So, in a previous post, I shared a few trailers for Pins & Needles (2008), a very cool Little Red Riding Hood short action film by aspiring director Leo Kei Angelos; and, since then, I’ve been on a kind of Little Red Riding Hood kick. Yeah, I know – it’s weird. If you remember, this same thing happened a while back with devil girls.
Little Red Riding Hood is a European fairy tale first published by Charles Perrault, and later by the Brothers Grimm. In the tale, Little Red Riding Hood, a young girl wearing a red cloak, walks through the woods to deliver a basket of food to her sick grandmother. In the Brothers Grimm version, Red’s mother has warned her to stay on the path. She strays and encounters the Big Bad Wolf who has been stalking her. She naively tells him where she’s going. The Big Bad Wolf gets to the house ahead of Red, eats her grandma, then disguises himself as the sick old woman. When Red arrives, the wolf eats her, too. In the Brothers Grimm version, a woodcutter kills the Big Bad Wolf and saves Red. I think there’s a moral in there somewhere. Don’t talk to strangers, listen to your mother, don’t get eaten by wolves – something like that.
OK, let’s kick this kick off with “Li’l Red Riding Hood”, the 1966 garage rock hit by Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs [who are best known for their novelty hit “Wooly Bully” (1965)]. “Li’l Red Riding Hood” is a lyrical re-telling of the classic fairy tale, or a creepy song about a sexual predator [“Hey there, Li’l Red Riding Hood / You sure are looking good / You’re everything a big bad wolf could want”]. You decide …
For years, I mistakenly thought that this song was by The Animals [who are best known for their 1964 hit “House of the Rising Sun”]. Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs‘ “Li’l Red Riding Hood” was featured as a key element of the 1993 Bruce Willis film Striking Distance; while an indie pop cover version by Laura Gibson was featured in a 2012 Volvo S60 commercial [“All the better to drive you with”]. Watch the Volvo commercial by clicking here, or listen to Gibson‘s cover version by clicking here.
Pop/punkers Bowling For Soup recorded a cover version of “Li’l Red Riding Hood” for the soundtrack to Wes Craven‘s werewolf film Cursed (2005). Cursed sucked. Listen to Bowling For Soup‘s cover of the song by clicking here. The song also appears on the band’s 2005 compilation Bowling for Soup Goes to the Movies.
“Li’l Red Riding Hood” was covered, as well, by actress Amanda Seyfried to promote her movie Red Riding Hood (2010), a werewolf fantasy loosely based on the fairy tale. I’m not a big fan of this movie; but, you can watch the trailer by clicking here, or listen to Seyfried‘s cover by clicking here. Red Riding Hood (2010), which was directed by Catherine Hardwicke and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, is similar, in concept, to The Company of Wolves (1984), a horror/fantasy film directed by Neil Jordan and based on a short story by Angela Carter. I’m not a big fan of that film, either; but, you can watch the trailer by clicking here.
A badder – umm, I mean “better” – horror-fied Red Riding Hood feature film adaptation is Syfy’s Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010). In this action/horror hybrid, Virginia Sullivan (Felicia Day), aka Red, is the modern-day descendant of Little Red Riding Hood, a werewolf hunter. Her fiancé Nathan (Kavan Smith) learns the truth when Virginia brings him home to meet her family (of werewolf hunters), and is bitten by a powerful werewolf named Gabriel (Steven McHattie). Virginia tells him that the only way to reverse the curse is to kill the wolf who bit him before Nathan makes his first human kill; and, so she and her brothers, Marcus (Greg Bryk) and Jake (David Reale), set out to kill Gabriel. However, Gabriel captures Virginia and kills her brothers, but, Nathan rescues her. The next night, Gabriel and his clan besiege Virginia’s house and a final battle ensues. Virginia kills Gabriel, but, not before Nathan, per the fairy tale, kills her grandmother (Rosemary Dunsmore). Nathan, in wolf-form, attacks Virginia and runs off. The next morning, Virginia realizes that Nathan bit her. She finds him, and, as he professes his love for her, she thrusts a blade into him, thus, ending her curse. “I love you, Nathan,” she says. “I always will.”
Red: Werewolf Hunter is a pretty cool Syfy B-movie, better than most. However, like all Syfy B-movies, this one suffers from bad CGI effects. Werewolves, be they the wolf-human hybrid or of the wolf variety, should never be rendered with CGI. I prefer bad costumes and make-up over even the best CGI, when it comes to werewolves. Or vampires. Now, I couldn’t find a trailer, so… [he whispers]… just watch the full movie for free by clicking here.
