers of this film have the audacity to believe that their viewers would laugh at this slop. Every single joke is stale. Most jokes are predictable. Most jokes are even unrecognizable as jokes, and simply rely on the infliction of an actor’s voice. I honestly think if you put in a couple of “boings” or other cartoon noises the film would vastly improve.
Oh, and another thing about this heap of junk. The financial backers of the film ended up suing the directors David and Scott Hillenbrand in order to recover financially. Usually that’s a sign that you have a colossal flop on your hands. The Hillenbrand’s ended up countersuing for fraud and breach of contract. Their estimated cost of damages? $107,000,000.00. And you know what? I hope they win. I hope they win, and they take that money and give it out to the poor souls who have actually sat through this movie. I genuinely feel I should be compensated for irreparable damage to my eyeballs and brain.
By Ahmi Goldberg