While Red Riding Hood waits for her father to return from the wars, the local town is enduring the harsh rule of her uncle, who has sold his soul for the powers of black magic in order to try and gain the hand of his sister-in-law. Red's grandmother is a dab hand at magic herself - something which makes her uncle rather uncomfortable. Finally he sends a werewolf assassin to take care of the old woman, on the same day that her grand-daughter was planning on paying her a visit ...
The "Cannon Movie Tales" series were the product of an Israeli company trying to set up their own country's answer to Disney. Their idea was to make versions of classic fairy tales, prominently featuring British and American actors in leading roles but backed up by an Israeli cast. Unfortunately, despite the millions they invested in the series, they all turned out to be flops. Judging from this example, it is painfully easy to see why.
Despite the presence of big names such as Isabella Rossellini and Craig T. Nelson, this movie has the distinct feel of amateur theatre all the way through. The production values are awful, as are the attempts at musical numbers. The one thing the Cannon Group apparently failed to learn from Disney is that if you're making a musical, it helps if your cast can actually sing.
The way this story is told completely lacks all of the hard edges of the original fairy tale. Apart from one surreal scene towards the end, which wouldn't be entirely out of place in a David Cronenberg film, the story is utterly sanitised and uninteresting. The plot involving the two brothers seems to have been lifted from the John Lackland / Richard the Lionheart dynamic in most versions of Robin Hood. Sorry, folks - I think you got the wrong "hood" there!
I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone, even the young target audience. And I can't say I'm in a hurry to check out the other movies in the series either ...
Our "big bad wolf" in this version of the story is a man who can transform himself into a regular wolf. In fact, there are two werewolves involved - with the lycanthropic powers of black magic being a central theme of the story.
The transformation scene is achieved using crossfades, and is quite nifty - unfortunately, some of the later special effects are unintentionally hilarious. Whoopsy.