Movie Review: “The Gingerdead Man”

   I have been clear about my intentions for Full Moon Magic Mondays! and how it isn’t meant to shine a light on the worst from its catalog of movies. I want to celebrate and talk about the best from a brand I’ve spent a lot of time with and think, maybe, hasn’t had enough eyes on it. Readers Digested is serious business and I want to treat The List with the utmost respect. That said, I was drunk and I re-watched the Gingerdead Man series, and now, because of that, we’ll be succumbing ourselves to the doughiest franchise that Full Moon has to offer.

   For what it’s worth, The Gingerdead Man isn’t really the bottom of the barrel for Full Moon brand. The Gingerdead Man is a 2006 horror-comedy that sees Charles Band once more in the director’s chair, and brings a cast that includes Gary Busey, Robin Sydney, Jonathan Chase, Alexia Aleman, Margaret Blye, James Snyder, and Larry Cedar. I re-watched this film using the TubiTV streaming service (a service which features a lot of Fullmoon Features), another alternative would be Fullmoon Streaming, which is far more definitive in its collection. I first experienced this film from a movie-pack I bought at Wal-Mart.

The film begins in a diner called Cadillac Jack’s, when a murderer named Millard Findlemeyer, played by Busey in a suitably unhinged performance, murders members of the Leigh family, leaving a young-girl named Sarah and her mother, Betty, as the only survivors. Given little closure, the family can at least rest easy after Findlemeyer is sent to the electric chair and cremated. However, when his mother, a witch, mixes the ashes with a gingerbread spice mix, Millard rises (aha!) from the dead to wreak havoc on their Bakery. All while this is happening, their Bakery is at the brink of bankruptcy, with a bigwig businessman trying to run them out of business.

The concept sure feels like it had a lot more thought in it than expected, which isn’t necessarily a compliment, given the audacity of its subject-matter to begin with. It feels like less would have been more in this respect, given the short run-time in itself not allocating time for any of its subplots to develop. Develop. Ha. Look at me talking about the fundamentals of this film. The story does have a sentimentality that offers it a certain charm.

The Gingerdead Man has a run-time shy of eighty minutes, making for a breezy feature-length allowing it to depend on its high-concept audacity and novelty before its cookie crumbles (move over Roger Ebert, there’s a new, serious film critic in town!). The humor can best be described as being on the goofier spectrum, with a low-budget sitcom vibe that is difficult not to cringe at, especially when it’s a low-budget sitcom for a much, much younger crowd, with Johnathan Chase hamming it up in a performance as The Baker that grates twice as often as it endears.

The concept of Busey as a murderous cookie feels like it could have, perhaps, made a fun, over-the-top film if it were handled in a different way, but this isn’t that film. Instead, what we have is a bad, throwaway horror flick with little redeeming qualities about it.

Rating: – 1.5 out of 5.0