Case Number 25988

HANSEL & GRETEL GET BAKED (BLU-RAY)

New Video // 2013 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Jim Thomas // July 19th, 2013

The Charge

Don't touch her gingerbread.

Opening Statement

For whatever reason, the gods "favored" us with three different takes on the Hansel and Gretel fable. New Video now brings us what the court fervently hopes the last such film for a while, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked.

Facts of the Case

Gretel (Molly Quinn, Castle) is getting high with her boyfriend when they run out of weed. They quickly reach an agreement -- Gretel will cook up a batch of gingerbread cookies while Ash heads over to Pasadena to score some of the amazing "Black Forest" weed from Agnes (Lara Flynn Boyle, Twin Peaks), a little old lady who sells the most amazing weed out of her basement. When Ash turns up missing, Gretel investigates, only to discover what Ashton discovered -- Agnes is a witch who feeds on the flesh of the young to stay young herself.

Now it's up to Gretel's older brother Hansel (Michael Welch, Twilight) to pull his little sister out of the fire. Literally.

The Evidence

For the first 25 minutes, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked shows promise, with a number of clever gags based on the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. At some point, though, the filmmakers stopped mining the fairy tale world for inspiration, and instead launched into a more or less traditional slasher movie mode, with only the occasional nod to their putative inspiration. Little, if any attempt is made to ground the film, and things just putter along, with Agnes displaying all manner of haphazard magical prowess. In fact, the film shares the same major flaw as Tim Burton's ill-conceived Dark Shadows in that both films feature a witch whose powers seem to be limitless. In this case, it makes it even more disconcerting that she is dispatched in such an anticlimactic manner.

At one point, the movie started getting on my nerves. Cary Elwes is in the credits, I'm thinking to myself, but where is he? And then Agnes starts responding to customer/victim requests with "As you wish," instilling a feverish anticipation of Elwes turning in some sort of whacked-out The Princess Bride homage. Talk about your dashed hopes. Turns out that Elwes, under a ton of makeup, is the doomed meter reader in the pre-credit sequence. Definitely, there are some missed opportunities here. While there are a number of nice moments, things never really coalesce into a coherent whole.

For a weak movie, the tech side of Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (Blu-ray) is quite good. The AVC-encoded video is good, with strong edges and little bleeding despite the plethora of dark and shadowy scenes. The DTS-HD is even better, with excellent use of the surround channels, particularly when people are wandering around in Agnes' basement. There are no extras.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Casting Lara Flynn Boyle was an absolute masterstroke, for all the wrong reasons. Once the old-age makeup has been dispensed with and Boyle's face is revealed, you can easily imagine her turning to magic in an attempt to repair what plastic surgery did to her once beautiful countenance.

Closing Statement

Hansel & Gretel Get Baked has some nice moments and the occasional directorial flair, but just doesn't do enough to separate itself from the pack. It might be worth streaming if you're bored.

The Verdict

In this case, Hansel and Gretel only got half-baked. Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2013 Jim Thomas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 90
Audio: 91
Extras: 0
Acting: 80
Story: 75
Judgment: 73

Perp Profile
Studio: New Video
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)

Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt2081194/combined

* Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/HanselGretelGetBaked