You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who likes Stephen Sommers’ Van Helsing as much as Maggie McMuffin, as evidenced by her thorough recap of the monster mashup. But the real meat of this re-view lies in the final third in which Maggie, having broken Rule 34 of the Internet, contributes an original Anna/Aleera bit of Van Helsing sex porn.

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Ten Years Ago I was a middle schooler coming off the tail end of my obsession with werewolves (when I say this was a ‘phase’ I mean it lasted a couple of years) and entering my obsession with vampires. As if god himself sanctioned my monstrous interests, a movie called Van Helsing was announced. It was billed as an homage to classic monster movies, filled with Draculas and werewolves and maybe some other stuff? I couldn’t be more excited. Starring a Hugh Jackman who got to be in things other than Wolverine movies and a Kate Beckinsale who was going against type by playing a woman who killed vampires rather than a woman who was one, it looked like a fantastic romp through the Romanian countryside. When it came out it was met with bad reviews that mocked it for not living up to the films it plays homage to.

I didn’t give a single fuck though because once I saw that film it was clear that everyone else was wrong. Like ‘just end your career now because clearly you don’t know what fun looks like’ wrong.

This is a movie that features The Duke from Moulin Rouge chewing the scenery with low-budget fangs. Dracula’s Brides getting to do something other than be examples of why female sexuality is bad. Some Lord of the Rings dude being cute. SCIENCE!!!! (sort of)

It also features some really unfortunate and impossible-to-ignore racism which I sadly didn’t notice ten years ago because our country often doesn’t remember that the Roma are a persecuted people and that ‘gypsy’ is a slur. We’ll talk about that.

But aside from the racism (a phrase I have to utter about a lot of films) this movie is grade-A cheeseball. Is it the masterpiece it set out to be? No. But neither is The Room and tell me you don’t enjoy watching the hell out of that. Because it doesn’t matter if a movie is bad so long as it’s entertaining. Technically Schindler’s List is a good film. That doesn’t mean I wanna watch it every day. (Jokes. I’ve seen that thing five times.)

Despite my rewatching Van Helsing a few times over the course of a year, I pretty much forgot most of it. Probably because in high school I tried erasing all evidence of my werewolf phase (my vampire love was fine because it happened around the time Twilight came out. That meant I got to be a snob rather than a freak).

But about a month ago, your esteemed editor, his esteemed wife, and my esteemed self sat down to partake in what we all called ‘The Hugh Jickmen Abs-a-Thon.’ A night of movies featuring Hugh Jackman’s glorious abs.

Naturally we included the film that involved his glorious abs getting covered in lustrous CGI fur. I worried that maybe in my older age I wouldn’t appreciate the camp of the film. The unintentional comedy. The over the top acting. The bad accents.

Turns out my tastes as a 24-year-old are just as questionable as they were at 14 because this movie is AWESOME.

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We open with a black and white Universal Studios logo. Black and white everything because this is how you do an homage, Tarantino. Also a flashback because, as the screen tells us, this is 1887.

There’s a mob storming a castle that is occupied by Frankenstein, his monster, and Dracula. We are told that the monster is just being brought to life because Dr. Frankenstein is shouting ‘IT’S ALIIIIIVE.’ Is there a bylaw in Hollywood stating that all references to Frankenstein must use this quote? I’d be shocked if there wasn’t.

As the mob closes in, Dracula tells the Doctor he’s taking the monster away for some nefarious purpose. We don’t get to know what it is yet, because we cut away and when we come back the Doctor is all ‘oh hell no’ and Dracula is all like ‘but my wives you see’ and the Doctor is like ‘I’m gonna run away with him’ and Dracula is like ‘no you’re not.’ There’s also a lot of talk of triumphing over God and creating life while machines spark and Richard Roxburgh gestures wildly with his hands. Oh and Dracula spends most of this exchange walking up walls and ceilings. He also proves his strength by literally holding Victor still with two fingers. Not gonna lie, I think that’s a decent way of expressing how strong your vampires are and they do it several times in the film. A less ‘subtle’ way of expressing vampiric talents? When Doctor Frankenstein attempts to kill Dracula, Dracula impales himself on Doc’s sword and says ‘You can’t kill me, Victor. I’m already dead.’ Then via shadow puppetry, we see Dracula extend his mouth like a snake and just kill the good Doctor. Rest in peace Doctor Frankenstein, you’ll be the first of many bodies.

