Now, let’s be honest. I am not going to sit here and try to tell you that the Gingerdead Man is the greatest piece of cinema that has been created within the last twenty years or that is the best holiday monster movie you’re likely to see, but it definitely stands out! I am not an amateur to this sub-genre; I have done my time and have suffered through Thankskilling, Jack Frost, and Santa’s Slay. However, Gingerdead Man definitely makes a lasting impression that has had me laughing for days after watching the trilogy. Until recently, I was first unaware of this franchise and its production company Full Moon Features. But after a good friend of mine, and Gary Busey aficionado, showed me a fantastic trailer on YouTube and I was hooked.
The premise is simple: In the first film, Gary Busey plays a serial killer who massacres people indiscriminately until he ends up in a family owned bakery. Things only go downhill from there. After his execution, his mother sneaks his ashes into a box of gingerbread mix that finds its way to the bakery and after innocent blood is spilled in the mix, the Gingerdead Man is born. Even though Busey isn’t the voice of the killer pastry, he still delivers a strong performance that pave the way for the rest of the trilogy and sets the story up for fantastically hilarious times. These include terrorizing the family whose testimony placed him in the electric chair, the second installment (The Passion of the Crust, yes you read that right) sees him harassing members of a cheesy film studio akin to Full Moon Features, and the third film in the franchise (Saturday Night Cleaver) finds the titular character traveling back in time to kill those goddamn hippies from the ’70s.
There are many incredible aspects of all these movies that made them rise above your average holiday monster fare. First of all, the Gingerdead Man is a puppet and you can clearly tell from the close ups that it is handmade. The movement of the mouth in the first two films is completely natural, well at least for a monster like this, and the puppeteer did a fantastic job in creating a believable character through natural movements. Unfortunately, with a lot of movies in this particular genre they rely on horrible CGI that takes away from the story. There are some CGI moments within the franchise, but they are forgivable since these are low budget horror movies.
Secondly, the dialogue is deliciously (pun intended!) bad! There are so many plays on the fact that he is a killer pastry and the writers did not shy away from this and attempt to be more serious than it needed to be. Such lines as “Ever try a lady’s finger?”, “Say goodnight cream puff”, and “Now you know what it feels like to fry bitch” are just a few examples.
Finally, the Gingerdead Man is just a likeable feisty character who is insane, bloodthirsty, and refreshingly hateful. I personally appreciated that this franchise didn’t feel like they had to sexually assault women with their character for shock value. Don’t get me wrong, the Gingerdead Man is a complete pervert, but I wasn’t titling my head trying to figure out why or how he could rape women. The Gingerdead Man ends up becoming the anti-hero who you beg to kill off the annoying people who hinder his goals of murder and mayhem.
So, this isn’t going to blow you mind with how amazing it is, but it definitely is a pleasing change from the movies that are similar to it. And really, what’s better than a possessed gingerbread man who was a serial killer in a past life?