Oh, Charles Band, how I miss those years when your movies were good. Ever since you departed from Paramount Home Video, all hell broke loose and we have to sit through shit like this over and over again...
There comes a time in a fan's life where he has to accept that those things he loved once cannot stay good for very long. I learned this about Full Moon Studios the hard way when they began making Puppet Master films with string puppets of all things, thus killing my fandom and faith in any further Full Moon releases. I tried some of their later works and they're all low brow trash in my eyes, this including these travesties here; reviewed for your reading pleasure (and further killing my soul) is a "popular" movie franchise Full Moon spawned out from hell itself, the stale cookie that is The Gingerdead Man!
(I'll probably do each movie with short reviews. I don't feel really excited doing these..)
Starring: Gary Busey, Robin Sydney, Ryan Locke
Starring none other than the equally hard-to-be-taken-seriously Gary Busey as the titular creature Gingerdead Man, the film opens with Busey's character Millard Findlemeyer, the human version of this bad cookie, in media res of a robbery/killing spree at a diner. He murders the brother and father of our lead, Sarah Leigh, after the two attempted to subdue him and he was about to kill Leigh next when the sound of sirens spooked him into leaving. He didn't get far, though, as it is soon revealed that Millard ended up deep fried under an electric chair for his crimes, but not before swearing vengeance on the girl for ratting him out.
Some time after Millard's arrest and execution, Sarah finds herself in a predicament where she can't move on from the nightmare, thus affecting her bakery business. Adding to the matter is her mum's constant drinking problem and the pesky owner of a big commercialized bakery located at the other side of the street forcing her to shut down and sell the store to him. Distraught but hopeful, Leigh goes along with her job to pass the time and, after a strange parcel containing some "special gingerbread mix" shows up at the back storage, mysteriously dropped by a woman in black, she decided to use it to bake some gingerbread men. Or man.
A freak accident involving a bitch-fight between Leigh and Lorna, the spoiled daughter of her rival, then broke out, electrocuting the cookie ala Frankenstein monster and bringing The Gingerdead Man to life! Can anyone say "what?"
So, instead of doing the sensible thing of leaving the store with their asses intact, Leigh, Lorna, Lorna's current boytoy and Leigh's ex Amos, decided to stay and try to capture the homicidal baked good in hopes of selling it, "cuz there's plenty of dough people will pay to see a talking cookie". (And then he snickered "Dough, cookie. hehe". Yeah, yeah, ass-wipe, we get the fucking joke...) Thus, ending up with a bodycount (surprisingly) and two other "harm counts", where in people get picked off but aren't really dead. Cheat.
An hour and a ten minutes felt like forever with this movie, with the first Gingerdead Man kill happening after 30 to 45 minutes into the plot, spending most of its prior time yakking about how one girl is so traumatized about all this and that she thinks the killer cookie's the undead Findlemeyer out for revenge. Of course, she's right, but we pretty much know this fact as this is been done ridiculously a lot! Worse, by the time the killing starts, we have to settle with tame murders, awfully wooden (and unbelievable) reactions to all of the odd things going on (would you approach a talking biscuit? I mean, would you REALLY?) and one out-of-the-blue possession angle just for the sake of it. (Why, for all things, would you even take a bite out of a possibly demonic cookie?! THE THING IS MOVING, FOR BUDDY-JESUS' SAKE!)
The idea's cheap and too strange even for a Z-flick, you can honestly tell that the production for this one is really thinning down as it shows from every aspect such as scripting, lighting, set stages, props, effects and yes, even the Gingerdead Man himself, who looks really like a hand-held puppet with with immovable parts. Full Moon sank real low with this one.
1 female shot on the head
1 male shot
1 male stabbed to death with switchblade
1 male implied to be executed via electric chair
1 male smashed against the wall with car
1 female stabbed on the head with thrown hunting knife
1 male shoved inside an oven, burned
Starring: Michelle Bauer, Pieter Christian Colson, Michael Deak
Well, for some reason, this happened; a sequel to what could be one of the worst pint-sized killer movie ever made, promising more laughs and blood. They were actually right about the blood, but laughs? Ugh...
The last shot from the first Gingerdead Man movie implied more gingerbread men baked from the same mix that created the first "batch". So we follow the adventures of one of them, somehow ending up in a low-budget movie studio that kinda lampoons Full Moon Studios itself (call it sincerity or just biting the hand that fed it), where he hatches an idea to repossess another human's body so he can escape his stale and crumbling cookie body. (Child's Play anyone?) Just by luck, a spell book prop happens to fall right in front of him and found a spell that would allow him to do just so. Putting his faith on a book that's probably made by nerds like you and me, he starts to kill off victims for his spell (and almost works!), with the only one stopping him is the studio's young and awfully enthusiastic new owner and his friends. (As if they can do anything, but oh well...)
