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Not to be confused with David DeCoteau’s obvious rip-off Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft, stoner comedy Hansel & Gretel Get Baked, or The Asylum’s direct-to-DVD “mockbuster” Hansel & Gretel, all of which also came out this year. But then again, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has been around for awhile; it was slated for release early in 2012, but got pushed to this year for reasons that were never made clear. Was the delay worth it? If you’re hoping for a silly-fun time with cool stuff that goes splat, then yes indeedy. Think of the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and add in a bit of self-aware laughs, and you’ll hit the nail on the head.
I felt like a git asking where the screening for this movie was in the multiplex. Because let’s face it, it’s a silly title. Each time I hear that title, I think it’s really gonna be a Monty Python Flying Circus or Robot Chicken episode. But honestly, this ain’t Shakespeare we’re talkin’ about. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a movie that’s meant to be enjoyed after a few beers or some low-quality grog. Or better, since it was filmed in Germany, a couple belts of Jägermeister…if you can pry it away from the neighborhood frat boys. (Ahh, the idea that here in the USA Jägermeister is considered a drink and not a digestif. My Grossie always found that amusing.)
Why am I pushing the booze? Not because I’m a sucker for a nice lager — though that does happen to be true — but because any moviegoer paying even the slightest bit of attention will know what’s coming at him a mile away. As children, Hansel and Gretel were taken out to the woods by their father, and left there. Why was that, exactly? That’s part of the mystery of the film, if you can call “when will those two siblings figure this out?” a mystery. (Note: as you might expect, this film takes a whole lotta liberties with the original Brothers Grimm telling of this tale.) How the two witch hunters could spend so long fighting bad ol’ witchypoos without solving the raison d’être for their life’s work is kind of a stumper.