The Gingerdead Man (2005) Review

I don’t come across that many great Christmas-themed horror films made in the last ten years, but there is a film that I’ve recently had the pleasure of watching in a dark room last Saturday morning at 6:00 AM sharp when I finally popped it into my DVD player; I had owned the movie for nine years since its release in 2005, but was too afraid to watch it. The cover gave me chills, and I had three nightmares in one night about this horrible looking creature. I’m glad I finally mustered up the courage after four vodka Red Bulls to finally watch it last weekend, though. And it was every bit as glorious as I thought it would be. It surprisingly had a lot of funny moments in it as well that had me guffawing quite a few times like a toddler on speed.

To end the suspense I’m sure is butchering you, I will tell you that this film is The Gingerdead Man, produced and directed by Charles Band. He also wrote and produced 1989’s Puppetmaster, which is in my opinion the best horror film of the 1980s in every way.

This film is Band’s magnum opus, as far as I’m concerned, along with its sequels including Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust and Gingerdead Man vs. The Evil Bong, although he only produced the second and third in the series. He is known for establishing Full Moon Pictures, a production company that was responsible for such terrifying (and often hilarious) gems as the Puppet Master series, Demonic Toys, Evil Bong, Bleed and Hell Asylum, among many others I have yet to see.

So let’s extend both arms forward, bend down and take a leap into this masterful comedy-horror that manages to both disturb and entertain.

Our main cast includes Robin Sydney as the Playboy Playmate-worthy feministic heroine Sarah Leigh,

Robin Sydney in Gingerdead Man

hunky-dory Ryan Locke as the equally hunky-dory and hilarious Amos Cadbury,

Ryan Locke in Gingerdead Man

the magnificently perfect Alexia Aleman as the second funniest character in the movie, Lorna Dean,

Alexia Aleman in Gingerdead Man

Jonathan Chase as the charming Brick Fields (aka the Butcher Baker, as you’ll find out later),

Jonathan Chase as Brick Butcher Baker in Gingerdead Man

Daniela Melgoza as another woman,

Daniela Melgoza in Gingerdead Man

the amazing Margaret Blye as Sarah’s mother, Betty Leigh,

Margaret Blye in Gingerdead Man

and the brilliant Gary Busey in his turn as serial killer Millard Findlemeyer as well as the titular sugary incarnation of him.

Gary Busey in Gingerdead Man

Together, this cast and the film’s crew have put together one of my favorite comedy-horrors ever committed to the medium.

The movie opens to a generic diner called Cadillac Jack’s, inside of which Gary Busey stands behind the counter and fatally shoots a screaming customer who simply sat next to her empty, unused coffee cup.

Dead woman shot in diner

After that bit of senselessness Busey starts emptying the cash register, while a trio cowers in the corner of the place.

Father, daughter and son in diner

The older man of the group decides he has to do something, gets up with a knife and yells, “You bastard, I’m gonna fucking kill you.” Busey shoots the man before he has a chance to stab him, and reacts as if his death was a tragedy unlike the first woman’s. Gary Busey clearly worked hard at conveying a complicated serial killer.

Sad Gary Busey in Gingerdead Man

He then looks over at the two younger patrons and says strangely, “There’s somebody in here… I smell something in the air. It smells feminine.” Perhaps it’s the two women in the place, one of whom you just shot? After issuing some crazy eyes at the patrons, he aims the gun at the only male left in the place as he gets up. Those feminine waves must be coming from him!

The guy approaches Busey, asking what he wants considering he and his family don’t have anything, even though Busey just emptied the register in front of everybody, making it seemingly obvious what he wanted.

Busey’s response is to tell the kid to “shut up” and cock his head to the side.

The poor guy proceeds to say, “Put your gun down, please,” followed by Busey’s repeat of “shut up” and then “Now say it again and mean it.” Mind games, I see.

After the guy repeats it, Busey asks, “You’re ordering me? You sound like a sissy boy.”

Again the other guy says, “Put your gun down, please.”

“Now you’re sounding like my high school principal.” Um… relevant to a backstory, I think?

The guy asks once more and Busey gives him a chance to kill him after putting his gun on the counter. Unbeknownst to the poor dude, Busey pulled a knife and as the guy lunges toward him, Busey stabs him in the back.

Busey doesn’t seem so sad about that one, but then he approaches the girl crying in the corner while wearing an increasingly sad face again.

Gary Busey as a killer in Gingerdead Man

When I thought he might start feeling a little remorse, he instead says, “Kitty. Here, kitty.” He repeats this in a cutesy voice and then gets serious. “Kitty. Lemme see you.”

Then the woman gets up and looks despondent.

Innocent Robin Sydney in Gingerdead Man

This results in more sad, conflicted Busey.

He tells her she doesn’t have to be afraid and makes faces only a man on the thin edge of sanity would make. Post-motorcycle-accident Busey may not be acting here at all.

Gary Busey making sad face in Gingerdead Man

Gary Busey as Findlemeyer in Gingerdead Man

Gary Busey face in Gingerdead Man

Gary Busey as a serial killer in Gingerdead Man

He then says solemnly, “The next time you drive somewhere I want you to look for someplace safe.” Like not an innocent looking diner? “And I’m required to do what my mother always told me. And that’s to finish what I started. I’m gonna have to honor my mother.” Going for some original complexity here: a mass murderer with mommy issues. It probably explains his issue with feminine smells. One fleshed-out villain coming up.

He aims the gun at her, ready to shoot as the music grows tense, but then he has second thoughts as he lowers the gun and looks up at the ceiling. He taps his foot while muttering “mother fu–” and then he finally snaps and shoots her.

Gary Busey shooting and making face in Gingerdead Man

We don’t know if the bullet actually hit considering the woman just screams and lowers herself below the camera.

Busey seems both regretful and exasperated all at once, though, so it must’ve been a success.

Gary Busey crazy face in Gingerdead Man

This is followed by his sad face again as the sirens approach, and he leaves.

We immediately segue into the opening credits,

Gingerdead Man title screen

where we learn about the cast and crew, with synth-horn-laden music playing over it that for some reason sounds like it’s from an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark or another scary show for kids.

The screenplay was written by Silvia St. Croix and August White. It works well having two writers because this film is both comedic and serious, unlike many horror-comedies. It’s as if each writer had their own vision of the story. While many films of this sub-genre tend not to take themselves seriously at all and devote themselves entirely to making fun of horror tropes and making things pleasant for the viewer, this one has some moments that actually almost brought tears to my eyes. They were probably written by the woman of the two.

After the credits, we are introduced to a small town through exterior shots, including a final one of Belly’s Bakery.

Betty's Bakery in Gingerdead Man

Not sure who was tragically named Belly, but being a baker seems like the only appropriate profession for someone burdened with it.

Inside, the girl we thought was killed is all but alive and finding a seemingly empty can to be “the story of her life,” as she puts it. She also discovers an empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s sitting beside it.

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.36.04 PM
This is a “glass entirely empty” kind of girl.

As she looks at something on a wall, the music hits a note that indicates sadness. She walks toward it and it turns out to be a picture of her teenaged brother opening what looks like an action figure.

Sarah Leigh's brother in Gingerdead Man

A bit old for that, I think, but maybe he had autism, which was probably why he didn’t know how to deal with a gun-wielding maniac and wound up dead. But I digress.

The girl talks to the photo and wishes it a happy birthday. Her brother would’ve been twenty-one that day. She says, “Wherever you are up there, I hope they have strippers and Lone Star.” That’s nice of her.

Then the camera pans over to newspaper clippings, which reveal that Busey was a killer named Millard Findlemeyer who was eventually apprehended and sent to the electric chair soon after his trial.

We hear Millard’s voice tell us something that wasn’t said in the previous scene with him. “I’ll get you for this. Even beyond the grave because my momma’s a witch in Coonsboro. You are finished.” Quite the quick info dump on us, but it explains a lot, including his mommy issues, at least partially.

This tension causes a knock at the far door to be suspenseful for this girl, but when she opens the door she finds an apparently harmless package.

Grandma's Gingerbread Seasoning in Gingerdead Man
Most generic shit ever. Must be legit.

She sees the person in the black cloak who left it as they walk away.

Woman in cloak in Gingerdead Man

“It’s just a delivery person,” the girl says to herself, as if that was completely normal.

After she puts the package away we meet Brick, who has an interesting southern accent and is incredibly excited about seeing and participating as a wrestler named “the Butcher Baker” in something called “Wrestlepalooza”, “a mosh pit of tag teaming damage and body slammage,” as he playfully puts it.

He then pulls the charming Brick face.

Jonathan Chase in Gingerdead Man

He also calls the girl “Sarah”, so now we know her name.

While opening a box after dumping the new seasoning into a can, Brick miraculously cuts his forearm with the box cutter, and the blood inevitably drips into the seasoning. He of course doesn’t bother moving it as Sarah checks it.

Blood dripping in flour in Gingerdead Man

I smell trouble brewing (or baking in this case), and it isn’t feminine, that’s for sure.

