View Full Version : Van Helsing

James Boba Fettfield
02-18-2003, 01:32 AM

Just go there to find out what exactly Van Helsing is if you don't already know the famous character. I figure since the site just started running a few days ago, I might as well start a thread about the discussion. I want to see this flick, and I hope the big budget doesn't ruin the movie. And Hugh Jackman is in it, that's worth at least half the ticket price for me. So yeah, I'm pretty excited about this one.

02-18-2003, 10:06 AM
Yeah, i heard bits and pieces about this flick and am lookin' forward to it. I'm worried that Sommers (dude behind the "mummy" flicks) is directing it though. The first Mummy was awesome, but the 2nd one didn't do much for me. I wonder how they'll do all the monsters in one flick, should be very interesting. :D

02-18-2003, 11:32 AM
I wonder if this charachter is what Vampire Hunder D is based off of, since the charachter resembles him alot.

02-18-2003, 03:11 PM
based only on the pics of the monsters, the movie looks very promising, can't wait to hear more about it
but the release date is May 21, 2004!?!

02-18-2003, 03:18 PM
It does sound very cool, I've been following the film since the first info was put up on UpcomingHorrorMovies.com. Can't wait for this, the idea of all these monsters in a movie again reminds me of Monster Squad. Damn I want that on DVD. :)


Jar Jar Binks

02-18-2003, 04:07 PM
JJB!!!! Monster squad!!! that movie brings back sooooooooo many memories!!!! Yeah, why isn't that out yet on DVD?!?!?!? C'mon JJ!! I expect you to know this! :D

02-18-2003, 04:24 PM
I don't know, I don't think the studio that owns it even knows how big of a cash cow they are sitting on. I've been very vocal in my wants for Monster Squad on DVD. I think there's even a thread around here about it. Well, there was. It seems to have vanished. Oh well, it deserves to be on DVD. It's been discontinued for years on VHS. A nice fullblown Special Edition, like the recent Goonies DVD is what's needed. :)

Edit: Found it, but I had to dig. It wouldn't come up with a search, so I had to look thru pages of threads in this section. :)



Jar Jar Binks

James Boba Fettfield
03-07-2003, 07:55 AM
College life and irregular sleeping habits caused me to miss this yesterday, so I'm a day late in my posting......Here's some more news on this subject:

We got a first behind the scenes look at the upcoming monster movie. It may be the biggest monster movie epic ever. They went into extensive scenes of them making and casting the outfits of Frankenstein, the Werewolf and others.

We are told by director Stephen Sommers that every monster that has every been used by Universal is featured in this movie, the drawings of the werewolf shedding his human skin look fantastic. We are also told that this is a PG-13 movie with no blood. The heads of Frankenstein are awesome and we are also told by the director that Frank's head comes completely off during the film and he just plops it back on. The shots of the castle are huge. Unbelievable huge.


03-07-2003, 09:29 AM
Once again, you pull through JBFF!!! I do wish that they had some of those sketches and stuff posted, but hey, just reading those descriptions gets me giddy.

And of course, i wonder if this'll have a toy line and who will do it? Please, let it be Toybiz or McFarlane. (drools) :D

James Boba Fettfield
03-07-2003, 09:37 AM
I like the idea of the all the monsters being featured. I wonder if that includes Frankenstein's monster's bride and the creature. Eh.......

James Boba Fettfield
03-10-2003, 04:22 PM
I recently happened across an article about Van Helsing at Cinescape, which can be found in it's entirety here: http://www.cinescape.com/0/editorial.asp?aff_id=0&this_cat=Movies&action=page&type_id=&cat_id=270338&obj_id=37926
I went ahead and copied the important part of that article below, and be warned.....


Sommers stressed to the audience that he wants the look of Hugh Jackman's VAN HELSING to be "absolutely iconic", meaning that if someone spotted him approaching in the distance they'd know exactly who he was. The recent preview artwork showing a black garbed Helsing gives us an idea what Sommers means when he says that. And expect Van Helsing to be armed to the teeth; some of the weapons he'll have include "multipurpose powersaw blades/guns".
Also discussed by Sommers were the new versions of Count Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster. Sommers said that VAN HELSING begins with the storming of Castle Frankenstein, and by the third act, the hero is at the door of Count Dracula's foreboding home. "The Classic Universal Monsters look absolutely NOTHING like the ones in the film," said our source. "Frank looks a lot more like a slightly biomechanical version of the DeNiro
FRANKENSTEIN, Dracula turns into a Batman Man-Bat/Harpy looking creature (and there is an attack by SEVERAL of the transformed Man-Bats). The Wolfman as previously noted literally sheds his manskin to become the Wolf."
Finally, our guy on the inside stressed that, judging from the movie's presence at ShoWest, Universal will be putting a ton of cash into the promotion of VAN HELSING. Even with the sequel to SPIDER-MAN and a possible third MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE all being released in May of next year, expect VAN HELSING to rule the box office roost the weekend of its release.

03-17-2003, 09:31 PM
SciFi.com, the Sci-Fi Channel's official website has a small article about the movie. Note that it does reveal a bit about the plot, but nothing to big. This movie is one of my most anticipated for 2004. :)

Jackman Previews Van Helsing

Hugh Jackman, who stars in Universal Studios' upcoming vampire film Van Helsing, told the Empire Online Web site that the movie deals with the younger version of the vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. "This is kind of the younger and more adventurous swashbuckling version of Van Helsing, who is, for want of a better word, a mercenary for the Catholic church, who is out there killing or dealing with possessed souls of all different shapes and sizes," Jackman told the site.

The film, directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy), brings back many of Universal's classic creatures, including Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman. "Dracula, whose existence has been known to the church in Transylvania, is kind of starting to get out of control, and so they send Van Helsing on a big mission to find him," Jackman said. "Anna, Kate Beckinsale's character, is the youngest and final member of the [Van Helsing] family, whose job it is to try and track Dracula for 400 years."

Van Helsing, which is currently shooting in Prague, Rome, Paris and Los Angeles, is slated to open May 21, 2004. Universal Studios is owned by Vivendi Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.



