Horrortoberfest Day 5 – Rumpelstiltskin (1995)



This movie follows the titular Rumpelstiltskin as he attempts to do his “steal a first born” shtick in the modern day.  After being trapped as a statue for about 600 years, he gets freed by a grieving widow and then spends the rest of the movie trying to steal the baby.  Apparently he has no soul and needs to steal one from a baby…for some reason.  The movie’s plot is pretty much non-existent and the whole thing seems like it was just thrown together in a hurry.  It very well might have been trying to cash in on the “success” of the Leprechaun horror movie that came out about 2 years prior.  Unfortunately it has neither the whimsy nor the talent to really capture even the little that makes Leprechaun shine.

Rumpel himself is played by Max Grodenchick, who played Rom on Star Trek: DS9.  I cannot tell you how distracting this is.  Especially given that he acts like an evil version of Rom as well.  They really try to make him into a “funny” horror villain like Freddy or the previously mentioned Leprechaun.  Also, like the leprechaun, he is a “displaced in time” villain so gets to all sorts of “what kind of carriage with no horses is this?” things. None of these work.  Not even one.  I love puns and stupid jokes.  I really, really do. The ones in this movie are just atrocious, though. Some aren’t even jokes.  At one point Rumpel is driving a big rig and just randomly says “I love it when a plan comes together.”  What? Not only is this reference about 8 years too late to be relevant but it is a complete non sequitur. He has made no plan, nothing went his way, and he wouldn’t even know what the A-Team was.  These kinds of non-jokes are constantly done and then he gives that Rom laugh.

The writing and directing in this, terrible jokes aside, is also mind-numbingly bad. Special mention goes out to the following terrible scenes. The husband, a cop, dies trying to stop a carjacking. Both of these individuals are terrible. A carjacker tries to steal a car literally right in front of a police car.  Good job.  The cop then doesn’t shoot him when the jacker raises his gun, or when he is shot in the leg, or when he is shot in the side, or the shoulder but finally decided to pull the trigger when the guy turns to run.  Just wanted the satisfaction of shooting a guy in the back I guess.  This winner gets wished back to life briefly (which is how Rumpel gets set free) and the wife has a brief moment of “Wow, you’re alive” before immediately having sex with him. Nothing turns me on quite like the dead coming back to life. Finally, my favorite, when Rumpel is chasing after the mother and she has been picked up by someone, the driver attempts to ditch him on a back road. This nail biting scene plays out like this.  *Driving the speed limit* “Now let’s see him follow us!” *Slowly turns left onto a different road and is followed by the big rig* “Wow! He is an excellent driver, you gotta give him that.”

The movie also looks much older than 1995.  Given the quality, dated references and the fact that so much of the dialogue seemed to be dubbed in later, I have to imagine this was a film that was made in the late 80’s, deemed too awful to release and then finally pushed out once Leprechaun reached cult status. The acting wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen but the direction and script makes it so that I doubt anybody would be able to save it. Pet peeve in this is that Rumpelstiltskin, in order to seem more olde tymey, will randomly throw in Thy’s and Thou’s and completely misuses them. He will also randomly switch from sounding completely modern to using ye olde English. He also has ill-defined magical powers which isn’t the worst offense but still odd when he can teleport in once scene and then never again and remote kill someone once and then never again and so on.

In all I give this movie a 1.5 out of 5.  The extra .5 is honestly just coming from seeing Rom try to steal a baby for an hour and a half.

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