After being asked if he needs stitches, he wiggles his fingers defiantly. As he said, “The Butcher Baker needs no doctor. He can always take the heat.”

Brick holding arm up in Gingerdead Man

Then he hilariously looks in actual pain once Sarah leaves the room. It had me in stitches (yes, pun intended).

In the other room, Sarah speaks with her friend Julia, who really pushes the fact that she’s Latin when she explains that Millard was executed two days prior and says, “After two years that loco bandejo is finally dead. Another soul for Diablo.” She has no accent whatsoever, so why she feels the need to speak Spanglish is unexplained, which just makes her character funnier.

Julia further explains that Millard’s remains were cremated and sent to his mother in Coonsboro. For some reason she finds this fact disgusting, like family members never receive their loved ones’ remains.

Now we need an update on Brick, who fantasizes about wrestling with the bakery-oriented line, “Tonight your ass is toast.”

Brick looking in mirror in Gingerdead Man

Then he checks on the dough as it mixes and adds a scoop of the blood-contaminated seasoning. He even taste tests it, but only on the edge where all the crusty old dough is.

gingerbread taste testing in Gingerdead Man

He deems it okay and after he leaves there’s a close-up of all of the red-tainted dough mixing while the music lets us know this is not good.

bloody dough in Gingerdead Man

Then we get a great shot of Julia concentrating hard on squeezing out creamy icing on a cake, as Sarah apologizes for shyly demanding her to ice the thing already.

Woman squeezing icing on cake in Gingerdead Man
Who wants to bet that the male writer wrote this scene?

Gunshot!

Julia and Sarah cake in Gingerdead Man

As they run to see who it is, we see Sarah’s mother holding a shotgun and drinking more Jack Daniel’s outside of the bakery.

Older woman drinking in Gingerdead Man

She’s drunkenly upset that the “statewide” chain Jimmy’s Bakery and World Cafe is opening up across the street. She shoots their opening sign half off as retaliation.

Shot store sign in Gingerdead Man

Soon after, Julia and Sarah find her, indicating the bakery is huge and takes forever to run through.

They take her booze and successfully attempt to persuade her to stop shooting and go back inside.

How’s that cookie dough turning out, by the way?

Hand in dough in Gingerdead Man

Looks like it’s growing a Chucky doll hand. It appears as though Millard can be brought back via Hellraiser-style resurrection instructions: just add blood. How his mother knew that he would ever manage to come across blood is anybody’s guess, but then again she is a witch from Coonsboro, wherever the fuck that is.

Back outside, the owner of the Jimmy’s across the street, Jimmy Dean (played magically by Larry Cedar), pulls up in his sports car and demands to know what happened to his sign. The man has clearly seen way too much Walker, Texas Ranger.

Jimmy Dean in Gingerdead Man

He chooses to overact in his southern accent as he talks about how they mutually agreed to “handle this like ah-dults” and avoid “wanton destructiveness and vandalism.”

Get this: He wants to pay Sarah and her mother off and tear Belly’s Bakery down. Sarah isn’t happy about that, but Jimmy doesn’t care as he polishes the ego of his lovely valley girl daughter Lorna, who was voted “Miss Pretty Face of Waco”, which sounds like a bullshit award, but I’ll choose to eat it up (relevant pun?).

Lorna Dean in Gingerdead Man
Fucking gorgeous.

Jimmy makes a final offer of $50,000, to which Sarah responds, “Why don’t you hold your breath.” The music and Jimmy’s face both express the “ooh” factor of this reply.

Larry Cedar in Gingerdead Man

Back inside, Sarah and Brick have a heart-to-heart about how much they hate Jimmy and then reminisce about Sarah’s dead dad and brother. They also talk about how hard it is with Sarah’s mom and her addiction to Jack Daniel’s product placement. She and Brick get very serious here and mope for a minute. Sarah starts sobbing to the somber soundtrack, and it’s obvious the writer who wanted to add some soap-opera drama to this production was in charge of this particular scene. Again, probably the woman.

I feel so much sorrow for Sarah and her loss that I almost completely forget there’s psychopathic gingerbread dough mixing in the back of the place.

Sad Sarah Leigh in Gingerdead Man
“I don’t care how ridiculous this premise is; I need a moment.”

Brick advises Sarah to go home while he cooks that dough, but she remains headstrong and agrees to stay, while Brick goes home instead.

Sarah goes to the back and removes the dough to make cookies out of it. She kneads it, smiling all the way, and places a single cookie cutter in the center, which assumedly somehow isolates Millard’s soul from the rest of the dough within its confines. She gives it all the makings of a typical gingerbread man, including a little necktie.

