Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Director: Don Mancini

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Redman, John Waters, voices of Brad Dourif and Billy Boyd

“I’m an Oscar-nominee, for God’s sake. Now look at me, I’m fucking a puppet.” (Jennifer Tilly, Seed Of Chucky)

After Bride Of Chucky took the Child’s Play series and injected a much-needed burst of dark humour to proceedings, it would have been impossible for its successor to go back to pure horror. Sure enough, Seed Of Chucky goes even further down the comedy route, only just stopping short of having the characters throw custard pies at one another.

Seed Of Chucky is set in the ‘real world’, a world in which Chucky is just a doll in some daft horror movies. We’re first introduced to a new doll, Glen (voiced by Billy Boyd). Glen doesn’t know who his parents are – can you see where this is going? – but after seeing an on-set report from the latest Child’s Play movie on TV he notices that he shares the same ‘Made In Japan’ markings Chucky has on his wrist.

So that's the Seed Of Chucky, is it? Oh.

Glen decides to travel to Hollywood to meet Chucky and Tiffany, his apparently Japanese mum and dad. When he gets there he finds that Chucky and Tiffany are just normal dolls, but after a spot of voodoo (ah, that old chestnut) they’re back to their old selves and ready to carve upLos Angeles, but not before trying to figure out how to raise their son. Or is it their daughter?

You see, Chucky wants to raise Glen as a killer so he can go on murderous sprees with his old man in the same way other father/son combos would go fishing or watch sports. Tiffany, meanwhile, is adamant that their child is in fact a girl called Glenda (a nod to the Ed Wood cross-dressing classic Glen Or Glenda). The fact that, being a doll, Glen/da doesn’t have any genitalia doesn’t really solve the argument, so Chucky and Tiffany spend the rest of the film competing for the love (and gender) of their offspring.

Her eyes are up there, Chucky

Killer dolls aside, the real star of the show is Jennifer Tilly, not only providing the voice of Tiffany but also playing a caricaturised version of herself in this ‘real world’. This version of Tilly is a desperate B-list actress who was once respected (Tilly was nominated for an Oscar in real life for her performance in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway) and is now struggling to get all the good roles because they keep going to the likes of Julia Roberts. Throughout the movie Tilly considers sleeping with a director (played by Wu-Tang Clan legend Redman) to get a part, is frustrated when everyone she meets only remembers her from her lesbian scene in Bound and treats her PA like dirt, without realising that she’s the one writing all her so-called ‘fan mail’.

Well, that's what happens when your dog swallows a grenade

She also sticks the boot into herself a few times while voicing Tiffany, who at first is starstruck by Tilly and then begins to lose respect for her (“no wonder her career’s in trouble”). In one scene Tiffany drags an unconscious Tilly across the floor and declares “jeez, she’s fat” – a line many actors would refuse to say, I’d wager, but one that Tilly is game to deliver with refreshing self-deprecation.

After a series of inventive and gory death scenes (cult movie-making icon John Waters getting acid poured on his face, anyone?), the film falls apart a little in the third act as the novelty factor starts to wear off and Glen’s character (the weakest of the three dolls) comes to the fore. It’s a shame, because the first hour is great fun, but much like a French frog it just doesn’t have legs.

Seed Of Chucky is both the goriest and least serious of the five Chucky movies to date. The fact that the upcoming Child’s Play remake is taking the series back to its deadly serious roots shows that Seed was essentially as far as the comedy approach could go, and this shows near the end of the film as the laughs get stretched further and further. Still, it’s not a terrible film by any means, and should at least keep you entertained for most of its duration.

Bride Of Chucky (1998)

Director: Ronny Yu

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Katherine Heigl, John Ritter, voice of Brad Dourif

Jesse: “How’d you end up like this?”
Tiffany: “It’s a long story.”
Chucky: “Let me put it this way. If it were a movie, it would probably take three or four sequels to do it justice.” 

