Saturday, June 28, 2014

GINGER SNAPS (2000)

GINGER SNAPS (2000) 
Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Duration: 108 Minutes 
MPAA Rating: Unrated 
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: John Fawcett
Cast: Mimi Rogers, Kris Lemche, Jesse Moss, Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins

GINGER SNAPS (2000) follows the exploits of a pair of death-obsessed sisters in the suffering in the suburbs. The spooky young ladies are outcasts from even the freaks at school - they're the darker versions of Lydia from BEETLEJUICE. Not having friends leaves them plenty of time to  plan their suicide pact and stage morbid death scene Polaroids. The younger sister Bridgette (Emily Perkins, JUNO) is the mousier one of the pair, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, TV's HANNIBAL) is a bit more aggressive and confrontational. On the night that Ginger receives the Curse - her period -  Ginger is attacked by a monstrous beast that drags her into the woods screaming. Torn up and bleeding profusely she escape the creature when the local drug dealer (Kris Lemche, FINAL DESTINATION 3) splatters it across the from of his minivan. Fleeing the scene Bridget arrives home with  Ginger bear death but whose wound start to mysteriously heal. Afterward she begins to sprout hair in weird places and her personality changes. Almost overnight she is transformed and quickly becomes an object of lust while her cravings and desires spin wildly out of control. What she at first mistakes for sexual desires is actually a deep hunger for flesh meat. As Ginger deals with her period and cravings for meat her sister Bridget must stop her sister's murderous impulses while dealing with losing her best friend and her mother's kind-hearted interference. 


The film has the unique perspective of a menstruating young woman struggling to find her identity while going through a very odd supernatural change in personality and form. Her sister struggles to curb her new murderous instincts which becomes more difficult. The cast is superb, I completely believed these two were sisters in the way they fought and fed off each other. Mimi Rogers as the mom struggles to connect with her weird daughters  - she even encourages their morbid hobbies - but they don't make it easy and towards the end is quite fun the length of which mom would go to protect her daughters. When they do reach out  to her for advice about boys it's only a ploy to distract her from the bodies hidden around the house. The father is in the picture but his presence is minimal and ineffectual - the focus here is on the women and they're bond.   


As a character driven slice of horror cinema this is prime stuff with a lot of nuance and some nice character development however the effects are a bit shaky. Ginger's subtle transformations are handled quite nicely as she grows a tail and her nails grow. Her eyes change color and facial features are altered and she develops multiple nipples along her abdomen. All that was nicely done but the final transformation is pretty weak sauce - but this is not your standard issue werewolf flick and it rises above this shortcoming. The characters are what drive the story which is good as the shaved-cat sort of rubber suit was awful. There's some great squeamish moments peppered throughout - this is after all a body horror film to some degree. 


At times I was reminded of HEATHERS in that GINGER SNAPS has it's own witty goth-infused high school vernacular - it sets a tone and atmosphere and carries it through consistently. We have some nice moments of gore and black humor sprinkled throughout with an abundance of blood, dead pets and some guy pissing blood - because as it turns out lycanthropy is sexually transmitted and Ginger's out of control sexual urges prove problematic. 


GINGER SNAPS (2000) arrives on Collector's Edition Blu-ray+DVD from Scream Factory presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio. There's a nice layer of fine film grain t with strong color reproduction and shadow detail, a very nice upgrade from the standard-def DVD. Audio options include an English language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 fand DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 with optional English subtitles. 


Some great extras from Scream Factory beginning with an hour plus documentary about the making of the film with director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, actors Emily Perkins and Jesse Moss, Producer Steve Hoban, Make-up Effects artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields and Editor Brett Sullivan. This goes in-depth from the script process, pre-production, the production and the reception of the film - very solid. 


At just under a half hour there's a panel discussion with Rebekah McKendry (FANGORIA), Axelle Carolyn (CENTURION), journalist Heide Honeycutt and Kristy Jett from HORRORHOUND discussing feminist puberty-horror and it's quite an interesting discussion with mentions TEETH, CARRIE, MAY, IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES and even MARTIN.


There are also deleted scene with optional commentary, two audio commentaries from the writer and director, three vintage featurettes, cast audition tapes, a trailer and TV spots. A pretty stuffed edition from Scream Factory on top of a nice looking 1080p upgrade which comes with a slip cover and a reversible sleeve of artwork. 


Special Features:
- NEW interviews with director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, actors Emily Perkins and Jesse Moss, Producer Steve Hoban, Make-up Effects artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields and Editor Brett Sullivan (66 Mins)
- NEW Women in Horror panel discussing GINGER SNAPS (27 Mins)
- Audio Commentary with Director John Fawcett
- Audio Commentary with Writer Karen Walton
- Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by John Fawcett and Karen Walton (25 Mins)
- The Making of GINGER SNAPS - Vintage Featurette (5 Mins)
- Creation of the Beast - Vintage Featurette (5 Mins)
- Being John Fawcett- Vintage Featurette (2 Mins)
- Cast Auditions and Rehearsals (18 Mints)
- Theatrical Trailers (4 Mins)
- TV Spots
-Production Design Artwork Photo Gallery


GINGER SNAPS (2000) is one my favorite millennium horror films with a unique take on the werewolf lore mixed in with a demented coming-of-age story about two death-obsessed sisters. 
The disc comes out on July 22nd from Scream Factory and I hope this release pleases fans and opens it up a wider audience - this is a high recommend. 


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