But the monster wakes up! And while wailing operatically (because he’s played by a musical theatre actor and it’s kind of wonderful) he throws Dracula into the fireplace. Which still doesn’t kill him.

So within the first ten minutes we have been told that these vampires, or at least this particular one, is not like the other vampires as he can survive staking and fire. (See: Our Vampires are Different on tvtropes.com). Will this provide difficulties for our heroes later on? Maybe! Yes. Anyway, Dracula pops out of the fireplace and regrows his skin and turns into a bat-beast. He flies away and is joined by his three brides (who are my favorite part of this movie).

Meanwhile the monster runs away with Frankenstein’s body, climbs to the top of a windmill filled with absinthe (no really, there are bottles everywhere and they even do a close-up since you can’t see how green it is) and then gets to shout ‘WHYYYYYYYY?’ as the mob burns the place down. After the mob disperses (since the monster must be dead. I mean we totally didn’t see another monster escape death by flames a hot second [ha] earlier) Dracula and his brides land in their human forms. The brides are all wearing flowy dresses that blow in the wind and they all cry and reach towards the sky while Dracula is in the foreground looking miffed.

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I’m just gonna take a minute to say that the Brides are my favorite part of this movie. All three of the actresses clearly have fun and they just go all out with the melodrama. I ❤ them.

But black and white time is over! We’re off to Paris a year later, with Van Helsing (whose face is on wanted posters) hunting Mr. Hyde. They end up at Notre Dame, we get introduced to VH, some of his gadgets (like these circular hand saw things), how he’s a badass. That sort of thing. I don’t want to focus on this bit of exposition because the CGI Mr. Hyde has nipples and that freaks me out. There’s also a shot of him pulling his pants up over his ass and I really don’t see how this movie’s budget could have afforded such a gratuitous shot. Anyway, even though VH was told to bring Hyde in alive (so that the ‘Knights of the Holy Order’ can try to get Jekyll back) he kills Mr. Hyde by throwing him off the top of Notre Dame. But not before breaking that big ass stained glass window because property damage is cool!

Back in Rome, underneath the Vatican, VH gives a report to his superior who gives us more exposition about VH being found crawling up the stairs naked, no memories of who he was before but clearly ‘intended to do God’s work.’ Because when you find a naked stranger with amnesia clearly they are a gift from god and not, say, someone to avoid at all costs.

(Fun Fact: His superior is played by Alun Armstrong who was in the original production of Les Mis, the film version of which starred Jackman. But they didn’t play the same role because then this fact would have been way cooler.)

We go deep underground so that VH can learn about his new assignment. He’s gotta go to Transylvania and help kill the Dracula. Because there’s a family whose ancestor swore to kill him or they wouldn’t get into heaven. These people are also gypsy royalty (last time we’re using that word in the review, folks). Oh, and since the current patriarch died there’s only his two kids left. So seven generations are on the line! And this family is like super important because they do all the monster hunting in the east. Get on that, Wolverine!

VH goes through the lower-Vatican and we meet Carl, the comic relief of the film. We learn that he’s super smart and super proud of his smartness. He’s also a reasonable coward because when Van Helsing tells him he’s going with, Carl points out that as the Q of this operation he’s really not qualified for field work.

Also, for whatever reason, when an explosion happens, there’s a Mullah in the back who shouts ‘what in the name of Allah is wrong with you.’ I don’t know if having a Muslim working for the Vatican’s Secret Police was the result of some on-set goofing or what but it’s kind of a quick laugh. And considering this movie came out within a couple of years of 9/11, having a Muslim character, even in the background of a film, fighting to end ultimate evil is kind of nice. Do that more, Hollywood. And let us actually see them. Also this doesn’t make up for having a whole bunch of characters you call ‘g******s.’ Still side-eyeing that.

