The Gingerdead Man (2005)

We’re all familiar with the fairy tale about the gingerbread boy that flees its bakers, either by way of Shrek, the children’s parody book The Stinky Cheese Man, or even this short story from 1875. Of course, if the events of that story ever actually came to pass, you’d probably try to catch the cookie too, and make it your pet, or sell it for a huge sum of money. I mean, c’mon — a talking cookie? How cool would that be?

But what if something more sinister burst forth from your oven? What if, instead of a harmless gingerbread boy, a deadly misfortune cookie with a chocolate chip on its shoulder popped out and broke all your loved ones like eggs? What then? What would you do?! Take a moment to think about that as we kick off…

Mania Banner Gingerdead Man

Directed by Charles Band

Synopsis
Two years ago, Sarah’s brother and father were senselessly stabbed and gunned down, respectively, by serial killer Millard Findlemeyer (the always, uh, let’s say “eccentric” Gary Busey). If that wasn’t bad enough, Sarah’s mother now copes with the loss by imbibing beers, and their family bakery might be driven out of business by a rival chain that’s opened just down the street.

Newspaper clippings indicate Sarah’s testimony was key in earning her family’s attacker a trip to the chair. “I’ll get you for this, even from beyond the grave…” Findlemeyer vows. Well, if you’ve ever watched a horror movie, you know where this is going.

Two days after his execution, a mysterious cloaked figure dumps a box of “gingerbread seasoning” off at the back door of Sarah’s bakery. What nobody suspects is that it contains ol’ Findlefucker’s cremated ashes. The cloaked figure? His mother, known as the Witch of Coonsborough.

Aspiring pro wrestler and co-worker of Sarah’s, Brick “the Butcher Baker”, nicks himself cutting the box open, and bleeds all over its contents. Failing to notice (or maybe not caring — uh, eww), Sarah busts out an oversized cookie cutter, carves an unnecessarily big gingerbread man, throws that sumbitch in the oven and — BAM! As was the case in Hellraiser, human blood catalyzes this villain’s reincarnation. A few minutes later, you’ve got a foul-mouthed, wisecracker of a cookie possessed by the spirit of a sociopath running around killing people. Run, run, run as fast as you can, will anyone stop the Gingerdead Man?

Review (SPOILERS)
This half-baked Full Moon feature was produced and directed by Full Moon head Charles Band, based on a script by William Butler, rewritten by August White (real name Domonic Muir, Critters), with special effects by John Carl Buechler.

It’s interesting to note that Band regulars Butler and Buechler first teamed up on Eliminators, then went on to work together at least ten more times on From Beyond, The Caller, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Cellar Dweller, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Ghoulies II, Arena, something called Spellcaster, this, and its sequel Passion of the Crust.

While Buechler is generally known for his top-tier special effects work, this ain’t it. Gingerdead‘s title character is little more than a rubbery hand puppet — and a fugly one at that. So chintzy, in fact, is this prop that it’s ribbed onscreen. After glimpsing the crispy critter firsthand, one character concludes that “It had to be fake.”

Gingerdead 5 Exhibit A.

Gingerdead 2 With a knife. Bona fide thug, certified G right here.

My biggest gripe with this flick is the fact that it’s somehow way too short and terribly dull at the same time. Of its seventy minutes, sixty of those minutes make up the movie. The other ten: a slooow-scrolling credits sequence, set to an ok rock song performed by none other than Band himself. Now, to this 2005er’s credit, it does contain a fair amount of absurdity. In one of its more improbable scenes (assuming for a second evil, anthropomorphic cookies are commonplace), Gingy runs a guy down by using a rolling pin to manipulate the gas pedal of a car. He also fires a gun (that’s as big as he is, mind you) and transfers his soul to a character that holds him down and eats him. Problem is, none of these scenes are anywhere near as spectacular as they sound. Gingerdead‘s action is cheap and infrequent, and frankly, like so many other Band-produced films, the whole thing feels like a textbook case of coming up with a title or a character design and lazily padding it out to a length that “just barely sneaks past the finish line”, to paraphrase one reviewer. It’s pretty dumb — fun in some ways, but mostly dumb. With a title and premise like this, I’m not sure what I was expecting.

More than this, though.

The acting is par for the course for a movie called Gingerdead Man. Its only standouts are Ryan Locke as Amos, and expectedly, Gary Busey. Goddammit, I love Gary Busey. The guy could knock it back, like, six notches and still be intense.

Gingerdead 1

FAVORITE QUOTES
Amos: “I think you overcooked it.”
GM:    “On the contrary, I baked up just fine.”

Amos: “What the Hell is that?”
GM:    “Well, it sure ain’t the Pillsbury fucking Doughboy!”

GM:    “Ever try a lady finger?” Cuts off a lady’s finger.

TRIVIA
Most of the characters were named after famous cookie brands: Sarah Leigh (Sara Lee), Lorna Dean (Lorna Doone), Amos Cadbury (Famous Amos and Cadbury), Brick Fields (Mrs. Fields).

A Few Questions
How could a foot-tall cookie overpower these characters?
After Lorna sets off the tripwire and gets knifed, Amos exclaims, “That fucker booby-trapped all the exits!” turns around and walks the other way. Having already triggered that door’s booby-trap, shouldn’t he have just stepped over Lorna’s body and left? I seriously doubt the GM could have booby-trapped each of the bakery’s exits more than once a piece.

The Verdict
Skip it, unless you’re a diehard Full Moon/Charles Band fan. Even then, you’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel. You’re much better off with, say, anything from the 80s or 90s.

Recommendations
Jack Frost (1997)

GingerdeadMania Cookie Rating: Two Cookies
Cookie Scale 2

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2 Responses to “The Gingerdead Man (2005)”

  1. Oh, I thought this was hilarious and would have probably given it a better score. Gary Busey kinda’ carried the film, without him I would have passed. (I’ll watch anything with GB in it!) 😀

    Like

    • Gary Busey is awesome, all the time, in everything he does. He was the highlight of Celebrity Apprentice season 4, and I loved him in Celebrity Wife Swap and WWE Legends House, though my favorite Busey moment is probably an 80s cheesefest called Eye of the Tiger he stars in where he singlehandedly takes out an entire drug dealing motorcycle gang. It’s so hilariously over-the-top in a Death Wish 3 kind of way- HOLY SHIT IT’S ON YOUTUBE:

      You’re right, this one has its moments, but I like the next one better. I’ll be giving it a better score.

      Liked by 1 person

two cents here

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