A lot can change in seven years. When Child’s Play 3 was released in 1991 the idea of a killer doll was still considered scary. By the time Chucky’s fourth film went into production however horror was in its post-Scream phase and slasher films were being taken less seriously when their killers were human, let alone a tiny ginger plastic midget. Chucky would have stood no chance as a convincing horror star anymore had his fourth film stuck to the super-serious Child’s Play formula, so things would have to change.

"Nice work eBay, you bastards... minor imperfections my arse"

And so, rather than following the tried-and-tested “Chucky stalks a young child” routine as seen in the previous three Child’s Play movies, Bride Of Chucky instead became a knowing, tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating movie that knew audiences wouldn’t take killer dolls seriously anymore and so chose not to take itself seriously either.

The film opens with Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), an ex-girlfriend of Chucky’s when he was still a human, tracking down the remains of the Chucky doll and bringing them home. After performing voodoo on the doll and bringing Chucky back to life, she tells him she’s going to help him find a human body so they can finally get married like they’d planned. Problem is there’s been a little misunderstanding and Chucky never wanted to get married, so a dejected Tiffany locks Chucky in a cage, vowing to keep him in his doll form.

Laugh it up now mate but your hand isn't articulated enough to pull the trigger

After breaking loose, Chucky decides to give Tiffany a taste of her own medicine and voodoos her soul into the body of a bride doll. The plastic pair grudgingly form an alliance to seek out the corpse of Charles Lee Ray (Chucky’s original form) so they can find the amulet he was buried with and use its power to turn them both human again.

Whereas the Child’s Play trilogy played things out with a stony-faced solemnity as if it were Cape Fear, Bride Of Chucky knows it’s a bit mental and because of this it’s far funnier than Chucky’s previous films. The one-liners come thick and fast and the characters of Chucky and Tiffany play well off each other. They’re an odd couple both literally and figuratively – Tiffany wants a happy home where she bakes cookies for her loving man, while Chucky is a foul-mouthed sleazeball who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his plastic body – so it’s fun watching their personalities clash.

When Mick Hucknall met Debbie Harry, it was awkward to say the least

Humour aside, Bride Of Chucky’s level of violence is also brought killing and screaming into the late ‘90s. At one point being told his traditional knife is “too ‘80s”, Chucky is encouraged to improvise new ways of offing his foes and this results in some interesting kills. Safe to say you’ll never sleep in a water bed, break into a car or step into the middle of the motorway again – though if you do the latter you’re sort of asking for it anyway.

Bride Of Chucky may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s really the best direction the series could have taken. Chucky just wasn’t scary anymore by the time this went into production (though the upcoming Child’s Play remake may change that) and so it’s ultimately better to get audiences laughing with him than laughing at him. With this change in tone, what could have become an ‘80s slasher character long forgotten among the Leprechauns, Critters and Ghoulies of this world is now a cult hero among genre fans, with merchandise up the wazoo and a horde of followers. Bride Of Chucky was a big risk but, as the film’s poster says, Chucky got lucky.

Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Director: Jack Bender

Starring: Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves, Jeremy Sylvers, voice of Brad Dourif

“You know what they say, you just can’t keep a Good Guy down.” (Chucky, Child’s Play 3)

It’s ironic that the worst film in the Child’s Play series was the one that gained the most notoriety. After the horrible killing of two-year-old James Bulger in1992, The Sun newspaper decided to pin the blame on Child’s Play 3, claiming that the young boys who murdered Bulger had seen the film numerous times. While police would later confirm that this was completely untrue and they had never even seen it once, the damage had been done – Child’s Play 3 and its predecessors were removed from video shelves all over theUK, never to be seen again for at least a decade. Incredibly, The Sun continues to blame Child’s Play for all manner of killings, while still maintaining (in the face of police statements reporting otherwise) that it was responsible for the Bulger killings.

Mick Hucknall tried to explain that his love child looked nothing like him

Regardless, let’s move on before I go off on a rant. I’ll discuss the Bulger incident further in the future (I wrote my university dissertation on it) but for now let’s look at the “offending” article itself. Child’s Play 3 is set eight years after the second movie (even though it was only released a year later). Now aged 16, Andy has been sent to a military training camp after failing to settle in any of the foster homes he’s been to. Meanwhile, the company responsible for the Good Guy dolls has decided enough time has passed to start the production of Good Guys again, so the toy factory is re-opened and Chucky’s corpse is disposed of – but not before some of his blood drips onto the production line, causing Chucky’s soul to pass into a brand new doll. D’oh, you pesky toy makers and your piss-poor security measures.

