I’ve seen several installment of the “National Lampoon Vacation” franchise but I haven’t really followed the “Dorm Daze” series that it had inspired. Well, the thing is “Translymania” is actually the 3rd installment of the “Dorm Daze” franchise that gets treated with a new title and given a little gimmick to capitalize on the new vampire craze that have been going really strong the past few years. So this film’s style and direction is really new to me, and I have to say that it follows the same elements that are abundant in movies such as the sequels of “American Pie”, “Van Wilder” and other raunchy sex-comedies about over-sexed teens, toilet humor and lewd behavior.
A group of friends (Tony Denman, James DeBello, Patrick Cavanaugh, Natalie and Nicole Garza, Paul Kim) head out to Romania to study for one semester abroad as Rusty (Oren Ogoog) wants to hook up with a hottie he had met on the internet. However, through a stroke of fate, the group unwittingly unlocks an ancient curse that awakens the vampire Radu (Skoog plays dual roles) to return to life and search for his lost mate. There is however, one vampire hunter with the name of Teodora Van Sloan (Musetta Vander) who is standing in the way of Radu’s return. There is also the myth of the castle freak who is in the search of the perfect female body to replace the body of a humpbacked daughter that Rusty has to contend with…
I guess I thought I was in for a good vampire comedy-horror but what I got was another stereotypical outing of teen comedy, toilet humor that has a cursed sex-book (that combats the Kama Sutra) and a group of farting horses. “Transylvania” is the product of the minds of Patrick Casey and Worm Miller and these guys sure likes to write a spoof or parody of classic horror comedies but just ends up with another mediocre outing that relies on some gross-out humor, stupid characters and smutty scenes. I guess when I saw the opening scenes of the film that featured a lube-up anal disgust and a penis that gets crushed by a laptop, I knew that I wasn’t in for a great horror comedy but rather a stoner-teen-sex comedy with the usual tired old jokes that made “Harold and Kumar” successful.
I really don’t mind the usual raunchy comedy but there is absolutely nothing new about ‘Transylmania” that we haven’t seen before. The comedic set ups are pretty formulaic and overused save that it uses the vampire gimmick as a backdrop. The direction by Scott and David Hillenbrand makes no attempt to capitalize on its theme; there are ancient castles, forbidden forests, a homage to “They Stole Hitler’s Brain”, “Castle Freak” and some other horror films. It also rips off some scenes from other comedy spoofs. It does reach a certain charm with some wit and cleverness such as the “American Blue Jeans” but it never capitalizes on what it has (abandons the potential of the cursed sex-book) and it all ends up being stupid and unfunny. I can get stupid comedy as long as it is clever, but the humor is just plain stupid that I barely laughed at one scene.
The cast, well, is to be expected to be lame. I am not expecting great performances but the cast is, well, pretty mediocre and they all appear bored with the film. They didn’t have any chemistry going for it, and they feel that they were indeed in a studio shooting a movie and they made no attempts to convince that it is reality. The film would have done well if it managed to give off a gothic theme around the slapstick humor but it felt content to use the tired old formulaic humor.
I guess I managed to sit through the film because of the great-looking women. The Humpbacked daughter had a real awesome face and there are quite a few scenes of nudity and one sex scene; but it all went nowhere. I guess if you want to be raunchy, go all the way and push the envelope; once you stop short, you lose your intended audience. I really have no idea what the filmmakers were thinking with “Translymania”; it may have achieved a new level of stupid.