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Episode 210 - Van Helsing: LIVE! (w/ Seth Rogen, Riki Lindhome, Ben Blacker)

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I think it was a bad idea to tell the actors "Just go with whatever accent pops in your head. The more ridiculous the better. Audiences will love it!"

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I went and saw Van Helsing in theaters and at the end of the movie when we see Anna’s face in the sky my buddy said “Simba” in his best James Earl Jones voice. The entire theater erupted in laughter and as we were walking out people were asking each other who said it.  We kept our mouths shut smiled and walked out. Funniest part of the movie!!

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For all the great jokes made about Van Helsing's hat, our hosts missed what I think is the most obvious one. Look at this damned Wanted poster:

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It shows you absolutely NOTHING about Van Helsing's face. Literally the only detail there for people to latch onto is his hat. If he's having so many problems with people telling "MURDERER!" at him everywhere he goes, TAKE OFF THE HAT. BUY A DIFFERENT HAT. NO ONE WILL RECOGNIZE YOU.

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12 hours ago, LTL said:

Poor Ben Blacker was steamrolled in this.. did he say 10 words

Yeah it had been 30 minutes into the episode before I remembered that he was even in the episode.

After reading through the wiki of this to get some sense again about it, it is clear that they wanted to do a sequel, because they NEVER explained what Van Helsing was seaking penance for, which were giving him those nightmares. I'm waiting for the Pope or whoever to be like "yeah dude you like massacred half of Europe before we caught you, your'e the original Dracula" or some lame shit. Also in the wiki searching it's also surprising to see how many odd roles Jackman was taking mainly because he was a newer film actor, I mean he even did the voice work for the shitty video game based on this movie and it's animated prequel.  They could easily do episodes on Deception or Proof or please God Kate & Leopold.

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Fun fact Edward Hyde is actually supposed to be shorter than Dr. Jekyll. Also Edward Hyde hiding out in France was part of the plot in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He only became bigger than Jekyll in the comics because he was a manifestation of his evil. Which increased the longer he was Hyde. 

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Saw this monstrosity in high school with some buddies, one of who disappeared for the first ~40 minutes of the movie. We later learned he was locked in a fierce battle with his intestines, crapping his brains out, and still preferred that to the remaining 90 minutes of the movie.

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Fantastic episode! Seth Rogen's exuberance is contagious. 

One thing that really bugged me about this movie is that Beckinsale and her ancestors get to go to Heaven on a bullshit technicality. We're told by Van Helsing's boss that 450 years ago Beckinsale's great-great-great grandfather made a vow to God that his family would "neither rest nor enter Heaven until they vanquished Dracula from their land." But...they didn't vanquish him - Van Helsing did. In order to fulfill this vow and lift the family curse, shouldn't Beckinsale be the one to deliver the killing blow? Otherwise, it's just a bunch of nonsense. That means it never really mattered how Dracula died, just that he did - eventually. They could have just waited him out until he choked on some Texas Toast or slipped in the shower or some shit. Because, apparently, it really didn't fucking matter.

What this movie really needed was a mid-credits scene where Kate and her lover-brother march up to St. Peter only for him to tell them, "Um, not so fast..."       

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I think the real moral of Van Helsing is just how crucial it is to acknowledge quality employees and how imperative it is that you treat them well. Dracula kills Dr. Frankenstein in a fit of rage, but ends up regretting that decision when he discovers that they are unable to duplicate his work. In his arrogance, Dracula has completely failed to recognize the fact that, through hard work and innovation, Dr Frankenstein has made himself indispensable. From the moment Dr. Frankenstein’s exsanguinated corpse hits the floor, Dracula’s fortunes turn. All of the setbacks he suffers - including the loss of one wife and a full third of his unholy progeny - are a direct result of him not appreciating the value Dr. F. brought to the organization. Had he kept him alive, he would have saved time, money, and easily lived to see his children sow discord and chaos across the globe in the poorly animated, leather-winged apocalypse he so desperately wanted.

