Little Dead Rotting Hood (2016): The Asylum Does Werewolves (Review)

Bianca A. Santos as Dead Rotting Hood....

Shot in and around the Santa Clarita Hills, at Rene’s ’50s Town, Little Dead Rotting Hood is another helping of schlock from The Asylum. The same company who is determined to produce Sharknado until the end of time, and yet amazingly still manages to delight with Z Nation, has now done werewolves. (Without a tornado in sight…)

Written by real estate specialist Gabriel Campisi (which explains so much) and directed by Jared Cohn it stars a bored Eric Balfour. The film also features  a tiny, blink and you will miss it, cameo by Star Trek actress Marina Sirtis

The film also starts The Fosters  regular Bianca A. Santos as “Rotting Hood” and Romeo Miller as the love interest.  Little Dead Riding Hood  has a  meandering plot. It is  set in the mountains where the old wolf lady,played by  Sirtis, kills herself at the start of the film to empower her granddaughter.

Balfour’s sheriff  has his hands full with his kids being dropped off by his ex. There are also  increasing amounts of wolf attacks on the local citizenry. Santos is the granddaughter, whom granny lets die before empowering her, and Miller is Samantha’s boyfriend.

In keeping with The Asylum’s practice of slapping storylines together that make no real sense, the werewolves, which crop up toward the end of the film,  are a complete surprise. Also in keeping with nonsensical plot devices,  the head werewolf is a giant.

The FX for the enormous werewolf  leader  varies. In some shots the creature  looks okay and in others it resembles a draft effort. (Still the thing did look marginally better than the unintentionally  funny zombie gorilla in Zoombies. The gigantic werewolf leader may have looked dodgy but it did not elicit  eruptions of hysterical laughter like the big monkey did.)

Balfour as  Sheriff Adam looks as though he misses his Haven costars Emily Rose and Lucas Bryant. Of course it could have been that the actor is not used to playing cops after five seasons of being the bad boy on the SyFy series. 

The storyline, such as it is, meanders all over the place and does not really hold together at all.  One has the feeling that a lot wound up in the cutting room floor, or, the script was never meant to make a whole lot of sense.

On the plus side, the blood flows like a good claret and the wolves, when they attack, are very convincing. (IMDb states that real wolves were used for the filming.)  On the very crowded minus side the film was very clearly shot in and around Santa Clarita. A  location that does not remotely resemble Maine or the Appalachian Mountains or where ever the film is really meant to be.

Little Dead Rotting Hood is atypical pap from The Asylum that is meant to be watched while smoking pot and munching on stale pizza. (Or conversely drinking beer and eating stale pizza.)

This is “Drive-In” fare that would have preceded the main film back in the day. A real 2.5 star effort  that one should watch if only nothing else is available.  Confusing and boring, this is even worse than “Zoombies.” This is  streaming on Netflix, at the moment. Approach with caution and arm yourself with mood altering substances before watching.

Haven: Two Hour Finale – Captain Kirk and Silent Hill

Admittedly, Haven lost its shine somewhere around season three. However the last season, which gave us Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner and a two hour finale that had at least one musical moment that was reminiscent of Konomi’s Silent Hill refrain managed to leave head held high.

Nathan and Audrey
Admittedly, Haven lost its shine somewhere around season three. However the last season, which gave us Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner and a two hour finale that had at least one musical moment that was reminiscent of Konomi’s Silent Hill refrain managed to leave head held high. The last two episodes of the series fifth season were slapped together, Now and Forever, which had plenty of Shatner and quite a lot of drama.

This show “influenced” by Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, used the King novella as a starting point and as such could be considered the best ever adaptation of the horror meister’s work. Sadly though, now that it has ended fans cannot see just how the eternal love triangle between Wuornos, Duke and Audrey (Emily Rose) could have played out. The addition of Shatner as “daddy” to Audrey (and Mara) – incidentally Big Bill is known as Croatoan (Roanoke anyone?) was a nice touch.

One does wonder if the addition of the science fiction icon was not really meant to be a number’s booster to save the series.

The last two hours of Haven provided a lot of closure, not a little angst and the death of Duke at the hands of Nathan. Audrey makes a deal with the devil daddy to save Nathan and her replicated self proves that she really is like the real Parker when she sacrifices herself to save her lover.

When Croatoan banishes Nathan (Lucas Bryant) from Haven with the pretend Audrey, the two interact just as the real Parker and Wuornos would. When the all powerful Croatoan tells Nathan that his replica of Audrey will be indistinguishable from the real one, he was right. It is pretend Audrey that reveals to Nathan that he must return to Haven to be “with her.”

Perhaps the most standout moment of the finale was that short scene between Nathan and “Audrey.” As the two stand near the fog surrounded town, Audrey explains to her lover that he needs to return to Haven. While the scene plays out, the music takes on a Konami Silent Hills feel. This felt like a nod and wink to the video game using that melancholic and faintly sad tune to make the two characters parting even more poignant.

Silent Hill allusions aside, the scene reveals that no matter what versions of Audrey exists, they will always love Nathan and will un-hesitantly do what is best for the love of her life Wuornos. Although there is that attraction to Crocker, Parker really does have Nathan in her heart.

Duke comes back from the dead, but only Dwight can see him and Lizzie Hendrickson (Gabrielle Trudel) gets to become a “real” girl. Duke helps in this process and when Dwight questions as to whether Duke is the real one, saying that the real Crocker was “a bit of a d*ck,” Duke “flips” Hendrickson off.

By the time the end credits roll, Duke is still dead, Dwight has Lizzie back for good, Nathan and Audrey meet again and Croatoan turns out to be not such a bad guy after all. The last two episodes contain a lot of exposition and “moving” moments.

Most everything is tied up and neatly presented in a package that contains closure, backstory and a sense of moving forward. It also has a happy ending and the last things we see are not Nathan and Audrey but Shatner and Vince Teagues (Richard Donat).

The world of Haven may disappear from our screens but Emily Rose can still be heard, as the voice of Elena Fisher in Uncharted 4, the latest from Naughty Dog and Sony about treasure hunter Nathan Drake and his “long running” squeeze Fisher.

Sidenote, I have to admit that each and every time I hear Emily speak on Haven I can hear her character saying both “Thanks Nate” and “Elena Fisher, last year’s model.” in my head from the Naughty Dog franchise. Also, the coolest episode of Haven ever was the one with the voice and mo-cap of Nathan Drake, Nolan North, (a bit of a legend in the video game world) as episode guest star “Last Goodbyes” way back in 2012. North and Emily have been in every “Uncharted” made as a team, more or less.

While it could be said that the series ended satisfactorily there was the feeling that Haven outstayed its welcome. Sure having Captain Kirk on board for the last season was pretty great, and Bill looked pretty good since the last time I saw him at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas was he sporting a handicapped mobile scooter. The series really should have packed it in a couple of seasons back.

(No offense Emily.)

Rose was the one thing that made the show worth watching. Her dual roles as evil Mara and good gal Audrey (and her various incarnations) was entertaining, which may explain the dual role Rose was given to perform in the finale. The actress also exuded sincerity in spades, something that Emily seems to specialize in.

Duke’s death is sad, although he gets a chance to put in one last gag when “flipping” off Dwight (with the operational finger missing) as Crocker disappears from sight, his last mission finished. Dwight reuniting with his daughter Lizzie was a tissue moment, and Shatner’s little speech to the daughter he missed so much was also poignant.

The touch of having Haven’s Nathan meet up with Rose’s character again was cute and brought everything full circle. Unfortunately this was signposted from the start. This predictability may have been what allowed the series to fall down so badly in terms of viewers. Still, we will miss Audrey, Nathan, Duke, Dwight and Vince. So long you Haven-ites, it has been a fun five years, despite a few redundancies and “meh” plots.

Haven: Body Switching and the Trouble With Thinnies

Haven: Body Switching and the Trouble With Thinnies

In this Haven two parter, where body switching is still the latest trouble and Dave/Vince learn that with thinnies, closer is not better, Duke and Nathan are actually dealing pretty well with occupying the other’s body. Except that Nathan is not overly pleased that Duke “goes commando.” According to Crocker though, it just lets “everything breathe.” This bit of information does not impress Wuornos in the least.

Haven: Episode Five What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You

Haven: Episode Five What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You

Haven in Episode Five season five, titled The Ole Switcheroo Part 1 proves that what you do not know can hurt you. At least in the sense that if you are keeping a secret from someone else you will switch bodies and in at least one instance of this body swap the result was deadly. At the start of the show, Nathan and Duke are trying to force Audrey out of Mara and Vince is down in Manteo, North Carolina. He is trying learn the significance of the word Croatoan in his brother Dave’s adoption paperwork.

Haven: Audrey Versus Mara

Haven: Audrey Versus Mara

Haven season five has started with the first three episodes being all about Nathan versus Mara versus Audrey. This latest turn of events is confusing if viewers missed season four. The series has run for quite a number of seasons considering the source material, Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, was a short book of 174 pages. Essentially a mystery, the only real connection that this show has to the book is the town’s two newsmen Dave and Vince. The place that the story took place in was not even called Haven and no character named Audrey existed.