Sunday, 30 November 2008

A pair of The Company of Wolves fan videos

I've nothing really substantial to post right now, but the fact that I caught both Time Bandits and Legend on TV this weekend has really put me in the mood for some '80s fantasy films. In lieu of a more substantial post on the subject, here's a nice little erotic vignette featuring clips from The Company of Wolves and music from Meat Loaf.

...And yet another fan-made music video, using clips from same:

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Path

Far and away one of the most interesting LRRH-themed games I've heard about is Tale of Tales' The Path, due for release next year. From the official website:

The Path is a short horror game with a unique form of gameplay, designed to immerse you deeply into the dark themes of its story. Every interaction in the game expresses an aspect of the narrative.

There is one rule in the game. And it needs to be broken.
There is one goal. And when you attain it, you die.

Obviously I can't speak on the quality of the finished product, but based on the concept alone this seems like a fascinating game: a perfect example of form mirroring content. As the title illustrates, the game focuses primarily on what path you take through the forest and what choices you, as Little Red Riding Hood(s) make whilst inside. Video games have a complicated relationship with free will and determinism: the player has the illusion of choice, but is really very constricted by both the limiting path mapped out by the game and by the limited grammar of the game's construction, preventing one from truly doing whatever one wants.

The Path exploits this idea, relating it back to the way in which fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood operate. The game not only reflects events within the classic tale - Red's choice of the path of needles or the path of pins, the way her mother advised or the way the wolf dares her to travel - but also highlights the meta-narrative of the tale, the fact that the Little Red Riding Hood story itself is one that can go through countless differing iterations (multiple paths) but ultimately must follow the same basic structure and come to the same (in the game, fatal) conclusion.

The game further illustrates this theme of the similar-yet-different stories through the multiple takes on Little Red Riding Hood herself. The game does not limit itself by having one protagonist - just as there is not one Little Red Riding Hood - but instead features multiple lead characters who seem to be reflections on one another and also representative of the various different ways of presenting individual versions of the tale, from Robin, the kid-friendly one, to Ruby, the more American McGee-influenced one, to the adult Scarlet, no doubt representing versions of the tale that seem to explore a more adult sensibility.

Even the structure of the game seems based around the notion of retelling; a key feature of any notable fairy tale. The same story is told over and over again and yet never told twice.

What's also interesting is of course the way that this game focuses on the importance of audience interaction. Video games are naturally a medium entirely based around the concept of the player becoming an active participant in a story crafted by someone else, but the same can also be said of the way fairytales are told, either with young children becoming active participants in the storytelling (chiming along with repitions of "what big eyes you have," etc.) or with the fact that tale-hearers ultimately become tale-tellers, and interact with and construct variations on the story themselves. In the game, the player not only constructs their own version of the story (again, within set limits), but their actions also manipulate such things as the ambient music, "mixed in real time through in-game activity."

Really though, I could go on about this game for ages. At first glance you may just brush it off as some kind of Fable clone, but that would be doing this game a great disservice. The Path doesn't just feature differing paths towards the same end, but uses those paths and the nature of the game's own construction to make a point about the very essence of fairy tales and oral folk tales (and video games) and the way the same stories can repeat over and over again, throughout various stages in our lives (represented by the differing ages of the Red Riding Hood characters) without ever becoming truly tired or repetitive. And wow, do I love it when form is married together with content.

I will very much be anticipating this game's release, set for Spring 2009 for Windows. Look forward to an update some time after that.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Wizard of Oz: Kele-6

More Wizard of Oz stuff now, and yet another rap music video, too:

The rappers in question are Israeli group Kele-6.

The Oz purist in me is mildly annoyed that this video changes the order in which 'Dorothy' meets her three companions (it took me the longest time to realise that the second guy she meets was not just a really poor rendition of the Tin Man, so deeply was the idea of the narrative order ingrained in me). Also, is the Tin Man wearing a necklace made of spoons?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Voyager LRRH

Janeway is Red Riding Hood and Chakotay is the Wolf in yet another wonderfully geeky fan-made music video for that song.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Red Riding Hood Papercut

A rather impressive example of LRRH-themed papercraft from Elsita (via flickr).

Red Riding Hood (2003)

Your own tolerance for low-budget European horror may vary from my own, but if you do happen to like that sort of thing, you can do a lot worse than Giacomo Cimini's 2003 gory horror that actually features a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humour, as well as a curious performance from the young girl playing the protagonist.