Jar Jar Binks

03-18-2003, 09:27 AM
so this Van Helsing fellow is the same character that anthony hopkins played in "bram stoker's dracula"? cool! it's like an un-official prequil!:crazed:

03-21-2003, 08:52 AM
Sounds interesting to me. But a year and change, thats a long time.

01-05-2004, 07:08 PM
Wow, we've not visited this thread in a while. But there's been a bunch of news about the film. And here's the latest from Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman from the Australian Daily Telegraph. :)

Hugh Jackman has spent the past three weeks leaping fearlessly through windows, careering recklessly on horseback and generally making Tarzan appear slothful.

Clad in cavalier black, complete with the obligatory sword, Jackman is in the throes of shooting Van Helsing - the reworked seminal opus celebrating Bram Stoker's legendary monster slayer's hunt for Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man.

He is slightly embarrassed at suffering an ear infection, legacy of a long scene in a makeshift pond. But if Jackman, as the lead character, ought to have been exhausted and grumpy, he is not. Instead, peeling oranges with almost disarming facility, the strapping Australian exudes an energy and effervescence which has writer-director Stephen Sommers at this time, declaring Jackman as Hollywood's Next Big Thing. "He's soon going to be $US20 million ( $A27 million) a movie," Sommers says of his rising star. "All the casting agencies say God doesn't give with both hands: either they can act but they're not a leading man, or they're great looking but can't act for crap. But Hugh has got both. I like younger heroes and Hugh was the only guy we approached for this role. We needed a man, a real guy, who women would love and men would look up to and want to be. That's why we got Hugh."

Established in London's West End after his portrayal as Curly in Oklahoma!, Jackman effortlessly gravitated to film where his credits include playing opposite John Travolta in Swordfish, X-Men and its sequel, and Kate & Leopold where he was the romantic leading man opposite Meg Ryan. He has also, of course, been wowing theatre goers in his stage guise of Peter Allen on Broadway, breaking box office records and drawing rave reviews.

Now the promotional clout of Universal Studios shapes to catapult Jackman to the next stage of a massive global profile. But it's to Australia that Jackman is looking as he draws comparisons with virtually every leading man in Hollywood's lionised history. There's one matinee idol Jackman relates to more than most.

"When I was in Kate & Leopold, people say 'Oh maybe he's like Cary Grant'," Jackman laughs. "When I was doing Wolverine (X-Men), it's like 'Maybe he's like Clint Eastwood'. Now I'm doing Van Helsing and it's a swashbuckling kind of role, it's Errol Flynn!"

The famous Tasmanian philanderer and happily-married Jackman share little common ground on the matrimonial front, Jackman is happy to embrace similarities in other areas. Having swept into the vacuum of a cavernous workshop on the Van Helsing set and proceeded to charm the socks off hard-bitten eastern European hacks, Jackman is a study in measured irreverence and ebullience. Mention Flynn and the London-based performer turns almost hyperbolic.

"The feel of this movie is more about Errol Flynn than anything," Jackman beams. "It's a big, swashbuckling movie. I've got long hair and it (Van Helsing) is set in that period with the kind of heroic look and with a feel of lightness. There is a lot of Errol Flynn about it. He had an irrepressible charm and charisma. He was very cheeky and I think that is something to do with being Australian. This is a fun movie and if you can make it interesting to anybody over the age of 11, which is what we are trying to do, then you have got to have a little twinkle in your eye while you're doing this. That's the kind of thing Errol would have done - he was a lovable rogue, shall we say."

Chosen to play opposite mercurial Kate Beckinsale, the succulent English diva who simmered sexually despite the shortcomings of the appalling Pearl Harbor, Jackman credits his international rise to compatriots Mel Gibson and Nicole Kidman.

"Apart from watching Clint Eastwood in all the Dirty Harry movies for inspiration, I watched Mel in Mad Max because I thought they were very good," Jackman explains. "With Nicole, I"m inspired just watching her and the way she manages her career. She chooses things like Blue Room on stage when she could be doing other bigger things. She's not just totally about going up the ladder and I'm very inspired by that. She takes a chance and she does it very well. She's great."

In keeping with the rising currency of Australian talent, Jackman lacks no company from Down Under on the Van Helsing set, where the village scene is spookily Transylvannic. Richard Roxburgh has the role of Dracula and David Wenham plays Carl; Van Helsing's sidekick. With Sommers' words of gushing praise resounding in his ears, Jackman hopes Van Helsing will deliver not only personal, but box office, success.

"Van Helsing is basically a mercenary for the Catholic church and he's hired by them to kill posessed souls." Jackman says. "It's kind of like 20th century black ops, so any possessed soul that is out there, Van Helsing's job is to go out there and exterminate them. He's also on a private quest because he's a very conflicted character. It's fair to say he's disgruntled, he's not really happy in his job and his job is kind of an admission of failure. The movie is set in Transylvannia and it's quite fantastical. There is Dracula, vampires, werewolves; it's kind of like the dogs of the moors from 100 years ago. It's a lot of fun and a little bit spooky. Van Helsing is not just a cool James Bond where he shoots the villain, and has a bit of a s****** and a laugh and moves onto the next one, Van Helsing is psychologically very interesting."

And also very physical. As actors go, Jackman is more from the van Damme - rather than Robbie Coltrane - school of fitness.

"I'd say this is the hardest movie I've ever done in terms of the physical demands," Jackman confesses. "I've just come off the X-Men and I'm pretty fit, in good nick. But it's funny what brings you down. We're jumping through glass, jumping out of windows, riding horses and flying off rigs and there we are for the last two days sitting in water and I get a rabid ear infection. It's a little thing, but not great. Kinda funny."

Van Helsing will be in cinemas later this year.

Jar Jar Binks

01-13-2004, 11:18 PM
I saw a blip @bloody disgusting that the trailer hits this friday; should be very interesting!!! keep your eyes peeled, kids!! :D

01-16-2004, 12:23 PM
that Van Helsing stole the Glave! Good. I finally get to see the Glave in real action, rather than just sawing through a wall and getting stuck under the Beast's boob!

01-16-2004, 02:14 PM
The trailer is up!


