"Transylvania 6-5000" is a funny horror movie about two National Enquirer-style "investigative" reporters (Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr.) who comb Transylvania to get the goods on Frankenstein and his colleagues. Writer/director Rudy Deluca helped write Mel Brooks movies like "Young Frankenstein."
But that doesn't explain why so many people showed up for a "Transylvania 6-5000" screening this week; why cars waiting to get on the 20th Century-Fox lot tied up traffic on Pico Boulevard; why the crowd filled every seat and all of the aisles in three of Fox's theaters; or why the postscreening party attracted far more than the usual Hollywood contingent who come out for free food and drink (not that that's not a sizable crowd, mind you).
"Transylvania 6-5000" was a hot ticket because New World Pictures -- which borrowed the Fox premises for the night -- awarded a door prize of a week (5,000 minutes, they said) in Europe. Even so, the crush was more than some people could take: The first three folks whose names were drawn lost out because they'd already gone home.
And what about the film? Circulating at the party, you could hear more than one moviegoer mutter, "Well, this is the biggest crowd this movie'll ever get . . ."
When Albert Magnoli directed Prince in "Purple Rain," he had to endure lots of questions about just how much control he really had over the mercurial musician's film debut. Originally, the same questions had been asked of Mary Lambert, director of Prince's current film, "Under the Cherry Moon." But nobody's asking anymore, because at the beginning of this week Lambert officially withdrew from the Paris production and handed the directorial reins over to Prince himself. Her reason: "After several weeks on the set, it became apparent that Prince had very strong ideas regarding his concept of the picture, including every aspect of its filming." The Directors Guild of America doesn't allow stars to take over directing chores in the middle of a production -- but since the movie's being shot in France, they don't have jurisdiction . . .
When Steven Spielberg produced "Goonies," he heard complaints about its unfair portrayal of Italian Americans. Now, even before "The Color Purple" has been released, the Coalition Against Black Exploitation has announced it plans to demonstrate outside coproducer Quincy Jones' offices this Saturday. The coalition wants a copy of the shooting script, an advance screening and information as to how the filmmakers plan to answer "serious and sensitive questions in the black community" -- mainly, questions about how they'll deal with the book's portrayal of lesbianism and "negative black male images." "The Color Purple" is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by black author Alice Walker . . .
Daily Variety says Walt Disney Pictures is at a standstill on its production of "Ruthless People," a comedy about kidnaping from the Jerry Zucker/Jim Abrahams/David Zucker trio responsible for "Airplane!" They reportedly can't find a leading lady now that both Madonna and Bette Midler have decided against the project . . . But a Disney alumna, former Mousketeer Sharon Baird, is doing fine with the title role in "Ratboy," actress Sandra Locke's first directorial assignment. This time, though, Baird's outfit is considerably more complicated than a pair of mouse ears: It's a complete Rick Baker makeover that turns the 4-foot-6-inch actress into a big, hairy rat . . .
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a remake of "Stagecoach" is scouting for locations in Texas. The cast is reportedly made up of country singers: Kris Kristofferson (in the John Wayne role), Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson . . . "White Nights" director Taylor Hackford says he won't direct again until early 1987, when he'll head into the Amazon jungle with star Richard Gere to shoot "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," a film version of Peter Matthiessen's 1965 novel . . . "Death Wish 3" was the big box-office winner over the weekend, making $5.3 million to $3.9 million for the runner-up, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge." That latter film hasn't even opened on the West Coast; in L.A., the top grosser was, understandably, William Friedkin's "To Live and Die in L.A."