Saturday, February 16, 2013

This Seems Like More Hansel And Gretel Movies Than Is Necessary

Currently playing in theaters is the film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It's a big, dumb, goofy, outrageous but fun movie all about a grown up Hansel and Gretel who make a living hunting down and killing witches. I'll be giving it a proper review soon.

Fairy tales for adults are hot right now, and Hollywood was so impressed with this high-concept idea that studios immediately sprang into action, churning out no less than four Hansel and Gretel as adults rip-offs, er, I mean homages. Seriously, four.

Leading the charge of course is The Asylum studio. They wasted no time in coming out with their own same-name direct-to-dvd version in order to confuse dull-witted consumers into purchasing it, thinking it's the theatrical version (which of course is their entire business model).

Unlike the theatrical version, this film is set in modern times. This adult Hansel & Gretel work in a bakery run by a woman who's secretly a witch (played by Dee Wallace). Oh, sorry-- SPOILERS!

Another Hansel and Gretel film set in the present day. This time the pair are teens sent to a mysterious boarding school where the other students and the teachers are secretly witches.

If nothing else, let's give a big round of applause to this film for having the courage to list right there on the cover the names Fivel and Booboo Stewart for everyone to see. Oddly enough, Fivel is the girl and Booboo is the guy. For some inexplicable reason the two play characters named Ella and Jonah in the movie. This makes me suspect that the film has little or nothing to do with the Hansel and Gretel tale and was renamed at the last second as a less than subtle cash-grab.

It also stars Eric Roberts, so you know you're in for some good acting. If you want to see some first class emoting go look up the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, in which Roberts played The Master. You'll be glad you did. Just be sure to sweep the floor first because your jaw will be hitting it.

The film also stars Judy Norton for some unfathomable reason. If you grew up in the 1970s you'll know that Norton played Mary Ellen on The Waltons. To quote Obi-Wan: "Now that's a name I haven't heard in a lonnnnng time. A long time."

Maybe she's hoping to throw off her wholesome Waltons image again, like the time she posed for Playboy back in 1985.

And then we have Witchslayer Gretl. No idea what's up with her name here; if I had to guess I'd say maybe that's the original Germanic spelling? Finally, a ripoff that takes place in the proper ancient setting. In this film, an adult Hansel returns to the haunted forest to seek revenge on the witch who killed his beloved sister Gretl. But surprise! Gretl's still alive and has become the evil witch's protege! Take that, Hansel!

This was actually a TV movie, and you just know it premiered on Siffy. Er, I mean SyFy. It's got their greasy fingerprints all over it.

Kudos to the filmmakers I suppose for having the courage to hire Shannon Doherty. Not everyone would have the stamina and resolve for such an undertaking. And yes, her eyes still aren't even close to being level.

And then there's this, which is allegedly a theatrical release, supposedly coming sometime this year. How much do you want to bet it'll be late?

This is apparently another modern update of the story, in which a brother and sister battle a witch who lures teens into her suburban home with marijuana, then kills and eats them to preserve her youth. I'm laughing uncontrollably already.

Lara Flynn Boyle stars as the witch who's murdering to preserve her youth, which seems poignantly appropriate.

The poster art claims the movie's from the Producer of Twilight. You know, The Producer. The guy whose name has become a household word, symbolizing quality. They don't even have to print his name, he's so famous. He produced the hell out of Twilight so well that you just know this movie's gonna be good. I don't even bother seeing a movie unless The Producer produced it.

So if you're the type who just can't get enough of the classic Hansel and Gretel tale, and have been asking yourself "What happens next?" then get thee to the video store.

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