Most horror film adaptations utilize the werewolf twist on the fairy tale. However, Freeway (1996) imagines the Big Bad Wolf as a charming serial killer (Kiefer Sutherland) and Little Red Riding Hood as a sexually-abused teenage runaway (Reese Witherspoon) in modern times. I prefer werewolves.
In one of the segments of Trick ‘r Treat (2007), a horror anthology written and directed by Michael Dougherty, Laurie (Anna Paquin) is a 22-year-old virgin who dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood for a Halloween party. Her sister Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and her friends Maria (Rochelle Aytes) and Janet (Moneca Delain) find some boys to accompany them to the party, but, Laurie decides to stay behind, alone, and join them later. However, on her way to the party, Laurie is brutally attacked by a man dressed as a vampire. “My, my, what big eyes you have,” he whispers, before biting her neck. She screams and, a few minutes later, a body, wrapped in a red cape, drops from a tree at the party in front of Danielle and her friends. The body is that of the man who attacked Laurie, and he is still alive. Laurie appears, and the man is revealed to be Principal Wilkins (Dylan Baker), a serial killer from the film’s first segment. “It’s my first time, so… just bear with me,” Laurie whispers, then she, her sister and their friends strip their clothes and flesh away, becoming werewolves who devour the guests they invited. Trick ‘r Treat is very good horror film, but, this segment is definitely my favorite! Watch the trailer here …
A graphic novel based on Trick ‘r Treat was published by Wildstorm Comics in 2009. In the film, after Laurie shows her costume to her sister, she says, “Danielle, I look like I’m 5.” Danielle replies, “Shut up, you look great.” Janet and Maria snicker, and Danielle adds, “It’s tradition.” However, in the graphic novel, Laurie says, “Mom would not approve.” Danielle says her line, then, they discuss finding dates for the party. Both scenes address the irony of Laurie’s costume considering what they are, but, the graphic novel line is funnier.
In the ABC TV series Once Upon A Time (2011-present), Meghan Ory plays a very sexy Red Riding Hood. In this drama, an Evil Queen has banished every storybook character to our world in the town of Storybrooke, Maine, but they don’t know who they are. Ory plays Ruby (aka Little Red Riding Hood). In Storybrooke, Ruby is a rebellious young girl who works as a waitress at Granny’s Café, which is run by Ruby’s grandmother (Beverley Elliott). Ruby likes to dress provocatively, much to Granny’s dismay [but, not mine]. “For another thing, Liza, you dress like a drag queen during fleet week,” Granny scolds, after Ruby arrives late. “And you dress like Norman Bates when he dresses like Norman Bates’ mother,” Ruby retorts. I love that line!
In Ruby’s fairy tale past life, she was Little Red Riding Hood, but, with a twist. Red’s story is wonderfully re-imagined in the episode “Red-Handed” [from the series’ first season]. Red’s village is being plagued by vicious wolf attacks. Her grandmother keeps Ruby locked up at night, and forces her to wear a red cloak. “Red repels wolves,” Granny tells the villagers. Red learns that the killer is actually a werewolf, and is led to believe that the werewolf is her boyfriend Peter (Jesse Hutch). That night, she chains Peter to a tree to stop him from killing more villagers. However, Ruby soon realizes that she is actually the werewolf, after she, sans cloak, turns into a wolf and kills him. Granny tells Ruby that her husband was a werewolf and he bit her, so her children and grandchildren are also werewolves. Granny paid a wizard for the red cloak to control her transformation. The only downfall of this episode is that Red, in wolf form, is rendered via CGI. I think a Siberian husky would have worked just fine.
Once Upon A Time is an excellent TV series. However, I rarely find time to watch it as much as I liked to. One day, I’ll jump on Netflix and start watching from the very beginning. Meghan Ory, by the way, is my favorite Little Red Riding Hood! Red as Ruby is sexy and beautiful. I love that her outfits always consist of some shade of red, like Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in Smallville (2001-11) who always wore red and blue.
In the NBC TV series Grimm (2011-present), the fairy tale is also re-imagined. Grimm is another excellent TV series, similar to Once Upon A Time but different. Grimm takes a darker, more horror-inspired twist. Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is also a “Grimm”, an elite hunter, charged with keeping the balance between humans and supernatural creatures. Grimm is like The X-Fairy Tales.
