"THE GINGERDEAD MAN"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Gary Busey as MILLARD FINDLEMEYER
Robin Sydney as SARAH LEIGH
Ryan Locke as AMOS CADBURY
Alexia Aleman as LORNA DEAN
Jonathan Chase as BRICK FIELDS
Magaret Blye as GETTY LEIGH
Daniela Melgoza as JULIA
Larry Cedar as JIMMY DEAN
Studio: Full Moon
Directed by: Charles Band
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I love cheesy horror movies. The cheesier the better. It’s a genre all it’s own. Sure, serious horror films are great as well, but these cheesy films – when done in a serious tone but with tongue firmly in cheek – can be a whole lot of fun.
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For years, Charles Band has been the master of these straight-to-video classics. His latest flick, “The Gingerdead Man” is a wacky little film with a lot of heart.
First, you have to laugh at the title. “The Gingerdead Man.” I had to laugh at that the first time I saw that. Then you add Gary Busey to the recipe, and you have the makings of a great goofy film. It’s about a murderer whose ashes are baked into a cookie. When human blood is added to the mixture (you’ll have to ignore the fact that the bakery doesn’t have a problem with human blood tainting their recipes), he comes back to life in the body of a gingerbread man to get revenge on the girl whose testimony sent him to the chair.
Although many plots have been recycled over the years, I think this is the first one I’ve ever seen about a murderous cookie.
When you strip away all the gingerbread seasoning, you are left with a standard trapped-in-a-house type plot. Instead of a human killer you have a confection, and instead of a house you have a bakery. But the rest of the elements are there. The characters are silly enough to stick around to get killed instead of fleeing the scene and calling for back-up. The only thing missing is a little T&A, which is usually a staple in these kinds of films.
The DVD comes complete with the standard Full Moon slate of extra features. There’s a series of bloopers and some behind-the-scenes featurettes. Charles Band also introduces the film along with a taste of upcoming Full Moon releases and collectibles.
When Charles Band did his Horror Road Show in October 2005, I caught his act. In the show, he explained some of the challenges of working with Gary Busey. What should have been a quick shoot for Busey turned into a day of multiple set-ups because Busey brought his own ideas. After watching the scant moments he actually spent on film, it’s a wonder the scene wasn’t shot quicker.
However, production delays aside, the inclusion of Busey in this role was a stroke of genius. He is really what sells the movie. After all, who can’t resist a psychotic Gary Busey inhabiting the shell of a pissed-off cookie?
To call a film like “The Gingerdead Man” a horror movie is doing it a disservice. Sure, it’s got the elements of a slasher film. However, it’s really more of a comedy spoof of the genre itself – and this is what Charles Band does best.
Leaving itself open for a sequel, I only hope to see “The Gingerdead Man II” come down the pike in the not-too-distant future. Let’s hope that Mr. Band can get Busey to sit still for another go-round as the cookie monster you’ll love to hate.