VERY excellent trailer aside from two minor problems:
1. The CGI on the Wolfman looks like crap; i assume they'll tweek this up before the final release.
2. the CGI on the thing that tosses Hesling off the roof of that building; WTH was that?!!?

Those aside, awesome trailer; Kate Beckinsdale is so yummy! :D

James Boba Fettfield
01-16-2004, 03:46 PM
I agree, the CGI is lacking. I believe someone at fangoria's message boards described it as looking scooby doo like, and I can see where they are coming from. But, it's about a man hunting classic monsters, so I will be content even if the visuals lack somewhat.

01-17-2004, 03:59 PM
Well, didn't this just come out of nowhere. Van Hellsing: The London Assignment. An Animated Prequel to the Van Hellsing movie. With Hugh Jackman providing the voice of Van Hellsing. :)



Jar Jar Binks

01-17-2004, 06:01 PM
and it clocks in at whooping 30 min?!!? Wasn't the animatrix DVD like 2 hours long?!?! I'll have to rent this or borrow it from somebody. cheers! :D

01-17-2004, 08:46 PM
Well, I'm arriving late to the game here but this has a distinctly LXG feel to it. I am looking forward to it, but it still feels very LXG to me.

BTW, dose anyone have any info on LXG2?

01-17-2004, 09:03 PM
No word on LXG2. It might happen, might not. The first one was not the massive box office success that was hoped. So we'll have to see how sales on DVD go. But I agree, Van Hellsing does have a very LXG feel to it. :)


Jar Jar Binks

01-19-2004, 03:50 PM
Yea I am catching that vibe as well, very LXG. They need to get the CGI specialists of New Line over to 20th Century.

01-20-2004, 03:06 AM
Some news about the first 10 minutes of the film, from Dark Horizons/AICN. Sounds pretty good. And I'm not worried about the CGI. :)

In a nice little piece of marketing work, Universal is all set to release a 30-minute animated short 'prequel' to its big Summer blockbuster "Van Helsing" on May 11th, just four days after the film debuts in theatres. Here's a copy of the cover art and the press blurb, courtesy of Animated Bliss:

"Unveiling The Extraordinary Beginning of The Van Helsing Adventure With the All-New Original Animated Film Prequel. From The Director And Producers Of The Motion Picture Van Helsing Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay.

Features the voice of Van Helsing star Hugh Jackman. Loaded with bonus features, including cast and crew interviews and an in-depth look at Van Helsing's groundbreaking special effects".

Meanwhile two scoopers over at Ain't It Cool was at the Munich Film Week the other day and got to see the opening ten minutes of the film. Here's a sample of their descriptions - SPOILERS AHEAD:

"The movie starts with the famous Universal logo, which, while turning black and white, turns into a fireball of a torch, which belongs to the mob outside a castle. Inside, Dr. Frankenstein awakens the monster while the mob tries to break in to kill it. After the successful awakening we can see Count Dracula who - as we find out - financed the whole endeavour, apparently because his three brides wanted him to (?!?). Since he doesn't need the Doctor anymore, he kills him (his jaws/teeth reminded me a bit of Fright Night). In the meantime the monster gets rid of the straps on the table and flees with the body of his "father" to the nearby windmill. The mob follows him and puts the windmill on fire. The mob panics as the count and his three brides fly towards the windmill. Apparently they arrive too late, as the windmill collapses..." (full report)

"Cut to Paris at night (now in color), where Van Helsing removes a Wanted Poster (I think it was him on it) and walks into Notre Dame where a very tall (think Hulk) Mr. Hyde is expecting him. After a long fight, including a huge church bell and the loss of one of Mr. Hydes arms (as soon as it is cut off, it turns into the arm of Dr. Jekyll), Hyde falls to his death from the top of one of the towers of Notre Dame. The people in front of the church scream murderer to Van Helsing as the body lying on the floor now belongs to a mere mortal (Dr. Jekyll)..." (full report) (second report)

Thanks to 'JHBlade' and 'Neville'

Jar Jar Binks

01-30-2004, 04:22 AM
First of all, what is LXG?

Second, could they have just talked to Konami and had this be Castlevania: The movie?

Either way, I am very intrigued by this, even though the CGI reminds me of the SW prequels. (sorry....I couldn't resist)

01-30-2004, 11:11 AM
LXG - League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Of course, since X-Men was hot they made the X the second letter in the initials of the title. And good point, it sorta is Castlevania the Movie. :)


Jar Jar Binks

05-05-2004, 02:21 AM
Just got back from the cast/crew screening and I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie. Listen, you're going to hear a lot of Stephen Sommers haters out there bagging on it left and right for god knows what, but F them. This is a fun movie through and through.

Storywise, it's fairly predictable I suppose. But the satisfaction is in the journey. As you might guess, A LOT of this is tongue 'n cheek including some of the dialogue and a few of the "outrageous" action sequences. But it's SUPPOSED to be that way, so the first time you hear somebody whining about how "unbelievable" some of the stunts etc. are, tell them thank you and hand them a copy of a Discovery Channel documentary or something. :) With a smile of course.

FX-wise, there were only a couple of instances where I thought the "animation" wasn't what it could have been. But the action moved so fast through those rare moments that you'd really have to be gunning for film to have it linger with you beyond the parking lot. The vast majority of the fx would have been invisible, if not for the fact that you know that this stuff doesn't exist in real life. Other than that, no complaints. The settings, both real (Prague/soundstages) and miniature are impressive. If you have trouble with loud noises, don't see this movie. The soundtrack is pretty powerful.

Richard Roxburgh is pretty good as Dracula. I kinda wanted to see a bit more of an Alan Rickman (ala Die Hard or Robin Hood) performance from him, but he holds his own. Kate Beckinsale, needless to say, wears her costume well in every way. Hugh plays a respectable hero here. He's pretty much playing himself and I found myself making the easy comparison to Wolverine a couple of times. And Josie Maran is captivatingly hot throughout.