Gingerbread man in Gingerdead Man

After that, she sticks it in the walk-in oven, apparently without making any other cookies out of the leftover dough. I guess she decided to stay past closing just to get that one gingerbread man made. Do they always do this here? If so, whoever gets these cookies better appreciate them.

Once it begins to cook, its face looks a bit more like an Ewok.

Evil gingerbread man face in Gingerdead Man

Sarah finds Lorna snooping around the bakery and sees that she left a rat to wander around the place.

Lorna’s punishment? A pie to the face, of course.

Pie to the face in Gingerdead Man
This one had me rolling like a rolling pin (pun, sorry).

They bring their hilarity-ensuing cat fight to the back by the oven, when Lorna sexily shrieks like a dinosaur and backs into an electric box, which causes the power to shut off and send a single charge down the oven’s electricity conductors.

electricity in oven in Gingerdead Man
Do all walk-in ovens have this feature?

This causes the gingerbread man to “explode” with that final burst of life, I guess. This means it has officially gone by Frankenstein/Child’s Play resurrection rules: just add electricity. Poor Millard requires a multi-step revival process. Thankfully for him it all fell into place in the space of several minutes.

More electricity is added until we meet its final form:

exploding gingerbread man in Gingerdead Man

Afterward, this guy I initially thought was named “Anus” walks in out of nowhere and Sarah asks, “Anus, are you in on this?” Thankfully, IMDb let me know that “Amos” was his name after watching this film.

“In on what?” Amos asks.

That seems like an answer to be expected from this dude.

Amos talking in Gingerdead Man

Turns out he was waiting in his car for Lorna “forever.”

“You said you was just going to leave a note,” he tells Lorna.

“Yeah, right,” Sarah retorts. “How many notes eat cheese and live in a sewer?”

Riddle me that, Amos, with your “pull my finger” shirt.

Confused man in Gingerdead Man
“Duuuuuh, five?”

Sarah and Amos then try to open the oven when they realize it’s still going, when Lorna gets the first glimpse of the Gingerdead Man. Its design is extremely impressive and pretty disturbing. No wonder I had nightmares about it eating my soul by gnawing on my lungs.

Gingerdead Man looking through oven

Lorna says she saw something, but goes ignored as the other two manage to open the oven. Smoke comes out and the Gingerdead Man’s feet appear to run and float out of there, all while Gary Busey laughs much like Brad Dourif in Child’s Play.

Floating feet in Gingerdead Man

They pull out the trey and Amos says, “Whatever it is, I think you overcooked it.”

“On the contrary,” Gingerdead Man chimes in. “I baked up just fine.”

Smiling Gingerdead Man puppet
He even has an icing necklace that Sarah never added. Nice touch.

Amos asks what it is, and the Gingerdead Man snidely remarks, “Well, it sure ain’t the Pillsbury fucking Doughboy.” That line had me laughing so hard I nearly shit cupcakes.

The thing leaves and Sarah recognizes its voice. She explains to Amos and Lorna that that cookie was the one she was baking, but Amos has a hard time believing it’s anything but a prank. “A big funny ha-ha.” To help convince Amos that black magic stuff exists, Lorna goes into a nice little anecdote about how she and some friends played with a ouija board and spoke with a dead girl who was murdered and had all of her body parts wrapped in tin foil, and then mailed off to her relatives. Yes.

Amos’ priceless comment: “It spelt all that out for you?” The music punctuates the humor of his sentence with a couple of “wah wah”’s. “Lorna?” he asks. Another “wah”. “That’s longer than any book you ever read in your entire life.” A couple more “wah”’s.

Lorna backs it up, saying she saw a story on the news about a killer who mailed off body parts.

Comment, Amos? “Talk about going postal.” A super deep “wah”.

Who knew the dumb blonde slut would be right this time?

Amos seriously considers taking this story to Letterman and Leno if it’s real. “How much dough could you make from a talking cookie?” Is that supposed to be a pun? Apparently. “Heh, ‘dough,’ ‘cookie.’ Hehe.”

Amos smiling in Gingerdead Man
The perfect comic relief in a comedy-horror.

The three go to confront the monster as it munches in the walk-in fridge, sounding like a Gremlin. Once they see it’s eaten all the food in there, they finally decide to call for help.

So what do they do? Lorna calls her dad, Jimmy, telling him, “You have got to come and get me. I am at Betty’s Bakery and we’ve got homicidal baked goods after us.” Betty‘s Bakery, not Belly’s. You might want to make your sign clearer, guys.

Sarah’s reaction to this line? More brooding, I guess. I really think the female writer wrote her character, and might’ve been going through that time of the month.

