Wednesday, May 18, 2011

REVIEW: Rumpelstiltskin (1995)

Director: Mike Jones
Starring: Plot Holes.

“I’ve NEVER had a baby in my car before!”
-Mr. Tye-Dye Hawaiian Jamboree Madness

Sometime in the late 80s after the slasher horror genre was already established, there were movies that had silly characters posed as serious slasher villains, although under a more sarcastic guise. Like Child’s Play and Leprechaun! But who knew that years after those movies, there would be a mid-90s ripoff called Rumpelstiltskin, taking the Leprechaun formula and…completely ripping it off, word for word, except with an even DUMBER premise than the film it’s stealing from! When will these movies learn? When will they learn that making the same thing as the original only worse, and stupider, just doesn’t pay?

Oh, right, except that the director of Leprechaun is the same guy who directed this movie. Well, at least he has an excuse for making the exact same thing over again only worse and less interesting…oh, wait. No he doesn’t! Let’s get started reviewing Rumpelstiltskin.

The movie starts off in the worst Monty Python sketch you’ve ever seen, with what looks like the Green Goblin:


…carrying a baby to this rock with a whole horde of villagers chasing him with torches and stuff. When they catch up to him, they bravely stand around him in a fearful circle, pleading for the baby’s life…wait, that isn’t brave at all. I know he looks scary and everything, but seriously, you’ve got like fifty people all around him! How can he be that hard to beat? I mean it’s not like he can tear out peoples’ eyes or anything…

Oh, well............shit.

So they call in the world’s most stereotypical witch – seriously, she’s got messy black hair, warts, black clothes and everything – who turns him into some kind of petrified green turd, and so he rests for hundreds of years under the sea.

Seriously, that thing looks like it smells something AWFUL.

We then transition to the only logical thing to transition to in a 90s movie, RAP MUSIC! Two cops are driving along in their car talking about stupid bullshit like what they would call themselves if they were famous. Charming, but it mostly just makes me want to beat them with hockey sticks. They stop at a store and the white one’s wife calls on the phone to talk to him. They talk about more boring crap like what she wants him to get at the grocery store – isn’t this just riveting? – but this is soon quickly interrupted by a random middle-of-the-day mugging, which would be a brilliant case of attacking people when they least expect it…if there weren’t COPS NOT EVEN TWO FEET AWAY.

Seriously, guy; how dumb are you? That’s like trying to cheat on a test when you’re sitting right in front of the teacher’s desk. They have a shoot out in which the director decides to make everything mooooooooove increeeeeeeediiiiiiibbbbbllllyyyyy slooooooooooowlllyyyyy…like you know those humorous over-exaggerations in cartoons where one character melodramatically shouts “No” and it’s slowed down to ¼ the speed so his voice sounds a lot deeper? That’s what they do here. Real great build up of tension, guys! Why don’t you try adding in cartoon sound effects to your next fight scene, too? I bet that’ll REALLY get us pumped up!

So the husband dies, although he does take the mugger with him as well, leaving his wife and unborn child behind. We fast forward to sometime later when the kid has already been born and the wife still grieves over him. Her friend comes over and offers to take her someplace to surprise her and cheer her up – an occult magic shop. Yeah, that’s the best place for someone mourning the loss of a loved one to go for fun! She must be related to the chick from Old Dogs who thought it was a good idea to ask a date out to a funeral grieving group. Oh the joys of human relations!

The wife makes a very odd decision to purchase the petrified turd that was once a baby-eating monster, much to the chagrin of the old wrinkled witch-lady who probably could have just hidden the thing, or stashed it away somewhere, ANYWHERE other than the FRONT OF THE STORE where ANYONE COULD PICK IT UP. What a dumbass! So she makes a wish that she could share a night with her husband, cries conveniently on the statue – must be one of those water-resilient ones – and goes to sleep, only to wake up and find that, surprise surprise!, her husband came back to life to screw her in bed again. Just like every man, all he ever needed her for was the sex apparently, because when she wakes up the next morning…

They never look as good the morning after...

That’s right, the little Leprechaun-wannabe that is Rumpelstiltskin is back in his place. He chases her around the house a little and demands the baby if she can’t guess his name. He doesn’t like being referred to as ‘son of a bitch,’ and so he says he’s going to kill the baby! But she runs him over with a car and then it’s OK again.

So she stays with her friend for a while and they all read about Rumpelstiltskin, finding out the popular legend that he was an evil creature who took your child if you couldn’t guess his name. Apparently the legend targeted the Miller’s daughter, which is CONVENIENT because that’s also the maiden name of the wife! Wow, movie; just had to have that extra little coincidence in there, didn’t you? So even though they know his name now and could stop this whole movie in seconds, they don’t do jack shit. They could stop this whole thing in a second and save everyone’s lives, but no, because I guess they just REALLY dig the suspense. Maybe they’re just…waiting for the “right” moment. Or maybe it’s like a medieval version of Voldemort, “He who shall not be named.” Or else you’ll get warts on your tongue or some shit.

"How DARE you compare?"

Either way it’s stupid. She runs out of the house with her baby and they quickly shack up with a guy who looks like a walking billboard for Hawaii. She demands a ride and gets in his car without asking, taking the baby with her, to which he replies, “Oh no, is that a baby? I’ve NEVER had a baby in my car before!” Well...first time for everything, douchebag. Some of us have NEVER had a mythological fairytale creature try to eat our newborn babies. ARE YOUR PROBLEMS REALLY SO GREAT?