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On 3/29/2019 at 6:22 PM, Elektra Boogaloo said:

Fuck. But I Googled Dutch actors and it says Carice van Houten is Dutch. So we will stay on Game of Thrones and just switch it from Jaime Lannister to Melisandre. She can play Pam Helsing. 

 

RIp Aaliyah 

The writer of this clearly had not read the book. 

I also don’t understand the Archangel Gabriel thing and Kate going to Heaven. Because vampire lore is already steeped in religion, which is kind of a problem for modern audiences that aren’t all Roman Catholic. (I remember a vicious debate in Buffy fandom if a Star or David could repel a vampire like a cross.)  So why would you make it MORE religious? 

I love you for b bringing back old Buffy fandom debate thoughts 

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I want to write a bit on Dracula’s peasant farming and its long term sustainability. We’re told that they only take “one or two [villagers] a month.” Or, as Dracula puts it, just enough to sustain them. First of all, I’m not sure if by “one or two” villagers per month they mean per vampire or if one or two villagers is the number of villagers required to comfortably feed a family of four adult vampires for an entire month. Since the movie’s phrasing is ambiguous, let’s err on the conservative side and say they share their victims. This means that each year, at the very least, somewhere between 12 and 24 villagers are devoured by the undead. I mean, that might not sound like a lot, but that’s a huge number - especially for a tiny village in the Romanian hinterlands. And while I admit I don’t exactly have the census information for the town on hand, based on what is shown in the movie, I would estimate that the town doesn’t have more than maybe 200 people in it. At one or two persons per month, that means that each year 6-12% of their total population is killed off by Dracula and his wives. To put that into perspective, if you were to apply the same percentage to modern day America, 6-12% would make “death by vampire” the third leading cause of death behind Heart Disease (23.4%) and Cancer (22.5%). 

Their harvesting of souls also doesn’t take into account for death from natural causes, accidents, or homicidal undertakers. And furthermore, at that rate of death, it would be impossible for the villagers to breed fast enough to create a state of equilibrium. Although, I suspect birth rates would drop precipitously. After all, what’s the point of having children if they’re destined to be chattel for your demonic overlords? What all this means is that in less than a decade, these four vampires will have completely exhausted their food supply.

Of course, this is all assuming that Van Helsing never arrives and they are able maintain their status quo. Once “thousands” of baby vampires are unleashed upon the world, each eating at least a quarter human each month, it’s not going to be long before their New Vampire World Order comes crashing down from a full blown vampire famine. Not smart, Drac! 

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I just want to know how the hell they got Van Helsing's automatic crossbow to fire SO MANY damn arrows. Looked like he fired off a hundred or more, but did he ever have to reload? It's not like he had some kind of ammunition belt or something, and anyway for something as large as an arrow it would be way too cumbersome to carry that many around. Where were they coming from?!

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On 3/29/2019 at 7:44 PM, Quasar Sniffer said:

In response to Riki Lindhome not being able to sit through 'Shape of Water,' here is me guesting on one of my favorite podcasts getting EXUBERANT about how much I love everything Guillermo del Toro:

https://hellbentforhorror.com/2019/03/25/episode-083-we-need-to-talk-about-guillermo/

This movie seems to get the weirdest polarized love/hate reactions, and it surprises me since it's not like it's a hard-to-understand abstract David Lynch thing. (Full disclosure: I'm closer to the "love" side.) Maybe it's just a side effect of the Best Picture Oscar causing people to seek it out who otherwise wouldn't.

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I first saw this movie at a drive in theater as part of a double feature.  The screen was so dimly lit that we could basically only listen to the movie, with the occasional flash of lightning/electricity.  At first, we all assumed it was a bad projector or something.  But when I tried to rewatch it on basic cable years later, I was surprised that, no, it wasn't entirely the drive in projector.  The movie is very dimly lit.  Almost as if they were trying to cover up the shitty CGI.

