Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In Transylvania 6-5000, tabloid newsman, Mac Turner sends his son Gil and fellow reporter, Jack Harrison to Transylvania. They are to either find the Frankenstein monster shown on a video tape an anonymous person sent him, or find new jobs. Once there, the two meet a cast of oddballs from a wacky butler, to a creepy mayor, a nympho vampiress, and more. However, their investigation soon takes them face to face with Frankenstein himself, and the boys get their story of a lifetime.

‘Transylvania 6-5000’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)Transylvania 6-5000 begins with Mac Turner (Norman Fell), who runs a supermarket tabloid called The Sensation. He excitedly plays a homemade videotape of two men panicking after Frankenstein attacks them. Mac sends his son, Gil (Ed Begley Jr.), and Jack Harrison (Jeff Goldblum) to Transylvania to investigate the story. Jack balks at the idea, and notes that the guys clearly made the incident up just to get their names in a paper.

Mac says crap sells newspapers, and sends them to Transylvania anyway for his Frankenstein story. Additionally, he says if they come back with nothing, they’re both fired. He gives them one week for his banner headline of “Frankenstein Lives!”

Planes, trains, buses, and a cheap ‘80s theme song later; Jack and Gil finally arrive at their destination. Immediately off the bus, Jack spots Elizabeth Ellison (Teresa Ganzel), a pretty female tourist from New York City. She shoots him down quicker than he got off the bus.

Meanwhile, Gil questions the clerk at Elizabeth’s hotel about Frankenstein. The clerk, then a maid, then the town’s mayor, Lepescu (Jeffrey Jones), and then everyone in the lobby laugh hysterically at him. Jack returns from another attempt to get into Elizabeth’s pants in time to rescue Gil from his embarrassment. As the men head to their own hotel, a gypsy named Madame Morovia (Inge Appelt) spots them. She orders an old gypsy man to bring them to her.

The boys finally arrive at their hotel which is an old castle with an “Opening Soon!” banner out front. They accept American Express and Diners Club International where they can discover a world of opportunity!

At the gate, Fejos (Michael Richards), and odd butler with KKKramer humor greets them. Lepescu, who is also the hotel owner, pops out of nowhere to greet them. After they drop off their things at their room, they have a little brunch with the Mayor. There, they meet his hunched-over manservant named Radu (John Byner) who greets everyone as master. Back in the kitchen is Radu’s overtly doting and slightly manic wife, Lupi (Carol Kane).

Despite the mayor’s continued insistence that there aren’t any ghouls or monsters in town, and the town’s unabating ridicule of Gil’s original Frankenstein inquiry, there’s clearly something odd in the air. Gil investigates the story while Jack decides to stay at the castle to plot his next move on Elizabeth.

Gil arrives at the abandon chapel where the video was shot, and meets head of the local police, Inspector Percek (Božidar Smiljanić) who appears out of nowhere. Creeped out, Gil runs out of the building while the Inspector and the Mayor (who also appears out of nowhere) look on.

Back at the hotel, Gil tells Jack that he learned of a doctor named Malavaqua (Joseph Bologna), who lost his license to practice medicine. Gil wants to investigate him at the old age home. While the two argue, Fejos arrives with a letter from the old gypsy man. The note says, “Laughter conceals fear, and the wheel of truth has many spokes. The answers you seek lies with Madame Morovia.” Off the boys go to meet the Madame!

She tells them to find the werewolf and destroy him. He goes by the name of Larry and is her son. She then passes out; her head slamming into her seance table which breaks it. That night they spot Larry (Rudy De Luca) leave his home and head into the woods as he removes his jacket under a full moon. There’s a wolf howl and then silence. Then they hear animalistic grunts behind a bush, and go to question Larry. They find him shagging Little Red Riding Hood behind it. Embarrassed they leave. Unfortunately for Larry, the magic is gone with the youngish maiden.