So the two end up going together until Rumpelstiltskin catches up with them – get this – DRIVING AN 18-WHEELER. First of all, when the hell did he learn how to drive? Did they have a DMV in that petrified turd statue or something? Second, how would he even drive this thing to begin with? He’s about half the size of a regular human being; he’d have to use a phonebook to see over the dashboard!

So after they drive for a whopping 2 minutes, the guy runs out of gas. Yeah, guess you’re a fucking idiot for not thinking of THAT before you went on a long road trip, huh? But it’s OK. He finds a childish go-kart like something you’d find at a county fair or something, so they’re safe now.


Oh yeah, that’ll do it! That’s exactly what I think of when I think ‘heroic rescue’! There’s simply nothing else like it! Seriously, what the hell? Next you’re gonna tell me he uses candy canes and rainbows to defeat the little troll! I think what really gets to me about this scene is, well, why the hell is that weird-ass little car there in the first place? They just stopped at a gas station, not some kind of Toys ‘R’ Us emporium! Did the owners of the gas station just have a bunch of those in stock from the…random mid-90s boom of misplaced childrens’ toys? Yeah, that was a real epidemic, wasn’t it?

This whole thing is just so random that you could spend hours discussing the ramifications of it. But I’d rather just finish this review. So, yeah, he tricks the little bastard into thinking he has the baby and Rumpelstiltskin chases him down in the truck. And…alright, I’ll admit it; this movie is worth seeing just to see the following image:

That’s just priceless. It’s monumentally retarded and makes no sense, but it’s just so funny that even the rest of the movie around it can’t possibly ruin the cheesy glory of this one shining scene. This…is a pinnacle of cinema!

But, sigh, the rest of the film has to tromp back in and ruin the whole thing, like a fly in your soup. A cop comes and gets killed by Rumpelstiltskin – what an embarrassing funeral that will be. “Hey, how’d your husband die? I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a great cop.” “He was killed by a dwarf bastard child of Freddy Krueger and the Green Goblin while a guy in a little clown car watched.” “…..oh.” *Walks away* Not exactly a poetic way to be remembered.

So then the two main characters are on the run, because they had to steal the dead cop’s car to get away from the demonic little bastard. They get arrested by a whole fleet of cops, who also take the baby away from the wife. They get put in a cell while Rumpelstiltskin comes in and completely slaughters all the police officers in horrific ways. Gee, I guess you morons wish you had said his name NOW, huh? Maybe then you could have avoided this horrendous catastrophe that will likely ruin dozens of family’s lives. Rumpelstiltskin steals the baby and then the only cop he conveniently didn’t kill comes and lets the two main characters out of their jail cell, telling them they need to go stop it. I’ll ignore the part where he somehow left that guy alive, but seriously, why did he use his last breaths on Earth to let out two people who, for all they knew, were murdering psychopaths? He wouldn’t…try to call for backup or anything? This movie has more holes than Swiss cheese!

Then they get in this yellow convertible and…the old witch lady is in the back sleeping? What the hell? What, does she ALWAYS drive her car to police stations and sleep in it? Or is that not even her car at all? Did she just randomly crawl into a car and fall asleep there? If she came to rescue them or bail them out of jail or something, why the fuck did she go to sleep? ARGH! Next scene.

So she tries to tell them what to do to stop Rumpelstiltskin, but can’t remember exactly what to do. Rumpelstiltskin uses some kind of magical power, which has never been explained or shown before in the movie (call it the law of implausible powers by shitty writing – LIPSW for short), to see what they’re doing. Then he chokes the witch so she can’t tell them anything, killing her. How did he do this? Uh…LOOK, A DUCK!

Seriously, every time I get past one plot-hole, another one pops up like bad acne! How does he have all these powers? Why doesn’t he just kill the other two main characters and be done with it so he can have the baby for himself? Why am I still wasting my time with this? Why do we park in driveways and drive in parkways? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

OK, those last few…had little to do with anything else, but still! It’s just one step away from encompassing the entire fucking universe into some kind of horrible plot-hole vortex from Hell. Did anyone edit this? I know it’s supposed to be goofy and stupid, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to try! It doesn’t mean you get a free pass just to write lazy-ass crap and not put any work into it, you bunch of fucking hacks. You have to actually put work into making your scenes funny. This shit is just that – stupid bullshit. Nothing more!

But let’s just finish this review before I’m here all night. Rumpelstiltskin takes the baby into a graveyard and does some weird shit until the two leads get there. They decide to do the heroic thing and run away (seriously, what?), where the guy gets a big flaming tractor from somewhere (seriously, what?) and chases the little bastard around, setting him on fire before the wife does what she SHOULD HAVE DONE ALL ALONG and says his name, killing him for good. Seriously, WHAT?

Just look at the flaming tractor. Pay no attention to the awful, hackneyed plot.

Alright, if anyone can honestly tell me they felt good about themselves after watching this movie, I’ll eat my hat and admit defeat forever. The characters are ungodly morons, the plot is complete hack work and the whole premise is just ridiculous – Rumpelstiltskin? Really? You might as well just make a horror movie about Buggs Bunny, or Tom and Jerry at the rate you’re going. But at least this movie DID provide us with one thing worth watching:

I’m serious, man, just fast forward to about 50 minutes in, watch that scene, and then turn it off. You’ll get more bang for your buck than I did.