This is nothing more than a big, loud, and exciting action movie. So if you go in expecting anything else (like a classic horror flick or a "scary" movie) no doubt you'll come out disappointed. But if you want to see some no holds barred action sequences with classic monsters tossed into the mix, then this is the popcorn movie for you.


05-05-2004, 02:11 PM
If I like the movie on friday, I am going to pick up the animated movie.

El Chuxter
05-05-2004, 02:31 PM
Okay, my thoughts thus far on the ads are "this looks like doodoo." I know Spidey, Hulk, and Harry Potter had some craptacular CG in early ads, but the effects in commercials still showing for Van Helsing make me want to flush them, and it's out in just a couple of days. I'd be appreciative if those who see it early can post a heads-up on the actual animation. It looks like it will be a pretty cool movie, as long as the effects are decent.

05-05-2004, 04:18 PM
My gut feeling tells me this movie is going to suck. I have absolutely no expectations so maybe I'll end up liking it but I really disliked the Mummy series and a few scenes in the trailer, like the chariot jumping a huge gap in a bridge, make me think this film might be a bit to camp. It also seems as if they're trying to cram to much into one movie with Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolfman all vying for screen time. Either way I will be checking it out Friday and hopefully it will be good.

05-06-2004, 08:01 AM
Well I really liked the Mummy films so that is keeping my hopes up for this movie.

05-06-2004, 08:25 AM
Ok, I just got back from the movie....It was hard to watch. Judge for yourselfs... :cry: :bored:

05-06-2004, 10:50 AM
Chux - as I mentioned, the vast majority of the fx are invisible. I know what you're referring to in regards to the tv spots, and I too was worried, but honestly, I didn't even notice much during the film itself. If anything, the story is so quick and engaging that any bad fx (as you might judge them) aren't as distracting, as say in AOTC where the story is so boring that your mind wanders to other aspects of filmmaking.

Hellboy - don't pre-judge. One might think that so many "characters" on screen in 2 hours would be too much. But this isn't like Batman and Robin where everybody is just shoehorned in for the hell of it. I really thought that all the monsters were weaved together very well and nobody was tossed on screen gratuitously. It's comments like that that will kill a film that doesn't deserve it. Plus, as I said, Mummy-haters will find any reason at all to torpedo this film even before they see it, so everyone else take that to heart when reading posts like this. :ermm:

Durge - sorry you didn't enjoy it. I'm not saying that it's a perfect film by any stretch, but for what it is (a monster/action/comic book), I thought it was enjoyable and worth the price of the ticket. :D

James Boba Fettfield
05-06-2004, 02:30 PM
Does the movie make the mistake the commercials do by calling Frankenstein's monster Frankenstein?

05-06-2004, 10:48 PM
Does the movie make the mistake the commercials do by calling Frankenstein's monster Frankenstein?

No. :) The references and names are accurate.

James Boba Fettfield
05-06-2004, 11:11 PM

05-07-2004, 01:57 AM
I never said the movie was bad...just not the best.

05-08-2004, 03:05 AM
Dudes and Dudettes, I LOVED IT!

The best part were Dracula's vampire chics. Oh man, if they could keep to their better form, I would love to be locked up with the 3 or 4 of them (while they stick to their best behavior).

This movie was sexy with still being PG 13. The Werewolves were cool!

Hugh Jackman and the guy playing Dracula (what's his name? And wasn't he Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula as well?) - well they were great.

And the leading lady? Is that Kate Beckins-something? Whatever, she was HOT!

I'm going to see this movie a second time for sure! Van Helsing Rocks!

05-08-2004, 05:45 AM
While the commercials and trailers seemed to feature subpar CGI and effects, I think they may have made the same mistake that was made with hulk. Used unfinished visual effects to cut thr trailers from, and then never bothered to upgrade to the finished versions for later ads. The film is great, a bit long, but really good. I think that Hugh Jackman is going to end up getting type cast as the amnesiac arse kicker though. First Wolverine and now Gabriel Van Helsing. And I'm glad they didn't explain -everything- about why they changed his name. If you can put things together, theres a lil hidden treat there for fans of the movie. Can't wait for next weeks animated prequel, 'The London Assignment'. :)


Jar Jar Binks

05-08-2004, 07:47 AM
JJB, what is the secret with his name?

05-08-2004, 09:18 PM
JarJar, are you referring to God's angel "Gabriel?"

That must be what the deal is, right?

Was Van Helsing in the Bram Stoker's legend named Gabriel as well? Or was that done just for this movie?

You know in Dracula 2000, the Count was actually Judas, who betrayed Christ to the Jews and Romans. One of the original 12 Apostles, he hung himself for his shame at turning in Jesus for something like 30 silver coins. But as punishment, God would not let him die and after they cut him down and burried him, he awoke as a Vampire. He later lived out many lives, including Vladamir Dracul, who is famous for being the real Count Dracula.

The story goes that Vlad fought the Muslems in the Crusades to please God and show the Lord his worth. Minus the part about Isabella (his princess, which also plays a role in the romance of the Dracula legend), were Vlad actually Judas, he was doing this to regain God's grace.

In any case, because he betrayed Jesus for silver, he is cursed (as are many Vampires of legend) to be repelled by silver (silver stake through the heart, silver bullets to kill Werewolves, etc).

So Vlad the Impaler might have already been a Vampire, and that was just another one of Judas' aliases, or the suicide due to the death of his lover, or his cursing of God, or his deal with Satan for revenge for Isabella - any one of those, could have created Dracula that we're all familiar with today.

This stuff's so cool, dude!

James Boba Fettfield
05-08-2004, 10:25 PM
It was just for this movie, Tycho. Van Helsing's original name is Abraham.

As for this Gabriel change, Sommers, the director, said he didn't think the name Abraham was right for Van Helsing. Like it was too old fashioned sounding. Maybe there were other motives in the name change. The fangoria message board had a topic discussing this archangel connection. I suppose I'll have a better idea when I see this.

05-09-2004, 05:16 AM
I saw this movie last night. The trailers didn't do anything for me, it made the movie look as crap as LXG. When I saw it I was quite surprised that it was actually better than LXG, but it was still a crap film :rolleyes:.