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Speaking of our royal family of monster hunting royals, let’s go to Anna and her brother (name forgotten). They’re hunting a werewolf with their people. They sort of fail. I mean, they almost do what they set out to do but werewolves are hard, man. Maybe it would have been an easier mission if they had more than one silver bullet in one gun but I’m not from a long line of monster hunters so maybe I shouldn’t criticize. The point is, the werewolf nearly kills Anna but then her hot brother saves her and he and the wolf go over a cliff. Anna gives a pretty good ‘we’re fucked’ face and that’s it. Stakes raised I guess.

Next VH and Carl show up. There’s a line about VH not remembering anything pre-stair crawl except for a battle in 73 AD. They show up to a village which features the mob from the prologue. Anna shows up, being in charge in her pants and corset outfit and talking in her terrible accent. And you know I am just kind of disappointed in Kate Beckinsale here. Everyone else in this movie accepts the project and seems to have fun with it. Aside from a few moments, Beckinsale is clearly not having fun with this. She’s just sort of going through it, probably for a paycheck. I get that. God knows when I worked retail I put in the minimal effort. But she was in the Underworldmovies so I don’t see why she’s phoning it in here. Unless things were bad on set in which case I’ll take her poor effort as an appropriate fuck you to everyone involved. So there’s talking and ‘we don’t talk to strangers’ and blah blah blah BRIDES. THE BRIDES ARE BACK. They just straight up swoop down and start killing villagers. They toss a cow throw a second-story window. They cause mayhem. It’s also daylight which means this movie is using traditional vampire rules. Sort of. Since they’re in Beast Mode technically that’s breaking the daylight power rules. But I don’t care because during the course of this there’s an exchange between Anna and Aleera (the red-haired bride who lasts the longest). They refer to each other by name (Aleera is the only one who gets this treatment from Anna) and there’s some dialogue that is vague but enough for me to decide that they are exes.

Example

Anna: Did I do something to you in a past life? (Because technically Allera’s mortal life would have been a previous life. And also)

Aleera: Don’t play coy with me, princess. I know what lurks in your lusting heart.

YOU WILL NOT CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. SUBTEXTUAL LESBIANS ARE MY THIRD FAVORITE TYPE OF LESBIANS.

Then one of the other brides, who I call Morticia because she is brunette and pretty, shows up and they almost kill Anna. But before they can the third blonde bride dies because she was teasing Van Helsing and he shoots her full of holy water crossbow bolts. And apparently the brides are hive mind because the two who are about to kill Anna start freaking out and screaming and turn back into bats and fly away.

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Anna and VH get a little friendlier but fuck that because here is the best scene in the movie. Where Richard Roxburgh, fresh off of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and knowing exactly what sort of movie he’s in, hams it up for five minutes.

It starts with Dracula rising from an ice coffin (because vampires in this film go to sleep by freezing into/onto things) and shouting the name of his fallen bride. The other two brides are weeping and hanging upside down. Their wigs, not meant to withstand such things, are clearly struggling against gravity because those lace fronts are showing hardcore.

Dracula tells them not to cry because he’s gonna get a new bride, which reasonably upsets the old ones. Because come on, dude. The solution to a poly breakup is not to add new partners. I know Opening Up and The Ethical Slut didn’t exist in your time period but find the equivalent gothic novel and be a better partner.

Then we get an awesome wall-climbing monologue about humans being greedy and selfish and how Dracula feels nothing and it is the best kind of bad acting. It’s the kind of bad acting that only happens when good actors are given terrible scripts. It brings joy to my heart. You know what, I’m just gonna link you to it right now, okay? Because it’s hamtastic. Also this video is terrible but that’s fitting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pEmdxeYrfY

Oh, and there’s more talk about the experiments and the scene ends with an implied vampire threesome. We don’t get to see it because it happens in ice world. Also, we have to go back to the protagonists, I guess.

They do…stuff. You know what as awesome as this movie is, I don’t really care about anything other than the vampires and Carl eventually getting laid. So let’s breeze past stuff.

