Starring: Joseph Porter, Kelsey Sanders, K-Von
“Rise, Haunted Dildo! RIIIIIISE!” (Lord Astroth, Gingerdead Man 2)
We all know the vast majority of sequels are worse than their predecessors, but when the original film in question is The Gingerdead Man then there isn’t much needed to break that rule. Sure enough, while Gingerdead Man 2 isn’t exactly a great movie, it still manages to do enough to surpass the first movie in the entertainment stakes.
Ironically, the best bits in Gingerdead Man 2 are the ones that don’t feature the titular brutal biscuit at all. The majority of the film has little to do with the tiny killer (no longer played by Gary Busey, who seemingly got his mind back), instead focusing on the story of Cheatum, a film studio losing money as it continues to churn out crap horror sequels.
As a film created by Full Moon, a studio notorious for creating many atrocious horror franchises like Killjoy, Puppet Master and, of course, Gingerdead Man, this movie is essentially Full Moon’s attempt to make fun of itself and say “look, we know we make shitty movies, but that’s why people love us”. The most obvious example of this is the Tiny Terrors, a bunch of crappy puppets starring in a zero-budget horror film the studio is shooting, which are clearly a nod to the countless puppet-related films Full Moon have made in the past – Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Dollman, Dangerous Worry Dolls and so forth. The Tiny Terrors are hilariously bad creations, though in this way the likes of Shit-For-Brains (a baby doll with poo dripping down its head) and Haunted Dildo (a big floppy penis wearing a suit) have won my heart.
The rest of the film is filled with little in-jokes and cameos from past cult horror stars (special effects guru Greg Nicotero and Michelle Bauer, one of the original scream queens, make appearances, and directors John Carl Buechler and David DeCoteau also have self-deprecating cameos) that will please Full Moon fans, but they’re subtle enough that others won’t notice them and feel left out.
The acting, as expected, is horrible. There’s some primary school play level stuff going on here at times however it does add to the film’s deliberately cheesy atmosphere. The only highlights are the hideously-named K-Von as the studio’s owner and Kelsey Sanders as a volunteer with a Make-A-Wish-type charity. Joseph Porter, who plays a wheelchair-bound Cheatum devotee with a curious secret, is above and beyond the worst of a bad bunch, but while the film’s dodgy twist ending goes some way to explaining this it’s not really an excuse.
And then, of course, there’s the Gingerdead Man himself. For the first part of the film he does very little, generally fannying about while swearing at things and not being noticed by anyone. He does get his hands dirty once or twice during the film with some ropey murder scenes, but for the most part he’s the least interesting thing about the film. The final fifteen minutes more or less confirms that the filmmakers felt the same way, since a different enemy takes centre stage and the crazed cookie is more or less ignored. It’s only in his death scene, which is more than a little blasphemous, that he actually feels like the star of the movie.
There’s no need to see the original Gingerdead Man, but if you fancy a self-aware film that’s deliberately cheap and nasty and makes fun of itself for being so, then give this a go. It’s certainly not great, but fair play to Full Moon for managing to polish a turd a little.