Brooding woman in Gingerdead Man

Then the cell phone’s battery dies and it looks like these heroes won’t get help for now.

Meanwhile, Betty drinks a bottle of—hold on, I’ll let you guess—Jack Daniel’s in the back, and wanders around drunk. She really tries not to show the front of the Jack Daniel’s label with the brand name.

Woman drinking Jack Daniel's in Gingerdead Man

She hears an evil manly laugh and instinctively believes it’s her daughter, calling out, “Sarah?” Then she gets a bit paranoid, walks to the Millard newspaper clippings, reasoning that it can’t possibly be him.

“You sure about that?” Gingerdead Man asks with a knife hidden behind him.

Betty sets down the booze. “That’s the end of that.” Because booze tends to cause hallucinations like that.

Instead of being creeped out by this face,

Evil Gingerdead Man face

Betty has this reaction,

Betty Leigh smiling in Gingerdead Man

and moves toward him as he constantly laughs, sounding like a cross between Butthead and Chucky.

When she gets close enough with her hand, Gingerdead Man wittily asks, “You ever try a lady finger?” and slices her index finger off.

Finger flying in Gingerdead ManWoman with finger cut off

Gingerdead Man holding knife

Then she falls into what looks like a laundry hamper. Makes sense in a bakery.

Woman screaming with missing finger

Sarah hears the noise but doesn’t bother to check it out, and Lorna comes to the logical conclusion that Sarah might be in cahoots with the little killer, based on the fact it recognized her. Actually, this isn’t a fact at all because it was Sarah who recognized the Gingerdead Man’s voice, not the other way around. Turns out the dumb blonde is a dumb blonde.

Sarah doesn’t contest that or deny it, but instead keeps up the PMS look.

Serious woman in Gingerdead Man

The Gingerdead Man’s impressively detailed face looks down at Betty in the hamper.

Gingerdead Man prop

“What are you?” Betty asks.

“Not ‘what,’ honey, ‘who,’” the little guy replies.

She recognizes his voice. “Millard.”

Julia comes in and Gingerdead Man leaves, and Julia proceeds to gasp at what she finds.

Julia and Betty in Gingerdead Man

When you expect her to be a little shocked at seeing Betty’s clothes soaked in blood along with her wrapped up hand as she inexplicably lies in a hamper, she’s instead upset that Betty snuck back there to get a drink.

“What happened?” Julia asks.

“It was a man. A gingerbread man.”

Julia doesn’t react too much to this news and agrees to take Betty home, but then the Gingerdead Man hits Julia over the head with a pan. He’s got some strong arms for something made of dough with awkward fingers.

Gingerdead Man hitting woman with pan

“That’s gonna leave a mark,” Gingerdead Man cleverly says. I absolutely love that line because you almost expect an original, fresh one-liner to come out of this character at some point, but instead the film lets you know it intends to stay classic and humble by using one of the oldest one-liners in film history.

Outside, Amos goes to his car to get his hand cannon and the other cell phone, which somehow took the entire last scene to do considering he left right before it. It’s an impressive weapon, though, almost as impressive as his dark nail polish and rings.

Man holding revolver in Gingerdead Man

Inside, Lorna makes it clear to Sarah that she and Amos aren’t serious, just fuck buddies. This opens up the possibility for Amos to be Sarah’s love interest. Nice.

“What about what he wants?” Sarah asks.

“Honey, you’ve got a lot to learn,” Lorna scolds. Because all us guys want is sex, obviously.

Amos walks in and lets Lorna know the other phone has no batteries.

“Shit,” she says.

Then the Gingerdead Man cuts the power to the whole bakery.

“Shit,” Lorna repeats. I don’t really know why, but that had me nearly falling off of the back of my couch with laughter. I nearly broke my back. It’s still sore.

The three of them walk around to try to get the power on, while Jimmy arrives and has a nice talk to himself about why his daughter dragged him there.

Jimmy Dean driving in Gingerdead Man
“I should probably stop complaining to myself about things and see if my daughter needs help, but I really need to complain.”

Back with Amos and Sarah, Sarah asks Amos to put away the gun because it makes her nervous after the “incident”. Then they share an intimate heart-to-heart, during which Sarah talks shyly about a childhood memory of Amos wanting to kiss her, which Amos eventually remembers. Amos also discusses how cold Lorna is. All of this is said while Sarah leans against a pole and lets her hair gain a life of its own.

Woman leaning head on pole

It’s a calm, dramatic and ultimately charming little flirtatious moment, and once again I almost forgot that there’s a possessed chuckling gingerbread man on the loose that they should be trying to find and kill.

