I’ve been known to get a bit perturbed when diabetes isn’t accurately portrayed in mainstream media. Steel Magnolias’ dismal, scientifically inaccurate, totally depressing representation of living with diabetes is enough to make anyone get on a soapbox for hours to combat its tidal wave of BS. But my fellow diabetic friends, I’ve found a new gem that takes it to a whole new level. This time, however, it’s so bad, so ridiculous, so factually backwards, so inane, that all I can do is laugh. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve never seen the cinematic disaster known as “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” then….please don’t see it now. It’s awful. I mean truly terrible.
I won’t get into the details of why we rented it in the first place (someone decided a Grimm Brothers Movie Theme Night would be fun. It wasn’t me. And there’s only two of us who live in this house. Just saying.) but we did. The movie opens with the traditional Hansel and Gretel story where two children unwittingly wander into a house made of candy in the forest, only to find themselves in the clutches of an evil witch who uses the candy to fatten up the kids…before she roasts them (as a side note, this fairy tale is really gruesome…and creepy…I never really noticed that before).
Hansel is shown being told by the witch to eat more candy, and in this version of the story, he shovels down some confections for a quick minute before he and his sister somehow turn the tables and end up throwing the witch in her own rotisserie (ew). Then they grow up to be Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. And it’s in the grown-up portion of the movie where the portrayal of diabetes takes a whole new totally ridiculous turn.
Cut to the scene in the middle of ye olde town, where Hansel starts to show signs of fatigue. He ducks into a corridor, pulls out a syringe the size of an shotgun, stabs himself dramatically in the leg and lets out sigh of relief. His love interest looks on quizzically until Hansel explains that a witch “made him eat too much candy when he was a child,” so he now suffers the consequences. His Lady Love looks upon him with pity and says “Ah, the sugar sickness…”
I’ll just let you take in the words “the sugar sickness” for a moment there….yep, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Of course, the scene of him injecting is a set-up for the end of the movie when he and Gretel are engaged in the final battle with the most evil of witches and of course, Hansel starts to “feel it” right at that moment. He nearly faints before he can get to his syringe and deliver his life-saving…god knows what.
There are so many issues with this, where do I start? If he’s having a low and injecting insulin….good luck with that. If the 18th century peasants were already manufacturing glucagon and he was treating a low, then I’m just mad they kept that a secret for so long. Maybe he’s having a bad high that apparently comes on in seconds, and he really is injecting insulin. On second thought, since that wasn’t discovered until 1921 and this move takes place about 200 years before that, he must be injecting some special Sugar Sickness Sauce that fixes everything and isn’t available to the modern world.
The science of diabetes in this movie is nonexistent, and the dialogue about it is laughable at best. It’s actually not even worth getting upset about because it’s so incredibly ridiculous and incorrect. Plus, seeing as how this film got some of the lowest ratings I’ve ever seen, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s my fault for renting it in the first place. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take something for my Sugar Sickness. Here’s the ridiculous trailer, in case you choose not to heed my warnings