In Grimm‘s pilot episode, a wolf-like creature is killing young girls wearing red. When a little girl is kidnapped on the way to her grandfather’s house, Nick must embrace his calling as a Grimm to find her. He accuses Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Blutbad (aka Big Bad Wolf), but, he is innocent. However, Monroe leads Nick to a house in the woods where he finds another Blutbad (Tim Bagley). Nick’s partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) kills the Blutbad, and Nick finds the little girl in the cellar. Obviously, this episode is more about the Big Bad Wolf than Red Riding Hood.
Charmed, which ran on The WB from 1998-2006, followed the three Halliwell sisters, the most powerful witches ever known, as they protected the world from demons and warlocks. The sisters were Prue (Shannen Doherty) [seasons 1-3], Piper (Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), and Paige (Rose McGowan) [seasons 4-8]. In the episode “Happily Ever After”, an Evil Witch tries to kill the sisters by using fairy tale magic. Phoebe becomes Cinderella after slipping on the glass slippers. She gets turned into a pumpkin at midnight. Paige becomes Snow White after eating a poison apple. She falls into a deep sleep. Soon, the Seven Dwarfs appear. Piper becomes Little Red Riding Hood when she finds a red cloak in the woods. She and her dead grandmother (who was summoned by Piper’s unborn baby) get eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. However, the story has a happy ending.
I never really embraced Charmed when it originally aired [mostly because Shannen Doherty gets on my nerves]. However, after watching the episode for this post, I may start a Netflix marathon – after Once Upon A Time, of course! OK, let’s move on to ameteur short films …
Red (2008) is a short Red Riding Hood horror film that was directed by Shawn Jennings, and stars Sadie Franck as Red, Shawn Jennings as Big Bad Wolf and Tammy Jennings as Granny. Watch the film here …
I like this film. Red [the character] is very lovely, red [the color] on black and white is stylish, the film’s twist is good, Red’s scream is creepy, and Granny is even creepier! However, the mascot-like Big Bad Wolf costume detracts from the film’s creepiness. It’s nicely crafted by Jennings and Franck, but, better suited[!] to a less atmospheric story. If the costume were scarier [as in more subtle] and the film darker [as in shot at night], Red could have been a very effective horror short. But, as it is, I do like this film’s creep factor.
Red (2012), from Columbia, is an animated horror short movie directed and created by Jorge Jaramillo and Carlo Guillot. This film is stylish and visceral, with a grisly yet poignant twist. The original score by Manuel Borda adds greatly to the feel of this excellent film. Watch it here …
Here’s a few more Little Red Riding Hood-inspired short films ….
Little Red Riding Hood (2010). Written and directed by Nicholas Ortiz for Deviant Children Productions, and starring Aamira Welthy as Red and Kit Lang as Wolf. This film offers a “contemporary horror twist on the famous Grimm fable.” Very low budget, but, very good, too.
Big Bad Wolves (2006). Directed by Rajneel Singh from the sketch written by Chris Kerr, and starring Mark Williams as The Narrator, Brooke Petersen as Little Red Riding Hood and Steven A. Davis as The Wolf/Prince Charming. “Tarantino-mashes-up-with-Brothers-Grimm in this dark and intensely funny fantasy/comedy that will change the way you look at fairytales forever!” Best reading of the fairy tale ever!
Red Riding Hood (2007) [aka Caregiver]. Written and directed by Dusty Clark for his Emagination Films, and starring Carly Nash as Scarlet and Wesley H. Murphy as The Caregiver. This twisted teen romance was shot for Chiller‘s Dare 2 Direct Short Film Festival 2007.
Red Hood (2007). Written, produced and directed by Navin Dev, and starring Nicola Burnett Smith as Little Red Aged 40, Emily Jane Lee as Little Red Aged 14, Zoe Glanville as Little Red’s Daughter, and James Evans as Woodcutter. Now you know what became of Little Red Riding Hood after the events of the Brothers Grimm version of the fairy tale.
Red – A Short Film (2014). Created, directed, shot and edited by Lucy Hodder; and starring Magda Grace Salvesen as Red and Evie Davidson as Wolf. This short is “based (very) loosely upon the fairytale.” I really like this film. I think it’s a very well-done first film.
The Wolf (2012). Directed by Liz Cooper for Sidney-based Urchin Productions, and starring Samantha Doran as Red Riding Hood and The Wolf, Angelika as Young Red Riding Hood and Ami Starre Goldberg as Mother. This film was the winner of the Southern Exposure Short Film Festival 2012.
Red Riding (2012). Written and directed by Louis J. Parker and Dominique Miranda, who also star. This film is “a modern day fable exploring the terrifying notion that people may not always be as they seem.”
Hood Fairy Tales: Lil Red Riding Hoe (2013). Directed by Pedro Flores, written by Timothy DeLaGhetto, and starring DeLaGhetto and Jivanta Roberts. Sorry, but, I think this film is funny! And Jivanta Roberts is sexy as Lil Red Riding Hood.
Oh, and don’t forget to go back to my previous post (here) and watch the trailers for Leo Kei Angelos‘ never-completed [as far as I know] Red Riding Hood action epic Pins & Needles (2008). Now, moving on …
Evanescence is one of my (many) favorite bands, and Amy Lee has the best female voice in alternative rock [Lzzy Hale takes the top spot in hard rock]. Lee is also a very beautiful woman [as is Hale]. Anyway, the video for Evanescence‘s 2006 hit “Call Me When You’re Sober” [from their 2nd album The Open Door] is inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. I love this song’s bridge, especially when Lee sings: “How could I have burned paradise? / How could I? You were never mine.” Watch the video here …
Amy Lee makes a very lovely Little Red Riding Hood. Speaking of lovely wolf-fearing young girls, deviantART is chock full of lovely and sexy ameteur artists cosplaying as the fairy tale character. Click this search link here if you’re interested. Here’s one of my favorites …
Finally, Little Red Riding Hood is re-imagined in comic books in Zenescope Entertainment‘s popular Grimm Fairy Tales series, which has made over dozens of fairy tales with mature twists. Britney Waters (aka Little Red Riding Hood) first appears in Grimm Fairy Tales #1, which tells Red’s tale, with a lustful werewolf, as the nightmare of a teenage girl frustrated by her boyfriend’s sexual advances. She has since been featured, as a superheroine, in the following Grimm Fairy Tales spin-offs: Myths and Legends (a 25-issue series), Grimm Universe, (a 5-issue series), Bad Girls (a 5-issue series), Realm Knights (a 4-issue series), Robyn Hood vs. Red Riding Hood (one-shot), and Code Red (a 5-issue Age of Darkness tie-in). For more detailed information on this complex universe, check out the Zenescope Entertainment Wikia by clicking here.
Oh, here’s a few interesting adaptations that I haven’t yet indulged myself with …
RWBY (2013-present). An anime-style American CG-animated web series created by Monty Oum for Rooster Teeth Productions in which Ruby (inspired by Little Red Riding Hood), Weiss (inspired by Snow White), Blake (inspired by Belle of Beauty and the Beast), and Yang (inspired by Goldilocks) fight supernatural forces.
Scarlet (2013) by Marissa Meyer. The second book in The Lunar Chronicles which is a young adult series of re-imagined fairy tales set in a futuristic world with cyborgs. The first book Cinder (2012) focuses on Cinderella, while the third book Cress (2014) focuses on Rapunzel. Time to go to the book store!
EverAfter (2011-?). A webcomic created by Shaun Healey (aka Ending) and hosted by Snafu Comics in which Little Red Riding Hood has gone insane and been placed in the EverAfter Maximum Security Asylum.
Rotkäppchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood (2009). An American slasher film directed by Harry Sparks.
A Wicked Tale (2005). A “dark experimental psycho-erotic re-imagination of the Little Red Riding Hood fable” directed by Singaporean cult director Tzang Merwyn Tong.
Red Riding Hood (2003). An Italian horror film directed by Giacomo Cimini.
So, there it is, my friends. Little Red Riding Hood with a mature twist, for me, ranks up there with The Wizard of Oz and Alice In Wonderland. Oooh, what a great idea for a comic book or a web series! Red, Dorothy and Alice are a trio of sexy secret agents who fight supernatural evil in modern times! These lethal ladies are direct descendants of their namesakes, and have specialized skills, forced on them by their own ancestries. Red deals with werewolves and vampires, Dorothy takes on witches and demons, and Alice handles inter-dimensional monsters.
Great idea! However, Red as a sexy secret agent fighting monsters is already in the works as a crowd-funded feature film set to be released on DVD early next year. The film is called REDD … more info coming up next!