Avengers Grimm 2015
I’m still currently working on two different-yet-similar goals for this site before the end of the year, and likely just soon afterwards. I’m working on reviewing every 2015 movie that I would cover here as well as working my way towards my 300th review. This movie I had mostly forgotten about for a couple different reasons. For one thing, it’s a mockbuster from Asylum. And somewhat surprisingly, I have yet to watch a film from Asylum before now. They do plenty of horror and sci-fi there, but not a whole lot of superhero movies. Even this movie is barely a superhero movie that combines fairy tale characters with a very loose connection to the Avengers since they give most of the fairy tale characters different super powers and a world-threatening villain that even has a Loki-esque way of mind controlling his minions. But it doesn’t make up for a its lack of story or acting. From what I understand, most if not all of these films are made under a small budget and a very short timeframe. And under those conditions, it’s almost amazing that they were able to come up with something at least this coherent, even if it’s fairly unintelligible.
The basics of the story come down to the league of magical fairy tale princesses vs the evil warlock Rumpelstiltskin, with a little bit of a portal to the real world mixed in for good measure. The princesses are led by queen Snow White who has the power of the Snow Queen because the word snow is in her name, obviously. She’s also joined by Rapunzel who has the power to make her awful, awful wig into a ball-and-chain weapon a la Gogo from Kill Bill. Though I did notice that she was played by Rileah Vanderbilt who also played Wonder Woman in the Rainfall films fan-film concept teaser. Next up is Sleeping Beauty who has the power to make people fall asleep. There’s also Cinderella who has the power to transmogrify things, like she turns a gun into a bouquet of flowers. And she can also heal people who have been turned into mindless thralls by Rumpelstiltskin. And to round things up is the commoner Red, something that gets pointed out often enough, along with the fact that Princesses are immune to Rumpelstiltskin’s mind control, that it was very obvious that she would end up getting under his spell towards the end of the film. And since she doesn’t have any magic powers, she ends up being the Hawkeye of the group with her bow & arrows and fighting skills.
One of the biggest issues of this film is the fact that it was filmed so quickly, or at least it seems to have been filmed quickly as to have skipped over plenty of the script. Three of the princesses aren’t even called by their names until about 2/3 of the way through the film. It’s fairly easy to determine who Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty are based on their looks/powers, but Cinderella was a complete mystery with her odd powers and non-Disney looks. Though only just now I realized that her powers of transmogrification coincide with the Fairy Godmother’s power that turned the animals and vegetables to a carriage and accouterments. There’s little explanation given to what Rumpelstiltskin’s thralls are or what his ultimate goal is, aside from the very generic “rule the world(s)”.
The acting is what one would expect from a low budget studio known for making mockbusters. Snow White was the worst offender as she typically just spews the words out with random accents and very little emotion. Casper Van Dien’s Rumple probably fares the best as he really dives into the role of the villain. Another actress who I personally enjoyed more than anyone else was the fairly small role of Rumple’s secretary. She plays someone who wasn’t fully made into a mindless thrall with the black eye makeup, but she was under Rumple’s mind control. And the actress basically played being under mind control, as being a stereotypical ditz. She wore a huge plastered smile on her face, her eyes were as wide as possible and blinked frequently, her head was tilted at just the right angle, and she spoke in a high pitched voice that screams “forced pleasantness”. Lou Ferrigno did a passable job as “Iron John” who was basically a mini mob boss who bargains his gang’s safety in return for becoming essentially the Tin Man, or Iron Man for Rumple. It looked and sounded much more on the side of the Tin Man with an overuse of squeaking sound effects and a liberal use of aluminum body paint. The other villain, the Wolf was also a victim of sound effect over-use where every time he was on screen, there would be the accompanying growling sound effect. If there was a saving grace to this movie, it would come down to just a couple of fight scenes that were actually pretty decent. Especially one of the final fights between Red and the Wolf. But aside from that, it was just a disjointed mess with characters that were never fully introduced or explained accomplishing motives that made no sense to prevent a villain’s plan that’s never explained. More or less exactly what I expected from an Asylum movie. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on December 27, 2015, in 10's movies and tagged fairy tale, film, movies, review, Superhero. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
A movie where Snow White and other fairy tale princesses Fight, Im kind of intriged. They should have not used the name Avengers at all in their title
There is a very small Avengers vibe in that they all have to come together as a team, Rumpelstiltskin is very much like Loki, and he even mind controls the Hawkeye of the group for a while. But Avengers in the title did seem like a very odd choice.
I won’t deny that The Asylum have made some bad films, but they’ve produced quite a few low-budget gems as well, and I admire the way that they keep punching above their weight, even if they don’t always succeed. I really enjoyed Avengers Grimm, and I hope The Asylum make some more superhero movies in the future.
I’m also quite surprised they don’t try more superhero movies. I imagine that it doesn’t quite fit with their pastiche and would require more special effects than they are willing to spend money on. It seems like they’re giving Jeremy Inman a recurring job and he seems like a fan of superheroes so maybe he’ll find a way to make it work. Or at least he’ll keep doing these fairy tale pseudo-superhero movies.
Further to my previous comment, looking at The Asylum’s back catalogue reveals that in addition to AVENGERS GRIMM and it’s sequel SINISTER SQUAD, they’ve also made ALMIGHTY THOR (2011) and the superhero/horror hybrid LITTLE DEAD ROTTING HOOD (2016).
With a lot of these movies, there’s a fine line as to whether or not it’s a superhero movie, or some other category, or if it blurs the lines between several. I’m sure I’ll at least take a look at some of the Thor knock-offs like Almighty Thor, but I imagine most of them are more fantasy than superhero.