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Mar 142014
 

There have been many movie versions of Snow White over the years. Snow White and the Three Stooges features Moe (Moe Howard), Larry (Larry Fine), and Curly Joe (Joe DeRita) as a group of performers who are house sitting for the seven dwarves.

The bigger focus, of course, is on Snow White (Carol Heiss). She is very kind and sweet to everyone she meets, which makes her a wonderful princess who will one day rule the happy Kingdom of Fortunia.

The happiness was not to last after Snow White’s father King Augustus (Edgar Barrier) dies and her stepmother the Wicked Queen (Patricia Medina) imprisoned her the first chance she got. Oddly, the Wicked Queen’s name is not revealed in this version.

Even though the Stooges are featured in the intro, they don’t appear until much later and as an added twist the Prince Charming in this story is actually a performer named Quatro (Edson Stroll). Quatro lost his memory 14 years earlier and the Stooges took him in. Quatro also uses a puppet called Quinto. It’s interesting to know that Mel Blanc voiced the role. I though he sounded familiar.

Soon Quatro finds out that he is Prince Charming, who was once betrothed to Snow White after the Wicked Queen’s soldiers seek him out and arrest him. What a way to discover the truth. Now it’s up to Snow White and the Stooges to rescue Quatro, but the Wicked Queen is after them too.

Afterwards, the story goes in a whole new direction. With the prince presumed dead, Snow White and the Stooges escape and head far away… in the snowy mountains?

Another new item featured in this fairytale is the sword of power, which was created by Count Oga (Guy Rolfe) the Wicked Queen’s magician. The sword grants wishes to whoever holds it. Power like that is unpredictable, especially if say one of the Stooges had it.

Meanwhile in Fortunia, it’s revealed that the prince didn’t die and he leads a rebellion against the Wicked Queen. The battle was exciting, but where did Prince Charming learn to sword fight? He certainly didn’t learn it from the Stooges.

This movie is an oldie, but a goodie. There are also musical numbers that take place on the ice, which would explain why the role of Snow White was played by an Olympic gold medallist figure skater. However, they tend to run long at times and leave me wondering when the Stooges will return to do their funny shticks.

Feb 262013
 

The story of Snow White goes in a hilarious direction with the German film 7 Dwarves: Men Alone in the Wood. The main focus in this version is the dwarves who live in the dark Sinister Forest as an independent group. They are Brummboss (Heinz Hoenig), Cloudy (Boris Aljinovic), Tshakko (Mirco Nontschew), Sunny (Ralf Schitz), Speedy (Martin Schneider), Cooky (Markus Majowski), and Bubi (Otto Waalkes).

The main reason the dwarves prefer that independent lifestyle is because each of them has a different story about being hurt by women and want nothing to do with them ever again, but that begins to change when Snow White (Cosma Shiva Hagen) comes into their lives.

The Wicked Queen (Nina Hagen), who is both vain and eccentric, has a Hunter (Christian Tramitz) find and kill Snow White after the Magic Mirror (Rudiger Hoffman) tells her about Snow White as the fairest of them all. Oddly, the way to activate the Magic Mirror is to roll a bowling ball down a chute to hit a whip master’s head to wake him up, so he can tell the slaves to move the large switch. How many more hits can this guy take?

Although there are seven dwarves, an eighth one, Ralfie (Norbert Heisterkamp) comes by and wants to join, but he always gets turned down only because the group is strictly seven. Ralfie makes at least several attempts, but with no success. You can’t help but feel sorry for him.

The dwarves are a creative group, as silly as their ideas are. While trying to keep people from crossing the only bridge to the forest, they set up a Keep Out sign and a trap that sets off a catapult, which flings horse manure. It doesn’t scare Snow White since the Queen is after her.

Snow White hides in the dwarves’ house. Once they find her, the dwarves quickly fall for her, except for Brummboss. Brummboss talks with Snow White about the situation with the dwarves and women while the other dwarves play silly games which involve everything from beating each other senseless with boards to sack races and human jump rope. Snow White fits in well since she finds the games interesting. She also likes to play with dolls.

Now that the dwarves have all warmed up to Snow White, they decide to throw her a surprise party the next day since it will be Snow White’s 18th birthday. Coincidentally, it relates to Brummboss’s sad tale, which is only mentioned as “THAT night”. The tale is not revealed until after the Queen kidnaps Snow White in a giant Tupperware container. I guess the poison apple method was too complex for the Queen to figure out.

Now it’s up to all of the dwarves to rescue Snow White and overthrow the Queen. While Brummboss sneaks down to the dungeons, the other dwarves keep the Queen distracted by auditioning to be the new court jester. None of them make the cut, but I thought the attempts were hilarious.

This whole fairytale movie is hilarious and I really enjoyed it. In addition to the story, Red Riding Hood (Mavie Horbiger) was also featured, but only as another attractive young woman. The dwarves also have a song they sing while they travel, which is very catchy.

