“LITTLE BLUE ‘RED’”
By V.A. Musetto, The New York Post
Published: May 31, 2009
WARNING: This fairy tale isn’t meant for kids. I’m talking about David Kaplan’s twisted, 12-minute version of “Little Red Riding Hood,” narrated by Quentin Crisp and starring a then-16-year-old Christina Ricci as a not-so-innocent girl who goes to visit Granny and instead encounters a lecherous wolf.
The black-and-white short, made in 1997, features cannibalism, toilet talk, face licking and a mean striptease performed by the child for the benefit of the wolf, portrayed by sexy Timour Bourtasenkov, an accomplished ballet dancer.
The girl asks the wolf what she should do with her clothes after she sheds them. “Throw them in the fire, my dear,” he responds. “You won’t need them.” (Unfortunately, the only nudity the viewer sees is Ricci’s provocatively placed feet.)
Ricci “was born to play the part,” Kaplan says in commentary that accompanies the DVD version, due out June 16. He says his aim was to “rescue the Riding Hood character for a new generation.”
The interiors (the sets seemed inspired by German Expressionism) were shot on a theater stage in Manhattan, and the outside scenes were lensed mostly in a forest in Frenchtown, NJ.
The Malaprop Productions DVD, which will be available on Amazon, also contains two other eerie fairytale shorts by Kaplan, who was born and raised in downtown Manhattan.
In “Little Suck-a-Thumb” (1992), shot in color, a boy pays a bloody price for disregarding his mother’s advice against sucking his thumb. And in the B&W, dialogue-less “The Frog King” (1994) — which Kaplan calls “an interesting failure” — a young girl agrees to share her bed with a frog in exchange for his rescuing her doll from a deep well. She comes to regret the offer.
Kaplan’s first feature, “Year of the Fish” (2007) — the Cinderella legend updated to New York’s modern Chinatown — comes to DVD later this month.