Director: Charles Band
The Gingerdead Man is a gem that every B-Movie fan needs to watch. Actually, I think everyone should watch it at some point in their lives, because I guarantee they've never seen anything like it. It's not a perfect horror film by any means, but it's entertaining if not just for its sheer ludicrousness.
Before I tell you what it's all about, I'm going to convince you that you should watch it. The cast and crew is pretty great, and that alone should pull you toward it. First of all, it was released by Full Moon Pictures, a company known for quite a few other B-Movie delights (like Evil Bong!) It was directed by Charles Band, who has produced over 250 titles, and has directed movies such as Evil Bong, a couple of Puppet Master movies, and Head of the Family, just to name a few. One of the writers on the film is Willam Butler, who acted in Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood, and wrote the fourth and fifth installments in the Return of the Living Dead series. The special effects work was done by John Carl Buechler, who also did the effects for F13 VII. The main character was played by Robin Sydney who you might (or might not) recognize from the Evil Bong movies, and Johnathan Chase (who was in Another Gay Movie, one of my all-time favorite comedies) was in there too. And to top that cookie off, Millard Findlemeyer/The Gingerdead Man himself was played (and voiced) by Gary Busey. Now, I dare you to say you're not intrigued.
The movie is obviously inspired by the famous Child's Play franchise, and the basic plot is exactly the same. But at the same time, it definitely doesn't feel like a rip off to me. While it does draw its inspiration from those movies, it still succeeds in creating a different character that I, personally, cannot bring myself to compare to Chucky. It's about a killer named Millard Findlemeyer. During a robbery, he shot and killed a man and his son, leaving the daughter alive for whatever reason. She, of course, helped send him to the electric chair to fry. He was cremated, his ashes were sent to his grieving (and equally psychotic) mother. Mother mixed his ashes into a batch of gingerbread cookie seasoning and sent it over to the bakery run by none other than Sarah Leigh (Sydney), the only one Findlemeyer left alive. When her co-worker, Brick (Chase) cuts his hand and bleeds into the mix, it spells out a world of trouble. No one notices the blood in the cookie batter, so Sarah makes the cookies anyway. This brings Mr. Findlemeyer back from the dead, and he's one tough cookie. He wants revenge on Sarah for sending him to the electric chair, and he'll kill anyone else to stands in his way.
The premise itself is stupid, I'll admit that. But it's creative; it's something I've never seen--or even heard of--before, and that's why I like it. It is extremely silly, and only those with a weird sense of humor (like myself) can enjoy it. Those who don't like silly things probably won't. It had some great one-liners and cookie-related puns (like Killsbury Doughboy, ha!). Johnathan Chase's character was hilarious, because he was an avid wrestling fan who called himself "Butcher Baker," and had some interesting things to say about that. Even the character's names were baking puns in themselves. Sarah and Betty Leigh, Amos Cadbury, Jimmy Dean, Brick Fields--they're all nods toward the famous names on our favorite baked goods. All of the actors did a great job bringing life to a story that is completely implausible, and I've got to applaud them for that.
I've got to give Buechler a big pat on the back as well for the great effects. I've always been a fan, if not only for the amazing and horrifying changes he made to Jason Voorhees. He did a great job here, as well. The cookie had a pretty realistic face, which is extremely impressive. He gave life to that little guy. Yeah, the Gingerdead Man is ugly, but that's only because it's supposed to look like Gary Busey--is that mean?
So my overall thoughts are that The Ginerdead Man is a great and entertaining movie with a killer cast and crew, and it should be on everyone's watch list.
Oh, and I apologize for my own attempted cookie humor...