I must admit though that some of the CGI wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...lol. I'm not saying I liked the CGI though, it was still obviously fake ;).


05-09-2004, 09:43 AM
No. :) The references and names are accurate.

inaccurate - there definitely was a time where they called the "monster" the name frankenstein...

Hugh Jackman and the guy playing Dracula (what's his name? And wasn't he Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula as well?) - well they were great.

And the leading lady? Is that Kate Beckins-something? Whatever, she was HOT!

holy crap! that's blasphemy!!! this dracula was NOT played by gary oldman...

hugh was alright, and kate becknisale is definitely hot, but if she does another movie with werewolves and vampires in it, her career is shot.

all in all, a fun flick. it was better than i expected (which isn't really saying much...) but it was worse than my girlfriend expected (apparently she expected much more...)

05-09-2004, 09:58 AM
That was one of the worst films I have seen. Bad acting, FX, directing, the movie went nowhere. I couldn't believe how bad the live action masks looked. The Vampire chicks need some acting lessions and the CG is just to much. Seeing Kate in that outfit for 2 hours was the best part. Man, she's beautiful!

05-09-2004, 11:20 AM
Well I'll admit I thought this was better than Sommers' Mummy films but I wouldn't go as far as saying this was a good movie.

The characters are pretty hollow and the storyline is extremely weak feeling more like filler until the next action sequence. The acting was average at best, but I personally didn't like Richard Roxburgh as Dracula or his cute little ponytail and earing. :rolleyes: The accents, especially Kate Beckisale's were laughable at points which weren't helped by some of the campy dialog. The effects were cool even if at times they were a bit over the top, but fun nonetheless.

I can think of at least one point in the movie where Van Helsing's fryer friend refers to Frankenstein's Monster as "Frankenstein." There might have been others but I didn't notice.

Overall I'd say as a straightforward action film it's average at best, worth seeing in the theater if you like that sort of thing but nothing I'd buy on DVD. I may rent it though, but just to give my home theater a good workout.

05-09-2004, 11:36 AM
Dude! It was awesome! I'm seeing it again this week should I get the chance!

I mean what the heck? I had a lot of fun imagining all the possibilities - like what if Van Helsing hooked up with a Vampire and became like Blade - getting their powers and stuff.

Or what if they tried to use nuclear weapons in Dracula's dimension? What would the effects be back on earth?

What dimension was Castle Dracula in? Where did they go when the doorway they went through went into another realm?

What were all Dracula's vampire offspring going to eat if they all survived long enough for them to attack everybody? Wouldn't they eventually starve? Could they turn themselves into male or female humans with the demonic powers that Dracula and his babes had? What is there "natural form," to take it a step farther? Are they really decayed corpses? Are they all energy and not really matter? Like how do the girls get clothes when they are naked as winged anti-angels? Dude - thinking about all this makes your head spin (Like when you see a great movie!)

So was Van Helsing also related to that ancient family? Was Dracula? Was this all one, huge, incestuous expose? Those things are so cool to fantasize about.

05-09-2004, 11:42 AM
Tycho, it wasn't another dimension. It's explained right in the movie that Dracula was banished to a castle on a frozen island with no way off. But he made a deal with the devil, which gave him wings. Allowing him to leave his frozen palace. :)


Jar Jar Binks

05-09-2004, 12:01 PM
i forgot to mention - this was the single loudest movie i've been to in a long time. just over-the-top loud.

i also thought they just kinda skipped over the whole connectin between "gabriel" :rolleyes: van helsing and dracula - it was like

"you don't remember our history, eh gabriel? well, let's not bore everyone in the audience with any back story - let's just fight!"

05-09-2004, 12:50 PM
Van Helsing is craptastic!

I wanted somuch to like it, but I just couldn't. They needed to decide if they wanted to make an action movie or a comedy. Sadly, much of the action was unintenionally comedic. Paying homage to the classic movies is one thing, but the audience shouldn't be laughing at it.
The plot was pretty straight forward until the connection betwen Van Helsing and Dracula was "explained." Ummm...huh?
With the exception of Jackman, the acting was as horrid as the accents. This was especially true with Dracula and and Beckinsdale's acting/accent. When it came to the townspeople, I kept waiting for Tim Curry to pop up in his Rock Horror garb.
Only a few really bad CG moments, IMO.
Considering the fact that this was a movie filled with monsters, most of the fights were so unrealistic that it got too hard to suspend my disbelief for long. So called normal people perform amazing acrobatic feats, get flung through the air, slam into walls and trees, through roofs, across rooms, and whatever and land without getting hurt. Ugh.
The few bright spots: Jackman (who seems to have a thing for bad *** characters with no memory that don't age and have vicous battles), the Jeckyl/Hyde part in the begining was really good and got my hopes up for the rest of the movie (and then I was seriously let down), and the Dracula/Van Helsing battle was good, although a little to dark.
Overall: 4/10

05-09-2004, 12:54 PM
i really liked the black and white opening scenes. but about half way thru this film, i was really bored. i'll take anthony hopkin's van helsing over this version any day.:) :o

........all this movie was missing was scooby and shaggy. lol

05-09-2004, 01:53 PM
I enjoyed this movie and I agree with about 99% of what stillakid said.

The Gabriel stuff made sense to me, considering how quickly Carl glossed over the part about "the left hand of God."

Anyway, I thought it was a fun action movie and very exciting in many parts.

As for the CGI, there was a whole lot of potential to screw this movie up but I think the bulk of the CGI came out really well. A few parts were over the top for me but overall I thought this CGI worked better than Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

05-09-2004, 02:47 PM
Tycho, it wasn't another dimension. It's explained right in the movie that Dracula was banished to a castle on a frozen island with no way off. But he made a deal with the devil, which gave him wings. Allowing him to leave his frozen palace. :)


Jar Jar Binks

What was Dracula's deal with the devil? What did the Devil get if Drac got wings?

Dracula creating life, versus only God being able to do it?

The contrast between religion and science was appreciated - where they were going with that. However, pure science does not attempt to counter religious thought just to spite it, science merely seeks the truth when actually practiced. That may or may not confirm things accepted in religion.