"What? You aged eight years in twelve months? Bollocks you did"

After finding out where Andy’s based, Chucky mails himself (somehow) to the military camp so he can finally do what he’s been trying to do for so long – take over Andy’s body. When he gets there though he’s first found by Tyler, a young boy also at the camp. Since the voodoo rules state that he can only take over the body of the first person he reveals himself to, Chucky decides to take over Tyler instead. As luck would have it though, Andy finds out about Chucky’s surprise appearance and so he tries to put an end to the killer doll once and for all.

"What do you mean you don't have jam? I can't eat my toast without it"

Rather than breathing new life into the series, the military camp setting is actually detrimental to Child’s Play 3’s quality. It’s packed with tired clichés – bossy drill sergeants, “yes” “yes what” “yes sir” chat and the old “drop and give me 20” bollocks – not to mention a few lines ripped completely from Full Metal Jacket. The result feels less like an original slasher film and more like an unoriginal war movie that happens to have a killer doll wandering around.

Well, that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "cut-throat razor"

Despite this, Child’s Play 3 is actually superior to its predecessors in one aspect – the inventiveness of its kills. Whether it’s the garbage truck scene, the part where Chucky substitutes paintball pellets for live rounds or the amusing moment when Chucky doesn’t even have to do anything to cause one chap’s death, it’s certainly the most creative film in the series to date in that respect.

Child’s Play 3 is an average sequel at best. While kudos have to go to the filmmakers for at least trying something different by placing the movie in a military camp and aging Andy eight years so it’s not following the same old “doll chases young boy” routine again, the film messes up by regurgitating tired boot camp clichés and, um, following the same old “doll chases young boy” routine again with the introduction of the Tyler character. It’s a reasonable way to pass an hour and half, but of the five Chucky films to date this is the weakest of the bunch.

WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Child’s Play 3 is fairly cheap on DVD. If you live in the UK you should be able to get it for a few quid by clicking here. If you live in the US, you can get the Region 1 DVD by clicking here or get it in a box set with Child’s Play 2, Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky by clicking here.

Child’s Play 2 (1990)

Director: John Lafia

Starring: Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Christine Elise, voice of Brad Dourif

“Why fight it, Andy? We’re going to be very close. In fact, we’re gonna be fucking inseparable. ” (Chucky, Child’s Play 2)

You just can’t keep a bad doll down. Even though it seemed fairly clear Chucky was dead at the end of the original Child’s Play, it turns out while the body was weak the spirit was still willing. So when the company responsible for Good Guy dolls gets hold of Chucky’s remains and sets about cleaning the doll up as a publicity stunt to show it wasn’t cursed, Chucky’s soul awakens again and shit goes down. He then sets about finding Andy, the kid from the first film (who’s now staying with a foster family after his mum was deemed… well, a bit mental), to finally take over his body.

Mick Hucknall resorted to extreme measures to get youngsters to attend his gigs

In a way, Child’s Play 2 is faced with the same dilemma as Jaws 2 – when you know who the killer is and you’ve already had a good look at them at the end of the previous film you can’t spend another 50 minutes playing it all mysterious. Half the original Child’s Play was spent trying to guess if Andy’s doll really was the one doing the killings, or whether it was just Andy using the doll as an excuse. Now we all know it’s Chucky, that whodunit angle goes right out the window for the sequel, which is why this time Chucky springs into life and starts the bodycount before your arse has even started to warm the seat.

