Sunday, October 16, 2011


RATING: Unrated
DURATION: 78mins
AUDIO: Dolby Digital
VIDEO: 16:9 Widescreen
DIRECTOR:William Butler
CAST: Jackie Beat, Paris Wagner, Steven-Michael McLure, Kimberly Pfeffer, Justin Schwan
TAGLINE: The Ultimate Roller Boogieman

The foul-mouthed, fun-sized confectionery killer Millard Findelmeyer aka the Gingerdead Man (William Butler, GHOULIES II) returns in this retro-70's slasher sequel. The film opens with a sweet send-up of Jonathan Demme's thriller THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS as FBI Agent Clarissa Darling (Laura Kachergus, KING OF CALIFORNIA) pays visit to the ugly cookie killer who's imprisoned at the Research Institute of Homicidal Baked Goods alongside other deadly pastry terrors, Hannibal Lecter style. During the interview he escapes when a group of PETA-esque pastry sympathizers raid the facility and the mini-murderer escapes after stumbling upon a time machine set for the year 1976. Not sure why there's a group of scientist working on a time machine in a high security prison but back in the 70's the Gingerdead Man finds himself at that most 70's of places, a roller rink, smack dab in the middle of a roller-boogie contest. Unable to escape the 70's he lays into the roller disco kings and queens as only the Gingerdead Man can.

The film has a fun cast of characters that include the introverted Cherry (Paris Wagner) the niece of the roller rink owner, Trixie (Kent Fuher, GRIEF) and the two have a total Stephen King's CARRIE mother-daughter style relationship complete with latent telekinetic powers and her aunt's over-protective instincts. It really boils down to the film being a roller-disco retelling of CARRIE with the Gingerbread Man thrown into the mix. Also rounding out the cast are roller rink employee Randy (Steven-Michael-McLure) who has the hots for Cherry, the bitchy roller queen Tammy (Kimberly Pfeffer, SUPER SHARK) and a nutty, drug addled DJ. On top of the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and CARRIE homages there's a fun PORKY'S through line courtesy of the roly-poly Ingrid (Muffy Bolding, MADHOUSE) which is a riff on Beulah Balbricker with the iconic white shorts, sweatshirt and sweater tied around the neck which leads to a disturbing homage of the bathroom shower scene from PORKY's complete with the Gingerdead's Man's pretzel stick making an appearance.

It was beyond my expectations that this film would prove to be so damned entertaining, the entire concept just seems so stupid, right? Well, it definitely is stupid but it won me over with the fun retro-70's vibe, it was a masterstroke confining it to the roller rink which is a both fun and cost effective, a totally groovy set with garish 70's colors, flamboyant bell bottom styles, strobing disco balls, rampant drug use, disco tunes and a ton of great roller skating, the extras in the film are memorable and pretty awesome skaters, a skill I myself have never mastered.

The comedy is a constant element with the Gingerdead Man offering non-stop comic musings, awful puns and schlocky one-liners, a few were major duds but overall they were pretty lame in the best possible way, know what I mean? Not having seen either of the previous  GINGERDEAD MAN entries I can't say that effects were better or worse but most are of the CGI variety and pretty terrible but I think they actually work in the context of this silly, low-budget slasher film. Gingerdead Man doe snot have the most articulated creature effect I've ever seen but again within the context of a Full Moon feature it's not too shabby either.

The film has a nice variety of kills, too and while I'm not really a fan of CGI I did find myself enjoying 'em. We've got three voluptuous ladies in bikinis at a car wash who unwittingly spray themselves with hydrochloric acid, a tripped out threesome interrupted by a nail gun massacre, the DJ snorting a line of Drano, the brutal severing of one unluckly fuck's Achilles heel and cleavers through the head. It bloody stuff with some practical effects work thrown in but mostly it's low-rent CGI which takes a few points off for sure but is enjoyable nonetheless.

The film culminates in a fun series of events that include lots of death, poorly animated electrocution, a fizzle of telekinesis, way too many bad puns and the assistance of two time-travelling pre-teens, plus Jeffery Dahmer, Lizzy Borden, Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler whom help cram the Gingerdead Man back in his cookie jar, it feels straight outta BILL AND TED, yet another fun parody.

VERDICT: You kinda know what you're in for with a film called THE GINGERDEAD MAN 3 - SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER especially coming from Full Moon Entertainment, and that's not a bad thing. It's schlocky b-movie fun, and this one mostly struck all the right chords with me. Fun stuff that goes perfect with a few cold beers, nachos and a couch full of friends. I'm definitely tempted to go back and watch the first two entries in the series. The film is available from Full Moon Entertainment and Echo Bridge Entertainment as a stand alone disc or as part of a boxset collecting all three films. 3/5