Here's the trailer for the film at imdb, although bizarrely, the trailer is attached to another, Bulgarian film.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Pokemon Lil' Red Version

Some total (and somewhat asinine) silliness now from some Pokemon-loving youtubers:

Personally though, my favourite Pokemon vid is still the Smosh one. I haven't even seen There Will Be Blood and yet I still think this is hilarious.


The fact that so many popular fairy tales feature imagery that can traverse cultures and languages can be a boon to those in advertising, who are often trying to reach as broad an audience as possible in order to best hawk their wares. Still, I'd be lying if I said that I can actually understand the actual text of these adverts, or even what Plazma is, other than some generic-looking type of snack food/biscuit-ty thing.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that this is such a good commercial. I mean, what is it saying, exactly? Eating Plazma will attract wolves? It'll make you sexy and therefore attractive to figurative wolves? It'll make you feel like you're a little kid who's lost in the woods? A certain Luc Besson commerical this ain't.

Oz Squad

Now, I haven't actually read Steve Ahlquist's Oz Squad, so I can't claim to give a fair appraisal of it, but from what I have read about it, I certainly seem to agree with Dave Campbell's comment that it seems "gratuitously irreverent," and I imagine that if I ever read it, I might come down on the side of critic and Oz fan Steve Teller, who called it "The most repellent published work with the name Oz in the title I have ever seen." From what I can tell, it seems to take the "add in some sex, death and swearing and that'll make it more 'mature'" attitude that ultimately of course only serves to make things far more puerile. But then again, it all seems to be done with a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humour, so at this stage, who am I to judge?

Still, if you're interested in learning more, Dave's post on the subject and this site about the comic might provide some decent starting points.


Borrowing imagery from the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz and also likely the '70s urban reimagining The Wiz, here's the music video for De La Soul & Redman's "Oooh":


It's all in Japanese, so it may be of limited use for those of us who don't speak the language, but check out the official website for RIZ-ZOAWD, a new videogame for the Nintendo DS set in the world of Oz. As far as I can ascertain from the website, the game features lots of running around using an ersatz trackball. The character designs are much more interesting than the gameplay, methinks.

My Little Elphaba

There's a lot of fanart/fancraft out there relating not just to the Wizard of Oz, but more specifically, to the novel/play Wicked and its protagonist Elphaba Thropp, aka the Wicked Witch of the West. The below image represents what happens when Wicked meets the world of custom My Little Pony (and even features a custom Galinda/Glinda, too):

Many thanks to midnightflurry for the creations.

Inaugural Oz post, plus: BadEggs-x

One of the things that I intend for the future of this blog is to expand its scope so that it becomes about not just Little Red Riding Hood media but media related to some of the other popular fairy tales that I am interested in as well. This should increase productivity around here and also allow me an outlet for my various other obsessions. So this post here is my very first post about something not at all LRRH-related: the Wizard of Oz.

Yes, I know that one could easily argue that the Wizard of Oz is not a fairy tale at all, but it certainly seems to be a peculiar kind of modern fairy tale, along with lots of other, similar texts that originated in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, such as Peter Pan or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass (and yes, I do intend to do a post about Lost Girls - a modern and very "mature" updating of all three of the above - someday). The Wizard of Oz has certainly nestled its way into the imagination of countless modern writers, artists, song writers and game designers (and of course, bloggers), and I certainly intend on writing about that here.

So, to kick off, here's a link to a particularly useful index of Oz-related books (Personally, I highly rate Geoff Ryman's Was and Gregory Maguire's Wicked). As well as some photography by (and often starring) the wonderful BadEggs-x:

I recommend checking out BaddEgg-x's deviantart page, in particular her Once Upon a Time series, which of course also features none other than - who else? - Ms Little Red Riding Hood:

And incidentally, yes, I do realise that I could always just create a separate blog for things related to other fairy tales, but I'd rather keep a cap on just how many blogs I can feasibly neglect at one time, if that's ok (*still feeling slightly shameful after having left this one alone for so long*).


A Little Red Riding Hood Magic the Gathering card, from a set of other cards based on this tale that are also part of a larger set of cards based upon fairy tales. Please check out the blog "Mazo de Muchas Cosas" for more.

A brief word from the (very bad) blogmaster

Ok, apologies. I haven't updated this blog in a while. Or rather, in a couple of months. That's rather pathetic seeing as how I used to update this thing daily (and in fact started this thing partly as an excercise to see whether I could keep to a regular blogging schedule at all!). Still, I'm back and feeling newly motivated, so expect new content soon.