Jack, still wanting nothing to do with the crap story, heads off to meet with Elizabeth at a restaurant. When he tells her that he’s in town to investigate Frankenstein, she laughs at him and immediately leaves.

Sometime later, as Gil sleeps, a nymphomaniac vampire named Odette (Geena Davis) arrives to bite his neck. Gil wakes and starts yelling for Jack, but he doesn’t believe anyone was in Gil’s room. He claims it was the creature from Estee Lauder and angrily returns to his room.

The next morning, as the Mayor guillotines his hard-boiled eggs, Gil asks him if there’s any other guests in the hotel, but there aren’t any. Once Gil leaves, the Mayor rushes upstairs to search his room. He finds the tape titled “Frankenstein Lives” that Gil’s father gave him, and steals it.

We next see Gil at the Sanatorium to meet Dr. Malavaqua. However, the front gate guard (Slobodan Milovanovic) won’t let him in without an appointment. When Gil tries to make one, they tell him the doctor isn’t taking appointments at this time. Meanwhile, the Inspector and the Mayor watch the tape, and the Inspector orders the film destroyed.

Meanwhile, meanwhile, Gil has found Jack. He tells him something is up at the Sanatorium, and the two head to the police station to tell them what Gil saw. The Inspector assures them that nothing odd is going on in town as the Mayor appears from nowhere to look on. They do their best to convince the Gil that nothing is up at the Sanatorium or in the town.

Jack still thinks Gil is just as crazy as they do. However, when Gil mentions that the doctor’s license was revoked, the Inspector immediately kicks them out of his office. Jack agrees that was odd, and the two head off to find the doctor.

Now they must sneak into the Sanatorium, but how? Jack has Gil put on a robe the patients are wearing, and tells him to climb the gate. Once Gil is in a precarious position, Jack yells to the back gate guard (Vida Jerman) that a patient is trying to get out. She immediately pulls Gil inside. Sanatorium penetration is successful!

By now, the Inspector is inside talking to the Doctor, and inquiring about one of his patients named Hunyadi. He fits Frankenstein’s description, but is supposed to be dead. The Inspector insists on reviewing his file. Suddenly, the Mayor shows up, and the two examine Hunyadi’s death certificate as Gil surveys them from outside through a closed window.

Once the two leave, the Doctor immediately calls Radu and asks him to make sure Hunyadi is in the laboratory and not on the loose again. With this valuable information, Gill needs to escape the Sanatorium. Jack tells him to take off the robe, and climb over the front wall. Once Gil is in a precarious position yet again, Jack yells to the front gate guard that someone is trying to get in. Recognizing Gil from earlier, he tosses him out of the Sanatorium. Gil relays all his new information to Jack who finds it interesting, but heads off to a picnic with Elizabeth instead.

Out at the Transylvanian cemetery, the Inspector and Mayor exhume Hunyadi’s body. The coffin has a mannequin in it instead of a corpse, and the Inspector is not pleased. However, the coffin has a mannequin in it, so the Mayor is pleased. He takes it for “evidence”.

Gil returns to the hotel to track Radu down. He can’t find him, but Odette and her cleavage finds Gil in the study. She’s in love with him, but he gets rid of her so he can look for Radu. Radu and his wife, for their part, are now outside. He hasn’t checked on Hunyadi yet because he knows someone is following him. The Doctor shows up, and the three go to his hidden lab.

Once Malavaqua steps into the laboratory, he transforms into a mad scientist. Once he steps out, he’s his normal self again. They find Hunyadi is not in the lab as the mad scientist begins his work again.

We next find Jack in the woods at the picnic with Elizabeth and her daughter, Laura (Sara Grdjan). Kind of odd that she’d have lunch with him after she left him in hysterics over his job the night before. The picnic is short-lived as Gil interrupts them. So Elizabeth goes to look for Laura while he fills Jack in on everything. Jack looks at him in frustration, and starts choking Gil.

