Monday, July 10, 2006

DEAD, NOT BREAD...

I haven't wanted a toy this bad in years. Mr. Bumper.

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I kept telling people that I was going to watch The Gingerbread man, but it turns out it was The Gingerdead Man. It's not like I got a different movie than I was expecting, I just think more people would have clamored to see The Gingerdead Man. No one clamored to see The Gingerbread Man, so I watched it alone, inagurating my new elbow-roomed status.

I saw The Gingerdead Man at the video store a few weeks ago, and made sure it would be my final netflix video on Marcos' piggyback. I had to see this. Gary Busey is a killer sent to the electric chair, only to be reincarnated as a killer gingerbread man cookie with retribution on his mind. All in 60 minutes! It couldn't possibly be bad! It's Child's Play in cookie form! And all in 60 minutes MUST mean it's all packed in there. It must be STACKED with ridiculousness. It's from Charles Band, who produced Robot Jocks, Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Ghoulies, etc!

I was all set. Set for excitement. Set for laughs. Set for a killer gingerbread man cookie. With Gary Busey's voice. Imagine all the killer cookie puns! Think of all the possible ways to kill through bakery equipment! Picture the all-important shower scene! In a bakery! No, really! Do it! I'm not kidding. Seriously. Don't even think, "Oh, whatever, maybe I'll see this movie, I don't need to imagine these things. Yes you do. You need to imagine them, because they still don't exist.

It starts off well enough. Gary Busey is robbing a diner. He shoots a waitress in the head in a wonderful piece of low-budget editing that I rewatched three times. Busey seems to be crazy, and he mentions his mother. He kills an old guy and his son, but leaves the daughter behind.

For some reason, Busey's arrest, trial, threat of beyond-the-grave revenge and execution are all skipped during the four-minute opening credits. I fast-forwarded the credits at 16X , and they still took too long. But, hey, skipping all that was probably a result of only having Busey for a short time.

They could have had a quick shot of momma Busey vowing revenge through witchcraft though. Something.

Instead, we get 30 minutes (half the movie) of standard b-movie business. The bakery is being threatened by a corporate restaurant to shut down. A buy-out is propsed. The hard-working bakery girl is set against the pretty, stuck-up rich girl. The retarded guy isn't retarded but is a wrestling fan (it's quite a swerve when you realize he's NOT the man love), the man love is with the rich girl but seriously likes the hard-working girl, there's a friend who says something Spanish, a drunk, gun-toting mom, lots of wondering about the beyond-the-grave threats, talk of titty bars and then...

The catfight. Okay. All that setup went on waaaaay too long, but here we are at the catfight. In a bakery! There's a pie to the face and then... they start pinching flour off cookie tray and start kind of flicking it at each other. What?

Then the lightning strike and weird mumbling and it's Frankenstein's cookie! HAHAHAHAHAHA. He's running around, and you don't really see him. And everyone's worried. The man-love is the only one crackin' wise. EVERYbody should be either scared shitless or crackin wise.

There's the finger dismemberment. That's good. Gingerdead man hanging over the side of a thing and taunting. That's good. Watching the lovers fall in love? Not good. Barely seeing Gingerdaed man throughout the movie? Not good. The closest they come to a creative bakery killing is when something spanish gets knocked out and locked in a freezer decorated as a cake. Oh, the death of Gingerdead Man was pretty fun. But wha hoppen? Where did it all go wrong?

According to the extras, they made the monster pretty cheap, but REALLY well. He is very cool looking. They made a life-size puppet, a dummy for tossing/dying, another version (I think) and one that could be worn by a dude for tight closeups. But you don't see enough of him. You see more in the EXTRAS! I understand that they probably wanted him to look good (but he did!) and wanted to mask all the hands/wires/whatever, but I'd rather see some innapropriate hands than listen to that turgid dialogue! And when a killer cookie starts firing a revolver loaded with at least thirty bullets, the last thing the viewer is worried about is less-than-stellar cookie effects.

Man. What a let-down.

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