I bounce back and forth between loving and hating The Asylum. Some of their movies are unwatchably bad, while others fall into the "So Bad It's Good" category. Most are in between.
Tonight, to take my mind of today's mournfull political spectacle, I decided to watch their latest ripoff of a soon-to-be blockbuster film, HANSEL AND GRETEL. Except that, instead of being set in Germany's Black Forest in the 1300's, this epic is set in a small American town, circa last week.
One thing to understand from the get-go is that there is ZERO suspense in this film in terms of who the villainess is. First of all, her bakery is called "The Gingerbread House," and secondly, she is played by Dee Wallace, who chews up the carpet, the flooring, most of the panelling, and several other cast members as the kindly matron/wicked cannibal named Lilith. Her meat pies are world famous (shades of SWEENEY TODD!), and she dishes up the desserts and sweets at low prices to her adoring customer.
Her loyal shopgirl is Gretel Grimm (get it???), played by the lovely Stephanie Greco. Gretel's twin brother Hansel Grimm (I wonder where they came up with that last name??) is a junk food junkie and video game champion played by Clark Perry. He nearly gets eaten two or three times, and you kind of wish by the end of the film that he would quit escaping and just get turned into sausage already. Hansel and Gretel have a late night dinner at the Gingerbread House one night so that their Dad, James, can tell them he is planning to re-marry. Gretel isn't thrilled with his young bride Sylvia but is happy for her Dad, while Hansel throws a fit when he finds out they are planning to sell the house and move out of the community. So he storms out and takes a walk in the woods, only to fall into one of Lilith's traps.
Gretel, of course, goes after him, and they wind up in Lilith's house of horrors and human sausage factory, along with three other victims who are being fattened up for slaughter. Eventually their parents and local law enforcement come after them, only to fall afoul of Lilith and her twin sons, who look suspiciously like Cannibal Mutant Hillbillies. So the slaughter and cooking goes on, and Lilith shrieks and laughs and skewers whoever she pleases, and by the end you are not sure whether to laugh or shudder.
Filled with stereotypes, cheesy dialogue, and enough reality flaws to make WyreWizard's head explode (especially when one character survives a pitchfork clean through his midsection and several deep stab wounds, only to be released from the hospital a couple of days later!), this is a fun gore ride that manages to be predictable and surprisingly bad at the same time. If you like Asylum movies, check it out. If you hate Asylum movies, check it out anyway, just watch it while inebriated.