As you can tell from the title, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked is not going to be a serious movie. In fact, when you look at the back of the case, it is categorized as horror/comedy. In all actuality, it is a comedy with a little bit of ’80’s gore thrown in. It is also not half as clever as it thinks it is. While it is not a terrible movie, it is also not a very good one. For the premise, it is a little over long and not half as funny as it should be.
When Gretel’s boyfriend goes to buy some of the new strain of marijuana on the street from the little old lady who sells it, he is taken prisoner and eaten by the witch. She absorbs his life force and gets younger. Gretel starts worrying when he doesn’t come home and soon finds herself fighting for her life against the witch that wants to eat her and her brother Hansel for their youth. Yep, that’s pretty much the entire plot, which the film somehow manages to drag out to 100 minutes.
Make no mistake, I did find myself laughing a few times, and the movie (mostly) kept me interested. I just couldn’t help sitting there thinking about how this could actually have been turned into a really clever take on the Hansel and Gretel tale if only done with a little more competence and a slightly bigger budget. While there were a few clever one liners in the film (Hansel and Gretel’s folks are visiting the Stiltskin’s), most of the jokes and dialogue are drug references. Of course, this is expected in a film called Hansel & Gretel Get Baked. While I am no pot smoker, I couldn’t help but notice that the delivery of the lines and the characters acting like they were stoned came across as very fake. In fact, I didn’t believe a single character in the film was actually a pothead. They just acted like the characters on an old ABC After School Special (ok, maybe not that bad).
The special effects were halfway decent, though, and the old age makeup on Lara Flynn Boyle (The Witch) was pretty good for a low budget picture. In the initial scene where Gretel’s boyfriend was being mutilated, the practical effects reminded me of the ’80’s underappreciated gem, Waxwork. If you have seen Waxwork (and if you haven’t, WHY NOT?) you will know what I am talking about.
While the film is not absolutely terrible, I can’t recommend it. While I am sure someone like Misty Layne of Cinema Schminema would be able to appreciate this more than I, I did find a few things to enjoy here and more than a couple of chuckles throughout. As a drug comedy, I found it entirely unconvincing. If you are looking for a drug comedy that is extremely funny and believable, watch Half Baked or A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. If you are looking for something to sit and watch with some stoner buddies and want to make fun of the film, watch this.
** out of **** (That’s being very generous.)
NOTE: Keep an eye out for Cary Elwes in the beginning of the film. I didn’t recognize him initially, but he is in here.