Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust (2008)

Mania Banner Gingerdead Man

Directed by Silvia St. Croix

Synopsis
The Gingerdead Man arrives in a pastry box at a flagging Z-movie studio, Cheatum International, on the set of their latest killer puppet flick, Tiny Terrors 9: Purgatory of the Petit. The only explanation as to why the GM was sent there — or alive, for that matter — is given by caterer Polly (Michelle Bauer in a wig), who claims her sister mailed the cookie to her from Texas. Minutes later, amidst the chaos of another bungled shoot, the Gingerdead Man sets to work.

“I’ve gotta get rid of this cookie body, I’m getting stale.” he mumbles to himself. “Now, how do I transfer my soul to a new host?”

Bingo! While skimming through a faux Satanic text in a prop room, he comes across a transmigration (soul-to-body transference) spell that informs him all he’ll have to do is kill five people, sprinkle their blood on the points of a pentagram and sacrifice a virgin.

“This’ll be a fucking cake walk.” he chuckles.

Passion Crust 15

Meanwhile, terminally-ill Tommy (who comes off as twelve, though he’s played by a twenty-something) is wheeled in by the End of the Rainbow foundation. “It was my dying wish to see your amazing studio!” Tommy gushes to its blindly optimistic heir Kelvin Cheatum, son of Rupert Cheatum, famed producer of over 1500 horror, sci-fi, martial arts and action/adventure films back in the day, including Tommy’s favorites, Beach Blanket Bludgeonry, Maniac Dry Cleaner and Escape From Sloth Island. Others include It Ate My Brain, Lingerie Model Death Camp and Bionic Gorilla.

Despite constant walk-offs, money troubles and negative critical reception to his recent efforts, Kelvin assures superfan Tommy and everyone else that’ll listen that Tiny Terrors 9 will be the breakthrough success they’ve been waiting for to return his father’s studio to its former glory.

What he doesn’t know is a pissed-off internet movie reviewer named DemonKnight13 is scheming to bring the production to a halt. Oh, and let’s not forget the crustified spirit of Millard Findlemeyer is slashing its way through his payroll.

Review (SPOILERS)
2005’s The Gingerdead Man had a promising title and Gary Busey going for it. That’s about it. Let’s see if this sequel can top it.

William Butler, the writer of the first draft of Part 1, returns to co-write and possibly direct (if I’m remembering correctly, Butler and Silvia St. Croix, the alias credited with directing this thing, were grouped together on IMDb for a while, though their pages now appear separate). John Carl Buechler provides the effects yet again, but also appears in a bit part as a hack director named Orson Biggs, whereas fellow effects guy John Vulich takes over as the voice of the title character (meaning, sadly, no more Gary Busey).

First off, Gingy’s design has been altered ever slightly for the better. He’s not as rubbery as he used to be, his eyes are bigger and cuddlier, and he moves around a lot better, meaning he feels just a little bit more like an actual character than a cheap prop this time. So that’s obviously a plus. Frankly, as a jaded practical effects fan, and someone who sat through the first movie, I was impressed by the way his fingers curled around the edge of the pastry box (seen below).

Passion of the Crust 3

But the real saving grace here is Passion‘s metafictional, self-deprecating sense of humor. It’s clear from the get-go executive producer Charles Band is riffing himself and his own studio, Full Moon, with Cheatum International. The “tiny terrors” we glimpse early on — including a haunted dildo (yes, you read that correctly), a coffee maker with machine guns for arms and a baby cowboy with piles of shit dripping down its face — are obviously caricatures of the Ghoulies, Puppet Master puppets, Demonic Toys and Blood Dolls Full Moon has consistently built its Empire upon for the last few decades.

Full Moon regular David DeCoteau (director, Puppet Master 3, 6 and 9) even turns up in a brief cameo as himself, directing the sci-fi epic Space Spankers 2015. In one of my favorite scenes, he’s approached by a lead from the film:

“Excuse me, Mr. DeCoteau. How was that? Was it good? Did you like what I did?”

An utterly inconvenienced DeCoteau lowers his newspaper. “Was it good? Did I like it?” Then, to a cameraman, “Was it in focus?”

“As far as I could tell.”

Insincere as can be, DeCoteau replies, “Kid, you were fucking brilliant.”

Crust Passion 37

Though, to be honest, my absolute favorite moment comes right before that exchange, when a trio of astronauts ping pong paddle the ass of a scantily-clad woman, explaining to her, “The only way to get this gestating creature out of your body is with deliberate and vigorous paddling.” Oh, how I tittered. Not only is Passion funnier and more self-aware of itself than its predecessor, but visually speaking, it’s much more intriguing. There’s a lot going on here to keep your peepers entertained, be it better effects work, various extras populating the background, hilarious movie posters tacked up on the walls, or a number of props and sets I’m guessing were recycled from previous Full Moon flicks. Because of this, Passion feels like a bigger production, and that too is a plus.

Now, the first movie was out there, but suffered a slow pace, was entirely too short, and lacked all the balls-out insanity you’d expect from a movie with such a ridiculous title. Sure, the GM fired a gun and ran a guy over, but that’s as crazy as it got. Passion lives up to the hype, and then some. To briefly illustrate: a gay guy is rammed in the ass with a curling iron (and likes it), there may or may not be a crucifixion, Satanic rituals, decapitations, mini-chainsaws— the li’l bugger even pilots a badass, laser-equipped mech suit.

Yer acting is mostly cheesy ham, the kind that refuses to let you suspend your disbelief, though Frank Nicotero (the host of Street Smarts) hands in a credibly enjoyable performance as Marty, Cheatum’s right hand man.

All in all, a better flick than its predecessor in almost every way. Bigger, smarter, funnier, and it lives up to the promise of its cockamamie title.

_________________________

Damnit, whenever I hear the word “Cheatum”, I think of the last track of the Travis Warren-led incarnation of Blind Melon’s For My Friends. This thing’s been looping inside my head for the past few days now. It even mentions Texas, where the first movie took place. Coincidence? Hell no.

_________________________

GOOFS
At ~29:25, the Gingerdead Man can still be seen in the pastry box.
Passion Crust 7On the cover of the Full Moon DVD with the “pie” artwork, the GM is depicted with a white collar, but never actually wears one in the film.

A Few Questions
If the sister from Texas Polly refers to is Findlemeyer’s mother, wouldn’t that mean ol’ Findlemeyer kills his aunt? What a heartless muhfuckah!
Wait, the tiny terr— forget it. Don’t wanna ruin the ending.

The Verdict
Buy it and give it a watch.

Recommendations
Jack Frost (1997)
Return to Horror High (1987)
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Ghoulies (1984)

GingerdeadMania Cookie Rating: Four Cookies
Cookie Scale 4

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