“This ain’t no Disney fairy tale!”
That’s a pretty bold proclamation for a movie, but Mother Noose Presents: Once Upon a Nightmare isn’t a movie that’s all that interested in subtlety. It’s barely a few moments in when the big bad wolf sprouts an erection and things don’t slow down from there.
Directed by Richard Tanner (Room for Rent, Frankenthug)*, this film starts when a poor man starts his new job as assistant to an eccentric storyteller living deep in the woods. Her stories — “Mother Noose and the Assistant” — form the thread of this anthology, with each tale growing darker and more menacing.
The first story, “The Big Bad,” is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, with Erin Brown playing that role. You may know her better under her other stage names Sadie Lane and Misty Mundae.
Jon Devlin, who was in Joe Stryker, appears in the best story of the bunch, “A Real Boy,” in which he plays Merrick, an abused wooden boy in a sideshow.
Other tales include “Through the Woods,””Sinderella,” a retelling of — you get it — Cinderella and the extremely dark “Breadcrumbs,” which reinvents the story of Hansel and Gretyl as an abusive marriage and the lengths that a husband would go through to escape it.
While this movie isn’t released yet, you can keep up on it on its official Facebook page. I’m glad that the filmmakers gave us an early look at it. If you love low budget anthologies and would fun with a more gory and ribald take on children’s fairy tales, then this is the movie for you.
*IMDB also lists Dan Beck as the director of “A Real Boy” and Eric E. Bow as the director of “Through the Woods.”