The best thing to do with “The Gingerdead Man” is not take it seriously. At all. It’s a dumb, goofy, and cheesy horror comedy that invokes the likes of “Jack Frost” and “Child’s Play” to tell a story that’s giddy with cheesiness from the get go. One of the fun aspects of the movie that I intend to follow is the location of the ingredients that spawn the Gingerdead Man. Once bakery owner Sarah receives a mysterious box of gingerbread ingredients, the mysterious mix spawns the evil gingerdead man from the dough. Where did it come from? Who sent it? Who has it out for Sarah? I want to know and I hope the sequels tackle this mystery in the next two films of the apparent trilogy.
“The Gingerdead Man” is very much in the tradition of Charles Band films. It has a miniature villain, it’s mercifully short in length, and it’s unabashedly campy but plays everything with a straight face. I mean the villain is defeated by being eaten to death, there’s no way to play that with dignity. “The Gingerdead Man” is a turn in Full Moon’s legacy, a new wave of characters that would soon be introduced and sadly it’s not as strong in imagination as their previous creations. Maybe I’m just spoiled on the “Puppet Master” series. Sarah is left the only survivor after her dad’s bakery is held hostage by the maniacal Millard Findlemeyer who takes glee in gunning down her father and stabbing her brother to death.
This prologue is played with usual nonsensical babbling by Gary Busey who makes a brief appearance as the psycho, muttering nonsense dialogue that feels completely out of synch with the actual script. Nonetheless Millard is eventually caught and given the death penalty while Sarah recuperates years later continuing to run the financially weak bakery with her alcoholic mother. On the anniversary of her brother and dad’s death, Sarah receives mysterious gingerbread ingredients and to spice up her cookies inserts them in her dough. From it arises the gingerdead man with the demonic spirit of Millard. And he’s obnoxious. For a gingerbread man with Gary Busey’s face and teeth, there’s little to fear about this goon and there’s no reason why the characters shouldn’t just grab this bastard and ground him in to cookie crumbs.
But nonetheless he manages to keep Sarah and her two friends locked in the bakery with the intent of torturing and murdering them and the film consists of a game of wits between Gingie and the three victims helpless and hopeless. “The Gingerdead Man” is a film that could have easily ended within a half hour had the characters displayed common sense, but considering its premise and what its intents are as pure and utter camp, it serves its purpose as horror comedy fodder for the audience. “The Gingerdead Man” is unabashedly stupid and filled with plot holes, but it’s a fun and cheesy little time killer with a twisted villain that will likely spawn some fans. It has a nice air of mystery to it, and a good sense of humor, so I’m very interested to see where the series goes. If you’re in to miniature killers, this is the place to start.