15 September 2004 | Poseidon-3
It's not enough that Snow meets the Stooges and not the dwarfs, but she skates, too??
That title threatens, at all times, to put this film in the same category as "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" or "King Kong vs Godzilla", so disparate are the names Snow White and The Three Stooges. However, though the pairing is as oddball as the others, the film is not quite as badly made or ludicrous as it may sound at first. Olympic gold medal skater Heiss plays Snow White. She is the apple of her father the King's eye, but an obstacle to his evil wife Medina. When he expires, Medina locks Heiss away so that she can claim the throne for herself. Meanwhile, Stroll, a prince himself who doesn't realize it, is working alongside the Stooges in a traveling minstrel show. It seems he was betrothed as a youth to Heiss in order to join their kingdoms, but the Stooges foiled an assassination plot (never realizing who he was) and have raised him ever since as their own. When Heiss escapes Medina's wrath and winds up in the cottage of the seven dwarfs, it turns out that they're away for the season and Stroll and the Stooges are there as guests! Apart from this unique twist, the story follows the fairy tale relatively closely, including Medina's transformation into a horrible witch and Heiss's bite of the famous poisoned apple, until the requisite happy ending. Heiss is attractive, but predictably amateurish in her acting. She gets two glittery, extraordinarily colorful skating numbers that, if nothing else, exist as something fun to show her grandkids now. The Stooges (actually playing characters called The Stooges!) don't have an opportunity to do a great deal of the brand of pratfalls and comedy they are famous for and when they do indulge, the results are pretty sub-par for them. They do provide a few easy laughs occasionally, though, and actually attempt to act as real characters rather than just appear as pawns for slapstick. (This may displease some of their die-hard fans.) Stroll is handsome (sort of a softer Hugh O'Brian), but is given some ridiculous things to do (such as play with a goofy ventriloquists dummy.) Medina doesn't pull any punches in her bitter, driven role. She looks great and clearly enjoys herself both as the queen and the wart-covered witch. The impossibly slender Rolfe provides some sinister support as her magic-dabbling right-hand man. The film lacks the effervescence, wit and overall talent to be a true classic, but it's not offensively bad either. A certain amount of care and money went into the making of it. It's colorful enough and fast-paced enough to entertain small children, but has the merit of Medina's vinegar and some striking costumes, sets and fight sequences to keep some adults interested as well.