Year of Release: 2003
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise! – Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’ve had a very long internal debate with myself about how to rate this movie. It has a lot going for it: there are some genuinely frightening moments, it has a fair amount of suspense, Vigdis Anholt is brilliant in the title lead and the reworking of the Little Red Riding Hood folktale is fantastic. What brings this movie down is the way the storyline unfolds: it’s not the kind of movie where you don’t know who he killer is and you know why she’s doing it (or at least what the trigger behind it is) so a lot of the focus is placed on Peter, Teddy and Sean, three guys who write for the college paper, and their lecturer Paula Sheffield who tries to help them draw up a psychological profile of the killer on campus. It works, but it seems a little forced and if it didn’t take up so much of the movie it wouldn’t be a problem. That being said this is the only bad thing I can say about this movie and in the end I did enjoy watching Little Erin Merryweather stalking campus in her spectacularly red cape 🙂
A small New England college campus is being stalked by a killer: a killer in awesome boots and red cloak with the tendency to disembowel her victims. The first murder takes place in the forest adjacent to the college and leaves the teachers saddened and the police baffled. Peter and his friends Teddy and Sean, however, smell a story that would be perfect for the little university newspaper and Peter desperately tries to convince Teddy and Sean to help him out. His friends don’t seem overly keen in interfering with a police investigation but Peter, undeterred, decides to follow the policeman in charge around in hopes of finding out some more information. As luck would have it one of Peter’s lecturers, Dr Paula Sheffield, once worked with the FBI or police or some similar organisation and is qualified to help make psychological profiles of murderers. By following them around Peter learns that not only was the other student murdered but also disemboweled and his stomach filled with rocks.
It’s here that we are introduced to our killer, seemingly meek and timid Erin Merryweather who, ironically, is taking the same psychology class as Peter. Peter finds Erin very captivating and, since she also works at the library, enjoys spending time gazing at her longingly. Sadly Peter doesn’t know Erin’s back story: as a child Erin was abused by her father while reading Little Red Riding Hood to her and, as an escape from reality, began to mesh her own life with that of Red Riding Hood’s with her father taking the role of the Big Bad Wolf. For those unfamiliar with the more grownup version of the fairytale Red eventually kills the wolf by filling his stomach with rocks so that he can no longer chase after her. Erin now has a trigger that reminds her of her father and when she comes across another man with the same thing her other personality kicks in in all its red-caped glory and goes after the victim in question just as Red went after the wolf.
When another student is decapitated with hedge clippers and the police can’t figure out who might be behind it (possibly because their only tactic seems to be to scream at people) Peter, his friends and Dr Sheffield decide to take matters into their own hands to try and figure out who’s behind the killings before someone else lands up with a stomach full of stones. Being the clever one Peter figures out the connection between the murders and the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale and passes along the information to Dr Sheffield before going on a coffee date with Erin since he has been forced to get over his shyness when Dr Sheffield gave the two of them the assignment of profiling one another for her class (again with the irony…) Eventually, after both Sean and Teddy land up being killed, Dr Sheffield and Peter separately figure out who the killer is, Peter through profiling and Dr Sheffield through seeing a storybook Erin has drawn for one of her other classes showing the murders she has committed in a manner similar to a fairytale book. Now all that’s left for the two of them to do is survive when Erin comes after them…
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Thursday is not Friday.
- Men never wash their hands.
- You won’t find drug users at a college in a small New England town.
- According to police you can’t be murdered unless you have a criminal record.
- People with bad teeth who like to stay up at night might as well be werewolves.
- If you know who the serial killer is you should never phone the police; rather go catch her yourself.
