Retro Review: Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Jared gave us a look back in to the fun of the 1980s horror comedy style movies with the Monster Squad.  While the Monster Squad is certainly one of my favorite movies growing up, I cannot discount Transylvania 6-5000.  This was one of the first movies I bought when I got my first VCR.  Now, I don’t know if it has anything to do or even inspired by the Bugs Bunny’s Transylvania 6-5000 cartoon from 1963.  I do know the theme song is based on Pennsylvania 6-5000.  Yes, that was one of the delights of the 1980s films, some of the films got theme songs named after the movie.

The film begins with a video of two men in Transylvania standing before an old church, when arm burst through the door and the men run screaming.  One says, “It’s Frankenstein!”  Being the old and kind of a jerk horror fan, they are wrong already.  Frankenstein was the man, not the monster.  But, this is a common mistake on the common person, most horror fans know…ok.  Horror snob alert!

The video is being viewed by a couple of newspaper reporters, included are Jeff Goldblum who plays Jack and Ed Begley Jr who plays Gil.  These two are a team of reporters sent to Transylvania and come back with a story on Frankenstein.  Yes, the monster in the video.

After the credits and the theme song, the reporters arrive in Transylvania to a lovely town.  When the question arrives, the towns people laugh at the name of Frankenstein and tease the reporter.  All this while Jack (Jeff Goldblum) is hitting on another American traveler who has a daughter.   Eventually they get to their Hotel which is a theme hotel that is a castle, run by the Mayor.  Michael Richards works there and he is trying hard to be a comedian and doing some ridiculous shit.  Goldblum and Begley Jr are really great together, Goldblum the more grounded of the two, does not believe in the monsters and Begley Jr is the one who believes and is truly searching for the monsters.

During their stay at the hotel, there are some things going on and Gil is visited by a woman who is trying to, bite his neck.  Geena Davis is the “vampire” and eventually she gets to Gil and she is more of a horn dog than a vampire.  Soon after we meet all of the other creatures, a wolf man, pretzel man, mad scientist and a mummy, along with the Frankenstein’s monster and Odette the vampire.  The little girl from Goldblum’s girlfriend goes missing.  From there on, there is a search for the girl and there is a wine festival with the people of the village.  The movie has everything from your classic Universal monster movies, monsters, mad men and an angry crowd.

There are some good laughs in the movie, but you cannot take it too seriously.  It is a comedy and not too much a horror movie.  The Gothic horror elements are there and all the monsters.  To this day, 32 years later I find Transylvania 6-5000 entertaining.  I sit and think about how many times I have see this movie, I cannot count, but I was saying each line before it was delivered in the film.  So, I guess that means I have seen this too many times.  Maybe not, I did show it to my kids and they were in to the movie, just as much as The Monster Squad.

It is a fun film and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend for some simple laughs.

IMDB.com has a rating of 4.9

It’s a little hard to rate for a horror comedy, but 6.0 overall isn’t terrible.

About Ray Marek III 243 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.