There’s a painting of a map that Anna’s dad looked at. It’s supposed to tell you where Dracula’s lair is. Eventually it is revealed to be a mirror that is actually a door/portal/whatever that just lets you walk right into Drac’s castle.

Anna’s brother, now a werewolf under Dracula’s command, attacks. She doesn’t kill him, Van Helsing curses her for it. Also there is some forced sexual tension between the two of them that at first is shunted off realistically with Anna being like ‘I said I owed you a drink. Bar’s over there. Night’ and I liked that. Not just because it helps support my lesbian headcanon.

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Our heroes run off to Castle Frankenstein which should be abandoned but isn’t. We learn that Anna’s brother is some conduit for a baby making machine. Oh yeah. The experiment that keeps getting talked about is making vampire babies. They grow in these giant sacs that hang off ceilings and there are literally thousands of them. Later on, The Monster (spoiler: not dead) says that the first batch we see get brought to life (through the power of werewolf-lightning) was from one bride, one birthing. And this isn’t explained past that. No word on if these bat-babies (because they don’t get a human form) age at all. Or how the fuck one bride spits them out. Anyway, Anna lets her wolf brother out and he keeps ripping off his skin to reveal fur. I love it.

Meanwhile Dracula and Van Helsing meet. Or re-meet since Drac keeps saying they know each other from like forever ago. VH does not care. I would care. If I had amnesia I would care. Anyway, the babies get brought to life but then they die by exploding into goo. The brides are sad again. Plus side: we get another shot of the Brides being melodramatic. Seriously every time they are sad wind comes from nowhere and they just claw at the sky and howl and it is beautiful. A+ everyone.

We also get more Anna and VH fighting. Anna is pissed because VH tried killing Dracula in the usual ways and she’s like ‘bitch we’ve been fighting him for centuries, you think we didn’t try this?’ and VH is kind enough to not be like ‘WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS?’

They drink absinthe, they start flirting for some reason, and fall into a hole. They meet the Monster! He’s even referred to as The Frankenstein Monster. Good job, writers. Anyway, the Monster wants to die because he knows what he was made for and he’s not down with that.

Were-brother sees them. Monster gets put on a fast carriage to the Vatican. It’s pulled by Transylvanian horses which are super fast for some reason. They are actually because the travel montage shows them getting really far. Unfortunately they get attacked. ACTION SEQUENCE NOW WITH CHASE SCENE ACTION.

Morticia dies. Wolf brother dies. Van Helsing gets scratched and dosed with lycanthropy.  Monster gets exposed to fire and freaks out because, again, bylaws of Hollywood detailing required Frankenstein references. Fortunately, it being suddenly daylight, Anna finds her brother in human form and can forgive him before he dies. And just in time for Aleera to pop up, slap her into a rock, pick her up, and carry her off.

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This film really does do well with showing the vampires are super strong. Instead of having them perform feats of strength they just do normal things better. Like Drac holds off the werewolf earlier (when he’s in human form) by pushing two fingers into his chin. And Aleera is shown hitting Anna hard multiple times. Like she doesn’t do any insane fighting, she just hits Anna the way most people swat at flies. Because when you have super strength and your opponent doesn’t, that’s really all you have to do.

Back to the story, Aleera says Drac wants to trade Monster for Anna at this big ball in Budapest. (We’re in Budapest now.) I like how killing the Valerious children isn’t a thing anymore. First part of the film it was all they cared about. Now it’s just a meh thing. No big deal. Maybe because they realized that Anna is so inept that they don’t really have to bother?

Oh and VH has two days until a full moon. Because full moons in this universe apparently happen once a week. Seriously. Wolf brother JUST had his first full moon and now VH has a weekend to cure himself. The fuck.

