Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

transylvania 6-5000 poster 1985 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 3/10

Decent cast

Dull story that doesn't fit the themes

Movie Info

Movie Name: Transylvania 6-5000

Studio: Balcor Film Investors

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s): November 8, 1985

MPAA Rating: PG

transylvania 6-5000 geena davis vampire ed begley jr

I’m keeping a low profile

Jack Harrison (Jeff Goldblum) and Gil Turner (Ed Begley Jr.) are reporters at the tabloid The Sensation and have been handed an assignment by their editor Mac Turner (Norman Fell) to investigate the video of a Frankenstein Monster in Transylvania.  The mayor of Transylvania Lepescu (Jeffrey Jones) and Inspector Percek (Božidar Smiljanić) are trying to change the image of the region, and Jack and Gil could spell trouble for their plans.  Jack and Gil learn that the video that they believe was fake could only be the tip of the iceberg.

Written and directed by Rudy De Luca, Transylvania 6-5000 is a horror comedy.  The movie was released to negative reviews but performed well.

I remember Transylvania 6-5000 being released and even as a kid who liked horror movies, I didn’t want to see it.  The concept was goofy and the comedy was really lame.  Though the movie gained a bit of a cult following, it still isn’t very good.

transylvania 6-5000 michael richards

I’m wacky!

The movie feels like a real throwback to movies like Abbott and Costello.  The story has the “monsters” being rather human and all of it being a wacky comedy.  The problem with the movie is that the pacing is all over.  The movie is far too long, there are too many characters, and the subplots add little to the film.

The Abbott and Costello routine only works if there is good chemistry between the characters.  In that set-up, you generally have a straight man and a comic role…neither Goldblum nor Begley Jr. really fall into either category, and the play off each other is pretty weak.  The movie is loaded with celebrities including Carol Kane, Joseph Bologna, Geena Davis, Michael Richards (in a pre-Kramer, but still very Kramer role), John Byner, Norman Fell, and Donald Gibb (aka Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds).  The cast unfortunately is stuck with a bad script.

transylvania 6-5000 joseph bologna carol kane john byner

Mad scientist? Check!

The movie also looks cheap.  Like the older movies it resembles, the costumes and sets are weak, but unlike those movies, the film is modern and in color.  If the film had been stylized in black-and-white, it probably would have looked better and it could have gotten the ideas across.

Transylvania 6-5000 is a tedious film.  For a horror comedy, it lacks laughs, and the hour and a half runtime still seem too long.  Fans of ’80s film might enjoy the kitschiness of the movie, but for the most part it isn’t worth even seeking out.  Don’t pick up the phone if you get a call from Transylvania 6-5000.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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