Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the 2004 film Van Helsing. For other uses, see Van Helsing (disambiguation).
- Hugh Jackman ... as Gabriel Van Helsing
- Kate Beckinsale ... as Anna Valerious
- Richard Roxburgh ... as Count Vladislaus Dracula
- David Wenham ... as Carl
- Will Kemp ... as Velkan Valerious/ The Wolfman
- Shuler Hensley ... as Frankensteins Monster
- Elena Anaya ... as Aleera, a bride of Dracula
- Silvia Colloca ... as Verona, a bride of Dracula
- Josie Maran ... as Marishka, a bride of Dracula
- Kevin J. O'Connor ... as Igor
- Samuel West ... as Dr. Victor Frankenstein
- Robbie Coltrane ... as Mr. Edward Hyde (voice)
During the late 19th century Dr. Frankenstein works with Count Dracula to bring the dead back to life. In doing so he creates Frankenstein's Monster. Dracula disposes of Frankenstein and the monster goes into hiding.
One year later Van Helsing is sent to Eastern Europe by a secret religious organization with ties to the Vatican in order to vanquish Dracula and save the family of the beautiful Anna from eternal purgatory. Long ago, an ancestor of Anna swore that he and his descendants would not enter Paradise until Dracula was destroyed.
Dracula tries to use Igor (Frankenstein's assistant) and Frankenstein's equipment to animate his offspring, which are born dead. However, without Dr. Frankenstein's expertise these attempts fail.
Van Helsing discovers that Dracula cannot be killed by the 'conventional' methods of disposing of a vampire, and also that Dracula knows of him. With Van Helsing's memory fragmented, he finds this curious.
Count Dracula is able to control werewolves after their first full moon, having them do his bidding; however, this is an ironic ability of Dracula's, because only a bite from a Werewolf can kill him. One of those who suffers from this control is Velkan Valerious, son of the Gypsy King Boris Valerious; despite the fact that his family had been hunting Dracula since 1462, Velkan falls under the curse when he's bitten by one of Dracula's previous wolves while protecting his sister Anna from it. He was later killed by the monster hunter Van Helsing, but not before biting him, giving him the power to finally kill Dracula. Van Helsing finally kills Dracula in a showdown during the next full moon.
Anna injects Van Helsing with the antidote to the werewolf curse, which Dracula keeps in his castle to protect himself, and Van Helsing reverts to a human after unwittingly killing Anna. Frankenstein's monster sails off into the sunset. Van Helsing burns Anna's body in a funeral pyre, and sees a vision of her entering Paradise with her ancestors.
The film contains numerous homages to the Universal Studios horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly those featuring Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolf Man. A poem/legend specifically written for The Wolf Man is quoted verbatim in this film.
Although this film is an homage to the Universal monster series, it breaks a cardinal rule by referring to Frankenstein's Monster directly by the name "Frankenstein", although in the context of this film, The Monster clearly considers himself to be Frankenstein's son. This difference is further borne out in an additional scene in the film's tie-in novel, in which the Monster specifically tells Van Helsing to call him Frankenstein.
Many fans have noted that Dracula refers to Van Helsing as "Gabriel" several times during the movie, which strongly implies that Van Helsing's first name is actually Gabriel. In addition, there are a couple of hints during the movie (even Dracula implies it during the final battle) that Van Helsing may be the archangel Gabriel, who has been called "the Left Hand of God" in some Christian traditions. In the context of the film, the one who murdered Dracula four hundred years ago is not named, but merely referred to as the "Left Hand of God".
Kate Beckinsale is becoming an old hand at fighting vampires, as she played a very similar character (albeit a vampire) in 2003's Underworld.
Fans of the Japanese manga comic Hellsing, which was published several years before Van Helsing was produced have noted numerous similarities between it and the movie -- for example, both feature Van Helsing/Hellsing as an action hero fighting Dracula and both worked for the church despite different denominations (Anime Hellsing fought for the Protestant Church, possibly Anglican but Van Helsing fought for the Catholic church) -- but it appears the similarities are coincidental.
Sommers continued the story of Van Helsing in a one-off issue comic book format, and in an animated prequel that leads up to Van Helsing's actual opening scene in the film.
Van Helsing "From Beneath the Rue Morgue"
Van Helsing: The London Assignment
A spin-off television series, titled Transylvania, was also going to be produced, using the film's village sets, but due to poor US box-office and critical panning the series' status is currently unknown. Sommers wrote the pilot and supervised six episode scripts.
Vivendi Universal Games also published a Van Helsing video game for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Game Boy Advance. The PS2 and Xbox versions follow a similar plot to the movie and feature the voice talent of many of the actors including Hugh Jackman and Richard Roxburgh.
- Official U.S. website
- Official Video Game website
- Dark Horse Comics' Van Helsing one-shot comic book
- Official UK website
- Official UK website for the DVD
- Official Japanese website
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