So who banished Dracula to this frozen island? Where was this island? If Drac was banished, how could he survive without fresh blood coming from somewhere?

I missed a few things maybe.

05-09-2004, 03:23 PM
For everyone who decided to not enjoy the film, based on the comments I'm seeing I just have two words to say: Comic Book. It's supposed to be "campy" and "over the top." It's supposed to be loud and energetic. What did you walk into the theater thinking you were going to see? A classic "horror" movie? A serious dissertation on the effects of minority "creatures" relative to the socio-political strata of the 19th century? :rolleyes: Yeah, it's loud, it's got campy funny dialogue, and the plot isn't as involved as Terms of Endearment. But that's what it's supposed to be. Also, it's not Mummy 3, so I don't really get the comparisons and why they could even possibly be relevant. If anything, this is more of a descendent of Evil Dead 2 than anything else I can think of. Comedy/Horror/Action = Fun time at the movies. Live a little. :D

05-09-2004, 03:52 PM
For everyone who decided to not enjoy the film, based on the comments I'm seeing I just have two words to say: Comic Book. It's supposed to be "campy" and "over the top." It's supposed to be loud and energetic. What did you walk into the theater thinking you were going to see? A classic "horror" movie? A serious dissertation on the effects of minority "creatures" relative to the socio-political strata of the 19th century? :rolleyes: Yeah, it's loud, it's got campy funny dialogue, and the plot isn't as involved as Terms of Endearment. But that's what it's supposed to be. Also, it's not Mummy 3, so I don't really get the comparisons and why they could even possibly be relevant. If anything, this is more of a descendent of Evil Dead 2 than anything else I can think of. Comedy/Horror/Action = Fun time at the movies. Live a little. :D
Stillakid actually defending a movie :crazed:???

You may be right about it being comic book, but Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil are all comic book movies, and they realised there is a limit to how much "campness" and "OTT" can be in a movie before it just gets too silly.


05-09-2004, 03:59 PM
For everyone who decided to not enjoy the film, based on the comments I'm seeing I just have two words to say: Comic Book.

please don't insult the comic books.

05-09-2004, 04:00 PM
hey stillakid,

i've got a question for you:

"if the original trilogy never existed, and you had no expectations about what episodes 1 and 2 should be, would you of enjoyed them as much as van helsing and rollerball?"

i'm serious. ;)

honestly, i was just really bored by this film. i had no expectations it would be good, so i wasn't let down. i just found it very cheesy and too over the top. i would of instead preferred a film that could of been a pre-quil to "bram stoker's dracula". :)

i'm sure i would of loved vanhelsing when i was 13, but it was way over the top for me. even in action films, i want some sort realism in them. that's what made Raiders and the other indy films so good. indiana jones seemed like a real person who could be hurt or killed, not some superhero like this version of van helsing.

05-09-2004, 04:59 PM
A serious dissertation on the effects of minority "creatures" relative to the socio-political strata of the 19th century? :rolleyes: :D

You know...there's a story in that: there's minority discrimination there. For one, Vampires and Frankenstein's monster are already dead - so they can't benefit at all from tax advantages with life insurance. How's that for fair?

Does the ACLU know about this?

Next, did anyone notice that Werewolves were being mistreated in this film? One was chained up and electroshocked. If a dangerous pitbull had to be put to sleep, Animal Rights Activists wouldn't condone it being shock-treated, shot at, set on fire, and everything else they did to the poor werewolves in this movie. The very reason you don't see a lot of werewolves today is because they qualify as an endangered species.

Anyway, I came up with an idea for a movie in which Johnny Cochran, Jane Fonda, Steve Irwin, and Al Gore team up with the monsters to stop this injustice! They'll be the new Fantastic Four and they'll do battle with the insurance industry, companies that do animal-testing, and other special interests that discriminate against Castle Dracula's denizens.

This could be a great showdown against evil, with all the players' roles a little reversed.

hey stillakid,

i've got a question for you:

"if the original trilogy never existed, and you had no expectations about what episodes 1 and 2 should be, would you of enjoyed them as much as van helsing and rollerball?"

i'm serious. ;)

Derek, PLEASE don't start him off again :eek:

05-09-2004, 07:23 PM
A serious dissertation on the effects of minority "creatures" relative to the socio-political strata of the 19th century?

I think you're on to something . . . let's pitch it ! :crazed:

"if the original trilogy never existed, and you had no expectations about what episodes 1 and 2 should be, would you of enjoyed them as much as van helsing and rollerball?"

Don't forget Independence Day. :D

05-09-2004, 07:28 PM
hey stillakid,
had no expectations it would be good, so i wasn't let down. i just found it very cheesy and too over the top.

i expected it to be crap, and it wasn't TOTAL crap, so it was better than my expectations. there was just too much that went kinda wrong.

mr. hyde was probably the coolest part of the movie. although frankenstein's monster was actually pretty cool - good character design and development... dracula was too over the top, and the werewolf was pretty meh.

05-09-2004, 10:33 PM
hey stillakid,

i've got a question for you:

"if the original trilogy never existed, and you had no expectations about what episodes 1 and 2 should be, would you of enjoyed them as much as van helsing and rollerball?"

i'm serious. ;)

honestly, i was just really bored by this film. i had no expectations it would be good, so i wasn't let down. i just found it very cheesy and too over the top. i would of instead preferred a film that could of been a pre-quil to "bram stoker's dracula". :)

i'm sure i would of loved vanhelsing when i was 13, but it was way over the top for me. even in action films, i want some sort realism in them. that's what made Raiders and the other indy films so good. indiana jones seemed like a real person who could be hurt or killed, not some superhero like this version of van helsing.

Really great question! The difference between Rollerball and Van Helsing relative to the Star Wars Prequels is that there were no prior expectations going in. Although, as I say that, I have to specify what I mean exactly. Let's put it this way, when I went into Rollerball, Van Helsing, ID4, Speed, and any other decent action flick, I essentially knew what I was going to get. With no high standards to live up to, I had no trouble seeing those films for what they were meant to deliver and enjoy them on their own merits. I'll toss in Tomb Raider (both) and the Mummy movies on that pile as well.

