Ahhh, my friends really do love me…..and keep adding to my collection of Campy movies. Take today’s movie for instance. Now this is one of those movies that I had heard about, and seen online a few times, but never thought to buy. Luckily, my friends decided that I needed the trilogy of movies for my birthday and bought them for me. Well who am I to turn down such a thoughtful gift so let’s dive right in and watch The Gingerdead Man.
The plot: At the Cadillac Jack’s diner in Waco, Texas, a man named Millard Findlemeyer kills several people inside, including Jeremy and James Leigh. Willard sees Sarah Leigh cowering on the floor behind a booth and tells her to come out, then taunts her some before the police show up and arrest him. Two years later, Sarah is tending to her family’s bakery, Belly’s Bakery, and thinking about how the day should of been her brother’s 21st birthday. Suddenly, she hears a knock on the back door and when she goes there, she sees a box labeled “Grandma’s Gingerbread Seasoning”, and a cloaked figure turning the corner of the alley. Sarah brings it in as Brick Fields, an employee, brings in some other supplies that were delivered and he excitedly tells her about Wrestlepalooza, where he hopes to compete as an amateur wrestler called “The Butcher Baker”. Sarah goes to try the gingerbread seasoning but as Brick cuts his arm opening some more boxes and when Sarah goes to tend to it, some of his blood gets in the seasoning. Brick says he is fine when Sarah hears a scream coming from the front of the store and goes to check it out. She finds Julia, another employee, reading a news article saying that Findlemeyer had been executed, then cremated and his ashes sent to his mother, and Julia says this should be good news for Sarah. As Sarah watches Julia make a birthday cake when they hear shooting coming from outside. They find Sarah’s alcoholic mother, Betty, shooting at a banner for Jimmy Dean’s new store, as he had been trying to buy out the bakery and Sarah asks Julia to take Betty home. Meanwhile, Brick mixes in some of the seasoning into the dough, and as he turns away, he doesn’t notice the dough moving around and forming a hand. Outside, Sarah goes to head back inside when Jimmy Dean, and his daughter Lorna, show up and Jimmy Dean is upset about his banner being shot down. He then tells Sarah that his place is still opening and he doesn’t want his customers seeing the “eyesore” that is their bakery so he wants her to consider his offer to buy them out but Sarah refuses to sell. After they leave, Sarah heads inside and confides to Brick that Jimmy’s offer is tempting, as she feels like everything has fallen apart since her dad and brother died. Brick tries to cheer him up and she thanks him, then tells him he can leave early to go to Wrestlepalooza while she tries the new gingerbread mixture. Sarah grabs some of the dough and makes a gingerbread man, then places it in the oven to bake. Hearing something up front, she finds Lorna placing a rat among the baked goods, as she is hoping to get them shut down by the Health Department as she feels the $50,000 her father offered them was too good for them. Sarah and Lorna start fighting and during the course of the fight, they cause a power surge to head into the oven, bringing the gingerbread man to life. Amos, Lorna’s boyfriend enters the shop and asks what is taking Lorna so long, and when Sarah tells him what happened, he tells her he had no idea she was going to do that. Suddenly, a noise is heard in the oven and as Sarah and Amos try to turn it off, Lorna sees the Gingerdead Man’s face appear in the window and screams out. When the oven is finally open, the Gingerdead Man runs out and as it insults them, Sarah says the voice is familiar but can’t place it. Amos thinks that it’s a prank that Brick is pulling on them but Lorna says it is black magic and that the Gingerdead Man is bad news. They go looking for it and attempt to capture it in the freezer but it gets away. Sarah goes to call the police only to find that the phone is dead and Lorna calls her dad but her cell phone dies as well. Meanwhile, Betty returns to the store and encounters the Gingerdead Man, and as she gets closer to it, the Gingerdead Man cuts her finger off. Betty faints from shock and when she recovers, the Gingerdead Man taunts her and she recognizes his voice as belonging