Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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

When the wolves near a small town become brazen killers, Little Red Riding Hood crawls from her grave to defeat them with her vampire claws and huge sword.

Little Dead Rotting Hood is exactly the kind of movie I expected to see a lot of when we started this blog. It has:
  • An edgy take on a children's story
  • A 20-foot tall CGI werewolf
  • The SWAT team
  • Hollywood washouts
  • Gratuitous nudity

Actually, let’s just run through this list, and call that our review.

An edgy take on a children’s story

Little Red Riding Hood is actually a pretty edgy story in the first place, but in this version LRRH is a Keeper of the Forest, destined to defeat the Wolf Mother every fortnight of the harvest something or other. She’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer modified to Buffy the Vampire Who Slays Wolves. At least, I think she’s a vampire. She dies and when she comes out of the ground she has fangs and claws. But, she can also walk around in the daylight and doesn’t appear to need human blood.

But hey, pointing out inconsistencies in Little Dead Rotting Hood (LDRH from now on), is like critiquing a broken liquor bottle. Especially when that bottle was broken in a bar fight between cheerleaders and talking dogs. To pick apart the shards is to miss the point that something fun and ridiculous happened!

A 20-foot-tall CGI werewolf

When I show you this wolf, you won’t be impressed. It’s worse than what you would expect from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, there are two things that are great about it:

·         It’s pretty big:

·         It walks into town and gets into a fight with EVERYBODY!

The final showdown is a kitchen-sink of a battle between college kids, hobos, dogs, the giant werewolf, the SWAT team, and Little Dead Riding Hood. It’s the product of a deranged and manic mind. I like to imagine a production assistant asking the director “Should we include the flamethrower?” And the director being like “Of COURSE! Everything gets flame throwered! Flame thrower everything! I want anyone with hands to throw flames, and I also want everything to seem to be on fire.” And the product assistant might be like “What happens next?” And the director says “Next, no one is on fire, and the SWAT team is here!” Speaking of which…

The SWAT Team

The SWAT team is by far my favorite thing about LDRH. At some point, the authorities realize something is going down in a small town with werewolves, and they mobilize the SWAT team. This leads to a montage of the SWAT team doing SWAT things. However, none of the things they’re doing are set in the town where the movie takes place, and none of it has any obvious visual consistency with the rest of the film.

I’m pretty sure that the makers of LDRH went to professional purveyors of B-roll and were like “Yo, can we get some SWAT people doing SWAT things?” And the B-roll people were like “We got that B-roll!

You want SWAT van? Here it comes!

Oh, you need it to park? We got that B roll!

Boots hitting the pavement, check!

SWAT dudes running! Go go go!

SWAT sniper taking aim? What’s he aiming at? Who cares?!

More SWAT dudes aiming, fire in the hole!

SWAT dudes doing SWAT things! Like standing around together!

Man, they sure deployed like crazy into that urban environment, didn’t they? But wait, where were they supposed to be deploying to again? Oh yeah, here:

But you know what? It’s fine. Because despite the incongruity of its B roll, LDRH still feels like it’s going big. The director sacrifices any sense of location or continuity for a crazy kitchen sink breathlessness that…well, it doesn’t exactly work. But it feels like someone is doing everything they can with what they got to create movie magic. I appreciate the passion.

Man, I’m spent. Let’s cover the rest briefly:

Hollywood Washouts

Patrick Muldoon used to be kind of a big deal. Now he’s like the coked-out offspring of an Andy Dick / Jane Lynch hate-f**k.

Gratuitous Nudity

Hey, there are boobs! Regular and werewolf! They don’t add anything, but they remind me of when I was a kid and all the B horror movies were also softcore porn.

Questions for Paul

1. LDRH flirted with ecological themes. But the answer was to kill all the wolves. Is the moral of the story to get nature before it gets us?

PH:  Yeah, and what's with the "Keeper of the Forest" being in charge of saving all the townspeople?  Shouldn't she be more into preserving animal habitats and fighting off loggers?

2. At one point, the werewolves vanquish LDRH and she's lying on the floor of their den. The good guy has to go find her cloak and sword, and when he gets back she's right where they vanquished her hours before. What? I'm trying to think of more of a question, but all I can ask is...what? What either happened, or what didn't happen?

PH:  I think that's a pretty good description of what happens actually.  But can we talk about their den?  It's a cave in the woods.  What I find intriguing is that the werewolves choose to live in the cave rather than living in human houses with running water and doors, etc.  I guess it's probably cheaper to live like 80% of the time as a wolf, and then only change into a human to tidy up the cave den with your opposable thumbs before you change right back into a wolf.    

3. Was the fact that she didn’t know about her cloak and sword an oversight by Grandma? Do you think maybe the Grandma committed suicide a little hastily? 

PH:   I never got why she had to commit suicide anyway.  I guess being "Keeper of the Forest" really sucks.  And maybe she's been wearing the cloak and sword for so long she completely forgot about them, like when I search the house for my glasses while wearing them.

4. It seems like Sheriff Adam is going to say something to Deputy Abbey at the end of the film, and then he just says “Thanks.” What’s going on in that scene?

PH:  I think he's conflicted.  Here, she's taken care of his kids so that he can fight werewolves, and he probably realizes that she was trying desperately, in her own small way, to win a measure of his admiration and hopefully his love.  But then he remembers the wreck of his previous marriage, and maybe also the workplace training on sexual harassment, and reconsiders, leaving him to simply manage the "thanks" that will have to, but of course can never, suffice.  It's like the end of Bridges of Madison County!

No comments:

Post a Comment