Home Video Hovel: Big Bad Wolf, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Big Bad Wolf turns the classic children’s story The Three Little Pigs into a dark tale of rape and murder. An ugly, mean film, Big Bad Wolf is a modern-day take on a classic fable, which could have been a promising idea. Here, it’s just squandered by simple plotting and flat characters.
Huff (played by Charlie O’Connell) warps Bible scripture into twisted teachings to his three stepdaughters, Shay, Styx, and Brixi (played by Marie Bollinger, Jenna Stone, and Elly Stefanko, respectively). He tries to rape them at every opportunity. When he’s not violent towards his wife (played by Elina Madison), he has violent sex with a mistress (played by Natasha Alam). His outbursts are somewhat tempered by his asthma attacks. If he gets a puff of his inhaler, his strength and anger increase with deadly consequence. Shay, Styx, and Brixi try and escape with a large sum of Huff’s money. Huff catches on to their plan and tracks them down in their straw, wood, and brick abodes.
Once the exposition is out of the way, Big Bad Wolf boils down to a simple chase movie. Huff literally runs across the farmland trying to pick off his stepdaughters one by one. The character of Huff never has much of a motivation to commit such disturbing acts of rape and violence towards his stepdaughters other than his dark interpretation of Bible scripture. Charlie O’Connell makes a few of the scenes creepy by trying to come off as paternal, but there’s just nothing to his character. His character is misogynistic and not very interesting. Sadly, neither are the three girls, who are supposed to represent the three little pigs.
As dark as the material is, it’s shot in a way that features little explicit sex or violence. The blood is fleeting and often filmed in dark surroundings. This coy approach to the pitch-black subject matter makes Big Bad Wolf feel less dangerous than it should have. Aside from a witty opening scene where Huff is reading what appears to be a children’s story that turns out to be something far more sinister, very little is memorable in this film. The special features on the DVD include a trailer for the film and just over seven minutes of behind the scenes interviews with Charlie O’Connell, Clint Howard (who has a fun, fleeting cameo in the film), and Natasha Alam.