 

Speaking of shitty CGI, bad CGI is  a calling card for Stephen Sommers.  As much of a calling card as frenetic cuts and 360 pans are for Michael Bay.  If you go through his filmography, from his first action/horror film Deep Rising to the Mummy series to Van Helsing, they all feature terrible, cartoonish CGI.

 

Finally, the movie made 300 million on a 160 million budget.  After factoring in marketing and distribution costs, it probably was either breakeven or a money loser at the box office.  It might have gotten into the black from cable and home video.  If you also factor in the terrible reviews it got, you can see why Universal abandoned any plans for a sequel or TV spinoff.

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7 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I think the real moral of Van Helsing is just how crucial it is to acknowledge quality employees and how imperative it is that you treat them well. Dracula kills Dr. Frankenstein in a fit of rage, but ends up regretting that decision when he discovers that they are unable to duplicate his work. In his arrogance, Dracula has completely failed to recognize the fact that, through hard work and innovation, Dr Frankenstein has made himself indispensable. From the moment Dr. Frankenstein’s exsanguinated corpse hits the floor, Dracula’s fortunes turn. All of the setbacks he suffers - including the loss of one wife and a full third of his unholy progeny - are a direct result of him not appreciating the value Dr. F. brought to the organization. Had he kept him alive, he would have saved time, money, and easily lived to see his children sow discord and chaos across the globe in the poorly animated, leather-winged apocalypse he so desperately wanted.

Yes, most movie villains really need to have read the Evil Overlord List.

This would seem to fall under #17: "When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice."

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I remember watching this movie and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters back-to-back one day when I was home sick (and, apparently, mentally impaired). It seemed like a great double-header idea at the time, but ultimately left me feeling sick; like eating an entire box of Peeps and chasing it down with cotton candy and Jolt Cola.

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This will probably come off as a bit nitpicky, but it's a personal bugaboos so I'm going to point it out. 

When we are introduced to Mr. Hyde, we are shown that he's this hulking brute of a monster that appears to be about 3 ft. taller than Van Helsing with a head that is easily 3 times as large.

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Now, I have no problem with the fact that most of Hyde's clothes are still on him. Years of reading and watching the Incredible Hulk has given me pretty unreasonable expectations and a certain tolerance for extreme pant waist elasticity. Hell, it doesn't bother me that when he grows his pants are somehow loose enough that he actually has to pull his pants up to cover his butt crack (also, incidentally, confirming that Dr Jekyll goes commando).

No, what bothers me is the fact that the cigar he is smoking is somehow proportionate to his increased mass and not to a normal human. How does that work? Where the Hell was he able to scrounge up a cigar the length of a adult man's femur?

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

This will probably come off as a bit nitpicky, but it's a personal bugaboos so I'm going to point it out. 

When we are introduced to Mr. Hyde, we are shown that he's this hulking brute of a monster that appears to be about 3 ft. taller than Van Helsing with a head that is easily 3 times as large.

hqdefault.jpg

Now, I have no problem with the fact that most of Hyde's clothes are still on him. Years of reading and watching the Incredible Hulk has given me pretty unreasonable expectations and a certain tolerance for extreme pant waist elasticity. Hell, it doesn't bother me that when he grows his pants are somehow loose enough that he actually has to pull his pants up to cover his butt crack (also, incidentally, confirming that Dr Jekyll goes commando).

No, what bothers me is the fact that the cigar he is smoking is somehow proportionate to his increased mass and not to a normal human. How does that work? Where the Hell was he able to scrounge up a cigar the length of a adult man's femur?

0bd03b7872379210d91a88eb317fcc66.jpg   

Quite simple actually he rolled his own

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Not sure if it’s been mentioned, but there needs to be a Seth Rogen werewolf movie called High Moon. 

I imagine a lose adaptation of An American Werewolf in London, but instead a group of friends go on a hike in the mountains of Colorado for a bachelor party. While camping at night Rogen and Franco step to the side to smoke some weed knowing their friend Jay, doesn’t approve of it even though it’s legal. 

While smoking out, they hear noises and are attacked by a wolf. Jay and a few other friends here the commotion and fiend Franco mangled to death and Rogen bloodied but alive. Rogen turns into a werewolf, and Franco is ghost that presents himself to Rogen only.  

 

Id like to see Danny McBride as a antagonist Werewolf hunter, with a team including Paul and Jason  

 

Like i said pretty close to American Werewolf. I’m not too creative, but basically thought I want to see that when someone said high moon as a movie title during the podcast

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Those spinning hand blades are a great weapon if a) you are fighting up close, which is always ideal for fighting giant monsters and things that fly, and b) if you want to blind your opponent with your own wrist blood. 

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1 hour ago, Mister Card said:

Quite simple actually he rolled his own

lol- Shenanigans! Rolling a cigar is an art! I refuse to believe Mr Hyde took the time out of murdering "12 men, 6 women, 4 children, three goats" and massacring poultry to properly age tobacco leaves and case them. That being said, a Van Helsing prequel featuring Mr Hyde as an apprentice torcedor is a something I would very much like to see. :P   

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13 hours ago, Blast Hardcheese said:

I remember watching this movie and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters back-to-back one day when I was home sick (and, apparently, mentally impaired). It seemed like a great double-header idea at the time, but ultimately left me feeling sick; like eating an entire box of Peeps and chasing it down with cotton candy and Jolt Cola.

On the podcast they were talking about how they should have made a Van Helsing movie with Kate Beckinsale as Van Helsing ("Pam Helsing"). Only they basically already made that movie and it's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

It's just as crappy, but only 88 minutes long so already an improvement.

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I remember watching this one in the theater, and my group had to start talking through it fairly abruptly. 

 

"Why does Dracula have Phantasm midgets?"

"I thought those were Jawas."

 

"So wait, vampires are more powerful than Angels, but Werewolves are more powerful than Vampires?"

 

And so on, forever.

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One thing that makes the choice of having the opening black and white flashback set just ONE YEAR before the main events of the film so damn stupid is that the novel 'Frankenstein' was published in 1818, fully 70 years before 'Van Helsing' takes place! Why not have this flashback take place in 1818, then jump forward to 1887? That way, it's slightly more reasonable for Frankenstein's monster to be buried and forgotten, and gives more credence to the Creature's immortality, which is why Dracula is so interested in him in the first place. Instead, the movie actively changes the setting of this classic novel and the result is something worse.

I guess I should not be shocked that the people who made this movie have not read a book.

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When we’re first introduced to Beckinsale and her lover-brother, they are in the midst of setting a trap to kill Dracula’s werewolf henchman. Their plan consists of an intricate trapdoor, cage, and block and tackle system which, unsurprisingly, goes immediately awry as soon as the trap is sprung. In the ensuing chaos, lover-brother drops his gun to the ground and he urgently shouts down to the twelve or so villagers shooting ineffectually at the werewolf that they must find his gun. Beckinsale then helpfully informs us and her cadre of peons that her sexy brother’s gun is the only gun loaded with silver bullets. 

Okay, right, so let’s just set aside for a moment the fact that these poor, hick villagers have been woefully under apprised of the situation - which, if you think about it, is pretty damn unconscionable. And, like, I totally get that silver might be a tough resource to come by when you live in the middle of bumfuck Transylvania. But seriously? Come on, guys! You ventured deep into the Forbidden Forrest with the express purpose of hunting werewolves and you only brought one gun loaded with silver bullets? Not only that, but a major part of your “plan” involved entrusting the single effective weapon you possessed to the person whose job description was “Bait.” As in, the individual most likely to die first if/when things go sideways.

Aren't Beckinsale and her brother supposed to be, like, 9th generation monster hunters or something? Shouldn’t they be good at this? What’s with this bush league trash? No wonder they can’t freakin’ kill TRESemmé Dracula. 

I mean, look, I’m not saying that their family deserves to rot in Hell for all eternity for being a bunch of shitty, no talent demon hunters, but...I’m not exactly saying that they don’t deserve that either.

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