The Gingerdead Man (2005)
By: Devon B. on June 18, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Wizard Entertainment (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (Non-anamorphic). English DD 2.0. 71 minutes
The Movie
Director: Charles Band
Starring: Gary Busey, Robin Sydney, Ryan Locke, Alexia Aleman
Screenplay: William Butler, Domonic Muir Larry Cedar
Country: USA
For those who didn't get enough of lethal gingerbread men from the episode The Tick Vs. Europe from the animated series, here's a 'full length' (re: 71 minute) film!

The Gingerdead Man is part of Charles Band's revival of his previously rather uneven production company, Full Moon. It was, naturally, a big surprise that Charlie would be involved in a film about a diminutive killer…

The Gingerdead Man starts with a robber/killer, Gary Busey, robbing a diner. Busey shoots a woman who screams when he enters, then heads for the register. A family, cowering in their booth, would presumably go unnoticed, but then the father gets the bright idea to assault the gunman with his handy switchblade knife. When that doesn't go well, the son, another Darwin Award candidate, attempts to confront Busey armed only with words. With just the daughter left alive, Busey plans to finish off what he's begun, but can't bring himself to kill her. The police arrive, and Busey flees. His sparing the daughter comes back to haunt him however, as her testimony sends him to the electric chair.

Two years later, and the daughter is working in the family bakery. The bakery receives a box of special gingerbread seasoning that she thinks was a special order. It was a special delivery, but it's actually from Busey's mother, who has thoughtfully included his ashes in the mix. One of the other employees cuts himself, and bleeds into the mix, but fortunately for the story, the mix is still used. Then, the daughter makes one (!) gingerbread man from the batter, but when the oven gets an electrical shock during the baking process, Busey is resurrected as a savoury slasher. I'm not sure what would've happened if the blood and extra electricity HADN'T coincidentally affected the seasoning, so Busey's mother's evil plan could perhaps have been better thought out. But, then, who am I to criticise it, as it did work? Anyway, re-animated biscuit Busey begins terrorising the daughter and those around her.

Obviously, The Gingerdead Man owes heaps to Child's Play and the aforementioned episode of The Tick, but it is silly fun. I enjoyed it more than the similarly ridiculous Jack Frost, because you're never quite sure where The Gingerdead Man is trying to be serious. Because it does seem to try to play it straight at times, the whole thing is pretty funny.

Gary Busey is a fun actor when he finds the time to stop beating his wife and accept a role, so I was glad to see him on hand, bringing his own particular manic glee to his brief on screen appearance. While he does voice the killer cookie later, it's not the same when you can't actually see his bugging eyes and massive teeth.

The dialogue in the film is terrible, particularly when the script attempts to be witty. The production levels are extremely low, and you can often spot the hands operating our tiny terror. Continuity is non-existent, and the story is asinine, even for a movie about a gingerbread slasher. The characters feel trapped in the bakery because Busey may be 'out there somewhere,' so they stay inside where he's actually more likely to be. The characters are also prone to having lengthy talks regardless of the situation they're in, and if no one is around for them to speak with, they happily just ramble to themselves.

The film only runs 71 minutes, but has a nearly 10 minute credit sequence at the end thanks to some really slow crawling credits.
The Gingerdead Man is presented at roughly 1.85:1, but not 16x9 enhanced. The film suffers from grain, which can be distracting. The image is a bit blurred, but this may just be a result of the grain. There was a video glitch at one point.
The audio is a two-channel English language track. The mix is a bit uneven, with the score too loud and the dialogue muffled.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with a few little extras. We get the film's trailer, plus the trailers for a few other Full Moon features; all of the trailers feature a great voice over. There's a blooper real, a message from Charlie about his road show, and the website address for Full Moon. The main extra is an 18 minute behind the scenes, which features some amusing stuff, like Busey explaining his role with relish, and examples of the original concept that looked a lot more like Poppin' Fresh. Unfortunately, the behind the scenes also has a huge amount of back patting.
The Verdict
The Gingerdead Man is certainly not a good film by any means, but worth seeing if you're a fan of so-bad-it's-good cinema. The disc is also not a particularly good presentation, but, really, who's going to re-release this? Buy the DVD cheap, and prepare to laugh.
Movie Score
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