Monday, June 20, 2016

LITTLE DEAD ROTTING HOOD (2016) [Paul's Review]

In this loose adaptation, little red riding hood is an undead zombie warrior in cut-offs and a crop top who fights werewolves in a region of rural Pennsylvania that looks uncannily like southern California.  Little Dead Rotting Hood blazes cinematic history by being, as far as I can tell, the first movie to construct its plot based on a pun.  Wait, that's not true.  Little Dead Rotting Hood is the first movie that isn’t porn to construct its plot based on a pun (happy now, Saving Ryan’s Privates?).

In adapting a pun for screen, you have to do a lot of filling in.  And filling in is one thing Little Dead Rotting Hood does!  You’ve got the lengthy shooty shooty sequences, gratuitous sexy time sequences, multiple cops-talking-about-wolves scenes, and crowds of characters, extras, and subplots.

For instance, the main character of the film is probably the sheriff, who is trying to figure out why so many humping teenagers are being attacked by wolves.  But this sheriff is also mad at his ex-wife for sticking him with the kids for the weekend.  And he’s managing jurisdictional tension with the state police.   Plus, he seems oblivious to the flirtations of a female deputy who, in what can only be selfless unrequited desperation, gladly takes care of his kids for him.  He’s got a complicated life!

But not as complicated as the zombie red riding hood story.  Apparently, little red riding hood is not just a girl but a “bloodline” (they like to say “bloodline” in this movie) tasked with saving “the people” from wolves.  And not just any wolves, but werewolves.  And not just any werewolves, but the DEN MOTHER who is a thirty-foot tall werewolf. 

So the red riding hood character belongs to a “bloodline” that makes her a “keeper of the forest” who takes over after her grandmother commits suicide in order to transfer her power to her.  It isn’t clear why the granddaughter has to be zombified in order for this to occur, since the grandmother appears to be healthy, alive, disturbingly young and rocking a badass wolf pelt belt.   

In any case the red riding hood character dies and becomes a sexy zombie who flips out when wolves are nearby, but otherwise is kind of confused (along with the rest of us) as to why she is corpse. 

ANYWAYS.  Trying to explain the rest of this movie would be torturous.  There’s a magic glowing sword, a book of forgotten lore, a redneck with a flamethrower, a beta werewolf who is competing with the den mother for control of the pack, a red cloak that contains "life force," and, almost unbelievably, a fully realized set-up for a sequel.  A SEQUEL.  Yes, you heard that right, the story of Little Dead Rotting Hood could not be told in one feature-length film alone.  It’s just too epic a tale of boobs and bad cgi.

The movie scores a few diversity points by casting several black actors and actresses into leading roles.  And it does manage a few rare moments of goofy sophomoric humor:  the word “crexy” is used, the black boyfriend correctly predicts his own stereotypical demise, and one line--“he’s eating Cleatus!”--is delivered pitch perfectly.  The giant den mother cgi werewolf is admittedly silly.  It walks on its hind legs in the awkward gait of someone wearing high heels for the first time.   

And apparently in a bid for the young wolf male audience, the movie spends a lot of time focusing on the den mother’s teats.  Giant canine boob—it’s what you signed up for, right?

But these aren’t enough to push the movie into full camp.  In fact, there are long segments of the film where it seems like the film wants to be taken seriously—including the Wikipedia-worthy police briefing on the various species and migratory patterns of North American wolves.    

It isn’t funny enough to be comedy, it isn’t silly enough for camp, and it ain’t scary at all.  But if you like to see tons of actors shooting fake guns towards imaginary threats, and you miss the gratuitous random-couple-getting-hot-and-heavy for twenty seconds before their genre-determined doom, Little Dead Rotting Hood proudly carries that torch just for you.

Final note: Little Dead Rotting Hood seemed to have an abundance of extras.  Like, they put out a call of extras, got too many, and then had to figure out a way to get them into every shot.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

Outside the diner, people just hanging out, as they do.

Inside the diner, lots of folks shooting the shit, as they do. . . wait a second!
Where have I seen 9 and 10 before?

There they are!  Outside the diner!  But how can they be both inside AND outside the diner at the same time?  Quick, someone look up "doppelganger" or "consistency error" in your book of forgotten forest lore!

Extra cops.  I particularly like how 13 is all up in it.  He may not be important, but his face sure fills up the frame.

The makeshift militia of extras, artfully filmed through jail bars to symbolize the prison of their acting careers.
My absolute favorite.  This dude just outright photobombs the scene.  Hell, why don't we gif that?

He's not a cop.  And he just looks so sad.  What's the story #22?  Did you just get fired?  Did you forget your uniform?  Just heading to the john?  Or are you simply walking down the hallway because THAT'S WHAT HALLWAYS ARE FOR?

Questions for Joe:
1.  Did your hometown have an “old wolf lady” that everyone in town referred to as such?  Does this only seem strange to those of us who grew up without an “old wolf lady” as a local fixture? 

JD: That "old wolf lady" was Star Trek: The Next Generation's Marina Sirtis! If she was my town's wolf lady, I'd be all like "Don't think of those wolf boobs around the wolf lady because she's also an empath!" but then I totally would, because trying not to think about something is the same as thinking about it. So she'd be like "I detect wolf boobs. And shame." And she'd be right.
2.   When the old wolf lady kills herself, she cuts the artery in her wrist and then holds her arm up as she crumples to the ground.  But no blood comes out of her arm!  Do you think they forgot to cgi it in or was she supposed to have air for blood as we would know if we read the appendix to the forgotten book of forest lore?

JD: I was totally distracted by the fact that Marina Sirtis wasn't going to be in the movie anymore. She probably detected wolf boobs. And regret.

3.  The cop takes away the rednecks’s flamethrower, but then gives him a rifle.  Is this enough to keep the NRA happy?

JD: *Holds fingertips to temples* I detect happiness. And...wolf boobs. Oh, sorry. That's me. I read my own mind! I have no idea how the NRA feels.

4.  Call it now: what will happen in the sequel?

JD: Huge CGI hairy wolf dick. With a wolf head at the tip. Try not to think about that. 

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