"Dee Wallace Looked Like She Had Fun. Did You?"
I question why The Asylum wanted to do a mockbuster on "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"? One of the first things that happened right off the bat after realizing that this took place in present day is one simple question; "Who on Earth hated their children that much to name their kids Hansel and Gretel?" Well, Dee Wallace plays the nice old lady who runs "The Gingerbread House" which is a special bakery.
When Hansel and Gretel are told that their father is getting remarried, Hansel runs off in protest and steps on a bear trap while out in the middle of the woods. Lilith (Wallace) helps Gretel with Hansel and they go into her house. She drugs the brother and sister and soon both are shackled and trapped in her basement and face death.
Dee Wallace looked like she was giving it her all and was having fun with the role. But, I don't feel that the source material doesn't work in present day. It honestly felt like a cheap wannabe Rob Zombie movie. Even the back cover states; "A wickedly brutal classic in the vein of Hostel and House of 1,000 Corpses!" I think when they did this, they just took from those two films and added a supernatural element to it with Dee Wallace as the witch.
For a straight to video horror film, I felt it was ok. Dee Wallace is the only good thing about it. Dee Wallace does great at playing the sinister, yet innocent looking witch. I like some of the practical effects were well done. This isn't a CGI heavy film like some of the past Asylum films like Bigfoot or Mega Python Vs Gatoroid. I felt that it was somewhat of a fresh breath for them since it's all been like for the past few films. I give the film a 3/5.
Presented in 1.78:1. Has The Asylum ever done a film that wasn't 16:9? Presentation is nice and clear with artifacing here and there. Considering all of The Asylum's films are shot digitally, this one honestly has the best transfer out of all of them. Colors and nice and rich. I am very pleased with this one. 4.5/5
There's an error on the box art with the audio listing, "5.1 Surround Sound", well... it's 5.1 DTS-HD MA. And it's a very nice and solid audio track. The Asylum is knocking it out of the park with this release. I didn't feel the need to turn up the audio or turn it down. Very even and linear. As close to perfection as possible. 5/5.
I wasn't too impressed with the extras on this disc. We have a commentary. Then we have the "Making Of" which is a few minutes. Dee Wallace said that she was busy but was begged to do the film. I found that kinda funny. In the "Gag Reel", cast and crew talk about their favorite candy with bloopers spliced in, along with footage of Dee Wallace in full witch make up having fun on set. Hell's Crafty which is a Gordon Ramsey parody with a Kraft service guy who passed away. And then we finally have trailers for upcoming films and some that are all ready out and the 15th anniversary trailer was funny. I give the bonus features a 2.5/5.
I felt this was a decent Asylum film. As stated, this felt like a wannabe Rob Zombie film with how some of the shots are set up. Other than that, it's good for some laughs. If you're big on Asylum films, I'd recommend going after this one. I also managed to score this during Best Buy's Upgrade and Save for $5 plus tax. Worth it at that price. 4/5.