Now for a scene that is clearly the bulk of the budget. We’ve got a crowd wearing fancy costumes. Circus performers. Fire breathers. People balancing on giant balls. Trapeze shit. Tons of dancing. Speaking of, Anna (who has since been put in a trance as well as a skintight cleavage bearing dress) and Dracula are there. While she’s still under a spell or whatever, Dracula removes their masks and kisses her and like, woah dude, that is not consent. Also, gonna bring this up now, in the next scene there is a very quick line about how Dracula is actually one of Anna’s ancestors. The great-whatever grandpa who swore to end him? That was Dracula’s dad. He made that deal with god out of guilt. So Dracula is Anna’s, like, great-great-great-etc uncle and NO ONE IN THE FILM FINDS THAT ADDITIONALLY DISTURBING. Because this continues with him baiting her and saying he’s gonna make her a new bride. Oh and she tells him he makes her skin crawl and he says ‘that’s not all I could do with your skin.’ Which sounds like a torture threat. But he says it while breathing into her ear and pressing her against him. So it’s also kind of flirtatious? I’m not sure what his intentions were but I can say from experience that when guys are trying to compliment a lady and skin gets brought up, they very quickly start to sound like cannibals and lamp shade makers.

Also, as for this marriage thing. Does Aleera know? Did you clear with her that it’s okay to bang her ex? Because exes and polycules are a hard thing to work out, Dracula. Especially when your partner’s ex is also your grand-niece. You are making this way too complicated.

Luckily Van Helsing swings in and saves Anna, who immediately starts ripping off her finery and taking her hair down (because being girly is bad and having your hair down in a fight makes sense). Then Dracula reveals that everyone there is a vampire!

Wait what?

Dracula and his brides are the only vampires the film has mentioned so far. When the Vatican brings them up at the start, Van Helsing has never heard of them despite being a professional monster hunter. How are there so many? Why are there so many? Where do they all live? Do they all kill one to two people a month like Drac and his brides do? If so, that should be noticed if they all live in this area. Is this some sort of vampire conference? Or a family reunion?

Let’s ignore these questions because most/all of the vampires get killed by a light bomb Carl mentioned at the start of the film. So that plot hole is as good as sealed.

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Next we get a scene where the Monster is taken away, Carl says the Vatican said he had to be destroyed, and everyone is treading water. No really. This whole scene has everyone in a moat. After the obligatory ‘we have until sundown’ moment, everyone heads back to Anna’s house, figures out the mirror map, gives us more background on Dracula (he was murdered, made a deal with the devil, his dad couldn’t kill him, got imprisoned in his ice castle that he can just fly out of) and walks into the third act of the movie.

They run into the Monster, who is being held in a block of ice that’s being raised to the tower. He manages to say there’s a cure for lycanthropy somewhere in the castle before getting more dramatic than he has been up to this point. Because musical theatre acting adapts really well to schlocky horror acting as luck would have it.

But wait! Why can Dracula cure werewolves? Because that’s what can kill him! But he uses them to do his bidding. But he can usually control them so this is if one gets really independent! Like Van Helsing! VH is totally a rogue agent. Let’s wait until midnight. Kill Dracula between the first and 11th strokes. Cure VH by the 12th! That…makes perfect sense. Sure. We’ve rolled with it this far, just gotta get a little further.

This plan does make more sense than the kiss between Anna and Van Helsing that happens next though. I mean she’s totes a lesbian (Aleera is clearly more of polysexual lady due to her marriage to the lord of the undead). But sure, okay, fine, let’s make sure to cover our bases so we can keep studio funding. I’m still going down with this ship.

Now let’s jump back and forth around the castle.

In the lab, Dracula is monologuing at the Monster about how he was created to say fuck you to god’s sole ability to create life.