In the woods, Laura comes across Hunyadi (Petar Buntic) who puts his hand over her mouth so she can’t scream. Elizabeth finds the guys to help her look for Laura. As she heads off to get the police, Gil and Jack split up to find the little girl. However, when Gil meets Hunyadi, he starts screaming like a little girl, and slides into the lake. In the water, this swamp creature thing named Twisto (Dusko Valentic) reaches his hand up, and grabs Gil in the crotch. Gill runs off in fright; maybe delight. We just don’t know.

Jack next comes face to face with Larry the Wolfman (Donald Gibb) as he takes a wiz in the bushes. (Apparently the other Larry from the other night was the Wolfman’s dad.) Frightened, the two scuffle. Gil shows up to save Jack, and he jumps on the Wolfman’s back as he runs off. Just then, the Inspector and Mayor show up out of nowhere to arrest Jack. Instead of looking for Laura, the Inspector decides to go to the wine festival, because he doesn’t want the townsfolk to know anything is up with Frankenstein.

The Wolfman takes Gil to Malavaqua’s laboratory. He says that Jack scared him. Angry, the Doctor locks him in a cell. Then Twisto shows up, and says that he only grabbed Gil because he stepped on him in the water. Angry, the Doctor locks him in a cell too. We also see Odette chained to the wall. She still loves Gil which the doctor was probably angry about. Malavaqua forbids anyone from leaving the lab because the police are now breathing down his neck. He tells Radu to go find Hunyadi.

Back at the police station, we find Jack locked in a cell, but Elizabeth breaks him out. She’s furious that the police are at the wine festival, and not looking for her daughter. As she heads down there to beat a few heads, Jack heads back to Madame Morovia. She tells him where to find the hidden lab.

Radu finds Hunyadi in the horse stable playing poker with Laura. He dabs a cloth in chloroform and tries to knock the big guy out. It finally works, and he and Lupi tie him up. They take him and Laura back to the lab on a tractor.

Jack finds the lab, and Malavaqua orders Radu to attack him. Instead, Jack and Malavaqua fight, but Jack quickly learns all he has to do is get Malavaqua out of the lab so he’s not mad anymore. Hunyadi breaks out of his cell, and takes Laura so he can return her to her mother.

We are now at the wine festival with the entire town. As Hunyadi brings the girl to it, the Doctor, Gil, and Jack scramble to it too in the Doc’s Audi. Behind them, Fejos, the Wolfman, Twisto, a Mummy, Odette, Radu, and Lupi take a horse drawn carriage instead. It’s more charming that way.

Elizabeth shows up first to yell at the police for not looking for her daughter. The Inspector tells his men to arrest her as Hunyadi shows up with Laura. The townsfolk are horrified. He gives the little girl back to Elizabeth. The police try to arrest Hunyadi, but he’s too strong. Of course the town has torches ready to light, and they ignite them to set the the man on fire.

They grab Hunyadi and tie him to a tall statue in the middle of the town square where they build a large pyre around it. As Hunyadi weeps, Malavaqua arrives to stop them. When that doesn’t work, and Elizabeth breaks open a bottle, and threatens to cut the police to keep them away from the pyre. That stalls them long enough for Jack to address the crowd, and talk some sense into the mob. When that doesn’t work, the carriage arrives with the Doctor’s other experiments.

Jack, Gil, and Malavaqua are able to finally convince the people that these monsters are not freaks, but just normal people who’ve had a series of misfortunes that he legitimately helped get better with the limited means he had. The townsfolk welcome them with open arms for a happy wine festival ending as the Inspector and Mayor disappear into nowhere; smiles all around.

With a story is bigger than what they bargained for, Gil takes enough pictures for many issues for his father. Mac gets his a banner headline, and many more just as outrageous.

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New World Pictures released Transylvania 6-5000 on November 8, 1985. Rudy De Luca directed the film starring Jeff Goldblum, Joseph Bologna, and Ed Begley Jr.

User Rating: 0.75 ( 1 votes)
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