I was disappointed in LOTR primarily because I was led to believe that it was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I found the onscreen characters to be weakly drawn and the action to be tiring and repetative. I'm sure that the books are wonderfully written and that sweeping epic plays well in that medium. But just as I was terribly disappointed in the film versions of DUNE, these types of films have almost too much work to do to compete with their source material.

In that same vein, any Star Wars film after the very first (A New Hope) has a high standard to rise to. ESB did a wonderful job, but most people tend to agree that ROTJ slipped a tad. Not that it was a bad movie by any stretch though. Point being, with a trilogy like the OT, it was reasonable to expect that any future feature films with the same moniker would (and should) be at least as good as ROTJ and hopefully as good or better than ANH and ESB.

Your hypothetical question is nearly impossible to answer as the genie is already out of the bottle. However, when we look at the Prequels and ascertain their quality, there are two distinct levels to consider. The first is to evaluate the films relative to the prior stories that preceded them in terms of plot, continuity, and basic "look." The second is to evaluate the new films in a vaccuum, as movies unto themselves and see how well they stand on their own. In regard to the first topic, I and others have meticulously shown time and time again that the Prequels fail to maintain the standards and continuity set by the established stories. Of course, with significant doses of rationalization, the Prequels can appear on the surface to be in line with the established stories, but most of those logic points dissolve quickly upon closer evaluation. In regard to the second topic, both of the Prequels aren't particularly well-written stories unto themselves. Assuming that we hadn't ever heard of or seen any other Star Wars stories ever, I highly doubt that The Phantom Menace would have garnered much in terms of box office or fan support on its own. In fact, I'd wager nearly everything I have to suggest that the kind of derision that is thrown at a film like Van Helsing, for instance, would be in abundance in the reviews of The Phantom Menace. In fact, it was in general. The only holdouts are the die-hard Star Wars fanatics who, by the way, only exist because previous Star Wars properties drew them in first.

So, was Van Helsing too cheesy and over the top? To some, obviously it is. That's a taste question I suppose. I don't want to give anything away, but I thought I'd never see the day when a horse and buggy would be caught in a fiery explosion that rivaled anything Michael Bay can do. That's a GOOD thing in my book! Sure it was over the top and quite unlikely, but Fu*k, so are Vampires, Werewolves and monsters! I'm not quite sure why someone would go into a film completely willing to accept mythical creatures as real yet have a problem as soon as a horse and buggy make an impossible leap across a gorge? Why is there a line of demarcation being drawn regarding what has to be 100% real and what deserves the infamous :rolleyes: icon? It's a COMIC BOOK! Crazy whacked out awesomely exciting things are SUPPOSED to happen everytime you turn the page.

Van Helsing is what it is and everyone has there own likes/dislikes as to what they find enjoyable or not. That's only fair. But judging a comic/action film using the rulebook from an opera (just an example, don't go crazy on me) doesn't make sense. For the record, I wasn't too entranced really with Spiderman but it wasn't a "bad" film per se. The first Batman was pretty good for what it was and what it was meant to be. The later Batman films were god awful primarily because the Warner execs put more emphasis on what toys they could sell as opposed to actually writing a good story.

I think that Van Helsing was a little too long. I thought that Dracula could have been cast a little better. The moment in the clouds at the end could have gone away. It wasn't a "perfect" film. But it has a larger column of pluses than it does minuses in my book and ultimately I think its a shame that some people won't even go check it out because of unfair criticism from before and during its current run.

Oh well. I liked it and for me, that's all that counts. For the rest of you, 13 Going on 30 is still playing. :D ;)

PS, I forgot to address the Indiana Jones element. OF COURSE! Who doesn't love Indy? He was a real guy that we all wanted to aspire to become. Fun movies and fun characters to hang out with. No question there. Really the pinnacle of the action hero. While a lot of people would disagree (why, I'm not sure), I think that Laura Croft is the perfect add-on to that genre. She's young, she's hot, she's got all the James Bond toys and the adventures are just as epic as anything Indy gave us. Awesome sexy fun. But anyway, does that mean that all action heros have to be junior Indiana Jones' to be enjoyable? Wouldn't the world be a boring place if everytime we walked into a theater we got another rendition of the Indy character who gets hurt and shows it? Indy did that and for that I'm grateful. Bruce Willis played that guy in Die Hard. Keanu was that guy in Speed. Why does Gabriel Van Helsing have to do it too? :confused:

05-09-2004, 11:46 PM
Well I give this movie and "OK". Yes it did have a bunch of "over the top" stuff. And that's OK, it just went so far as to never have that element of suspense left. It really wore on me, and there was so much of it that it lost it's feel later on in the movie and I was just rolling my eyes. I didn't care for Dracula or Frankenstiens Monster. The Monster was just a big cry baby, and I just wanted him to go away. Dracula never gave me the impression of the big evil bad guy everyone should fear. He just seemed like another villian Van Helsing was going to take out, and I never felt any big threat. His brides were more threatening than he was. The Werewolves and Val Helsing were cool, and I thought Hugh Jackman and Kate Bekinsdale did great (she was 100 times beter than in Underworld). I just wish Dracula would have been better (acting, scripting/writing, and casting), and the "super" action scenes better put to use.

All in all, ti's one of those movies that "is what it is". A big, loud, fast, over the top, action movie, that could have been better. My 2 cents!


05-10-2004, 07:41 PM
I liked this movie. It wasn't all that serious, kinda like the mummy movies. I sorta expected it to be a bit more serious like spiderman or X-men, but I'm not disapointed. The monster was awesome. I thought he was VERY well designed and I'm glad he survived. I wish the first part hadn't been black and white though. I know it was an homage to the old monsyer movies but seeing it in color would have been really cool IMO. The settings were amazing, especially the castles and that windmill. This might sound stupid but am I the only one who wanted for someone to yell "He's alright" (ala DR Evil & Mini Me) when the cow came out of the ruined house. There was just something about that part I thought was funny.

