A low-effort offering even for the subterranean standards of mockbuster extraordinaires The Asylum, Little Dead Rotting Hood isn’t a knock-off of a recent superhero movie or action flick, but an atrociously, painfully bad fairytale send-up that’s good for basically nothing.
A sleepy American town is terrorised by blood-thirsty wolves that have more to them than meets the eye, and as a steely cop (Eric Balfour) tries to make sense of it all, a missing young woman (Bianca A. Santos) returns from the dead with supernatural, wolf-like abilities to save the day.
The better Asylum films keep things fast-paced, energetic and silly, yet his one takes itself oddly seriously and bogs itself down with far too much talky exposition throughout, alongside eye-rollingly bad dialogue that even the most keenly ironic viewers won’t be able to tolerate. Even for the mockbuster peddler’s low bar of quality, the action is meanwhile dull and rote, sloppily directed and often visually incomprehensible (with some shots in the same scene even being blatantly colour-timed differently).
Even gore, the one reliable mainstay you should expect from a film like this, is fairly sparing, while there’s too much CGI – especially the final “boss”, who looks like a PS1-era video game cut-scene reject – and scene after scene of dull breadcrumb-following denies it the ability to be the wink-and-nudge schlock-fest it should have aspired to.
The saddest thing of all, inevitably, is the cast, namely talented TV actor Balfour (24, Six Feet Under, Haven), who is left stranded without a paddle, and one has to wonder why, with a lucrative part on a hit show, he’d bother with something like this. Then there’s Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Marina Sirtis, who cameos during the film’s opening two minutes, though thankfully escapes before the onslaught of terrible truly begins.
The titular character is barely in the film, and the plot is surprisingly boring for something that could so easily become even a fitfully entertaining film. If you’re going to be schlock, at least have the good grace to be frantic, urgent shlock, rather than this plodding, sleep-inducing slop. Well, at least there’s a sexy striptease sequence; have half a star.
Little Dead Rotting Hood is available on DVD now