BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Film Details

  • Art

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Cinephile Kiddies and Cretins, come gather round and let me tell you a story about two bumbling reporters who, on an assignment to Dracula’s home turf, uncover the continuing reign of a bi-polar mad scientist who experiments on people, turning them into crotch-grabbing swamp monsters, wolfmen who use aerosol hair spray to tame their hair, and busty vampires who can’t get enough sex.  Low budget, bawdy as hell, and not everyone’s cuppa tea, the story also takes its name from a play on a Glenn Miller song.

"Low budget, bawdy as hell, and not everyone’s cuppa tea"


Heard enough?  No?  Well, it should come as NO SURPRISE at all then that, in 1985, even Dow Chemical climbed aboard producer Roger Corman’s New World Pictures and helped finance a major motion picture!  Sure, sure, the resulting flick is not exactly the greatest of all horror comedies out there (and it bombed at the box office), but at least this movie was filmed IN the country Dow Chemical was trying to illegally get money out of: Yugoslavia.  So - and I know it is a stretch - but there is SOME authenticity to this comedy monster flick of yesteryear.

That’s right, even Transylvania 6-5000 gets a worry free day in the sun here at Reel Reviews!

But let’s cut to the chase because, for me, it is the supporting cast of characters which seal the deal on this Z-grade romp through monster territory.  Why?  Because, working with nothing except bare-boned directions in the script, Michael Richards as Fejos, John Byner as Radu, and Carol Kane as Lupi create UNFORGETTABLE characters AND situations as the serving staff of the castle that is at the center of Transylvania 6-5000.

Starring Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. as “news” reporters - Jack Harrison (Goldblum) and Gil Turner (Begley) - on assignment to get to the bottom of a Frankenstein video that has surfaced.  They work for a shitty “Weekly World News” outfit and their manager - a raving mad Norman Fell (from Three’s Company) - wants their asses getting him all the evidence that they can of the Frankenstein monster’s existence.  Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Transylvania 6-5000, drawing inspiration from Abbott and Costello and the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road flicks, is often funny in its handling of the ridiculous situations that Goldblum and Begley find themselves in.  It just isn't consistent, falling flat at times as its leads are a bit too aloof for the film's own good.  Goldblum, believe it or not, is the straight man here and Begley, believing that Transylvania is full of ghosts and monsters, is the fellow who everything happens to - which includes insane asylums, a bothersome butler, a crazed mad scientist, and so on. 

But, honestly, who could EVER really have a problem with a near-nude Geena Davis as Odetta, a nymphomaniac vampire, unbuckling your pants and trying to suck your . . . blood?  That's right, no one.  But there's more to the mystery then just an atmospheric castle and a kooky characters and these two reporters are about to be knee-deep in it.

If you are in the mood for some fairly heinous comedy and a supporting cast which includes Jeffrey Jones, Joseph Bologna, Teresa Ganzel, Donald Gibb, and a wickedly funny Inge Appelt as a an old gypsy who has a habit of smashing her head through her reading table, then Transylvania 6-5000 is your meal ticket.  Innocent fun, this movie makes for a solid Saturday afternoon.

Transylvania 6-5000, warts and all, is now on blu-ray with a brand-new 4K restoration thanks to Kino Studio Classics with an audio commentary from Writer/Director Rudy DeLuca and Steve Haberman, who was the visual consultant for the movie.

3/5 beers

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- February 11, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Tabloid reporters Jack Harrison (Jeff Goldblum, Earth Girls Are Easy) and Gil Turner (Ed Begley Jr., She-Devil) are sent to Transylvania with two choices: find the Frankenstein monster—or find new jobs. But before the jumpy journalists can dig up their big story, they must first face the horrors of an extremely clumsy butler (Michael Richards, TV’s Seinfeld), a nymphomaniac vampire (Geena Davis, Beetlejuice) and a semi-mad doctor (Joseph Bologna, Blame It on Rio), as well as assorted mummies, werewolves and more Transylvanian oddballs. Can these two bumbling heroes unravel this monstrous mystery—or are they in for some very scary surprises? Co-starring John Byner (The Ant and the Aardvark), Carol Kane (TV’s Taxi), Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Norman Fell (TV’s Three’s Company), Donald Gibb (Revenge of the Nerds), Teresa Ganzel (The Toy) and writer/director Rudy De Luca (History of the World: Part I). Transylvania 6-5000 was the one and only feature film directed by legendary comedy writer and actor De Luca (Silent Movie, High Anxiety, Caveman, Life Stinks).  It is now on blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Video:

Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, Transylvania 6-5000 and its new scan of the original negative is a thing of beauty.  The film, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  The location is crackling with nice details, too.  The clothing and the setting are both detailed and the stone backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen thanks to this 4K transfer.

Audio:

Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rudy DeLuca and Visual Consultant Steve Haberman

Special Features:

This is kind of bare, but fans probably just care about seeing the movie.  Although the whole financing of the movie would be interesting to know more about.  Maybe in the future, we could hear from Corman about this one.

  • Brand New 4K Restoration
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rudy DeLuca and Visual Consultant Steve Haberman
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
  • Three TV Spot
  • Two Theatrical Trailers

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: Randy De Luca
Writer:
Randy De Luca
Cast:
Jeff Goldblum, Joseph Bologna, Ed Begley Jr.
Genre
: Comedy | Horror
Tagline:
For A Good Time, Call Transylvania 6-5000.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Master, I've had enough aggravation for one day."
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 8, 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 11, 2020.
Synopsis: Tabloid reporters Jack Harrison (Jeff Goldblum, Earth Girls Are Easy) and Gil Turner (Ed Begley Jr., She-Devil) are sent to Transylvania with two choices: find the Frankenstein monster—or find new jobs. But before the jumpy journalists can dig up their big story, they must first face the horrors of an extremely clumsy butler (Michael Richards, TV’s Seinfeld), a nymphomaniac vampire (Geena Davis, Beetlejuice) and a semi-mad doctor (Joseph Bologna, Blame It on Rio), as well as assorted mummies, werewolves and more Transylvanian oddballs. Can these two bumbling heroes unravel this monstrous mystery—or are they in for some very scary surprises?

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes