“Van Helsing” Is One Of The Wildest Films Ever Made, And I’m Mostly Just Looking For An Excuse To Talk About It
This movie was made for us spooky bisexuals, and I’m forever indebted to it.
Hi, I’m Allie. My taste in movies has regularly been described as “questionable” at best and “What? Allie, no…Oh god, that’s awful, please tell me this post is a joke” at worst.
ANYWAY, I also have a habit of riding way too hard for random-as-all-heck movies no one really remembers or enjoys as much as I do*, and this week, I was reminded of one of my personal faves when this news story broke in the horror-movie-nerd-osphere:
That’s right! You’re about to read a post in 2020 in which I positively stan 2004’s Van Helsing for entirely too long. Listen — this movie is a campy hot mess, and I firmly believe it should already be considered a cult classic. So with all of that in mind, here are just a few reasons why I’m prepared to die on this very weird hill:
First of all, if you’re familiar with literally any of my posts for BuzzFeed dot com the website — you know I love The Mummy (1999). It’s one of the best adventure films ever made, period. What does that have to do with Van Helsing (2004), you ask? WELL, both films were written and directed by the same gentleman — Stephen Sommers — and, as such, both possess very similar ~vibes~.
This movie stars Hugh Jackman at what may just be his most Hugh Jackman-est*, lookin’ very handsome (and wet!) throughout.
Also starring, in equally important roles, are Hugh Jackman’s wig and Hugh Jackman’s eyebrows. Exquisite. No notes.
Kate Beckinsale took a break from making her 12,000th Underworld movie to grace us with her stunning presence, and she’s freakin’ fantastic in this. Like, she’s performing at an 11 in a role that required a soft 6 at BEST.
And her “All Hallows Eve” masquerade ball gown lives rent-free in my brain (as the kids say):
Seriously, IDK who’s prettier in this movie: Hugh or Kate. But that’s the best part — I don’t have to choose! This film was made for us ~spooky bisexuals~, and I’m forever indebted to it.
Speaking of spooky bisexuals: Dracula’s three wives (played by Elena Anaya, Silvia Colloca, and Josie Maran) were all also giving it 110%. There is not one person in this film who doesn’t know exactly what movie they’re in, and we love to see it!!!
Plus, David Wenham — or, as I know him, Faramir from Lord of the Rings — is HILARIOUS as a mischievous friar named Carl. No, seriously, his name is Carl.
Still, I can’t talk about the performances in this movie without bringing up the ULTIMATE CAMP KING TO RULE ALL OTHERS: Richard Roxburgh as Dracula.
He was a whole-ass mood as the incredibly overdramatic count. I honestly don’t even know what that “mood” was…but he was a whole-ass one:
PURE. CHAOTIC. ENERGY. Every choice he made was the weirdest-possible one, and I would change absolutely nothing about it.
Now — moving away from the performances — pretty much ALL of the action sequences in this were awesome, and whoever decided to give the main character a steampunk-lookin’ crossbow deserves a 16-year-late raise.
I’m a simple woman: I see overly complicated but cool-looking weapons, I’m sold. Could he have just used, like, a really big knife? Probably. Are these spinny-pointy-kill-y things (technical term) better? Absolutely!
Also, this movie has some pretty cool effects for the early 2000s and contains the single coolest werewolf transformation since An American Werewolf in London. It’s super gross and I love it!
Plot-wise, the movie never takes itself too seriously and has a BUTT-LOAD of fun playing with classic vampire lore, tropes, and mythology. Like not being able to see them in mirrors, for instance:
And — ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS — Van Helsing is the one movie to finally resolve the age-old debate: Who would win in a fight — a vampire or a werewolf?
Oh yeah, and Frankenstein’s monster is also in it — because of course he is! Sure! Why not? This! Movie! Has! Everything!
Heck, even the bloopers are pretty fun (because yes, of course I’ve already watched all of the behind-the-scenes stuff for it)!
So…uh…yeah. In conclusion: