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Red Riding Hood

Italy 2003
produced by
Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli, Ovidio G. Assonitis (executive) for KOA Films Entertainment
directed by Giacomo Cimini
starring Susanna Satta, Kathleen Archebald, Roberto Purvis, Marco Fiorini, Justine Powell, Iaon Gunn, Antonelly Salvucci, Remo Remotti, Fabio Sonnino, Simone Dipascasio, Marialuisa Tadei, Serena Alfieri, Devin McKinney, Susanne Meurer, Simone Mariani, Ramon Panzavolta, Maria Gradi, Cesare Vangeli
written by Andrew Benker, Ovidio G.Assonitis (as Oliver Hellman), music by Alessandro Molinari, cinematography by Sergio Salvati, Roberto Benvenuti

Little Red Riding Hood

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When she was a little girl, her father (Devin McKinney), a righteous politician, was publicly shot, not at age 12 her mother (Arianna Iachetti) has run off with another man & left Jenny (Susanna Satta) alone in Rome. Which is quite alright withthe hyperintelligent little girl, since her mother has left her money to last for a lifetime, & now she can do what she has always liked to do ... exact her own kind of justice on the world, that punishes those who were overlooked by the law, from petty thieves to hit-&-run drivers, & the punishment invariably is death. & to not be too lonely on her strolls through nightly Rome out on the prowl, Jenny has imagined herself a friend, George (played alternatively by Fabio Sonnino & Simone Dipascasio), who she thinks to be her puppy grown to human size, dressed just like she is (black cloak & red wellies & gloves), but wearing a weird mask.

But while at night she is some kind of angel of vengeance, by day she seems to be a true angel, always nice & smiling, & even employing a tutor, Tom (Roberto Purvis) for her own education. Everything could have been so beautiful ... until her grandma Rose (Kathleen Archebald) stops by, & wants to take her with herself to New York, since she now has custody of the girl ... but Jenny just can't let that happen, so she subsequently drugs her granny, destroys her knees, & ffeeds her, terribly allergic against peanuts, peanutbutter. Soon grandma Rose is reduced to a sobbing invalid, & Jenny, it seems, is free for other things, like starting a romantic affair with her tutor Tom - which goes terribly wrong when she finds out he indeed has a girlfriend.

Meanwhile, grandma has somehow extablished contact with someone outside her room, a (not really) blind beggar (Iaon Gunn), what she doesn't know though is that the beggar is rather a lowlife arsehole, & instead of helping the old lady, he blackmails Jenny ... but of course innocent looking Jenny has long found out where he lives , & in a great scene finishes him off by driving a bottle into his mouth ... all the way.

What she doesn't know though is that Tom has meanwhile come to her place & has found her granny ... & suddenly he has come to realize there's something wrong with the nice little girl - but alas too late, she has already gotten hold of a baseball bat & before long knocks him unconscious, then she convinces the ambulance he has called for grandma Rose to drive him to the next hospital ...

Anyway, somehow he gets out of the ambulance & back to Jenny's place, where he finds her just about to stab her gandma ... & to stop her he dresses up as George to persuade her to give him her knife, which she does - but Jenny isn't stupid, she knew all along that George was imaginary, & when she gives him the knife she makes sure to place it somewhere between his ribs. Bad thing is, that doesn't kill him, & suddenly he's the one with the knife ... but he just can't kill her ...

6 months later: Jenny was since admitted to an asylum, where she seems to be getting better by the minute, like a perfectly calm & balanced 12-year old ... until she meets a hit-&-run driver (Cesare Vangeli) from her former life, & suddenly her old killer instinct is back, & before long the man loses his legs, and his life. But this time it's not George who helps her but her (imaginary) zombie father.

 

A film about an angelic but homicidal 12-year old girl just can't be all bad ... & this one's pretty good in fact, a nice blend of serial killer film and (very) dark comedy, that - except for a few all-out-gore scenes - avoids gross-out humour, instead takes the comedy (& cruelty) to a more psychological level, & doesn't give a shit that its story is highly immoral. To top it all off, the film even features a few vintage musical-style songs. And young actress Susanna Satta proves to be perfectly capable of carrying the movie (which is otherwise often the problem with comedies about 12-year-olds). Only the ending, where Tom first disguises himself as George (though he just cannot know what George looks like) & tehn just cannot kill Jenny is a bit cheesy, but that shouldn't spoil the movie.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD