SNOW WHITE: A DEADLY SUMMER
MOVIE: * (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
With two major Snow White themed films hitting the theaters this year, it is no big surprise that someone is taking a stab at a cheap, direct-to-video version.
“Snow White: A Deadly Summer” stars relative newcomer (who will be seen opposite Josh Hutcherson in this year’s “Detention”) Shanley Casewell as a wayward youth who gets in trouble with her wicked stepmother (Maureen McCormick). After consulting with his mirror, the stepmother sends her to a boot camp designed to knock her into shape. But when people start disappearing in violent ways, the kids at the boot camp worry there might be a murderer out there.
To be honest, I was quite shocked at the basement-level production value of this film. Let’s get past the terrible script and nonsensical allusions (like the fact that the stepmother appears to be schizophrenic as she talks to herself in the mirror). Let’s look at how poorly this film is put together.
“Snow White: A Deadly Summer” is shot on video, but not good video. These aren’t the high-quality cameras that Steven Soderbergh are using. More likely, they’re floor models from Best Buy purchased at a discount. With the aesthetic of a bad soap opera, the movie looks exceedingly amateurish. This video awfulness is compounded by bizarre day-for-night shots in a ink-pen blue tint with hard shadows from the sun, clearly seen overhead.
There’s a poor excuse for the story, with the other campers representing the dwarves. But little else makes sense, leading to a terribly cliched ending. If I hadn’t been told by a friend of mine that director David DeCoteau was responsible for dozens of movies like this one, I’d have thought this was made by high school kids when they didn’t want to take shop class.
The only special features on this disc include a commentary with director David DeCoteau and actors Chase Bennett and Jason-Shane Scott. There’s also a stills gallery, for those viewers living in 2003.