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Okay I’m gonna take some issue with the film here because Dracula is driving the baby thing. And I kind of hate that there are multiple women in this creating life narrative and none of them get to really have as much agency regarding said life. Even though, unlike in Frankenstein where it’s a dude trying to create life all on his own, this life-making plan here ACTIVELY REQUIRES WOMEN. But I feel like digging too far into anything in this movie (besides the lesbian subtext) is going to lead to tears so I’ll stop.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Anna and Carl have been taken to the cure by Igor who locks them in the room because Anna is not genre-savvy. The cure (which is a blood red rather than the vibrant purple like the werewolf cure in Ginger Snaps) is in a huge needle in a glass bubble thing. Carl and Anna argue over who should stick their hand in (there is no visible opening by the way) and while that happens Aleera shows up. Anna, struck with sudden brains, throws the bubble at Aleera and makes it shatter. Surprise! Full of vamp-skin burning acid. Also gate burning acid (the room has a gate) because Anna throws it on the bars to get them out of the room. Carl makes it out but Aleera grabs Anna and tells her she can’t go. Aleera uses her vamp powers to blow out all the torches and…and you know the writers sort of fucked themselves on this one. Because they have consistently shown Aleera to be stronger, faster, and a better fighter than Anna. Anna’s only power so far is that she can fall a lot. From buildings, off of trees, onto rocks, onto other trees. And she always fine. Like Anna has some fucking superhuman endurance. But aside from that? They’ve really not done a good job making her seem like the heir to a monster hunting throne. She’s always getting saved by luck and I wish she were better written than that. Aleera, however, is written as a supernatural creature who just is good at this sort of thing. They give her a flaw later on but I wish they had delved into it more. Basically both these characters need balance. And to bang. Like they really just need to have sex and say fuck off to Dracula and Van Helsing right this second.

Anyway, this fight isn’t much a fight. It’s Aleera taunting Anna in the dark. It is shot in a neat way though since at one point we get to see Anna from Aleera’s perspective. When lightning flashes and the room is lit up, everything is sort of distorted and hazy around the edges. When it’s dark, you just see Anna’s heart and veins glowing and pulsing with her heartbeat. I’m going to assume that shot is an homage to the weird bestiality scene in the 1992 version of Dracula because if we’re homaging classic monster movies why not also homage one from the ’90s? ’90 s films are practically classics now. But forget about that because we’re back to lesbians. When Aleera finally catches Anna she tells her to “Be happy in the knowledge that I shall weep over your dead body” and then licks her face.

TOTES GAY.

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But Anna is saved by another plot device when the Monster (who had been previously freed by VH and I didn’t cover that part because I didn’t care) who just comes through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man and holds bat-Aleera by her ankles while Anna runs away. So the monster is not strong enough to break out of tombs, break out of chains, break out of the lab, not get knocked out, and various other things but he is strong enough to be the only character we’ve seen be stronger than a vampire. Because someone needs to save Anna since she can never save herself.

Anyway, when this wasn’t happening VH saved the monster (who was doing more musical howling and it was the best), the baby-pods got activated, Igor gets killed after a “fight” with Carl (mostly Carl running and then a lucky falling chain taking Igor out), Carl further saves the monster. VH and Dracula are fighting somewhere.

Back to the big old bridge this castle has where Anna swings across this fucking chasm on a chain and Carl tosses her the werewolf cure. And she catches it. In the dark. In the rain. And then Aleera tears her down and is taunting her about killing her again and Carl (assuming it’s Carl. It technically comes from nowhere) tosses Anna a pointy thing and she catches that. Because apparently Anna has one specific skill and that is playing high-stakes games of catch. (Get it? High STAKES. I’m hilarious.)

Anna stabs Aleera and tells her that ‘if you’re going to kill someone, kill them. Don’t stand around talking about it.’

And that’s a good point and an issue Aleera had. It’s definitely a hubris thing. Though maybe Aleera couldn’t kill Anna because she still loves her deep down inside or really just wants to keep her as a pet. THE POINT IS THE MOST INTERESTING POSSIBILITY IN THIS FILM DIED.

So now we get the Dracula and VH fight. Dracula explains that he knows Van Helsing (or Gabriel, the left hand of God, as Dracula keeps calling him) and that Van Helsing was the one who murdered him (we don’t know why) and that this ring that VH has was actually Dracula’s. Dracula is also missing a finger so it was either taken by accident or really vindictively because cutting off fingers is cold, bro.

But then midnight happens! And VH reveals he’s a werewolf and Dracula loses his shit and starts backtracking and saying they should work together and using these convoluted metaphors to try and convince him while backing away slowly and not making eye contact because werewolves are like cougars. They fight with both of them going back and forth between monster and human forms. VH’s transformations are controlled by the moon being visible or behind clouds (also how close he is to offing Dracula because the clouds seem to appear any time that’s about to happen) and instead of seeing Hugh Jackman repeatedly tear his abs off like the wolf-brother did, his transformations are more melty or like shedding. Dracula’s transformations are even less exciting.