The good thing about this movie is that it finally got an actual bodycounting rolling, with some fun and silly kills that are made for Z-film trash, an awesome opening song (which sounds awfully familiar...) and a nice set of rack thrown in.
|worth it? maybe...
We also have some familiar faces here for some odd reason such as make-up maestro John Carl Buechler and scream queen Michelle Bauer; Gary Busey left the voice acting job to another, but I think it's for the better as he's honestly too good to keep voicing the Gingerdead Man, still the same cheap, ugly hand puppet thingie that moves around as if someone's wobbling it.
To be honest, despite the satirical attack on Full Moon Studios, the campier and livelier plot comparing to the first movie and the bloodier action this one has going on, Gingerdead Man 2's budget is still a big issue for this as you can still tell how low of a dough was spent on this film. There's still also the pacing issue, uninspired dialogue and wooden acting that distracts me a lot, plus the really lame and uber-cheap ending that's been done for the sake of the title.
A little better, but not even near something I wanna see again for a second time. For hardcore Full Moon fans only.
1 male seen stabbed repeatedly with knives and decapitated with chainsaw
1 male sodomized with iron hair curler
1 female repeatedly knifed through the back
1 male knifed on the gut
1 male incinerated by a working prop laser (WTF?!)
1 male stabbed to death with knife
Starring: Junie Hoang, Jacqui Holland, Sancho Martin
Third times the charm? No, not this time...
For some unexplained reason, this third entry to the cheap, tiny-terror movie starts with the Gingerdead Man imprisoned in a maximum security prison that specializes in homicidal baked goods, housing other unexplained living confectionery treats and a time travel research center. (American Taxes go to these?) In a spoof of The Silence of the Lambs, we got a "rookie CIA agent" interrogating the cookie for the reasons as to why he's so damn evil. (As if anybody of his kind has a reason) No soon after, the center suddenly got attacked by a group of "Animal's Rights Activists", who then proceeds to free all imprisoned baked goods inside, including, of course, Gingie. After running around, Gingerdead Man finds the room with the time travel machine and, well, decided to escape using it.
(And cue spunky opening theme "Run Run Run" and lamely funny and funky opening animation)
Ending up in 1976, The Gingerdead man sees himself trapped inside a roller rink that's about to be closed down due to the owner's negligence, but still boogieing on as these retro kids wanted to go out with a bang. Helping her aunt owner with the closing is Cherry, a "gifted" (as in "Carrie" gifted) girl who's socially awkward, but skilled in roller boogie. Through the help of a kind clerk, Randy, who also becomes her romantic interest, she eventually overcomes her shyness and rise as one of the candidates for the Roller Boogie Pageant 1976, that is, unless the four year winning champ has anything to say about that. All the while, The Gingerdead Man decided to go around and kill some people since he's stuck here for the moment (his time travel remote's been taken by some brats, mind you); could this spell out disaster for the time stream? Will Cherry win the pageant without being humiliated by her rival? Can her auntie accept her niece for what she really is? Who on earth places a tub of hydrochloric acid in a car wash?
There's a bit of an improvement with this one; the Gingerdead Man puppet actually looks livelier and his killing spree is indeed a fun one, in a braindead nonsensical manner. The plot is sillier than the two combined, but I do feel the enthusiasm and some effort to make this movie work. What didn't sway right here is that some of the effects are still pretty dodgy and the humor is hanging dependently on who's who that's watching it. The movie tries to parody as many 70s (and some 90s) culture references, but it's a half and half gamble in terms of being funny. Gore effects are still done ala CG, which is disappointing, but at least they try to make it count.
My biggest gripe for this entry, however, is the ending; Remember the first Wishmaster movie? Remember how it ended? If you don't, let me just spoil it for you by saying the hero(ine) in that movie found a way to reverse the events of the film. Same thing here, only with time travel and people like Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer making an appearance. (Don't ask) Normally, I don't have a problem with that, but it's so cheap and easy, I can't feel nothing but a bit cheated.
Hopefully this'll be the last we'd seen of the Gingerdead Man. Unless they decided to do this in space, then we're in deep shit...
2 males shot
3 females accidentally sprays themselves with acid
2 males and 1 female shot death with machine-gun nail gun (!)
1 male hacked to death with cleaver
1 female inhales powdered lye, poisoned
1 female face slashed in half with kitchen knife
1 male kitchen knife thrown to head
2 female shot on the head
1 female shot on the head
A Number of victims electrocuted to death
Total: 15+...OR IS IT?!