If you’ve ever wondered what was really going through the Grimm Brother’s minds when they wrote all those tales of woods and wolves and lost little girls, well here’s your chance to find out. Welcome to Woodenhead, a film in which the subterranean perversions inherent in any good fairy tale have been brought rumbling and gushing to the surface.
There aren’t any big bad wolves, but there are cows, sheep, a donkey named Gerhard and and a kid goat that’s been trained to lick the soles of people’s feet. There’s no Snow White or Cinderella, instead a mute princess called Plum, and an ‘innocent’ dump-hand named Gert, who believes he is ‘the luckiest man under the sun.’
Woodenhead is a genuinely committed look at the notion of the fairy tale, made modern not so much by a change of setting or period as by the confusion of good and evil and the perversion of right and wrong. The characters’ profiles are anything but black and white, and the characters them selves are all (even the ‘good’ ones) more than a little creepy.
What is black and white is the photography, the absence of colour beautifully transforming those majestic New Zealand landscapes into a brooding world of enchanted woods and treacherous hillscapes. You’ve seen Lord of the Rings, well here’s the dark side, and a much more subversive attempt to exploit the inherently pornographic potential of New Zealand’s natural settings. And you can bet your last bag of magic beans Woodenhead will be attracting a very different brand of tourist to New Zealand shores.
Woodenhead’s most striking feature is that the entire dialogue and ‘location’ sound is pre-recorded. The visuals were shot posthumously to the soundtrack, reversing the usual priority that is given to pictures. Enabling an extra-ordinary combination of actors, musicians and real personalities that would otherwise not be possible, and creating an oddball magical fairytale world.
So if all that’s not enough to make you want to see Woodenhead, you might also like to know that it includes a frothing tramp in dirty underwear, one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in a movie, and a final battle scene that looks like Highlander gone very, very wrong. And if that’s still not enough, there are a couple of scenes that’ll put a wry and dirty smirk on your face the next time you see a baby’s bottle. — Peter Odonoghue, Gritsalute.com
Comparable only to the works of greats such as David Lynch, Guy Maddin, Quay Brothers, Hal Hartley, and Tod Solondz, Woodenhead is a Grimm Brothers inspired picture taking the audience to the darker side of fairy tales.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital Stereo) Audio Commentary by director Florian Habicht (full length) Behind the Scenes Featurette Circus Acts Killer Ray in Bangkok Trailer Hospice for Destitute Lovers – Music Video Liebestraume – Short Film Horoscopes with Lutz Photo Gallery Dual layered DVD for maximum video quality Soundtrack CD (23 songs)! Weblinks