Speaking of which, Jimmy pulls up outside and gets out of his car to investigate the bakery. He calls out to Lorna, when the Gingerdead Man sneaks into his car and drives into him by steering the car while somehow pressing the gas petal with a rolling pin at the same time.

Gingerdead Man driving

Metal rolling pin in Gingerdead Man

Then he crashes into Jimmy, even though there are concrete traffic posts against the wall that should prevent the car from actually hitting him. Maybe they were just useless.

Traffic bollard posts in Gingerdead Man

Jimmy Dean death scene in Gingerdead Man

Back inside, we are treated to some interesting camera angle choices.

Crooked camera angle in Gingerdead Man

Serious dude in Gingerdead Man

Bird's eye view of Sarah in Gingerdead Man

Amos and Sarah have another moment of sincerity as Amos works on fixing the generator. Sarah gets teary-eyed and quivery-voiced as she admits how stressful being stalked by a killer gingerbread man is. She also flirts a little more. 28 minutes left in this film and we’re finally seeing a relationship develop.

When the two meet up with Lorna again in the next room, she and Sarah get into a fight regarding Lorna’s bitchiness.

Then Amos spots a trail that leads to the fridge, not of breadcrumbs, but of something we don’t learn about.

Chocolate syrup trail in Gingerdead Man

Lorna considers opening the fridge a moronic act, because she’s one to judge, and leaves them to look for her dad.

Inside of the fridge they find and pull out Julia, who appears to have been involved in some kinky gingerbread role-play.

Woman covered in whipped cream with cherry nipples

She moans and trembles while unconscious, and seems to be suffering from a concussion. Sarah says she thinks she knows who the lethal cookie really is, which seems like kind of a late realization.

Lorna manages to find her dad, though.

Jimmy and Lorna Dean in Gingerdead Man

She slaps his dead body telling him he can’t go, a bit upset. She holds his hand for a moment, but then seems to skip all of the steps of grief when she calmly says “I’ll miss you, daddy,” and walks back inside.

Sarah tells Amos about how she thinks Millard is possessing the cookie, and he doesn’t seem to dismiss the idea. Sarah also comes to the conclusion that Julia is in shock rather than suffering from a concussion, which leads to another intimate chat about how she should pursue nursing school and be a surgeon like she really wants, while Amos is destined to remain a dumb lump of hunk who only manages to still get the smart, pretty girl in the end. I’m willing to bet Sylvia and August had a good fuck after writing this scene together.

Man and woman kissing in Gingerdead Man
Not far at all from reality, sadly.

I’m sorry, but I just wanted to say that I really want the Neapolitan cookies on the counter in the next shot.

neapolitan cookies in Gingerdead Man

Lorna continues looking around and the Gingerbread Man asks her, “How ’bout a facial?” before slicing her face a bit. I can’t think of how this pun works in a bakery setting, but she is a woman. You know, innuendo.

Gingerdead Man slicing with a knife

She screams once, but then just looks at her hand in awe and then looks slightly annoyed by this inconvenience as she walks off.

Shocked bleeding woman in Gingerdead Man

Bleeding fainting woman in Gingerdead Man

She meets up with the others and expresses how upset she is about him cutting her face specifically, while the Gingerdead Man has a confrontation with the rat that Lorna set loose.

Rat in Gingerdead ManGingerdead Man talking to rat

You almost expect him to kill the rat, as he calls it a “little shit” and tells it to “fuck off” uselessly as it stays in place, but instead the movie remains unpredictable and Gingerdead Man just wastes time threatening it. “I’m gonna kick your rat ass!” Kind of reveals how painfully pointless the life of a gingerbread man must be when he’s not busy killing, cutting or putting whipped cream on anybody.

Back with the others, we find Lorna whining about wanting to leave, like she’s said she was going to do a dozen times before. I think she also forgot entirely about her dead dad. When she finally begins to storm out, however, it’s clear the plot has other things in mind when she steps into a tripwire trap.

Tripwire in Gingerdead ManWoman stabbed in face in Gingerdead ManWoman stabbed in head in Gingerdead Man

It seems Gingerdead Man is cleverer than I thought. Not sure how the knife got thrown into her forehead or how it could be that precise, but she got what was coming to her, that’s for sure.

Sarah calls out for Millard, asking why he killed Lorna, even though that trap was clearly intended for anybody who stepped into it. Of course, Millard is listening.

POV shot of Gingerdead Man

He makes a noise and Amos opens fire on a general area. They look around for him for a minute, when Gingerdead Man shows himself,

Gingerdead Man talking with evil face

and insults Sarah’s dead family members. Rather than take this chance to shoot at him, Amos chooses to cradle Sarah and serve as an emotional shield.

