Horror Movie Review: Rumpelstiltskin (1996)

Based on the fairy-tale of which there are many variations, the basic idea is that Rumpelstiltskin is an imp-like creature that will give you what you want but wants your first-born child in return.

This wonderful looking 90’s movie begins with good old Rumpel being chased by an angry mob. Rumpelstiltskin made a deal with a female villager & when he came for the baby she broke the agreement. He took the baby anyway & insists that it belongs to him now. He is chased to a cliff-top & cornered where he curses everyone & eats a villager’s eye before being turned into an ugly figurine & thrown into the sea.

Rumple Eye

Many, many years later we see local American cop with a heavily pregnant wife (Shelly) at home get shot by a car-jacker. He dies & his heart-broken wife goes into labour.

Again, sometime later Shelly gave birth to a healthy child & has carried on with her life as best she can. Her friend Hildy is trying to get her past the death of her husband & they agree to go shopping together. It’s while out they come across the figurine that holds Rumpelstiltskin in a shop. Shelly loves it & buys it from the reluctant shopkeeper.


That night, while in bed she wishes for her husband to come back while crying on the figurine…which he does. She is over-joyed & they have sex. In the morning she thinks she has dreamt it but hears him in the shower. When she goes to join him it turns out to be Rumpelstiltskin who wants her baby. Shelly fights him off for now & calls the police.


Rumpelstiltskin doesn’t give up that easily though & he continues to try & get Shelly’s baby thinking that he has kept up his end of the bargain. If Shelley is to beat him she will have to find his name out (the original fairy-tale, find his name out within 3 days to send him away).

This is a 90’s movie throughout…from the way it looks (grainy at times) to the cut & paste fairy-tale story. The star of the movie is Rumpel who gets to spew pun after pun once he realises what era he is in. Most of them are terrible & elect nothing more than a groan (such as him saying fuckith me).

Rumple 2

The makeup looks good & his acting is fun but his lines get tiresome…between “give me the baby” & his cackle I was reaching for the mute button at times. Another problem is the longevity in the whole ‘fish out of water’ thing. They quickly abandon it with Rumpelstiltskin getting on a Harley Davidson & driving it as if he knows exactly what it is…except that a few moments ago he was in awe of it & described it as a steel horse. Make up your mind…


The rest of the cast play 2nd fiddle to him…Shelly comes across believable & the lengths she goes to stop him is interesting. The rest of the cast though, man the dialogue is clunky & hard to stomach.

The film has a real lack of gore considering there are a few deaths & everything just looks rubbery. It’s entertaining for the length it is but it is terribly predictable & the nearest comparison is always going to be the Leprechaun movies which are far superior.


Ah…what can you say about a movie like this? It’s not trying at all & is kind of being lazy with the fairy-tale that it has been inspired by. It’s not the worst movie & it has moments that will make you smile.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

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