MARCH 22, 2012
The sad thing about The Gingerdead Man isn’t that it’s a terrible movie, because that much was obvious from the start. No, the problem is that it’s not AS terrible (read: fun) as it should be, because it’s a Charles Band movie and thus of course he botches his potential to make a delightfully bad camp classic. As is often the case with him, it’s just a boring, action-free movie that limits its title character to about five minutes of screen time and only a single Gingerdead based kill (!).
I mean, seriously: Gary Busey as a murderous cookie. This should be the Citizen Kane of laughable crap, but instead it’s a chore, as it takes 30 minutes or so before the cookie shows up and he dies 25 minutes later. Oh, might as well get this out of the way – this “movie” technically isn’t, because it runs for 70 minutes total with a 10 minute (!) end credit sequence and another 4 or so for opening titles. So you’re dealing with 55, 56 minutes of actual movie, most of which has fuck all to do with murderous pastry.
Busey also barely appears in human form. The movie opens awkwardly, with him already in the process of robbing a diner, sans any of that confusing “setup” or “introduction to the characters”. After shooting a couple of folks, he rambles about how he doesn’t want to kill the last one (Full Moon staple Robin Sydney), but his mother demands he do so. Anyway, he fails, and then we hear some sirens as he runs off. But they apparently caught him, because we later learn he was executed for his crimes. So Band gives us the middle part of his character’s already limited story, leaving me to wonder if Busey was on set for one hour, or two.
Hell I’m not even sure he’s the actual voice of the cookie. Sure, it sounds like him, but it’s not like it takes a lot to pull off a convincing Gary Busey impression. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that either on his way on or off the set to film his confusing opening scene, someone held a recorder up to his mouth and gave him a piece of paper with 5 or 6 lines to read. And then, viola! Quick stop by crafty to stock up on Twizzlers and bananas and it’s off to... whatever it is Gary Busey does when he's not making a total ass out of himself. Oscar nominee, folks.
Not only does it fail to deliver even the bare minimum of humanoid cookie action (again: ONE KILL! Plus two lame attacks), it’s also a tremendously stupid movie at its core, and yes I’ve already factored in the plot. Get this: the entire movie takes place in a tiny bakery (said to be Waco TX for reasons I cannot discern; it’s clearly Los Angeles), which the characters refuse to leave even though they’re not trapped there. At one point a girl even calls her father down to help, but they remain standing around near the oven instead of just going outside like they are free to do. I mean, it’s a fucking cookie – it’s not like he can do much if you merely go outside and lock the door. It’s hilarious to see cars driving by and such as the characters fret about how their cell phones are dead. Drive home and get your charger!
We’re also robbed of a Busey-fied climax, as a guy kills Gingerdead Man by eating his head (the movie’s best moment by far), but then he just becomes possessed by it or something. So now Gingerdead Man starring Gary Busey comes down to some random guy (a character I had forgotten existed even though it had only been 40 minutes since he left) wearing lame contacts. And I would put money on the notion that this bit only exists to pad the runtime out a bit because there’s probably a law against end credits running more than 10 minutes. Ditto for the closing scene, which is a year later or whatever and we see that the bakery is now thriving and our (too many) surviving characters are doing well. Oh and then a few gingerbread men are shown to be alive by, I shit you not, someone putting plastic “googly eyes” on them over their standard black dot ones. It’s quite possibly the cheapest thing I’ve ever seen in a Full Moon movie, which speaks so many volumes my brain started to hurt trying to process it.
Why am I still writing this? The movie came out 7 years ago; you’ve either seen the movie already and know all of this, or have no plans to do so because you’re smarter than me. There is no one that has been on the fence wondering if they should take the Gingerdead Man plunge for the better part of a decade, so this review serves no one. Extra irony: between writing, formatting, and posting, delivering this worthless post took longer than it took to watch the goddamn movie. Sometimes I really hate my life.
What say you?