A friend of mine summed up the horror parody “Stan Helsing” best when he said, “I know I shouldn’t find Freddy, Jason and Pinhead dancing to ‘YMCA’ funny, but I do.”
My sentiments exactly. I know “Stan Helsing” is juvenile; even without seeing it, you know that “Stan Helsing” is juvenile. But dammit, I couldn’t help but laugh several times, even when I knew I was getting dumber for doing so. With negligence toward the boundaries of good taste, the big, dumb, crude comedy throws so many jokes at you that some just have to stick.
Ostensibly a “Scary Movie”-style spoof on the Hugh Jackman vehicle “Van Helsing,” but not really, it stars Steve Howey (TV’s “Reba”) as the title character, a pothead video-store employee who convinces his three friends (Diora Baird, Kenan Thompson and Desi Lydic) to take a detour en route to a Halloween party so he can deliver some movies to a customer.
That’s the flimsy setup, allowing for them to come face to face with slasher-movie monsters Jason, Freddy, Michael, Chucky, Leatherface and Pinhead “¦ or reasonable facsimiles of them, of course. People keep confusing Stan with Van; a tavern owner (Leslie Nielsen in drag) informs him a descendant of the elder Helsing is prophesized to one day save their town from evil. You can figure it out from there.
Stupidity ensues from start to finish, but sometimes stupid is funny. God help me, but some of its bits put a smile on my face (drug “humor” notwithstanding). Writer/director Bo Zenga’s laugh ratio isn’t as high as any of the “Scary Movie” franchise, but handily beats any of the incompetent spoofs from the team of Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer, responsible for the likes of “Disaster Movie” and “Meet the Spartans.”
Baird deserves singling out for delivering an actual comedic performance. She’s a better actress than her killer rack gives her credit for.