The Gingerdead Man (2005)

Out of the oven... and into your heart!
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The Gingerdead Man - Out of the oven... and into your heart!

Charles Band's 2005 horror comedy, The Gingerdead Man, is a very typical, very insincere slasher with the bad guy quite literally falling out of the slasher flick cookie-cutter. From the offset it becomes obvious that this movie is not going to take itself seriously, the story is almost instantly ridiculous, the characters are quite exaggerated and the antagonist is a gingerbread man intentionally possessed by the soul of an insane murderer by his witch of a mother! Even with this crazy set up the movie still manages to suppress blatant stupidness and keep the humour subtle in a similar vein to Jack Frost. It is quite an achievement to take a completely outlandish concept and throw it into a restrained yet still corny, darkly humorous template, or maybe the movie is supposed to be full on comedy but just isn't that funny.

The movie begins in Cadillac Jack's, Waco's number one diner for innocent bystanders, where crazy killer Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) is having an episode of craziness which the innocent yet unfortunately bystanding Leigh family gets caught up in. The Y chromosomes are wiped out from the family but Sarah and Betty are allowed to live... and testify against Findlemeyer should he get caught. Alas, Findlemeyer gets caught and Sarah testifies condemning him to an electrifying punishment of the capital kind.

Years later Sarah and Betty run a failing pastry shop, failing mainly due to Betty's new found fondness of alcohol and waving shotguns about, but probably also to the current climate, the credit crunch, recession and any other buzzwords kicking around at the time. Also the new competing franchise across the road is making hard times look like they are going to get harder.

Things are soon to get more difficult for the family business as Findlemeyer's mother, now in possession of her beloved son's ashes concocts a plan for her offspring to have his revenge on the family that expedited his crackly demise. Having dismissed man-eating tiger, indestructible robot and Sith Lord as genetic vessels for her son's resurrection she decides that mixing his DNA with gingerbread mix is the obvious next most deadly combination and drops off the mixture at the Leigh family pastry shop. Deciding that using random gingerbread mixture found outside abides by all known health and safety rules, Sarah and her assistant, named Brick, set to whipping up some ginger dough. Clumsily (and conveniently), Brick cuts himself and allows his blood to drip in the mixer. After consulting the health and safety manual again and seeing nothing about "bleeding in gingerbread mix", Sarah cuts a big ol' gingerbread man and sticks him in the oven where a strange and seldom seen scientific process occurs giving life to The Gingerdead Man.

From this point on Mr. Gingerdead sets about trying to get his vengeance on Sarah and wittily killing anyone who pops into the shop in the middle of the night, which surprisingly is quite a few people. Each victim has a fairly weak excuse to be on the premises and their punishment is to die in an ironic and bakeryish manner.

Filled with an abundance of facile one-liners from the murderous baked goods and his accompanying victims, and sticking to the program with a variety of death mechanisms, The Gingerdead Man definitely jumps out of the oven and into your heart but takes the scenic route so that it can get on your nerves on the way. Once again the ending sets us up for a sequel with the "he's still not fully dead" scene after his second death following the re-slash and just before the credits roll (which I expect were accompanied by some soft rock but that is an educated guess as I can't rightly remember). Overall The Gingerdead Man is entertaining but unremeberably mediocre providing nothing new apart from possibly the silliest antagonist and maybe some moral lessons about keeping small businesses alive. Entertaining but probably non-revisitable.
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Categories: Slasher Movies
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