Dec 112012
 

We all know the story of Snow White. The animated Christmas special A Snow White Christmas is like the next generation of the classic fairytale. Snow White and Prince Charming are the King and Queen of the land and they have a young daughter that’s also named Snow White. So does that make her Snow White Jr., or what? Let’s just go with Young Snow White for now.

In honor of Christmas, the royal family hosts an ice festival. Young Snow White’s Christmas wish is to make the royal Christmas decree, which is to provide a castle for the children to have fun in by having the old spooky castle refurbished. As thoughtful as it sounds, that leaves the King and Queen feeling uneasy because that old castle was once the home of the Wicked Queen and they have never told their daughter about her.

You’d think that the Wicked Queen had been killed off before, but in this story she was merely frozen in ice on the mountainside. Now the Wicked Queen is back and so is her Magic Mirror in the old castle.

The Wicked Queen’s ambition is still the same, to be the fairest in the land. The Magic Mirror tells her that the fairest are Queen Snow White and her daughter. The Wicked Queen was not going to stand for that, so she casts an evil spell to freeze the kingdom and its people in ice. Luckily, Young Snow White manages to escape along with her best friend Grunyon the dwarf.

With their last breath, the King and Queen warn Young Snow White about the Wicked Queen and tell her to find the seven dwarves. Later, Young Snow White and Grunyon do find help, but it’s not the seven dwarves. They find the seven friendly giants, known as Finicky, Corny, Tiny, Hicker, Weeper, Thinker, and Brawny. Can you believe they are actually cousins to the seven dwarves?

The Wicked Queen soon finds out about Young Snow White staying with seven giants and goes to get her. She tries everything from disguising herself as a rat to creating a giant flood. I would’ve thought that the Wicked Queen would try the poison apple tactic again, but I guess she remembered the outcome before.

 

The Wicked Queen is not one to give up easily, but now that the seven giants know about her presence they do everything they can to keep Young Snow White safe. So the Wicked Queen uses a sneakier tactic.

She turns the two vultures that have been her spectators into giant flying demons to distract the giants while the Wicked Queen gives Young Snow White a poison flower in the guise of a giant old woman claiming to be the giants’ sister. I can’t believe Young Snow White fell for that because it would’ve made more sense if the Wicked Queen claimed to be their mother. That would’ve been a more convincing.

The giants come to Young Snow White’s rescue, but it was too late. She’s under the same sleeping spell her mother was in years ago. The cure is the same, but Young Snow White has no prince in her life now. I’m a little surprised that Grunyon didn’t try to wake her up with a kiss, even if they are just friends.

I liked this Christmas special. It had an interesting story line and is of the same quality of classic animated shows like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, since it was produced by the same studio, Filmation, which made many old favorites.

Jun 112012
 

We all know the classic fairytale of Snow White, but Snow White: A Tale of Terror shows it in a whole new way.

First of all, it’s revealed that Snow White’s real name is Lilli Hoffman (Monica Keena), daughter of King Frederick Hoffman (Sam Neill). As the story goes, Lilli’s mother dies from childbirth. So Frederick raised Lilli by himself, until he decides to remarry with Lady Claudia (Sigourney Weaver). For some reason, Lilli does not approve of the marriage, even though Claudia had always been very kind to her. Of course that didn’t stop Frederick from marrying Claudia.

I met Monica Keena at Spooky Empire’s MAY-HEM 2012.

Nine years later, Claudia’s attempt to conceive had failed and she was driven to the breaking point of seeking help from her mother’s magic mirror. As it turns out, Lady Claudia isn’t the real villianess. The magic mirror manipulated her into thinking that Lilli is the problem and must be killed. Now that’s quite a twist.

Claudia sends her mute brother Gustav (Miroslav Taborsky) to do the deed. Instead he chases Lilli into the forest and cuts up a pig to show Claudia, but the magic mirror knew better. Now Claudia officially becomes the wicked queen.

Soon Lilli finds a cottage and meets the seven dwarves. Now these dwarves are not like the cute and cuddly ones from the Disney version. They’re more like savages. They also don’t have adjectives for names and don’t treat Lilli with any respect, except for Will (Gil Bellows, who I remember best as Billy from Ally McBeal). In fact, Will even falls for Lilli, but he’s nothing like Dopey. I think he’s more like Doc, the noble leadership figure of the group.

Meanwhile, Claudia uses dark magic to try and kill Lilli. At this point, you would expect the poison apple bit. It is featured in this movie, but not until later. First Claudia uses a bird and an hourglass to magically bury Lilli alive in a cave that she and the dwarves happen to be in. Then Claudia uses the hallway and statues to magically crush them with falling trees. The escapes were intense, but at least the dwarves finally warm up to Lilli.

Now comes the poison apple bit after all of those failed attempts. We all know how that goes, but there’s a cool twist to this. All I can say is that it wasn’t really a kiss that brought her back to life again.

Usually that’s where the story ends, but it’s not over yet. Lilli makes it back home and confronts Claudia after finding out that she was the one behind all of that black magic. It becomes exciting as Claudia shows her true colors, starting with those witch teeth. Then more eerie surprises follow.

This was an interesting adaptation of the classic fairytale. Creepier, but interesting.