05-10-2004, 08:44 PM
One of my favorite parts was the "Q"/James Bond sequence when Helsing picks up his weapons. Those "homages" to modern films were peppered throughout and I rather enjoyed seeing them. :D

I'll try to recall the various "influences" to the best of my ability. Feel free to add on:

James Bond
Indiana Jones
Fright Night


B'Omarr Monkey
05-19-2004, 11:23 PM
I just saw it this afternoon.

Before I get to what I thought about it, Stillakid, you dragged out one of my pet peeves that critics use all the time for over the top campy summer movies. You compared it to a comic book. For everyone who says this, i want to hand them a big pile of comic books that are more sophisticated in their storytelling and character develoment than the majority of the movies and novels that get heaps of accolades.

Stepping off my soapbox, I expected the movie to be unbearable, but actually enjoyed it more than I disliked it. The problems were :


1.) I didn't care about any of the characters.

2.) All the stuff about Van Helsing being more than he seems vs just a regular guy were unneccesary. Why the longevity? Also the transformation he has at Dracula's castle was too much, unneccesary, and I saw it coming early on.

3.) Carl, as comic relief, was not funny.

4.) Kevin J. O'Connor, who has been the saving grace of Stephen Sommers' previous movies was wasted. When I heard he was going to play Ygor, I thought "perfect" but with too much make-up and not enough dialogue, he was thrown away. He should have been the comic relief.

5.) All the jumping out over the Abyss and swinging on cables to knock down opponents was ridiculous and over the top and just defeated any sense of plausability. This stuff should have been in a James Bond movie.

6.) Too many monsters in one movie. All of the problems could probably have been fixed by streamlining the movie. Save some of the monsters for another movie. Frankenstein's monster, one of the most interesting parts of the movie, was wasted.

7.) Dracula was dull. He reminded me of a cross between Gary Oldman and Pee Wee Herman.

8.) Hugh and Kate had no chemistry

9.) The cloud squence at the end was truly corny.

10.) Th movie had no humor in it at all, which was the real strength of Sommers' previous monster movies.

I really liked Dracula's brides and found them to be the best part of the movie. Operatic performances, or not, the harpy transforming women were cooler and a lot more interesting than Dracula, the Werewolf, or even Van Helsing and Anna Valeria. I also thought that Frankenstein's monster was well performed, and made me want to see more of him. I also agree with everbody else that the Hyde part was great. It made me want to get the animated prequel --which I haven't. has anyone seen it? Is it worth it?

I'm more disappointed because "Deep Rising" is IMO a great monster movie, and I even liked "The Mummy." Stephen Sommers has a real affection for this material, but in Van Helsing he seems to have lost his way. If this had more of the humor of his earlier films, it would have been better.

Crap, or Classic, thanks to this movie, Universal rereleased many of its classic from the 1930s and 1940s on DVD. Hopefully more will come. I left the theater really wanting to watch the movies that inspired Van Helsing.

05-29-2004, 04:39 PM
Just got back from seeing it today and just had to majorly whine and whine about it. :p

What do ya get when you roll League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Blade, Underworld, Hellboy, and some otheres into a doobie? Very very bad granola.

Worst parts that struck me:
-Is this the same past that Striker hinted at in X-Men 2? Wolverine sure is old!
-Hulk Mr. Hyde take 2. LXG wasn't Hulk enough?
-"Last line of defense" for paranormal entities....how many other movies have we had with this lately? (LXG, Hellboy)
-Werewolves and Vampires battling? What next, vampires running around in tight leather with dual pistols on automatic fire? (Underworld)
-Kevin J. O'Connor's "Benny" seems to have been ressurected from his death in the Mummy and thrown into the past.
-A bomb that produces light that can light up an entire castle after being set-off in a small room. No wonder Whistler and Scud (Blade II) were so persistent on making some of these!
-Lame remade of famous Universal monster movie scenes.
-Dracula was a fruit-bat.
-Werewolves looked like turds
-Vampire "death" sequences were boring.
-Vampire jaw-extension was stupid. Sure it was mostly like Imhotep's jaw-extension, but it came off more as a rip between that and the creatures (forget their names) from Blade II.
-Anna's family must've produced like rabbits to reach 9 generations. After being so "sworn" to killing Dracula, they sure have been lazy about training. Ok, so they can fit an arsenal on their belts. They obviously have no skill in using any of it.
-They only had -one- single PISTOL to kill the Werewolf during the trap? That obviously took some time to plan, too bad they didn't spend most of it loading the rifles with silver bullets, or keeping back-up pistols in their belts.
-Frankenstein should be digitally replaced by Herman Munster in the DVD. Same thing really just funnier and less hokey-looking.
-Cloud gathering with Anna's family was boring and unneeded.
-Dracula was just a big rip of William Striker. Why didn't he just kill Wol-Van Helsing instead of trying to make his previous killer join him?...

Good parts:
........it ended.....

Worse parts:
....with possibilities for a sequel >_<

06-30-2004, 01:05 PM
DVD Specs are starting to surface, it will be released on Oct. 19th. Sounds like they are giving it some decent extras. The commentary with Hugh and the rest of the cast makes it a must buy. It wasn't the best movie ever, but it was fun. :)

• Commentary by Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay
• Commentary by actors Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh and Shuler Hensley
• Sommers’ "Filmmaker’s Diary," chronicling one week of the production
• "New World Technology vs. Old World Monsters" FX featurette
• "Designing Van Helsing: A 360-degree IPIX Tour" of the sets
• "Love Bites," a mockumentary in which Dracula’s brides dish on their boss
• "You Are in the Movie," an on-location featurette shot with miniature cameras
• "Anatomy of a Scene: The Masquerade Ball"
• "Creating the Characters and the Monsters" interactive featurette
• "Van Helsing’s Monster Map" interactive featurette on the sets
• "Van Helsing Time Lapse" footage of two key sets being built, filmed and torn down
• Outtakes

Jar Jar Binks

B'Omarr Monkey
06-30-2004, 01:09 PM
The extras sound better than the movie itself.

I guess with the tearing down of the sets, we can forget any sequels. :cry: :D , since they really tried to keep those up for reuse with the now dead Transylvania tv series, as well as later Van Helsing movies. Oh, well.