Little Erin Merryweather Review
DVD released by Indican Pictures
Written and directed by David Morwick
2003, Region 1 (NTSC), 88 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on August 7th, 2007
Vigdis Anholt as Erin Merryweather
David Morwick as Peter Bloom
Elizabeth Callahan as Dr. Paula Sheffield
Frank Ridley as Detective Joe Havey
Little Erin Merryweather is the story of a woman whom, after being molested by her father as a child, develops a schizophrenic persona based on the Little Red Riding Hood character of fairytale lore. It’s nice to see that Erin’s severe psychological instability hasn’t prevented her from attending college, as even sociopaths need advanced degrees these days. She uses this as a prime opportunity to stalk the campus of a quaint New England school looking to kill men with dirty hands because, you know, her old man had dirty hands.
As the victims pile up, it’s up to the world’s most unprofessional detective, a weathered professor, and Erin’s dimwitted boyfriend (who evidently doesn’t own a single outfit that actually fits him) to try and figure things out. Even knowing the murderer’s profile, it still takes Johnny Blockhead forever to piece together the fact that his new 40-something girlfriend (who suffers from absence seizures, extreme moodiness, and has a penchant for wearing a black hooded cloak with red lining!) might actually be the killer. I guess the concept of reversible outerwear is a baffling one.
Despite being shot in 2003, Little Erin Merryweather has the look and feel of a '80s slasher movie. From the pacing, framing, acting, cornball dialogue, and even some of the wardrobe, you would be hard-pressed to think that this was indeed a new millennium production. Kudos to the location scout, as this is all either careful design or by actually stumbling across an honest-to-God isolated community of shut-ins who are all still wondering who shot J.R.. Until proven otherwise, I will assume the latter. While it is sort of cool to take a stroll down horror movie memory lane, you’ll notice that I didn’t say Little Erin Merryweather emulates a particularly good '80s slasher movie.
Unfortunately nostalgia will only get you so far if you don’t offer much of anything else. While Little Erin Merryweather does give off a slight (original) Halloween vibe, a menopausal co-ed with Sammy Hagar hair and a fondness for kabuki makeup is nowhere near as frightening as the lumbering and brutish Michael Meyers. Add in a disappointing lack of blood and boobs and an overabundance of what I like to call “grab the balls method of horror acting” — where all of the action happens just out of frame — and you’re not really sure if the guy just got gutted with a knife or simply punched in the chicken-skinned marble-bag. It’s also a bit disheartening when the killer can be stopped in her tracks by such lines as “Erin, Peter is NOT the wolf!” or by adherence to proper hand hygiene. In retrospect, how this movie garnered an R rating with a disappointing lack of nudity, gore, profanity, and limited onscreen violence is beyond me.
While Little Erin Merryweather might whet your appetite for ‘80s horror, you’ll be best served by re-exploring some of the true classics from the era rather than wasting time with a sub-par facsimile. So go put on your Members Only jacket and seek out Halloween, Maniac, The Burning, Happy Birthday to Me, Intruder, Graduation Day, Chopping Mall, or a dozen others that will leave you more properly entertained.
Video and Audio:
The video, while anamorphic widescreen, is consistently soft and hazy, which might add to that ‘80s feel, until you realize that most of the aforementioned classics can actually be found with DVD/BD releases that put the quality of Little Erin Merryweather to shame.
One can choose between 2.0 and 5.1 channel audio, however there wasn’t much of a perceived difference. The dialogue was distinct and clear, but this will certainly not act as the demo disc to show off your new surround setup.
There is really nothing here save for some random production stills and concept art, a theatrical trailer, a production trailer, and previews for other Indican releases.