to Findlemeyer. Julia enters the back area, having gone looking for Betty, and Betty tries to warn her about the Gingerdead Man but Julia thinks she is just drunk and the Gingerdead Man is able to knock Julia out with a frying pan. Meanwhile, Lorna continues making snide remarks to Sarah while Amos goes to get his phone from his car, grabbing his gun while he is out there. When he returns to the store, he shows that his phone is dead as well, just as the Gingerdead Man shuts off the power. While Sarah shows Amos where the generator is, Jimmy Dean pulls up outside and wonders what Lorna is doing there but the Gingerdead Man gets into his car and uses it to kill Jimmy Dean, pinning him between the store and the car. Inside, Sarah and Amos talk as Amos tries to get the generator started but he is unable to get it running. As they leave the generator room, Lorna complains about their staying there and when Sarah defends Amos, Lorna accuses them of trying to hook up when Amos notices a blood trail on the ground. While Sarah and Amos follow it, Lorna decides to wait outside for her dad and finds his body still pinned to the store. Inside, Sarah and Amos find Julia in the freezer, decorated like a dessert, and drag her out of there. As they do, Sarah tells Amos she thinks the Gingerdead Man is Findlemeyer, somehow come back from the dead, and Amos thinks she is crazy. Lorna comes back into the shop and is attacked by the Gingerdead Man, who slashes her face. She heads to the back and Amos and Sarah try to calm her down but she gets upset again and goes to leave but ends up setting off a trap the Gingerdead Man had set and is killed when a knife is launched into her head. As Sarah yells out at the Gingerdead Man to leave the others alone, she sees her mother’s finger on a scale and cries out, then demands to know where she is. When Amos says the finger seems to be pointing, Sarah realizes it is pointing at the oven and they rush to open it and save Betty. As Amos drags Betty out of the oven, the Gingerdead Man pushes Sarah in and locks the door, then knocks Amos out. The Gingerdead Man taunts Sarah but Amos comes to an is able to shoot at the Gingerdead Man, chasing him away from the door. Sarah manages to get out of the oven just as Brick shows up and as the Gingerdead Man taunts him, Julia, having recovered from being nearly frozen, hits him with a frying pan and Brick proceeds to bite the Gingerdead Man’s head off. Thinking the ordeal is over, Sarah checks on Betty, then has Julia and Amos take her outside but when Sarah goes to check on Brick, she finds that he has been possessed by Findlemeyer. Findlemeyer grabs Sarah and attempts to finish what he started at the diner but Amos, having heard Sarah scream, pulls him away from her. Amos tries shooting Findlemeyer but the magic manages to keep him alive but when he taunts Sarah, Julia rushes forward and shoves him into the oven that Sarah had secretly opened and they proceed to lock it, cooking Findlemeyer alive. Some time later, Sarah, Amos (her boyfriend now), and Betty are hosting a bake sale outside the bakery to raise money for the hospital. When two kids come up and ask if they have any gingerbread men, Sarah says no but one of the nurses helping with the event says that an old lady brought a box of gingerbread men by the hospital. The nurse opens the box to show 5 gingerbread men, which suddenly open their eyes.
This is a short, but silly movie that is pretty fun to watch if you love B-movies. The acting was ok, with Gary Busey (Findlemeyer/Gingerdead Man) actually seeming somewhat more subdued than I expected him to be. Robin Sydney (Sarah) and Ryan Locke (Amos) were also good, while Alexia Aleman had the “bitch” character down pat in this movie but her acting could have been better. The story was interesting but it really didn’t have any originality to it. I mean, a dead killer comes back as an inanimate object due to black magic. That is basically what Child’s Play was about, not to mention any movie that featured a golem. Making him a cookie was an interesting twist but that didn’t make up for the lack of originality. The special effects were on the cheap side but that made the movie more entertaining for me. It’s some stupid, mindless entertainment that is perfect if you in the mood for such a movie.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5