There’s really no other way to pronounce the title of this movie. Simply saying “gingerdead man” makes it seem like a mistake, a slip of the tongue. “Witty” titles like this really deserve the extra effort; say it like you just thought of it yourself. “Gingerbread man? More like gingerDEAD man! Zing!” God, I love cheesy horror movie wordplay. I think that’s why I get so excited about Christmas-themed horror movies — it’s like an unspoken rule that you can’t make one unless you have a name like “SLAY Bells” or “Santa CLAWS.”
Where was I? Oh, right: murderous cookies.
The movie is basically a remake of Jack Frost, which is a remake of Child’s Play, which for all I know might be a remake of something else…how many movies are out there in which a murderer/criminal/Bad Guy has his soul enter an inanimate object upon death? This one features Gary Busey — well, mostly Gary Busey’s voice — as Millard Findlemeyer, who kills the protagonist’s dad and brother in the opening scene. Years later, on what would have been little bro’s 21st birthday, Sarah Leigh (Hah! Get it?) works late at her mother’s bakery, reminiscing wistfully that “he wanted to go to a titty bar” to mark the occasion. Backstory dialogue tells us that Findlemeyer has been executed, thanks in part to Sarah’s testimony in court.
Thoughts full of her dead brother (or maybe the titty bar she could have been at right now, dammit), Sarah whips up a batch of gingerbread cookies in a bread mixer. (The dough she uses is actually bread dough, not cookie dough, as anyone who has ever made either bread or cookies would notice.) She pours in some “gingerbread flavor mix” dropped off by a shadowy figure in a cloak, not realizing that it’s FINDLEMEYER’S ASHES! Duhn duhn duhhhhh! (Best guess is that we’re supposed to think the cloaked person was Findlemeyer’s mom, seeking revenge in the form of animate baked goods…?) A bumbling bakery worker accidentally cuts his finger and holds it, dripping, over the bowl of dough, as the camera lingers on the drops of blood mixing into it to make sure we understand that blood+ashes+dough = evil cookie monster. Inexplicably molding one large gingerbread cookie out of the whole batch of dough (instead of something the bakery could, y’know, sell), Sarah pops it in the oven and, well, this happens:
His sweaty, shrunken face is actually sort of disturbing.
You can probably figure out the rest. Group of people gets picked off one by one, sometimes accompanied by bad cookie puns (but not nearly enough, IMO). Fakeout ending with one of the characters killing the Gingerdead Man by eating him, then getting possessed by the spirit of Millard Findlemeyer. (The “possessed” makeup looks like a perfect blend of a Deadite from the Evil Dead movies and a vampire from Buffy the Vampire Slayer ca. Season 2.) Then they kill him again, in his new host body — but apparently not for good, because there’s a Gingerdead Man 2 (subtitle: “The Passion of the Crust”) already on DVD and a third in the works.
We watched the “making of” feature after the movie was over, and learned that the original Gingerdead Man was going to be all CGI. He would have looked something like this (used in their promo materials):
Sort of like the Pillsbury Doughboy gone horribly, horribly wrong. Instead, they used a combination of puppets and a guy in a suit, which of course looked really cheesy — but still better than CGI.
We also learned a little bit about Full Moon Entertainment, the company behind this masterpiece, and producer Charles Band. RESPECT. This is the guy who made Puppet Master, Re-Animator, Ghoulies, and Robot Jox, as well as hundreds of other movies with titles like “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama” and “Dollman vs. Demonic Toys.” I’d say he’s a modern-day Roger Corman, but Roger Corman himself is still producing movies like Dinocroc and Supergator… On Band’s blog, he has an enticing offer that I’m actually sort of considering: buy $120 worth of stuff, and you get your name in the credits of his next movie as executive producers.
As usual, Matthew and Salena won the prize for most appropriate potluck dish.
Gingerdead Man: “Save room for dessert — ’cause I’m coming after you.”
Gingerdead Man: [After cutting off a woman’s finger] “Mmm, ladyfingers.”
Gingerdead Man: “Eat me, you punk bitch!”
Brick Fields: [After eating the Gingerdead Man’s head] “Got milk?”