"Of course you're winning, you've got Mr Blue reading my cards, you fucking crook"

Andy’s foster home provides a refreshing change of scenery while still keeping the story grounded in reality a little – his foster parents understandably think all the events from the first film were in Andy’s head and so they aren’t having any of it when Chucky finally tracks him down and he tries to convince them to kill it. Instead they think it’s Tommy, a different Good Guy doll they bought which, unknown to them, Chucky has already buried in the back garden. Having Andy trapped in an unfamiliar house with his would-be killer with no way of convincing anyone to help him creates an interesting tension which at least brings back the whodunit angle in some form, even though we’re all in on it this time.

"This head scratcher is marvellous"

A few unconvincing kills later (it’s hard to imagine a small doll can effectively beat someone to death with a ruler or be strong enough to suffocate someone with a plastic bag) the film finds itself in its final location, a huge toy factory where the Good Guys are manufactured. It’s a fun setting for the typical fifteen minutes of “killer stalking the heroes” shenanigans you’d expect from an early ‘90s slasher, with loads of conveyor belts and dangerous equipment lying around to keep things lively.

It all has to end eventually though, and Chucky’s demise this time is even more decisive than it was in the first movie, leaving absolutely no chance that they could put him together for a third film… or could they?

Although its predecessor was a stronger film when it was first released, now we all know Chucky is the killer these days Child’s Play 2 is the more entertaining movie. It’s got more action, more tension and more Chucky quips. It’s still not exactly a classic, but if you’re looking for one Chucky film to watch from the pre-comedy trilogy this is the one to go for.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
Brits can get the UK DVD version here fairly cheap. Americans, meanwhile, can get either the the US DVD here or get it as part of the Chucky Killer DVD Collection, which contains Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3,  Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky.

Rubber (2010)

Director: Quentin Dupieux

Starring: Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Robert The Tyre

“My God, the kid was right. The killer was the tyre.” (Liutenant Chad, Rubber)

Slasher movies often have bizarre killers. Child’s Play has a possessed doll, A Nightmare On Elm Street features a dream demon and Sleepaway Camp’s killer… well, that would be ruining it. Rubber blows them all away with easily one of the oddest villains in movie history – a rubber tyre.

For no reason whatsoever (something reinforced in no uncertain terms during the film’s opening monologue), the film mostly follows a car tyre happily rolling down a desert road, killing anything it meets. At first it simply crushes things – a scorpion, for example – but soon it encounters a plastic bottle and realises that not everything can be destroyed by rolling over it. This is when it shows its hidden ability, the ability to make things explode using the power of its mind.

It may not look it, but this stand-off is one of the best scenes in the film

As it continues its trail of destruction the tyre starts offing humans as well, using its psychokinetic powers to make their heads explode in a shower of brains and gore. Why? It’s never explained.

As fun as the concept for Rubber is, it would be very difficult to make something like this last for 80 minutes on its own. That’s why there’s a bizarre sub-plot involving a crowd of people all standing in the desert, using binoculars to watch the same movie we’re watching. They discuss things that don’t make sense (in one scene the tyre rolls into a swimming pool and sinks to the bottom, at which point the group start arguing about the physics and whether it should have floated), they talk about what they think will happen next, and they generally add a bit of much-needed personality to a film where the mute main character is limited to rolling and making things explode.

Glastonbury had a poor turnout this year

It’s an unusual decision but a fun one too. It shows that the film realises the story of the rolling tyre makes very little sense, which is why this crowd of people are just as bemused as us, and when the joke starts to run thin they’re disposed of in a silly manner, allowing us to focus on the tyre again as it starts to outrun the police.

Rubber is a truly unique film, and one you really need to see to appreciate. There are times when the pacing is too slow and the ending leaves a lot to be desired, but get a few people who know nothing about it together and give it a watch and you’ll all be laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing is. Rubber is proof that any actor, no matter how lifeless, can play a lead roll (sorry).

Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008)

Director: Charles Band

Starring: Jessica Morris, Meredith McClain, Deb Snyder

Also known as: Dangerous Chucky Dolls (UK DVD)

“Worry dolls. You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.” (Alexis, Dangerous Worry Dolls)

Full Moon Features are known for their incredibly low-budget horror movies and, as spoofed in Gingerdead Man 2, many of these involve dolls. The likes of Puppet Master and Demonic Toys were very successful for Full Moon, so it’s no surprise that they’d want to continue trying their hand at something similar. Despite its name, Dangerous Worry Dolls isn’t really that sort of film. At least, not at first.