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Dracula starts bargaining with memories and saying he can help Gabriel Van Helsing get them back! Like for real! Because you need to understand how deep the typecasting of Hugh Jackman was ten years ago. Hairy badasses with memory loss. That’s his thing. For years he was wasted on these plot lines. But I digress. VH says he doesn’t care about memories and you know at first I disagreed with that but there’s no indication in the film that VH really does care about his previous life. He’s more concerned with guilt over killing people for a living. And besides, being hundreds of years old, connected to God, and being part of the reason ultimate evil exists? That’s kind of a lot to handle at once. So he kills Dracula! Just rips his throat right out! And he dies, and the bat babies die. And when the bat babies die there’s actually a pretty cool shot of them all exploding and their goo putting out the castle fires.

VH, still furry, is found by Anna and Carl. Anna charges, VH attacks, and Anna gets the syringe in his abs. But VH killed her. He…broke her neck or something because there’s no blood and her makeup isn’t even fussed. VH picks her up and howls sadly while his fur falls off and then he just sort of stops reacting. Carl reacts more than he does because Carl is a gentle soul who got dragged into this mess. Poor Carl. The only surviving character who I really care about.

They build Anna a pyre, a pyre of fire and we see her face in the clouds. She’s reunited with her family and smiling down on VH and Carl. The Monster sails away on a teeny tiny raft for parts unknown. Carl and VH get some horses and ride past something that looks like Stonehenge but can’t be because geography. No word on if they still work for the Vatican.

THE END!

Stray Thoughts

– It’s hard to explain this movie and make it sound fun but it really is. It’s the sort of bad movie that you should watch with your friends while making fun of it.

– So I mentioned the racism thing. Because having a group of people with bad accents who are fully connected to the supernatural and called ‘g*****s’ is not okay Hollywood. Especially when you make all of them white (which most Roma people aren’t). It’s a racist caricature out of a Scooby-Doo episode. And I know it’s not a form of racism we see as much in America but in Europe, Romani people still get a lot of harassment and abuse.

– I really want more Brides. In this. In other adaptations of Dracula. This movie wasn’t the best in their treatment of Anna but I like how The Brides were portrayed. Despite their limited screen time together, the actresses made them work as a unit and they all seemed to not be identical. And they got to do things other than be like ‘Oh hey Jonathan Harker let us seduce you because this story is an allegory for female sexuality being evil.’ They got to be powerful and actual threats. More hardcore lady vamps please.

– I enjoy how nearly everyone in this movie just went with the camp. This movie could have been so flat and boring but the purposefully bad performances really make this thing worth watching.

– So the Anna/Aleera thing I wouldn’t let go. I looked online and found no fan fiction featuring the two of them paired up. It was all Anna and Dracula or Anna and Van Helsing and fuck that. Then our esteemed editor reminded me that the sub-law of Rule 34 (if it exists there is porn of it) states that if the porn does not currently exist, the person who discovered this must create porn. So all of you get to see my first attempt at writing sex porn. Here you go.

Anna/Aleera Sex Porn

 Anna and Aleera laid in bed together, both unsure of how to commence making up. They had met after both of them definitely didn’t die and had had a nice talk about getting back together. Which of course meant make-up sex. Because that’s what adults do after fighting to the near-death.

“My love,” Aleera purred, stroking Anna’s chestnut hair. “Let us re-consummate our love.”

 The flame-haired she-devil climbed on top of her lover and pressed gentle kisses to her throat.

 “Could you not?” Anna said.

 “What do you mean?”

 “The fangs.”

 “Is this still going to be an issue with you?” Aleera huffed.

 Anna sat up and shook her head. “I was raised to hate vampires. And then you—”

 “Is this about me becoming a vampire or me dating Dracula?”

 “Look, I just thought you were more secure about your sexuality. Given that you were the one who got all mad at me for not being out to my family.”

“Secure?”

 “You did go out and get a beard. You got married to your beard for god’s sake.”

 Aleera stood up and tossed her red hair over her shoulder. “How many times do I have to tell you that I’m bi?”

 “Bisexuality is a myth.”

 “Your family fights monsters for a living and bisexuality is too hard to believe in. For fuck’s sake, Anna, I was even dating two women at the same time.”

 The women stared each other down. There was lots of heavy breathing and longing glances but not really the fun kind.

 “I’m sorry,” Aleera said, “but I am with you now. Only you.”

 The heavy breathing and longing glances became a bit more fun and the two women came together like two out-of-control carriages at a busy intersection. Their lips met and hugged and kissed and shook hands and all sorts of other verbs. Their tongues did tongue things. Aleera’s hands struggled with Anna’s trousers, unable to take them off. She pulled back.

 “Seriously are you sewn into these?”

 “Yes,” Anna said, as though it were obvious.

 And then the pants magically came off anyway.

 Aleera took in the sight of the other woman’s secret garden. Anna’s lady flower was like real flowers after a morning mist. Dewy, fresh, and a little more fragrant than they otherwise would have been. Thankfully, Aleera was not allergic to flowers, lady or otherwise. She wasn’t allergic to anything really because she was dead.

 She pushed Anna back onto the bed and began to let her fingers journey through Anna’s hidden valley. She waited until the other woman was moaning and whimpering and all the other words your esteemed writer has seen in VC Andrews books.

 “Can I use my mouth or are the fangs going to bother you again?”

 “Jesus Christ, Aleera, just get on with it.”

 Aleera got on with it.

 Her tongue danced across Anna’s glistening moon flower, moving in serpentine patterns and striking the best spots. She thought of making a comment about how she was certain Anna liked her weird vampire mouth now but she refrained because she wanted this relationship to work and that means being quiet sometimes.

Anna came loudly and her orgasm made windows shatter because it’s not proper sex unless things break unexpectedly.

 Aleera sat back smugly. “Has it been a while for you?”

 Anna blushed. “Since I was with another, yes. But I have traversed Middle Earth many times since we broke up.”

 “It’s always better when you have someone to make that journey with.”

 They smiled. Because it’s good for people to know that fictional queer ladies can be happy. Even if they aren’t canon and one is a vampire.

 “Now,” Anna declared. “Allow me the honor of sailing across your Black Lagoon.”

 “Uh…There’s something we should talk about first.”

 “No more talking, Aleera. I wish to give you the gift of immeasurable pleasure.” Anna began pushing up Aleera’s skirts.

 “No but really, Anna. We should talk about this.”

 But Anna did not listen. She lifted up Aleera’s dress and stared aghast at what she saw. “That’s…that is not the chasm I was expecting.”

 “You’ve seen how my body changed after I became a vampire. That changed too.”

 “Does it…how?”

 “Just put your hand inside of it, Anna.”

 “You said you weren’t into that sort of thing.”

 “Well I wasn’t. But tastes change. Just try it.”

 Anna steadied herself and slowly dipped her hand into Aleera. Light began to pour forth from between the other woman’s legs and Anna’s hand felt cold. She pulled her hand back and saw that there was snow on it. As soon as her hand was clear, the light stopped.

 “What is with you creatures and ice?”

 “Aesthetic choices? But it does all sorts of things. Did you not wonder how vampire birth worked?”

 “I had wondered.”

 “Our closest idea is that it leads to other dimensions based on emotional states. If we make love to Pink Floyd, lasers shoot out of it. The pretty kind. And if I get upset it sets anything inside of it on fire.”

 Anna took in her partner’s Venus thigh trap and wondered if it could be weaponized. One of the effects of being raised to fight monsters is that you always wonder how something can be weaponized.

 But weaponizing could come later.

 “And what does it do if your emotional state if one of joy?”

 Aleera smiled. Her fangs shone in the moonlight but Anna did not mind so much now. “Allow me to show you.”

 And then they had the best sex ever and got a spinoff series where they traveled to different dimensions and fought crime and had more awesome sex and everyone was happy. Especially me.

Van Helsing 12

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