Amos shielding Sarah in Gingerdead Man

He goes away and the other two find Betty’s finger positioned near the oven.

Severed woman's finger in Gingerdead Man

Sarah looks around, screams “where is she?” and then makes a mousey indiscernible shriek, kind of like a cute mating call of some sort.

Finally, they manage to get into the oven and find Betty nearly unconscious on the floor.

I’m not sure why, but Sarah remains in the oven after Amos carries Betty out, which gives Gingerdead Man the ability to go invisible somehow and shove her further into the oven,

woman shoved into big oven

start what looks like a countdown sequence of some kind,

Oven control panel in Gingerdead Man

and shut the door to the oven,

Shut oven door in Gingerdead Man

even though he’s standing on the nearby table with what I believe is a sledgehammer.

Gingerdead Man holding sledgehammer

“Goodnight, cream puff,” he says before hitting Amos over the head and knocking him out.

Sledgehammer hitting head in Gingerdead Man

Gingerdead Man watches Sarah in the oven through the little window as it heats up, saying, “Now you know what it’s like to fry, bitch.”

Nice line. Um… wait a minute, not exactly. Electric chairs and ovens aren’t really the same, but I suppose I get your point.

Regaining consciousness, Amos grabs his gun and shoots the dust pan that was keeping the oven door shut, which we didn’t even see Gingerdead Man put in the handle.

Amos shooting oven door in Gingerdead Man

Shot oven door handle in Gingerdead Man

Then he feels his job is done and goes back to sleep.

Amos sleeping in Gingerdead Man
Good job, Amos. Good job.

Sarah crawls out and caresses Amos.

Woman and man lying down in Gingerdead Man

“Ain’t that sweet?” Gingerdead Man comments. “I see a sappy love story brewing.” This film is quite self-aware.

Then, out of nowhere, Brick jumps down into the scene.

Brick jumping down in Gingerdead Man

Brick wearing goggles in Gingerdead Man

“What the fuck!” Gingerdead exclaims, sounding oddly restrained. He also kind of resembles a barking shih tzu. It’s actually quite frightening.

“Whoa,” Brick says upon seeing him, slightly wowed. He then tells Amos and Sarah to leave while he and Gingerdead Man brawl.

Brick awesomely says, “Now it’s time to meet your maker. Prepare to face the Butcher Baker. For tonight your ass is toast.”

“You gotta be shittin’ me,” Gingerdead Man says hilariously, much funnier than when Chucky said essentially the same thing to a man having a heart attack in Child’s Play 3 or Palmer in The Thing saying a variation upon seeing the thing.

He then magically pulls out Amos’ revolver and starts shooting at the group.

Gingerdead shooting revolver at people Gingerdead Man shooting revolver

Even though it’s a revolver with likely no more than eight rounds, Gingerdead Man’s unexplained black magic must come into play as he gets about 20 shots out of it.

Next thing we know, a miraculously recuperated Julia hits him with a pan.

Gingerdead Man hit with pan

Brick gets a hold of the little bastard, and what does he do with him? Well, he eats him, of course.

Man eating bloody Gingerdead Man

Even with a mouthful of blood, Brick seems unfazed by what just happened and manages a burp.

Man burping with bloody mouth

“Got milk?” he asks, smiling. Oh, you!

Gingerdead Man’s headless body quickly vows he’s gonna come back before the screen fades to black. But how?

Headless gingerbread man in Gingerdead Man

Brick heroically drinks some milk, which really impresses Julia along with his blood-covered face.

Brick drinking milk in Gingerdead Man Woman's flirtatious face in Gingerdead Man

These writers really let me know a lot about women’s psychology, presumably Silvia St. Croix.

Hold on. Who are these writers again? Er, after a check on IMDb, I’ve found that August White is a pseudonym for Dominic Muir, who sadly passed away in 2010. He wrote the screenplay for 1986’s Critters and a few others back in the day using his real name.

Silvia St. Croix, on the other hand, only has two credits on IMDb as the director of both Gingerdead Man sequels. Hopefully that evolves into much more, because she deserves it. Unless she’s responsible for that flavorless Croix soda that’s somehow done really well.

Back to the story.

Julia tells Brick, “Well now we know who is mas macho.” Just gotta insert that Spanglish, right?

“Bu-tcher, Ba-ker,” they say simultaneously as they laugh together. Just jovial.

Now I know how to charm a woman. Just bite the fuck out of something menacing and bloody, become a “Got Milk” ad, and give yourself a cheesy amateur wrestling name that you can say in different ways. Got it.

