Most of us have seen a poorly dubbed “children’s” film at one time or another. You know, those kiddie matinees that came from foreign countries and were supposed to entertain us back in the 60s or 70s but were really horror movies in disguise. Sometimes it was true horror while other times it was just nightmare inducing storylines or characters that now leaves the older you wondering what the heck they were thinking when they made that movie. So, ladies and gentlemen of the cinematic jury, may I present Tom Thumb and Little Red Riding Hood vs. The Monsters (1962).
Going into this flick, it may be helpful to know that it is actually the third chapter in a trilogy. Not that you need to see the first two films first. It’s just helpful to know that the nightmare was really three times as long. Young actress Maria Garcia played the lead role of Little Red Riding Hood in La Caperucita Roja aka Little Red Riding Hood in 1960. It was in that first film that we see her dog Duke as well as Stinky Skunk, originally a henchman to the Big Bad Wolf. In 1961, she returned in Little Red Riding Hood and Her Three Friends. In 1962, the trilogy was wrapped up with Tom Thumb and Little Red Riding Hood. In all three films, Santanon stars as Stinky while Manuel “Loco” Valdes is the Wolf. By the third film, things have clearly gone to the dark side as it turns into the craziest monster fest I’ve personally ever seen.
The Wolf and the Ogre are on trial for treason and turning good. The courtroom is full with just about every creature costume they could probably find south of the border. The judge is a vampire and the jury consists of Frankenstein’s monster, a two headed man (one looking like Tor Johnson, the other like a caveman), a creature capable of creating hurricane winds, a pinhead character referred to as Carrot Head and another creep called the Kidnapper. This guy goes on about how he likes kidnapping children because they are tender and make a good broth. Add in a goofy witch and her sister, the Evil Queen (who has stepped right out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and even the robot from The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy (1958).
What follows is a crazy storyline of how the Evil Queen wants Little Red Riding Hood and her new friend, Tom Thumb (Cesareo Quezadas “Pulgarcito”, Santa Claus) dead. The townsfolk are turned into monkeys, Tom’s family are transformed into mice and a good witch (carrying a wand made out of sparklers) helps them on their way to the castle to save the Wolf and the Ogre from being executed. Did I mention the Evil Queen worships Satan and calls upon his services? Or how about how a group of children hang the kidnapper from a tree and turn him into a human piñata? How about monsters being set on fire? Fun for little kids everywhere. Oh yes, let me not forget that there are also several musical numbers. Yes indeed, this movie is warped.
The flick had several titles, several including “monsters” to help lure the American audience. It was released in the US under the guidance of K. Gordon Murray, a name very familiar among horror fans for his horrifically dubbed Mexican monster flicks. The original Tom Thumb and Little Red Riding Hood might have made more sense but I somehow doubt it. Indeed, this is a turkey with all the trimmings. So, do I recommend it? Yes, indeed I do as it falls into that “so bad it’s good” category. It was released on home video by Something Weird Video at one time but appears to be out-of-print. However, it is available for free on YouTube, so save yourself the cash and catch it for free. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!