Monday, September 15, 2008

Honourable Mentions: Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters


When it comes to film like this one I really do wish I had chosen a better title for this section. Honourable doesn’t seem to cut it, offering a sense of nobility about a specific piece of media that this one certainly didn’t have. Known as Caperucita y Pulgarcito contra los Monstruos in its native Mexico, this 1962 monstrosity directed by Roberto Rodriguez is one of the most bizarre flicks you’ll ever see.

Now to be fair the version I saw was the K Gordon Murray edited US version and thus the wacky dubbing will not have helped. The film is a musical in parts and whoever they had dubbing Red Riding Hood (María Gracia) during the musical numbers was clearly an adult. That said, just looking at the film, you know the original dubbing is not going to help much.

the wolf and the ogreOver at the evil castle there is a trial of the wolf (Manuel 'Loco' Valdés) and the Ogre (José Elías Moreno). It seems that they are classed as traitors because the wolf made friends with little red riding hood and the ogre became obedient rather than eat Tom Thumb (Cesareo Quezadas). Their refusal to be bad has brought on the displeasure of the Queen of badness (Ofelia Guilmáin).

the jury and the vampireThe trial is precided over by the vampire (Quintín Bulnes) as prosecutor, whilst the jury is made up of the child kidnapper, carrot head, Frankenstein’s monster, hurricane and two-in-one (a conjoined twin, one of whom seems to be a Neanderthal). During the trial we get a mention that the vampire looks bloodless – and a counter accusation, by the wolf and ogre, that he is the traitor as he hasn’t bled anyone.

Ofelia Guilmáin as the Queen of BadnessThey are, of course, found guilty and sentenced to be tortured and executed at the next full moon. The Queen of badness (who, it is mentioned, is Snow White’s step mother and the look certainly owes something to Disney’s concept of that character) also wishes to get revenge on Tom and Red. She therefore concocts a potion, that she puts in the water supply of the village, which turns the villagers into monkeys. Tom’s family she turns into mice.

Tom Thumb, Stinky and Red Riding HoodThe sentence is overheard by Stinky, a talking skunk who happens to be the wolf’s squire. He goes to warn Tom and Red but he is too late and the kids have to go to the castle to save the village and the good monsters. As Tom is too small to adventure, he is magically made big by the Fairy of the Dawn – believe me there are some Wizard of Oz concept infringements flying around, when it comes to that character, as well as the Disney infringements.

vampire tries to eye mojo the ogreWe see no more of the vampire until the end of the film, when he attacks the heroes within caverns near the castle. At this point we get some more lore. He claims to have eye mojo and tries to mesmerise and control the ogre. This seems to work, but the ogre is faking and hits the vampire, knocking him out. The wolf then threatens to stake him, but we don’t see that.

Absolutely bizarre. The imdb page is here.


Chick Young said...

In my humble opinion, this is one of the most fucked up films I have ever seen in my life. I find it totally disturbing as an adult (so I can only imagine that I would have been traumatized into a fetal position as a youngster). Stinky the Skunk? The Friendly Red-Headed Giant? Carrothead? Wtf?? Okay, I realize it's the Murray dub (as you mentioned Tali) - but still, that doesn't account for the complete insanity of this piece. Although, what is up with the clearly adult singer dubbing Little Red Riding Hood. This movie is INSANE I say. Insane. The queen is kinda hot though. But, I'll second your "most bizarre flicks you'll ever see" - It most certainly is. Taker care Tal. Chick

Taliesin_ttlg said...

cheers chick,

it is one messed up movie - as I said, I don't think watching it undubbed would help!

cheers for stopping by


Aaron Soto said...

Man this blog rocks!

Once again, this was part of my childhood in Tijuana, Mexico. During the 70's and 80's Televisa, (back then the only national television company) went bizerk getting the rights of every single kid film made in Mexico, the results was a crazy mix of wrestling films with weird fantasies like the Caperucita and Pulgarcito film series (theres more of them!), these were a mix of old traditional children books with gothic horror and mexican folk stories. But the most amazing thing is that these were played for children, they still do, these are totally clasics in mexican TV (theres a reason why Buñuel and Jodorowsky waned to made movies in Mexico).

The guy who played El Lobo (the talking wolf) is Manuel El Loco Valdez, a legendary comedian from the golden age of mexican cinema, later during the 70's and 80's he had a hit show on prime time TV.

But to get even weirder and creepier, the guy who play Pulgarcito became a phedophiliac, raping his 5 daughters while taping all on video, he has a 10-year sentence since 2005.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Cheers Aaron, as you know if it has a vampire I like to track it down and many of the films that you saw as a child have vampires in them.

The coda to your comment is distressing and, as you say, weirder and creepier. It is horrible to think that such things happen, though we know they do.