"Red Hairs" aka "Rødtotterne Og Tyrannos" - (1989)

Not long ago I attended a VHS swap hosted by a friend . There was a lot of great stuff and I had a blast hanging out with my buds. I bought a few things, all of which were pretty amazing. Among a variety of some fine looking analog beauties was a mysterious clam shell with what looked to be a home-printed cover. The text at the top was Arabic and at the bottom in English it said "Red Hairs" . I noticed the 25 cent price tag but disregarded it as an old yard sale sticker or something. As it turned out, that was the accurate price. I could not pass up finding out what "Red Hairs" was for a quarter. Nothing came up when I searched for "Red Hairs" other than lots of WOMEN with Red Hairz. I tried adding all kinds of key words but there seemed to be zero information any film in existence called "Red Hairs". While curiosity ate away at me I had to get through the rest of my horror marathon for October and then jump right into my coastal vacation in Big Sur. So it was temporarily put out of my mind.

I made it a priority upon returning, this is what I found...

First, a 15 minute long international trailer reel preluded by a beautiful 80's graphic intro.

I'm already completely satisfied with my 25 cent purchase.

The first trailer appears to be a middle eastern kids movie with a boy dressed as a bandit on a flying bicycle. There are gangsters and shoot-outs, car chases and exploding theme park creatures. No idea what this movie is but if anyone out there has a clue I would love to track it down.

This is the title card. I'm not EXACTLY sure what language this is. My guess was Pashto? Maybe Farsi? Forgive my ignorance, international readers. Feel free to jump in and correct me.

From here on the reel features trailers from all over the world. England, France, Greece, China, Denmark, Japan. This did not help clear up any confusion about the origin of the tape.

The fucking Ipcress File??

What are you doing here, Michael Caine?! You're on the wrong tape!

Then there was a trailer for Von Trier's Europa. OK.

But my favorite I think is this ad for a photography instructional video...

These images make my video boners come true.

If the trailer reel went on forever it would have suited me just fine. But after a prolonged introduction the movie began. A jaunty flute pop plays, feeling distinctly European. Then we see a white kid wandering through a forest, and finally a title card...

A far reach from the characters on the box. I was of course ready to go, laptop in place, prepared surf the information super highway at a moment's notice. As soon as any legible Romanic words were on screen, the mystery was solved. Rødtotterne Og Tyrannos. A Danish children's film from 1989. 

I immediately discovered a subtitled version on youtube, which I made note of. But since I was already recording the VHS to DVD-R I decided to stick with it sans-subs. The plot was simple enough to grasp, but wordy enough to have to struggle to keep up. There's a forest, which seems to be enchanted or magical in some way. A bunch of kids who otherwise hate eachother come together to rescue it from a group of industrialists who plan on flattening it for business purposes. There's a mystical cloaked lady who lives there with a little boy. I had a hard time figuring out what exactly her role was in all of this. She seems to disapear and reappear a lot. I got the impression that she was some kind of guardian of the forest. Throughout the movie the kids' hair sprouts red patches, which totally explains the awkward title. The reason behind this phenomenon is still unfortunately a mystery to me. It didn't completely blow me away but it had a Peanut Butter Solution-ish charm

I had hoped the subtitle-less version would be enough but I needed answers. I actually intended to watch the whole thing over again just so I could deliver a thorough review. Then this happened...

I tried to let "google" slide. But after seeing "Obama" jumbled haphazardly without context, I drew the line. Youtube is haunted and it's echoing in the closed caption function. After about 15 minutes of non-sensical jibberish I turned it off and resigned myself to the sub-title-less void.

Memorable scenes include...

This white poodle.

Getting shoved through a tree-hole and coming out red.

There wasn't nearly enough of this panda sweater.

But most importantly there was..





It takes up 2/3 of the screen.


Seriously, I think this kid threw off my aspect ratio.

So it was a success. A quarter well spent. I now have a better understanding of the universe.

If you want to surf the spacial cranius yourself, here's the link...


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