Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gingerdead Man (2005) Review:

Gary Busey is known for being odd in general. From his uneven eyes to crazed-looking grin, it shouldn't surprise viewers that he would be cast in such a ridiculous movie. To be honest, this isn't even a feature length movie. Its running time is 70 minutes and 10 of them are end credits so it's more like a TV movie more than a feature film. But I digress, this horror film does show some ingenuity in various places but it also lacks focus at the plot.

Gary Busey being....himself?
The title is self-explanatory. Gary Busey is a psychopath, Millard Findlemeyer. He goes on a rampage and kills the owner of a family business along with his son because they attempted to stop him, leaving the daughter, Sarah (Robin Sydney), wounded. Once Findlemeyer was arrested, he was sent to the electric chair and cremated. A couple years later, Sarah is struggling to keep the business afloat along with a new eatery across the street threatening to close the shop. Little does Sarah realize, Findlemeyer will be back,...as a gingerbread man. Yeah.

Silly - yes. Preposterous - absolutely. Acceptable - to a point actually. The reason why this concept is acceptable is because voodoo plays apart of the story. It certainly does not play as strong or as creepy but look at Child's Play (1988)...a killer's soul is transferred to some nonliving object. It's not terrible, it's just not original. Here's what does work for this picture - the creature effects, Gary Busey and the music. First, Gary Busey is a fine choice to play this particular psychopath because well, it's Gary Busey. He’s just a strange man playing a strange character, which seems to fit the bill well.

The creature effects were also pleasantly well crafted, for its budget at least. The look of this killer gingerbread man looks like a rejected Muppet but still carries a little charm (thanks to Busey); even if the dough looks a lot like rubber. And to be frank, I'm glad they used a puppet, because using CGI would have made it that less enjoyable knowing I was watching something just pasted on screen instead of actually being filmed. Roger Ballenger's one time musical score wasn't the greatest but it did contain some rather goofy tunes, which I liked. And although it is a horror film, Ballenger's score is appropriate because this movie is goofy. Who can take a talking gingerbread man seriously no matter how deadly?

Gary Busey as his alter ego
But looking at everything else is where this movie just doesn't work. First and foremost, the plot lacks focus. Too many times the direction and point of view will shift between the protagonist (Sarah) and the gingerdead man, but it'll happen way too often. Even more surprising, is how little the villain is actually in this movie. Findlemeyer's screen time is far less than Sarah's. Instead, viewers will have subplots of drunken old ladies and forgotten birthdays thrown at their faces for no reason. These kinds of movies aren't made to be complex, so why bother? Viewers came to see the gingerdead man and that's what they should see. Sarah as the protagonist is okay but she doesn't do much to make herself stand out from any other actor there.

Oh and let's not forget that one dumb person who says they're leaving several times but keeps returning. Ugh. However, the most shocking part of this whole movie is the violence. There is practically no gore at all. There really isn't. I would assume of this because of how little the killer was on screen. Again, I realize that this movie had a tiny budget and only Gary Busey as its star power but there are films out there that became successful with very little. Too bad it doesn't work as well as it should have. Maybe if Busey's character had more screen time, it would have been better.

Gary Busey works as the crazy cookie because he IS a crazy cookie. That's about it though. The practical effects look efficiently used but it's only visible when the villain is on screen, which isn't often.

Points Earned --> 4:10

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