Transylvania 6-5000 is a 1985 American comedy movie directed by Rudy de Luca and distributed by New World Pictures. It stars Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley, Jr. as the journalists Jack Harrison and Gil Turner. It features Teresa Ganzell as Elizabeth, Jeffrey Jones as Mayor Lepescu, Joseph Bologna as the mad scientist Dr. Malavaqua, John Byner and Carol Kane as Malavaqua's assistants Radu and Lupi and Geena Davis as Odette. Most of the movie was filmed on location in Yugoslavia.
In the film, two American journalists are sent to Transylvania to investigate a sighting of Frankenstein's monster. During their stay, they are also told to destroy a werewolf and encounter what appear to be a mummy and a sexy female vampire named Odette. However, none of the monster characters are quite what they seem to be at first.
The title is a punning reference to the piece of music "Pennsylvania 6-5000", first recorded by Glenn Miller in 1940, portions of which are played in the movie. The same title had previously been used for a 1963 Bugs Bunny cartoon.
Transylvania 6-5000 was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America. The film did not perform very well at the box office. Having been made on an estimated budget of $3,000,000, it earned a little over $7,000,000 at movie theaters in North America.
When Mac Turner, the editor of the supermarket-tabloid The Sensation, receives a videotape which seems to show two men in Transylvania running away from Frankenstein's monster, he sees the opportunity to get a spectacular story. He sends two journalists, his son Gil Turner, who loves senstational stories and has not hesitated to fabricate them in the past, and Jack Harrison, a good writer who was hired by Mac Turner to improve the level of vocabulary used in his newspaper.
After a very long journey, Jack and Gil arrive in Transylvania and are greeted by Lepescu the mayor. Jack immediately tries to hit on an American tourist named Elizabeth, a single-mother who is visiting Transylvania with her daughter Laura to get as far away as possible from her ex-husband. Gil begins to ask the locals if they have seen the Frankenstein monster but is met with laughter and ridicule.
Jack and Gil arrive at their hotel, a converted castle, and find that Lepescu is not only the mayor but also the hotel manager. Other members of the hotel staff include Radu, a man who always walks hunched over and calls everybody "master", and his wife Lupi.
Although Jack is convinced that there is no story to pursue, Gil continues to investigate. Looking through old issues of the local newspaper, he finds out about a Sicilian doctor named Malavaqua who lost his license to practice medicine but is now in charge of a sanitarium. Gil speculates that Malavaqua's license may have been taken away from him after he, like Victor Frankenstein, tried to delve into the hidden mysteries of life.
A Gypsy woman requests that Jack and Gil come to see her. She tells them that they should not be pursuing the Frankenstein monster but a werewolf. She says that her son Larry Malbot is cursed to take on the form of a wolf at the full moon and that only death can release him from his torment. Jack and Gil follow the man they believe to be Larry Malbot but instead of a werewolf only find a man who is cheating on his wife. It is later revealed that they followed the Gypsy's husband, Larry Malbot, Sr., by mistake.
Gil encounters a scantily clad female vampire named Odette who uses hidden passageways to seem to appear and disappear at will. She tells Gil that she loves him so much that it hurts.
Having managed to sneak into the saniatrium's grounds, Gil overhears Lepescu and the chief of police talk to Dr. Malavaqua about his experiments. They say that the only person who could have been msiataken for Frankenstein's monster was Malavaqua's friend Kurt Henyadi, believed to be dead. Suspicious of Malavaqua, the police order Kurt Henyadi's body be exhumed. Henyadi is found not to be inside his coffin.
To evade the attention of the authorities, Malavaqua retreats to his laboratory beneath the castle that Lepescu has changed into a hotel. Radu and Lupi are revealed to be Malavaqua's lab assistants. The Frankenstein's monster-like Kurt Henyadi, Odette, the wolfman Larry Malbot and what appears to be a living mummy dwell within Malavaqua's lab.
While Jack and Elizabeth are enjoying a picnic, Elizabeth's daughter Laura disappears. While searching for her, Jack encounters some of the monster characters from Malavaqua's lab. He tries to inform the police but gets locked up by them. Elizabeth frees Jack from his police cell. She is horrified to find out that, instead of looking for her daughter, the entire police force are enjoying the annual wine festival. She goes to the festival to complain and Jack goes to Malavaqua's laboratory to find out the truth.
Kurt Henyadi ariives at the wine festival carrying the apparently dead Laura in his arms, although it soon emerges that she is only sleeping. The local people prepare to burn the monster to death. Jack appears and explains that Henyadi is not a monster, he is merely someone who Malavaqua performed extensive reconstructive surgery on after he had a near fatal car accident. Larry Malbot is not a werewolf, simply someone with hair all over his body who is being treted by Malavaqua. The mummy is in fact a woman who is bandaged after having extensive plastic surgery. Odette is not a real vampire. She pretended to be one because she considered herself ugly and felt it was the only way to get Gil's attention.
Although Jack and Gil find that there are no real monsters in Transylvania, the photographs that they take of Kurt Henyadi, Radu and Lupi and Odette enjoying the wine festival make the front page of The Sensation, accompanied by bizarre stories about their private lives.