Mad Heidi got a few really funny and good scenes (and ideas),and some gore too. But, and that is a big but, the movie is far too long and needs some serious cutting of redundant material. Also, the movie is too tame - the exploitation scenes are too short, the action scenes too few and not brutal enough for that kind of movies. What I liked most are the light-hearted commentaries on movie making, society and zeitgeist that are ridiculed in some of the scenes just fine. So all in all Mad Heidi was an ambivalent experience to me - funny yes, but on the other hand too tame for its own good. If you want to do exploitation you should do it right - with all its cheesy nastiness. To sum it up: the strong suits of Mad Heidi are the elements of comedy, sadly the level of sleaze is too low, those of violence too (at least for my taste). What else? Production is okay, overacting done solid. Conclusion: if you can enjoy such flicks as Nazis at the Center of the Earth or the Iron Sky movies, you may dare to give Mad Heidi your time.
Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror
Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror
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Swiss mountain girl Heidi is abducted by brutal government troops and must defend herself and fight a war against a cheese-fueled machinery of hate.
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Sadly Not Mad Enough
Too cheesy for my liking.
Crowdfunded faux-exploitation flick Mad Heidi is intended as a bit of dumb OTT fun. With its endless gags on everything Swiss (especially cheese),it is definitely dumb, but it's not nearly as much fun as I had hoped, the joke quickly wearing thinner than a slice of Emmental. Like Iron Sky (2012),with which it shares a similar vibe, the film suffers from a weak script and bad acting, and it only delivers sporadic gore when it would benefit from pushing the limits further and further with each subsequent scene.
Alice Lucy plays Heidi, who has been living in the Swiss mountains with her grandfather ever since her parents were killed in a rebellion against President Meili (Casper Van Dien) and his Nazi-like regime. When Heidi's boyfriend Goat Peter (Kel Matsena) is killed for trading in illegal cheese, Heidi takes revenge and is jailed as a result. After a daring escape, Heidi throws herself over a waterfall and is presumed dead; however, she survives the plunge, and is trained how to fight back against her oppressors by Swiss goddess Helvetia.
Mad Heidi wears it's exploitation influences on its sleeve - there's Nazis, nuns, dwarfs, a training montage and WIP action (we even get an Asian prisoner who is #701) - but the result lacks the grit and grime of the genuine article, the film's effectiveness further weakened by the puerile comedic elements: there's only so much cheese-based humour I can take.
The story behind "Mad Heidi" is almost as interesting - if not MORE interesting - than the film itself. The project started more than 3 years ago as the crazy dream of a bunch of Swiss horror/cult film-buffs. The mission: make the first-ever Swiss exploitation movie, preferably as insane and over-the-top as humanly possible. The challenge: they didn't have any money, only a lot of devoted enthusiasm and energy.
What followed is probably one of the most impressive and respectable crowd-funding campaigns in history. Via Internet and various social media channels, the "Mad Heidi" hype slowly but surely increased. Funds were raised via merchandising (you could even buy a cuckoo-clock) and the pre-order DVD sales of a movie that didn't exist yet! The campaign was incredibly successful, and the film was made with more than enough budget for excellent special effects, and even the involvement of a relatively well-known B-actor; - Casper Van Dien.
But then came Covid-19 ... Just like everything else in the world, the release of "Mad Heidi" was put on hold, and the patience of the cast, crew and thousands of co-funders got tested immensely. Now, and finally, the movie had its world-premiere at the Brussels' International Fantastic Film Festival. It was a real party.
Inevitably, the festive ambiance before, during and after the screening of "Mad Heidi" heavily influenced my experience and rating. I'm sorry for that, but it's simply impossible to get euphoric when you are surrounded by hundreds of people yodeling in a theater, wearing fake Swiss Nazi-uniforms, and drinking beer.
Most importantly, though, "Mad Heidi" is exactly what it promised to be ever since the beginning of production; - namely a massively entertaining and absurdly eccentric exploitation movie with copious amounts of splatter, twisted humor, demented characters, self-parody, deliberately dumb quotes and catch-phrases, and non-stop vitality. The tone, style and content of the film isn't new or innovative. The plot is comparable to crowd-pleasing flicks like "Inglourious Bastards" or "Iron Sky", and the script pays tribute to approximately three dozen of cinematic treasures varying from "The Sound of Music" to "Lady Snowblood".
The story is of lesser importance, but it neatly follows the structure of a textbook revenge-thriller. If I tell you Casper Van Dien stars as the tyrannical and megalomaniacal President of Switzerland, and simultaneously CEO of the only authorized company to produce and export cheese, you already know enough. He wants to obtain world-domination via genetically altered cheese, but a heroic girl from the Alps is determined to get revenge for the murder of her boyfriend and the downfall of her beloved Motherland.
Of all the great fun and splendid gimmicks, what I most appreciated is how the makers wonderfully inserted every possible Swiss cliche and national symbol into their film. There's the Matterhorn and cheese bowls in the film-logo already, but everything else you could possibly associate with Switzerland features as well: idyllic mountain paths, Alp horns, cuckoo clocks, cheese fondue, watches, pocket knives, Toblerone chocolate, ... There's so much lunacy and mayhem happening that Heidi's character and her quest for revenge is even pushed to the background sometimes, which is a minor default.