Little Red Riding Hood (1963)

Laughing Gravy
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
Laughing Gravy
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
Joined: 4:44 AM - Sep 01, 2005

3:08 PM - Aug 18, 2018 #1



Little Red Riding Hood (1962) Dir. Roberto Rodriguez
K. Gordon Murray Productions
77 min. / Colorscope / 1.33:1

The Big Bad Wolf is content with rounding up all the sheep in the village and keeping them in a pen in his cave until he can fatten them up, but then his henchman, a skunk, tells him about a beautiful little girl who lives in a cottage and the Wolf stalks her and decides she's so cute he simply MUST devour her. He sets several traps for her that she eludes, including being caught in the Goblins Tree with a giant spider and a crocodile, until he finally hits on the brainstorm of trussing up her grandma and masquerading as the old biddy when Red brings over a basket full of cakes.

Mr. K. Gordon Murray, of course, gained fame (infamy?) by dubbing foreign movies into English (always very badly), proclaiming each one a "Family Film Award Winner" and then releasing them to an unwary public as weekend matinee fodder so mom and dad could drop off Junior and Princess for a couple of hours while their parents went salooning. I remember seeing a couple of these as a kid, notably Rumpelstiltskin, and noticing even at my tender age that they were gawd-awful and yet... so unlike anything else I was watching at the movies or on TV... they had a certain level of perverse charm.

And speaking of perverse, welcome to the world of Little Red Riding Hood, where the wolf - to put it mildly - exhibits an unhealthy attraction for our little leading lady. He's played by a guy in a fur suit (as is the skunk, whose voice is speeded up a la Alvin but a bit too much - virtually all of his lines are unintelligible). We do have a real dog, though. (Not the movie, a DOG dog) and let me just say this, the dog is the only one in the cast who actually looks embarrassed to be part of this thing. We end up with an unintelligible mess, but a fun one: songs! (including the woodchoppers singing a song that no doubt terrified the children of 1962), spiders, and grandma tossed into a cauldron and a potato stuffed into her mouth as she gives the Wolf tips for how to cook her properly.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Woodchopper complimenting Red on her new hood: "You'll be the prettiest girl of them all! Yes, and the loveliest, too!"

The Wolf, pouring out his heart to his pal the skunk: "In this very moment I could grab and tear her to shreds like THIS. But NO - first I want to draw her into the evil forest so I can wreak more satisfaction from my victory and eat her up without any interruptions!"

Despite the film being produced in Mexico, all the woodchoppers and most of the villagers wear Peter Pan hats, adding to the general confusion.

The DVD has no company label (there is a symbol that the film is recommended by the "Young America Horror Club"!) and the print is washed out but otherwise in good shape. The disc contains 9 or 10 other K. Gordon Murray trailers (there were several sequels to this thing, apparently, and the Wolf and Skunk made live appearances to promote them) and a deleted scene (the Wolf has a fantasy about a roasted Red Riding Hood on a platter with an apple in her mouth) still in Spanish that indicates the Skunk talked more or less normally in its native tongue. On my recent trip to S.F. to see Lawrence of Arabia (a movie that, in its way, was even better than this one) I stopped off at Amoeba Records in the Haight and let me just warn you now, Balconeers: this was not the only Murray film I found on DVD.

ALSO ON THE PROGRAM

What else? The Big Bad Wolf flees from a horny grandma in her penthouse in Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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