Transylmania


Mixing the usual straight-to-video staples of lowbrow humor and side servings of T&A, Transylmania tries hard to position itself as a randy, zany vampire spoof for our vampire-crazed times, following a group of misfit co-eds studying overseas as they deal with the fallout of a Transylvanian haunted castle. Most of the jokes never really take flight, however, and the performances aren't strong and comedically engaging enough to merit the attention of anyone other than genre completists looking to while away some time between undergraduate core studies required classes.



Stoked over a Romanian hottie he's met online, sex-obsessed college student Rusty (Oren Skoog) talks a group of his dimwitted friends — including weed-happy Pete (Patrick Cavanaugh), who's torn between dating twin sisters Danni (Nicole Garza) and Lia (Natalie Garza), one of whom is a square and one of whom more readily fits his party-hearty lifestyle — into joining him abroad for a semester of beer, babes and bongs at what they think is a prestigious Transylvanian university. What they discover instead is a creepy castle populated by a torture-loving mad scientist, an over-cybersexed humpback, the nubile spirit of a decomposed sorceress and a bevy of horny vampire chicks.

Transylmania was crafted by the same team behind Dorm Daze and Dorm Daze 2 — co-director/producers David and Scott Hillenbrand, and co-writers Patrick Casey and Joshua "Worm" Miller. Given their experience and rapport, it's not surprising that the movie exhibits loads of energy, and projects the loose-limbed, casual vibe of a set with plenty of off-camera friends. Unfortunately, very little of that really translates to the screen. The performances are sub-par — hammy, self-indicating things, existing in little bubbles almost hermetically sealed from one another — and most of the action is awkwardly captured and framed. Some of the dialogue has a bit of snap, but not enough to save this wearying exercise in demonstrative demographic rib-poking.

Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Transylmania comes to DVD presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English language 5.1 Dolby digital audio track, and optional English subtitles. In addition to the normal trailer for the movie and a special "stoner" version of the same, there's a healthy complement of supplemental material, at least quantitatively speaking. An audio commentary track with the Hillenbrands and costars Skoog, Jennifer Lyons and indefatigable self-promoter Musetta Vander kicks things off, and much congratulatory back-slapping ensues. Alternate openings and endings for the movie come with optional commentary, as do 16 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, the bulk of which expand upon some of the movie's druggy cross-chatter, as well as the relationship backstory of Pete, Danni and Lia.

A six-and-a-half-minute gag reel highlights all sorts of problems with faulty props, as well as trouble with line readings from Cabin Fever's DeBello and a handful of local Romanian extras. (At least the latter have the excuse of English not being their first language.) Rounding things out is a lame, two-minute (yes, two-minute!) "behind-the-scenes featurette," in which one of the actors actually asks if there have ever been other horror spoofs, or comedies. Well, those Scream and Scary Movie franchises come to mind. But maybe they're too old, or outside the bounds of recollection for this flick's target audience. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. D+ (Movie) B- (Disc)

 

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