The Horror Honeys: Run, Run, Run... From THE GINGERDEAD MAN!

Run, Run, Run... From THE GINGERDEAD MAN!

A Monster Honey Retrospective Review by Jennica

Season's screamings, monsters! 'Tis the season to eat, drink, and be scary! As a self-proclaimed horror Christmas elf, my holiday movie viewing list gets longer every year as my standards get lower. Films such as Black Christmas (1974) and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) have been tradition for some years, but I am always on the hunt for something weirder or just plain ridiculous. This year's new treats were The Gingerdead Man films. Unfortunately, my lengthy anticipation was sweeter than anything this cookie had to offer. So, this is my gift to all of you this year: a retrospective look at this killer cookie trilogy to spare you from hours of burning pain.

The Gingerdead Man (2005)

After madman Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) is found guilty of murdering the father and brother of pie shop co-owner Sarah Leigh, he is fried to a crisp in the electric chair. Hellbent on finishing off the surviving members of the Leigh family, Findlemeyer's witchy mother cooks up a plan. When a mysterious box of gingerbread spices is delivered to the pie shop, it is mixed into a mound of cookie dough spattered with human blood and baked in a large oven, resurrecting Findlemeyer as one deadly little confection.

I love food that delivers.
Gary Busey may be the only known actor in the entire film, but if you are expecting him to pull this abomination out of the fire, you will end up eating your feelings as the movie drags on. When given an already wacky Gary Busey, an over the top performance and nonsensical dialogue are only optional ingredients to build a psychotic character. Aside from a foul-mouthed Busey as Millard Findlemeyer, the remaining no-name cast seem to be present just to take up space in the frame and fill in the lackluster story with corny culinary humor. For a film with a runtime of an hour and ten minutes, the idiocy of the characters made it seem as if I were anxiously awaiting my oven timer to go off as I salivate, every minute appearing eternal. 

Although the concept of a killer cookie is unique to the monster subgenre as well as the holiday horror subgenre, the plot and overall look of The Gingerdead Man wreaks of Child's Play. And as an experienced baker myself, I assure you that the number of ways to destroy a potentially sweet treat are infinite. Burn it. Drop it on the floor. Smash it. Eat it. ... I'm no longer certain whether I am referring to the cookie or my DVD copy of the movie. Perhaps both.

Jennica's rating: 0 Lady Fingers out of 5

The Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust (2008)

Sarah Leigh's washed up 90s scream queen sister's only job on set nowadays is delivering the goods-- the baked goods, that is-- to movie sets. One night, while delivering a box of sweet treats to the cast and crew of the predicted bomb Tiny Terrors 9, little does she know that the Gingerdead Man came along for the ride. As his body becomes stale and crusty, the Gingerdead Man must race to find a human body to inhabit. However, this tough cookie isn't the only threat to the studio. Everyone knows that a production's worst enemy is an internet critic with a following.
Waking me from my slumber during the previous film, Passion of the Crust opens with an up-beat punk rock ditty that sounds suspiciously similar to Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." Painful as the first film was, the opening credits music alone gave me a sliver of hope that maybe-- just MAYBE-- round two would not entirely suck eggs. Adding to that little ray of hope were the few recognizable appearances by special effects artist and director of Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout Kenneth J. Hall as well as cult classic director David DeCoteau (Dreamaniacs, Puppet Master III). Already, Passion of the Crust appeared much more promising... and then my eyes and ears were offended.

Can we send this batch back?
On numerous occasions, the film attempts to squeeze humor from misogyny and homophobia but all that comes out is resentment. Passion of the Crust had at least some potential to be a fun B-movie, but unfortunately, it quickly crumbled. "Never listen to critics. Those assholes are lame," says the film's narrator. To that, I can only say I know you are but what am I?

Jennica's rating: 2 Honey Buns out of 5

The Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2011)

Imprisoned at the Scientific Research Institute for Homicidal Baked Goods, the Gingerdead Man is hungry for an escape plan. Once he breaks free from his cell, he learns that scientists at the institute have recently invented a device that allows for edibles to travel through time and space. With little time to waste, the Killsbury dough boy punches a few buttons and reluctantly lands himself in the middle of a roller disco in 1976... and some heads are going to roll.

Recycling the same catchy punk rock opening jam from Passion of the Crust, Saturday Night Cleaver appears to be the final nail in the head of this horribly constructed trilogy. Whereas most iconic cinematic killers pack up and run away to outerspace or da hood when shit goes south, the Gingerdead Man run, run, runs off to another decade. 

As if the complete change of time wasn't enough to hint at the final failed efforts of Charles Band's franchise, the main story lines make it clear that the stream of ideas from which this cookie came is all dried up. The film opens with a shot-for-shot parody of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and proceeds to borrow the entire prom sequence from Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), causing the film's intended villain-- the Gingerdead Man-- to seem like a mere afterthought. 
No food in the roller rink!
Overall, Saturday Night Cleaver takes the same concept as its predecessor, strips away the few fun components, and pastes together all-too-familiar movie moments with erotic intermissions.  

Jennica's rating: 1 Cookie Jar out of 5

Combining my love of horror, the holiday season, and sugary treats, The Gingerdead Man seemed to have the potential to become a permanent staple in my annual holiday movie viewing. However, the blatant backlash toward women, homosexuals, and minorities in addition to the comatose storylines left me with a taste in my mouth far more disgusting than the thickest molasses. This cookie simply is not meant for consumption.

Have you wasted your dough on The Gingerdead Man? Let's growl about it on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars