Holy fuzzy caterpillars Batman! At first glance Red Riding Hood may look like a freaking awesome film based on the cover but honestly it was a strange little gore film that only reaches “just okay”. This nipple twisted fairy tale of Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf was brought to you courtesy of Ovidio Assonitis…the man…the legend…the super genius behind…American Ninja 4 and American Ninja 5! Now, before you look for a new review to read, hear me out first. This wasn’t half as bad as your friend Dave says.
The movie doesn’t take long to get going as a self-righteous member of the Moral Majority gets capped in the noggin’ by some chick on live television while he yammers on about the decline of society. We’re then shot forward to the present and introduced by narration to little Jennifer McKenzie (Susan Satta), a lonely, disturbed 12 year old girl abandoned in Rome by her loose Mother for a humpfest. Left to fend for herself with a massive wad of cash and a platinum credit card as if nothing has changed. Course, this is unacceptable to Jennifer’s theatrical grandmother Rose McKenzie (Kathleen Archebald), who flies out to Rome to bring Jennifer back with her to live in New York.
Jennifer and her “friend” George have different plans though. George is a giant, mysterious, cloaked figure that sports a cool wolf mask and shadows Jennifer as she wanders through the streets of Rome seeking out those who deserve to be punished for their wrong doings. Jennifer basically spots the evil-doers and George handles the dirty work. This goes on for awhile until Rose decides enough is enough and she’ll no longer tolerate any stalling (or demands) by her Granddaughter. Before she can relocate Jennifer though, she’s poisoned, knocked unconscious and her knees are drilled by George so she’s unable to walk.
Meanwhile, Jennifer decides to act on a crush that she has for her tutor, Tom. Figuring she’ll be able to woo Tom, she gussies herself up and follows him to a small bistro. Horrified, she discovers Tom meeting a “secret” love interest and storms away. Spurned and now freshly unhinged she heads home and happens upon an escape attempt by her grandmother. Foiled and tortured, Rose knows she’s been beaten. Too late…Jennifer and George have had enough.
Tom decides to head on over to Jennifer’s apartment in an attempt to calm Jen down. Instead he happens upon Rose and comes across Jennifer’s George costume! Dressing up as George, Tom tries to con Jennifer into disarming and “giving up”. It just isn’t his day and in the end little Jennifer ends up the victor…as well as incarcerated in a mental hospital. George was nothing more than a figment of her imagination…right?
Red Riding Hood is truly the wolf in this film and though Susan Satta is a captivating young actress, the dialogue was stiff and unnatural and way heavy on the melodramatics. She obviously did the best she could but the character still came off hammy. I wanted to like the character though and was able to overlook some things. The soundtrack on the other hand consisted of Broadway tunes and that really put me on edge. It worked in some places but I would have preferred some Goblin. I say Goblin because this film was obviously inspired by Italian Gialli cinema. We even get some great gore sequences and a nice pair of jiggly boobs.
The only real problem I had with this film was the ending which kind of confused me as to whether they wanted to make a troubled child flick or a ghost flick. Either way it’ll be hit or miss for Joe Horror fans. I suggest renting it and checking it out before buying it.