Little Erin Merryweather Trailer
Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 2.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know what? Joe Castro is a sick, sick little man. Not content to unleash just the original Terror Toons on us, he has also gone and let loose its sequel, The Sick and Silly Show. Fortunately I am an equally sick, sick little man and will sit through these things so that I may warn others of the true meaning of horror. Not Michael Myers horror (that’s the good stuff), but truly the kind of horror that makes you want to gauge your own eyes out because it would be less painful than to carry on watching. While the first movie was truly awful, it was filmed on a budget of $2 300 and with that kind of money you expect crap and you get crap. This movie, however, was filmed on a budget of $175 000. Now I have two questions: 1.) Who on earth gave them that kind of capital to make this movie?!?!? and 2.) How, when they had so much more money the second time round, does the movie still look as cheap as the first one?!?!?!?! Sadly these are questions that I will probably never get the answers to so, without further ado, on with The Sick and Silly Show!
We start off at the Sanders household where little Tiffany Sanders is having her 12th birthday party. At the party is one other child, a bunch of socially inept relatives and a small crowd of awkward college students. Everyone’s having a jolly good time chatting, wishing the birthday girl all the best and shoving enormous amounts of raw broccoli and yoghurt down their throats. Meanwhile, over in the Cartoon Dimension, Gretel decides to go for a walk in the woods and drags along her brother Hansel for company. After a while they get lost but happen along a (rather diminutive) gingerbread house and, being hungry, begin eating some of the sweets stuck to the wall. The sweets make them violently ill so they go inside to ask for help from the giant neighbourhood witch. At this point it was nice to see a familiar face as the witch is played by veteran B-Horror scream queen Brinke Stevens (A.K.A. Hometown Woman from Dead Clowns) and she offers the children some interesting ‘antidotes’ to help them over their tummy bug: Hansel eats a boiled rat and Gretel drinks out of a wine bottle with a large skull and cross-bones on it. The ‘antidotes’ don’t work exactly according to plan and instead of killing the children it mutates them and they land up killing the witch.
Back at the Sanders household little Tiffany has received a DVD (Devil Video Disc – I shit you not) of Terror Toons: The Sick and Silly Show in the mail. Now for those that have seen the first movie what happens next will seem very familiar: the now mutated and very demented Hansel and Gretel pop out of the DVD to begin wreaking havoc on the gathered family using a variety of ridiculous cartoon methods of murder. The kicker in all of this is that, after an aunt and uncle are killed, half the family run to the catholic maid’s room to hide behind her collection of crosses and most of the rest run upstairs to hide in a closet. The two main characters, Tina Sanders and her boyfriend Kevin, however, run upstairs to have sex. That’s right, sex. Sex after two insane, demented cartoon characters just jumped out of your TV and are trying to rip you to shreds. Despite their overactive libidos it becomes clear to Tina and Kevin that they will need to do something to try to survive so, after grabbing two other jocks, they run out of the front door through a cartoon vortex and into another subdivision of the Cartoon Dimension.
Hansel and Gretel follow the group and begin to plan some rather creative ways to kill them before they can manage to escape from the Cartoon Dimension. The group breaks Horror Movie Survival Rule #1 by deciding that splitting up to find an exit is the best possible idea and then, for good measure, follow it up with a “we’ll be right back”. As Hansel and Gretel get into a very twisted game of playing doctor Tina and Kevin are left with no other option but to follow the sign that says ‘Hell’ on it. In hell, sadly, the devil couldn’t make a return appearance from the first movie but he has left us with his son Damien who, just like his father, tells the kids that to beat a cartoon character you need to become a cartoon character. Watch as some incredibly tight, shiny spandex is thrown on in preparation for the final showdown between horny college co-eds and demonic fairytale characters!
And while I have heaped a lot of criticism on this movie, if Joe Castro ever decides to make a Terror Toons 3, I’ll be ready for it.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Raw broccoli is a great party snack.
- Due to the recession, even witches have had to downscale on their gingerbread houses.
- For a child’s birthday party it’s only necessary to invite over one other child.
- Boiled rat is not a good cure for a stomach ache.
- You can survive perfectly well even after your brain has been sucked out of your head.
- Brains are similar in appearance to the small intestine.
- Excessive tickling can lead to your internal organs hemorrhaging.
- The devil’s son is an aspiring artist.
- There’s very little you can’t accomplish with a little imagination and a tranquilizer dart.
- You really can have sex no matter how dire the situation may seem.
Terror Toons 2: The Sick and Silly Show Trailer