Archive for April 6, 2016


Quick show of hands — who saw the title for this flick and immediately knew The Asylum was behind it?

Yeah, me too, and while I’ve been consistently hard on their productions in the past on this site (and deservedly so, I might add), when I saw this (apparently brand new, given that it even lists 2016 as its production date) title turn up on Netflix the other day, I gave it a go, glutton for punishment that I am.

Why, you might ask? I have no idea, and I offer as my only defense the simple fact that you’ve gotta keep an open mind when you’re in the opinion-sharing business — even when you think you know exactly what you’re getting into — and I’m sorta glad that I did, because while director Jared Cohn’s Little Dead Rotting Hood certainly isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a surprisingly semi-professional production given the “brains” behind it, and by the time the end credits rolled even I had to confess that it was, at the very least, reasonably entertaining.


I suppose everything I just said could fairly be categorized as “damning with faint praise,” but truth be told there’s nothing very damnable on offer here at all. The production values are of a higher standard than we’re used to from these folks, the acting is by and large competent, the overall tone is one of tongue-in-cheek fun that doesn’t completely go overboard into spoof, and there’s a generous helping of bloody violence and gore, nudity, and monsters. That’s not a recipe for an Oscar-winner or anything, but for a low-budget, straight-to-video, openly cut-rate horror flick, well — what more do you really want?


The rundown, then, for those of you who care to know it : a small town on the edge of a stereotypical dark and foreboding forest has been protected from the vicious wolves that inhabit said woods for many years now thanks to the magical incantations of an old(-ish) witch named Esmerelda Winfield (played by Marina Sirtis, best known as Counselor Deanna Troy on that one show people like), but she’s getting a bit long in the tooth and, sensing a new threat, decides that her best course of action is to cast one last spell that will kill her and pass her powers on to her granddaughter, Samantha (Bianca A. Santos, our titular “Dead Rotting Hood” who is neither dead nor rotting but does wear a red hood on occasion). It’s not a very well-thought-out plan, though, since the minute grandma dies her veil of protection (or whatever) over the semi-quaint village goes with her, and now the wolves are free to descend on everyone and everything there with reckless abandon. And, of course, whoever they bite ends up joining their feral and bloodthirsty ranks.

That intuition about a “new threat” turns out to be well-founded, though, when a slew of dead human and canine bodies proves that there’s something in the wilderness that’s preying on wolves every bit as much as it is on people. And so it’s up the Samantha, in her new role as protector, to round up anyone and everyone who can do something about this menace to —well, do something about this menace. Along for the ride to one degree or another are the local sheriff, Adam (Eric Balfour), his deputy, Henry (Patrick Muldoon), and the two other members of the local police force, officers Victoria (Heather Tom) and Scudder (Brendan Wayne), while assisting in a more unofficial capacity are Samantha’s boyfriend, Danny (Romeo Miller), and her friends Becky (Amy Argyle), Rita (Taylor Carr), and Jenny (Ashley Doris), all of whom are, in the grandest Asylum tradition, very easy on the eyes and,  when necessary, even easier to get naked.


If you can’t have fun with this sort of ting, I dunno — maybe you’re just wound too tight. Obviously Cohn and his screenwriter, one Gabriel Campisi, never take things too terribly seriously, nor should you, but that doesn’t mean they’re mailing things in here. The story moves along at a pleasing clip, the sets are obviously just that but are really none the weaker for it, the visual effects are entirely serviceable bordering on the good, and the actors all appear to be having a good time.

As did I and, I’d venture to guess, as will you. I can’t recommend buying Little Dead Rotting Hood on DVD or Blu-ray because I honestly don’t think it’s something you’ll revisit very often (if ever) over the years, but as a one-and-done viewing it’s corny, cheesy, gory, low-brow fun.