This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“Hansel & Gretel Get Baked”
In keeping with a recent spate of fairy tale characters turned macho action heroes in movies (“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, “ “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Jack the Giant Slayer,” etc.), now comes a spin on the Brothers Grimm that’s part horror flick and part stoner comedy in the slyly titled “Hansel & Gretel Get Baked” (due out on DVD Tuesday).
Directed by veteran cameraman Duane Journey from a script by David Tillman, this low-budget hybrid works more as a clever idea that as a fully realized blending of horror and comedy. The horror here is strictly low-budget formula with gallons of fake blood a-flowing, and the humor is largely low-grade stoner stuff (with spliffs and doobies galore) that certainly won’t put the makers in a league with Cheech and Chong or Kevin Smith.
But the story spins the classic fairy tale in a clever direction: young Gretel (Molly C. Quinn) and her pothead boyfriend catch wind of a potent blend of marijuana called “Black Forest” that’s hit the streets of Pasadena. So the boyfriend heads off to the house of the reputed dealer, an old crone named Agnes (Lara Flynn Boyle, under loads of latex makeup), to make a buy.
When he doesn’t return, Gretel enlists the aid of her uptight brother Hansel (Michael Welch) to investigate. Quickly, the two find themselves locked in a life-or-death battle with the shrewish Agnes, who has been luring young potheads to her enchanted gingerbread garden, where she kills, cooks and eats them in an effort to restore her youthful beauty.
With a higher caliber cast than usual for this sort of low-budget lark – Boyle on the comeback trail and Cary Elwes making an uncredited cameo appearance – this messy cross-breed isn’t necessarily hilarious or scary, but it will probably provide a pleasant buzz for fans of goofball gimmicks.
“Hansel & Gretel Get Baked” is not rated and runs 100 minutes. It’s being released by New Video Group.
- Dennis King