Stan Helsing

Stan Helsing (2008)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Diora Baird, Leslie Nielsen, Kenan Thompson, Steve Howey, Ben Cotton

Within the opening minute of Bo Zenga's latest genre-torching provocation Stan Helsing, the phrase "A Parody" flashes up before the film rolls on, not that we needed it coming in. Still, following a generously haunted title score, this might indicate Stan Helsing bears a little class. Nope. Consider it a caveat.

Somewhere along the lines of modern comedy in cinema, today's generation of satirists don't seem to realize there's a fine line beyond hooter honking and baiting innuendo where gonzo turns into sicko. All were obviously inspired by the Airplane, Hot Shots and Naked Gun roasts, in addition to Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon. It's all there in films like the Scary Movie series and its kabillion Borat-envious broods, such as Stan Helsing.

The opening sequence of Stan Helsing is admittedly quite funny and the overall premise is certainly novel, however, whatever energy and hilarity is established by Zenga is sold out immediately by monotonous crotch and snatch gags which leave the film with no legs to stand on other than to be outrageously perverted.

The quick-and-out summary of Stan Helsing's plot is thus: our antihero Stan (Steve Howey) works in a video store called Schlockbuster and he's about as charming as a dog with Cool Ranch Doritos on his breath. When forced to take a batch of videos to his boss' mom on Halloween night, Stan recruits his pal Teddy (Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson) to chauffer him across town en route to a party. Riding along is Stan's ex Nadine (Diora Baird of Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Beginning and The Wedding Crashers) and Teddy's presumed date, a pole dancing "therapist" named Mia (Desi Lydic).

Stan's directions are flawed and the foursome end up on a hellride into the boonies which ultimately leads them to a private community whose citizens are being tormented not only by a long-ago town fire, but, get ready for this…the Who's Who of Slasher Cinema…presented G-style, of course.

Everyone believes Stan to be the direct descendent of famed vampire slayer Van Helsing, and thus we're set for what should've been a hilarious duel to death but instead it limps to the finish line with the worst resolution in horror (or comedy) history. Hell, even that turkey waste of celluloid The Pirate Movie from 1982 starring Christopher Atkins and Christy McNichol might've concluded better than this tripe.

Our "Michael Myers" of Stan Helsing wears a hangdog expression to his rubber façade and is crowed by a yarmulke. Okay, ha ha. "Jason Voorhees" here wears an actual hockey jersey to go with this mask and he fights with a…you guessed it, hockey stick. "Freddy Kruger" wears a large clock ala Flavor Flav overtop an orange Charlie Brown sweater. "Leatherface" wields a leaf blower instead of a chainsaw…stop it, I'm dying, here.

How does the elusive, not-me schmuck that is Stan Helsing dispatch the baddies in this flick? You really don't want to know. Honestly.

How Leslie Nielsen was persuaded to appear in this mess—in drag, no less—is utterly sad. While the first ten minutes of Stan Helsing shrewdly operates in the same manner as the brilliantly nutty Naked Gun films, the remainder of the flick settles for one lame sex joke after another. Considering Nadine is parading in costume as a scantily-clad Pocahontas when our group is forced to stop at a gas station owned by a Native American and his white spouse, is this supposed to signal irony? Not when our native is presented as an eyehole-peering miscreant who's caught pulling one out while watching Stan take a leak. Bo, you might have to answer to AIM for this one and I pity you, pal.

Brought to you by the executive producer of those diehards-only Scary Movie films… Embarrassing doesn't even get to the chase.