It’s set in a young women’s reform institute (essentially a very low-security prison), where Eva (Jessica Morris) has been sent for killing someone. Eva just wants to serve her sentence without any hassle so she can get out quick and be with her young daughter again, but she”s getting hassle from Killa Kim, a drug smuggler who wants her to be her mule. Even worse, the militant cow who runs the institute isn’t listening to Eva’s complaints because she “knows her type” and doesn’t think she’s capable of turning over a new leaf.

"Morning, chief"

Eva’s luck changes when her daughter comes to visit and gives her some worry dolls, tiny little voodoo-like skeleton dolls who come in a dinky coffin-shaped box. Her daughter explains that if she puts the worry dolls under her pillow as she sleeps, all her worries will go away. After being sexually assaulted by one of the guards (off-camera, thankfully), Eva reaches the end of her tether and lays the worry dolls under her pillow, hoping they’ll help. As she sleeps they come alive and crawl inside her ear, and that’s where it starts getting a bit odd.

The worry dolls give Eva renewed confidence, so she starts dishing out kickings and the odd murder to the other girls and staff in the facility. She also grows a spot in the middle of her forehead, a spot that continues to grow until eventually a tiny skull comes out of her forehead, squealing like a pig. Incredibly, thanks to the poor acting on display, hardly any of her fellow inmates pay any attention to this screaming forehead-skull, seemingly unimpressed by it and completely undermining the impact of the film.

It was tricky trying to get One Direction ready for performance

Perhaps the most shocking thing about Dangerous Worry Dolls is that its sole great performance is the lead role, played by Jessica Morris, an actress I once described as “consistently wooden” in my review of the shitefest that was Scream Bloody Murder. She’s greatly improved in the years since that abomination, and she delivers her lines just right. It’s just a shame that, this time around, it’s the rest of the cast letting her down.

Dangerous Worry Dolls is dull. Its deaths mainly happen off-screen, its characters (with the exception of the lead) are more or less universally hateable, the “twist” scene involving one of the guards is just a complete cringe for all involved and the titular dolls are about as terrifying as dropping 5p. Despite its dramatic title, this is one film you really shouldn’t worry about.

Child’s Play (1988)

Director: David Kirschner

Starring: Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent, Chris Sarandon

“Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?” (Chucky, Child’s Play)

It’s hard to truly appreciate Child’s Play nowadays, since the first 40 minutes of the film are completely ruined. When it was first released it was genuinely chilling, a gripping whodunnit with a paranormal twist. Of course, nowadays everyone already knows ‘whodunnit’ and so the first half of the movie is spent waiting for the film’s characters to catch up and find out what the rest of the world already knows – that the killer is a doll.

Poor little Andy (the adorable Alex Barclay) wanted a Good Guy doll for his birthday, but his mum couldn’t afford one so she just got him clothes and a shitty Good Guys tool kit instead. Noticing his disappointment, Andy’s mum thinks she’s struck it lucky later that day when a peddler near her work is selling knock-off Good Guy dolls stolen from a burnt-out toy shop. She buys one for $30 and is suddenly the greatest mum in the world again.

"And you're sure this operation will work doctor? I really don't want to be a Siamese twin any more"

This doesn’t last, because it soon emerges that this particular doll is possessed by Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), a serial killer and voodoo nut who transforms his soul into the doll just before he’s killed by a police officer. The doll, Chucky, sets about killing Andy’s babysitter as well as the other criminal chaps who screwed him over before his ‘death’. Cue various explosions and voodoo doll stabbings.

Since it’s the first film, the audience isn’t supposed to know Chucky is the killer. There are plenty of moments where it’s suggested (he leaves footprints on a table, seemingly blows up a building and so forth), but every time someone’s killed Andy’s close by, leaving some doubt in the audience’s mind – isn’t it just Andy doing the killing and blaming it on his doll?

