Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Demonic. Deadly. Delicious: The Muffin Man (2006)

The Muffin Man (2006)
Rating: ***
Starring: Chris Ippolito, Michael Shepherd, Allison Lynch

"I'm here to warn you that the entire staff of this donut shop is in danger of being murdered by a homicidal and possibly immortal serial killer. Also, I'll have a coffee. Black. And a honey cruller."

Yep. It's one of those movies.

In this direct-to-video indie-treat, the scene starts with baker Desmond Bailey decorating some kid's birthday cake with a bowl of fondant purposely contaminated with a not so sweet special ingredient: rat poison. As you would've guessed, our baker is a serial killer who's already responsible for a series of cake poisonings that took the lives of 29 victims and, following the receipts of the tainted cakes, a pair of detectives arrive at Desmond's bakery that night to put a stop to his 'baked bads'. The pastry maker, however, isn't going down without a fight, killing one of the detectives with a hurled tray of muffins (!) before brawling against the other, only for it to end with his head getting covered in dough and shoved into an oven, baking the crazy confectioner to death.

This should have been the end of our nightmare-maker baker, but some otherworldly forces out there say otherwise and up rises The Muffin Man, a supernatural being with a bloodlust for anyone involved in bread-based businesses. 

Flash-forward five years later, the staff of a small donut shop, Gonuts Donuts, (where 'you'll go nuts for their donuts!') gets a visit from the surviving detective, Hank Egger, now grizzled after tailing the Muffin Man throughout its worldwide killing spree. He warns them of the arrival of the supernatural murderer and strongly urges them to close shop early and go home, but as a typical response to horror movie doomsayers, none of the staff takes his tale of an undead killer baker seriously. That is, of course, until The Muffin Man arrives to end them all, with eyes glowing red, demonic voice spewing hellish threats and a giant scrumptious muffin for a head...    

If you're diving into The Muffin Man (2006) with the mindset that you're about to watch what's basically a live-action horror cartoon revolving around a murderous pastry hacking away dumb people while spewing overly long threats, then you're certainly the kind of people this movie is aiming for as there's no doubt this title is a special brand of fun, nonsensical silliness! It's shlocky, yes, with not-so-stellar acting and characters written to be caricatures of lowbrow employees barely running a small establishment, whisked into a mix of low-budget special effects, sound design and video quality, the resulting mess is still this type of tongue-in-cheek ham and cheese junkfood horror that embraces the goofiness of the premise and it isn't afraid to be a little more outrageous with its zaniness! 

As an oddball bodycounter, the baking-themed murder do rely more on caricatured absurdity and belly laughs than chunky gore, with one poor fella getting literally flattened to death with a rolling pin as an example. The titular 'Muffin Man' not only looks the part of a comical killer dough demon with its baker uniform and the humongous, vaguely-humanoid muffin head, but its overly exaggerated evilness apparently comes with lengthy declarations of ungodly torments, some of which awfully sounds like heavy metal verses such as This world has not prepared you for the torment you will know! You're looking at Hell's infernal kitchen!

All of these in a measly yet satisfying 40 minutes. End credits included. A workable run for a small budget production without completely overcooking its humor.

The Muffin Man (2006) is a delectably guilty morsel of a mini-flick, one that's charmingly good as a low cost movie about a homicidal hellspawn muffin can be. Fans of weird horror comedies of the cheddary-kind, bite into this one!

1 male gets a hurled tray of muffins impaled into his chest
1 male had his head baked inside an oven
1 male killed offscreen
1 female drowned in a dumpster bin full of donut grease
1 male crushed flat with a rolling pin
1 male stabbed in the head with a pump full of strawberry jelly
1 female stabbed through the face with a rolling pin
Total: 7

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