Sarah tries to comfort Betty as she regains her senses, but as Brick washes up in the bathroom we find out he’s not exactly himself anymore.

Brick possessed in Gingerdead Man

Bright Eyes here says to his reflection, “It’s not over yet, girl. Not by a long shot.”

As the group carries Betty outside of the bakery, she gets a bit of a shock when she sees this:

Dead Jimmy Dean in Gingerdead Man
Just hanging out as a Halloween decoration at this point. And those concrete posts were definitely just for show.

Sarah goes back inside to get Brick. Through the dark we can see that he’s not exactly looking too good. Botched plastic surgery?

A man possessed in Gingerdead Man

Sarah asks how he is.

“I’ve never been better, toots.”

She immediately shrugs and looks cold for some reason, saying, “Millard?”

Scared woman in Gingerdead Man

He reveals himself, and it’s pretty creepy, mouth full of blue goo and all.

Possessed face and blue mouth

He says that Brick is gone, chooses to lick her face,

Face licking blue mouth

and then tells her that it’s time to do “what my momma always taught me” and leans in for another kiss, which hints that he learned something you probably shouldn’t learn from your mother.

However, Amos comes to the rescue, backs him into a corner, says to him, “Did your momma ever teach you about this?” and shoots him at point blank range. It does no damage at all, and Millard-Brick laughs.

Now that the oven door is open thanks to Sarah, Millard questionably chooses to move toward it as his goggles hang on to his head awkwardly.

Possessed man standing near oven in Gingerdead Man

Sarah’s final line before pushing him in? “I was scared of you back at the diner, but I’m through with being scared of you, Millard.”

But surprise, a hiding Julia is the one to push him in!

Man pushed into large oven

They lock him in and he screams as he cooks, or “fries,” as Millard would incorrectly call the process.

Man burning alive in oven

Sarah is upset that her brother is gone, but Amos assures her he was permanently gone like he knows how this black magic stuff works.

It seems like the trouble is over with, and the screen fades to black.

Then we fade in to a Betty’s bake sale, of all things.

Outdoor bake sale in Gingerdead Man

Two helping nurses who totally look like they’re from a present-day hospital

Nurses in Gingerdead Man

thank Sarah for her help with the bake sale on behalf of the hospital, after Sarah thanks them. Wait, whose bake sale is this? Whatever.

Sarah looks lively for the first time in the entire film, and she’s really in love with Amos, who looks no different.

Smiling Sarah in Gingerdead Man

Anyway, the nurses then remark not-so-quietly about how much better Betty looks now that she’s not the Jack Daniel’s ad she used to be.

Betty Leigh smiling in Gingerdead Man

Yes, it all looks like things have turned out really well for these guys, and a couple of kids ask if they can have any gingerbread cookies.

“Not if you’re lucky, I don’t,” Sarah says, probably confusing the hell out of those kids.

But guess what? The two nurses say an old woman stopped by a few minutes before with a box of them.

“Couldn’t you just die?” one nurse asks.

Inside, they look normal for a moment, but then the cookies decide to change eyes at a moment’s notice.

5 gingerbread men in Gingerdead Man 5 possessed gingerbread men in a box

The music reinforces the idea this is horrifying and then the movie cuts to list all of the actors while showing clips of them from the movie. I know we already learned who the cast was at the beginning of the movie, but I guess the filmmakers really want us to know who’s who in this thing. Now you’d think that’d be sufficient, right? But no, once they finish showing the entire cast in outtakes and flashbacks, the actual credits scroll at a slower pace than any credits I’ve ever seen, and list the cast again. Well at least we know they’re getting the credit they deserve for this masterpiece. It’s firmly cemented on their resumes now.

My final thoughts on this film? I think this is possibly one of the best comedy-horrors in existence. Every Troma film? Take a fucking hike. Shaun of the Dead? Atrocious. Dead Alive/Braindead? Laughably horrible.

This movie is perfect, though: a balance between tear-jerking drama and great fun, with a witty villain that others like Chucky and Leprechaun can only aspire to be, and a supporting cast that had me chuckling more than I probably should’ve. Even though Gingerdead Man only kills three people in cookie form, he’s still a menace to be enjoyed at all times.

I thought this movie would be more Christmas-themed than it was; in fact, it really isn’t Christmas themed at all apart from the cookie itself, but I still think it was an appropriate pick for the holidays. I will definitely be taking a look at the rest of this franchise and Charles Band’s other expectedly amazing films, as well.

This gets a 5/5 stars without a doubt. If you want to add this incredible gem to your Full Moon films collection, get The Gingerdead Man here at Amazon for around $6 new.

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