Chucky was amused at the dog licking its balls in the room opposite

The special effects used to create the Chucky doll vary in quality throughout the film. In some scenes where Chucky speaks – most notably when he talks at length with his former voodoo mentor – the lip-syncing doesn’t really work too well due to the limitations of the robotics in the face and as such the illusion is shattered a bit. Other shots, particularly the far ones where Chucky is instead a midget actor wearing a Chucky mask, are far more effective and much creepier because the realistic movement makes it look more like a human in a doll’s body.

Child’s Play shouldn’t really have taken off the way it did. While the cast all put in great performances the kills are fairly dull and the two “he’s dead, or is he” endings are just silly to watch. The reason it was a success, and rightly so, is that Chucky is a fantastic movie monster. He’s a child’s best friend one minute, a foul-mouthed strangler the next and since his target victim is a six-year-old boy there’s something very sinister to him.

"Stop checking my ruddy temperature Margaret, I said I'm fine woman"

In a way, it was Child’s Play‘s own success that ultimately ruined the first movie’s impact. Once Chucky became a household name and every knew Child’s Play as “the film with the killer doll”, it instantly rendered the film’s first 40 minutes useless. Nowadays even the DVD cover has a big photo of Chucky brandishing a knife, making sure you definitely know what the surprise is just in case you’ve managed to avoid it.

If you’re able to forget for a while that Chucky’s the killer and can try to watch the film in its original context, Child’s Play is good fun. Otherwise, the sequels are better because they kick off with the Chucky action right from the start and don’t spend half the movie trying to make you guess what you already know.

Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust (2008)

Director: Silvia St Croix

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.

The terrifying Haunted Dildo. And by terrifying I mean awesome.

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 Tiny Terrors, the surprise stars of this film

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.

Whatever mate, you're no match for Haunted Dildo. On your way.

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.

The Gingerdead Man (2005)

Director: Charles Band

Starring: Gary Busey, Robin Sydney, Ryan Locke

“Daddy, you’ve got to come and get me. I’m at Betty’s Bakery and we’ve got homicidal baked goods after us.” (Lorna, The Gingerdead Man)

Sometimes a film title is so great you just know in your heart that the film has to be fantastic. Often though, especially in the B-movie horror genre, the movie fails to deliver on the quality of the title. The Gingerdead Man is unfortunately a prime example of this.

The film starts off with a flashback of a killer (played by Gary Busey) shooting up a restaurant then shooting a girl called Sarah as he leaves. Sarah survives, unlike the rest of her family, and is working in her bakery later when she hears that the killer is getting the electric chair.

Susan Boyle's makeover could have gone better

As luck would have it, the killer is executed just as she’s cooking a gingerbread man. After getting into a scrap with a local beauty queen, Sarah accidentally sends a power surge into the oven, causing the killer’s soul to travel through the electricity and into the gingerbread man she’s cooking. Cue ridiculous scenes with a tiny pastry swearing at people and threatening to cut their fingers off.

Despite the admittedly ace title The Gingerdead Man is an atrocious film, with acting that verges on the level of a primary school play and special effects that look like someone spent half an hour learning how to use a Mac for the first time.

What’s more, the Gingerdead Man himself is a rubbish character. His face is boring, his dialogue is horrible (“well, I sure ain’t the Pillsbury fucking Doughboy”) and most of the time you can tell he’s just a rubbish hand puppet that someone’s working from the inside. When he fires a gun in one scene you can even make out the hand holding the gun in place at one point.

Mary had been complaining of a sharp pain in her head for a while

The characters are vapid, their mock southern accents are horrible, one guy is an absolute cock yet manages to get the wholesome girl without really doing anything, and the ‘twist’ ending is so laughably bad that I had to rewind it to make sure it was definitely meant to be a twist.

The only positive thing about The Gingerdead Man is that at just under 70 minutes long it’s mercifully short, leaving you more time afterwards to watch genuinely entertaining films. This one should have been left in the oven to burn yet, amazingly, it has two sequels (The Passion Of The Crust and Saturday Night Cleaver), which both also seem to have had more work spent on the title than the film.