Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

As the opening credits for the comedy ‘Stan Helsing’ finished rolling it closed with the credit ‘A Parody’. After watching the movie I’m thinking they might’ve done this just as a little reminder for the audience because some might forget that this flick was actually supposed to be funny. I’m not saying that I forgot it was supposed to be funny but some might forget. Seriously.

Stan (Steve Howie) is a slacker video store clerk. It seems in the movie world if you have a job as a video store clerk you absolutely no future. Stan lives by just a few simple rules, most centered on not getting involved in anything. This particular evening, Halloween evening, Stan just wants to meet up with his buddy Teddy (Kenan Thompson), Teddy’s airheaded date Mia (Desi Lydic) and Stan’s voluptuous jiggly ex-girlfriend Nadine (Diora Baird) and head out to a party. But before this party starts, Stan and his crew have to make a detour to deliver some videos to the mother of the guy that owns his video store.

Real quick like let me tell you that the first three or four minutes of this movie that took place at the video store were actually kind of funny. Just so you know that this movie isn’t completely devoid of humorous interaction. Anyway, it is on this detour that the crew runs into all kinds of mayhem and chicanery. Obscene Native Americans, murderous hitchhikers, Pet Cemetarians, the King of Pop - obviously made before he made his unceremonious exit - and a pedophilic priest just to name a few of the characters we will run into.

LOOK! There’s Leslie Nielson in drag. That doesn’t even sound funny in theory so I don’t why they went ahead with that gag. They probably should’ve instructed Mr. Nielson to simply be a variation of Frank Drebin. Frank Drebin is ALWAYS funny.

There is a story connected to this but it is almost non-existent. Stan, not surprisingly, is a descendent of the great Van Helsing and needs to save the town from the monsters which consist of a guy with a burnt up face and razors for fingers, a guy who wears a hockey mask but also a hockey jersey to complete the gag, a guy with darts in his white sectioned off head as opposed to pins, a dude with a big knife and a white mask and crazy hair and finally a walking talking crazy looking doll. Actually it’s a midget. Getting dolls to actually walk and talk can get pricey. Midgets… not so much. Oh, and there’s a leatherfaced dude who traded up his chainsaw for a leaf blower. You see… that’s not even funny in theory.

Now let me tell you I don’t know much about comedy but I’m gonna take a shot at a few things here. If I’m making a comedy flick, I figure I’m going to run these gags past my comedy partners to see how it goes over. So if I tell them I have a gag featuring a Native American that likes to look through peep holes and they tell me; ‘Dude, that doesn’t sound funny’, I’m either going to agree with them and move on OR I’m going to say; ‘Oh, just wait till see you see it on film. It’ll be funny then’. So, comfortable with the knowledge that I don’t know jack about comedy, this will not stop me from publishing Christopher’s 2nd theorem on comedy production: If it’s not funny in Theory, it WILL NOT become funny in reality. The 1st Theorem is Dookey Is Not Funny.  Well established in these pages.  There’s a lot of stuff in ‘Stan Helsing’ that simply isn’t funny. Kenan Thompson bumping into Diora Baird in the dark and grabbing her titties wasn’t funny. I’m sure it was enjoyable for Kenan, but watching Kenan having a good time isn’t a great launching point for comedy. Stan Helisng beating the hell out of a kid in a hockey mask because he thought it was Jason… I mean Mason… wasn’t funny. That one, however, might’ve been funny in theory but it still wasn’t funny in reality. The jokes came fast and the jokes came furiously but very few of the jokes were funny. I even had a few adult beverages before I watched this movie so I was primed for humor. Killed my buzz.

The only thing that saved this parody is that it was STILL better than those Seltzer / Friedberg ‘parodies’ ‘Date Movie’ and their brethren. Whenever we see one of these parodies it always comes back to those two cats. ‘Superhero Movie’ was pretty crappy, but it was better than those. ‘The Comebacks’ was comically challenged but it was better than those. ‘Stan Helsing’ had some serious issues in trying to be funny but dammit, it was still better than ‘Date Movie’. Way better. Tragically it is because of Seltzer and Friedberg and the fact that they made these horrible, horrible movies which made money that we will continue to get weak parodies because no matter how inept the filmmaker might be, this filmmaker can’t be worst than those cats. Not possible.

Yes, ‘Stan Helsing’ stopped being funny after the first five minutes but that would mean that it was funny at one time, with none of that time featuring Leslie Nielson in drag. So these five minutes, while not a lot of funny time in the grand scheme of things, is more funny time than some of those other movies have given us. We can’t recommend that one run out and see this movie based on those five or four or three minutes… but it is something and mom’s always told me to say something nice.

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