Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
What’s This About: Jeff Goldum and Ed Begley Jr. hunt classic film monsters for food, making them the real monsters in the process. Based on true events.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- So I watched this movie 6,500 times on HBO as a kid and absolutely loved it but it’s been at least 30 years and I only remember bits and pieces of it, but it’s very ‘80s and after Return to Horror High I needed a palate cleanser made of bleach and formaldehyde.
- Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. are ordered by their tabloid paper boss Mr. Roper to go to Transylvania to investigate a viral YouTube on tape video about a Frankenstein attack.
- Oooooh Jeffrey Jones. Now that’s creepy.
- Carol Kane, John Byner, Geena Davis, Michael Richards, Donald Gibb, Teresa Ganzel, what a cast! What a time to be alive! 1985, I mean, definitely not 2020.
- I love that Jeff Goldblum has acted exactly the same in every movie he’s ever been in for 40 years and he’s still delightful.
- 1985 was an amazing year for Jeffrey Jones between this and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and not yet being arrested for child pornography and then burning in the painful fires of hell for all eternity.
- Is Ed Begley Jr. the best actor with a lisp in movie history?
- Michael Richards is acting ridiculous. This is unlike him.
- The only thing I remember about this is the cast and Geena Davis’s cleavage. Between her and Elvira, well, here I am.
- It’s harder to take notes on this movie than I thought it would be. That’s what happens when they’re decent and humorous.
- I always loved the scene were the Wolf Man’s mom smashes her head into the table and a guy just brings a replacement complete with crystal ball.
- The boys track down the Wolf Man but it’s just a guy who makes wild wolf noises when he has sex in the bushes. Who among us…
- This scene features three things I miss: European, restaurants and those two things together.
- Not entirely sure why they de-sexed Teresa Ganzel for this, although she still looks good. I guess so she wouldn’t compete with Geena Davis. Or Ed Begley Jr.
- Speaking of which, Geena Davis wears the best vampire costume ever put to film and the fourth best you’d see at a sorority Halloween party.
- Michael Richards’ character really doesn’t seem to serve much purpose except to do wacky shenanigans and take pratfalls. John Byner is already the servant character along with Carol Kane so it’s not like his services are required by Jeffrey Jones, and he’s far too old for that anyway.
- Is Dr. Malavaqua supposed to look exactly like Walt Disney?
- I love the scene in Dr. Malavaqua’s lab when he’s crazy when he enters it. To catch up, Frankenstein is missing from the lab and Geena Davis is as loose as her morals and top!
- Teresa Ganzel’s daughter Laura is taken by Frankenstein. Eh, now at least she can enjoy her vacation.
- You know, this movie is kind of like The Monster Squad for adults.
- Begley runs into Frankenstein and does a whole Bud Abbott routine. Which I guess is kind of the whole thing they’re going for here. Then a hand comes out of a pond and grabs his balls.
- Ogre the Wolf Man startles Goldblum and runs off with Begley. Because Begley is a nerd, you see.
- Turns out Geena Davis isn’t just a vampire but a sex-crazed nymphomaniac. Just like Tom Cruise.
- I always thought the little girl riding on Frankenstein’s shoulders to the wine festival looked like a lot of fun.
- It’s weird there seems to be a big climax building but there really isn’t. Frankenstein is just taking the girl back to her mother. But then why did he take her in the first place?
- Somehow the townsfolk get Frankenstein up on top of a tall statue. Did they use a forklift or something? He’s the size of Big John Studd!
- Goldblum and Dr. Malavaqua explain that explain that Frankenstein was just a guy in a car accident he was fixing up. If he’s just a dude recovering from a car accident, why did he act like Frankenstein and take the girl? Isn’t that a crime?
- The Wolf Man is just a hairy Ogre who is getting electrolysis. “I can go to the beach now.”
- The mummy is just an ugly chick who got plastic surgery.
- The bad police chief accuses John Byner and Carol Kane just because they have a hunch. I mean, bends in their backs, not clues. They also have a hunchback son who just doesn’t stand up straight until his mom tells him to.
- And apparently Geena Davis’s thing was that she thought she was ugly because she had a bad nose, but Dr. Malavaqua gave her a nose job. Ok, but that’s pretty similar to the mummy chick. And why did she pretend to be a vampire? and how would she not know he operated on her nose?
- And finally, this movie has one of the better story wrap-ups (no pun intended, mummy) you’ll ever see.
Was it Entertaining:
Any Good Gore: This movie is infamous for its gore. Several extras drowned due to all the blood used in the finale.
Any Nudity: Just Geena Davis leaving little to the imagination and a 20-minute shower scene with Michael Richards that will shatter the limits of your imagination.
Best Quote: Begley: “What if it’s electrified?” Goldblum puts Begley’s hand on the fence. Goldblum: “See? It’s not electrified.”
Best Scene: The finale where everyone comes together and all of the monsters are explained is the kind of good clean fun we used to have back in the ’80s.
Worst Scene: There really wasn’t a “bad” scene, I’d just say again while it’s a fun movie, a lot of the jokes don’t really work.
Final Thoughts: This is a kid classic that I used to love but it doesn’t quite translate nearly as well as a withered adult. It’s still fairly entertaining but I think if you don’t have the nostalgia factor going and are watching it for the first time aside from the cast I don’t know how much you’d really like it, it’s goofy as hell but also pretty dumb and doesn’t really go anywhere.
Fun Fact: I always thought this movie was based on a 1950s novelty song, but it’s not. It’s it’s own novelty song, I guess, from Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”
Also: The movie was financed by the Dow chemical company in order to spend frozen finances (money that could not be spent outside the country of origin) that the company had in Yugoslavia.
Score: Transylvania 6.75000 (out of 10)
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