As you probably guessed, Mother Noose Presents Once Upon a Nightmare is an anthology about good nursery rhymes gone bad. Adult versions of fairy tales, both of the porn and horror genres, are nothing new. For example, Once Upon a Girl, Grimm’s Fairy Tales for Adults and the 1977 Cinderella starring drive-in favorite Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith. And you can tell the makers of this film are quite familiar with them.
I should mention this is not writer/director Richard Tanner’s (FrankenThug) 2016 film Once Upon a Nightmare. This is a new film, based off of the same concept, with Tanner helming five segments “Breadcrumbs” “Sinderella” “The Big Bad” “The Little Red Hood” “Mother Noose and the Assistant”. Eric E. Poe (Old Man of the Rooks) contributes “Through the Woods” and Dan Beck (Arte Factum) gives us “The Real Boy”.
The film opens with Mother Noose (Jezibell Anat, Lection, Kill Cavalry) penning a letter to her new personal assistant (Nick Uttam) in “Mother Noose and the Assistant”. This is the film’s wrap around, giving Ms. Noose a chance to tell him, and us, her stories.
The opening segment “Through the Woods” has Wayward Vixen as The Courier, a gothed up Red Riding Hood who has to redeliver Mother Noose’s misdelivered missive. On the way she has to deal with a Big Bad Wolf (John Wayne Miller) who wants to eat her, but not in the way you might think.
I tend to think I’ve seen it all, but this is the first ejaculating werewolf I’ve ever seen.
“Breadcrumbs” Features a nagging wife (Allison McLeod) who pushes her drunken husband (Jack Allison) past the point of no return. Unfortunately for him his wife did return. This segment is a loose, and considerably grimmer take on Hansel and Gretel. The VHS era setting was unexpected, as was the hysterically tacky cooking show we see on tape.
Up next is “Sinderella” an updated version of the classic tale in which Sindy (S. Watkins, Joe Stryker) is the victim of abuse from her stepmother (Wendy Miklos) and stepsister (Cassidy Rose). But in this case her Prince Charming turns out to be a real hell raiser.
Watkins makes an engaging, and cute, heroine. And her scenes with Asmodeus (Austin Basham) have a nice chemistry to them. This was my favourite segment in Mother Noose Presents Once Upon a Nightmare.
Introduced as “An incredible chronicle of cock” “The Real Boy” is a distinctly twisted take on Pinocchio. In a seedy carnival a showman (Nathan Hamilton, Frankenstein Created Bikers) presents his star attraction, Merrick (Jon Devlin, Amazon Hot Box). A man whose flesh, the promoter claims, is made of solid wood. Once a dominatrix (Melissa McClure, Die By the Sword) enters the picture things get really nasty.
This was easily the film’s most disturbing segment and felt a bit out of place after the lighter stuff that came before it. It’s an effective tale of abuse, exploitation and revenge that packs a punch.
“The Big Bad” follows Jane Wolf (Erin Brown, Dead by Midnight (11pm Central), Theta States) aka Misty Mundae on a killing spree. It’s short and all a build up for a punchline that will either make you howl with delight or squeal in pain.
Mother Noose Presents Once Upon a Nightmare ends with “The Little Red Hood”. Two women Little Red (Quianna Harper) and Wolfe (Alexandra Harkins) are meeting for a rendezvous when a third person (Brittany Hicks) makes an unexpected appearance. This segment had some sound issues and I had trouble hearing some of the dialogue. Thankfully it’s easy to follow and provides a couple of payoffs. One expected, the other pleasant surprise.
An obviously very low budget effort, Mother Noose Presents Once Upon a Nightmare manages to deliver a mostly fun collection of stories despite its limitations. The effects are, for the most part, basic practical makeup but they get the point across. The creature from “Through the Woods” looks excellent despite being cobbled together out of a pair of costumes from another film. Add in a fair amount of skin and you have a film that wears its 70s grindhouse influences proudly.