Written by: Carroll Jenkins on September 3rd, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Mexico, 1962
Director: Roberto Rodríguez
Writers: Fernando Morales Ortiz, Adolfo Torres Portillo, Sergio Magaña Hidalgo, Roberto Rodríguez
Cast: María Gracia, Cesáreo Quezadas ‘Pulgarcito’, José Elías Moreno, Manuel ‘Loco’ Valdés, Santanón, Ofelia Guilmáin
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Aspect Ratio
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $4.99
Synopsis: Following previous adventures, the wolf and the ogre are put on trial by the monster jurors and sentenced to death by the Queen Witch for being good. Now she’s after Little Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb as the instigators.
Here’s one has it all: Frankenstein’s monster, vampire, boogie man, Siamese man beast, child snatcher, hurricane dwarf, robot, dragon, and animal men; every one controlled by the Queen Witch.
This made an indelible impression upon my 9 year old brain when I took my sister and brother (7 and 5 years of age respectively) to see it in 1965. Seems my parents thought that K. Gordon Murray Presents was just as wholesome an endorsement (and as good a babysitter) as Walt Disney Presents. So we saw them all (Santa Claus multiple times) but this is the one that impressed me then and stuck in my mind all those years – especially the image of Wolf and Ogre about to be sliced in two lengthwise by timber saws after being water boarded. Ah, sweet memories from childhood.
The monster makeup, with the severe exception of Wolf, is mostly pretty good. The Queen Witch is clearly patterned after Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Carrot Head was scary [called Boogie Man in the translation]. The dragon is a good effect [though it’s pretty amazing that no one was badly burnt by the flames], the robot is okay, and the good fairy’s wand is made of lit sparklers (no eye protection here).
This release under the original title Caperucita Y Pulgarcito Contra Los Monstruos is a nightmare come true, because this is the original uncut Spanish language version with English subtitles. Now we can hear the original songs, and discern the original lyrics and dialog. Presented fullscreen in color, the title cards are in the correct aspect ratio, but it may have been distributed in both fullscreen and 2.35:1 prints as US marketing (trailer, posters) specifies ‘colorscope’. Also released in a 3 disc box set with the first two Little Red Riding Hood films. The US dub version was previously released by Something Weird Video (also fullscreen).
There are good movies and bad movies and then a few that transcend any particular designation as they are too bizarre for normal reality and exist in their own continuum. This one freaked out a lot of little kids in the mid-sixties. For life.