Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver
Thanks to some very blind and misguided animal activists, The Gingerdead Man is freed from his pastry prison and, with the help of some helpfully placed bumbling scientists, manages to evade his pursuers and escape into the distant past of…. 1976. He quickly loses his time traveling device, and finds himself stuck in the middle of a cheesy roller disco on the eve of a popular roller rink’s final night in business. What’s a depraved cookie to do when faced with all these petty people and their horrible skating and sequin encrusted problems? Why, go on a mass killing spree of course! What else?
What else, indeed….
Damn you, Charles Band. After making a half-way decent horror comedy with the last installment, I got my hopes up again, forgetting your studio’s horrendous track record. After putting out a rather crappy flagship film, and then correcting course with the more amusing follow-up, the third film in the Gingerdead saga takes all that accumulated goodwill with it on an unexpected nose-dive into Crappy Town. To the filmmakers credit, I can kind of see what some of their intentions were, but the film ends up being so poorly put together that no matter what their end-goal was, it was just never going to work.
After the improved success of the second film, the filmmakers seem to have decided that the only logical continuation for the sequel was for it to go full on “spoof.” Which, I’ll be honest, isn’t such a bad idea, at least on paper. And in fact, the film’s opening ends up being a rather stupid, though amusing, little parody of the Silence of the Lambs jail sequence, with a woman named Clarissa Darling walking down a jail corridor being harassed by other criminally insane sentient puff pastries. But beyond the spoofs the film just doesn’t seem to be able to figure out what it wants to be and jumps all over the damn place. How the Gingerdead Man ended up in Crazy Cookie Jail after being burned alive in the last film is never explained. Nor are we ever told where the other murderous munchies came from. Does Findlemeyer’s witchy mother transfer the souls of psychos into food-stuffs as a hobby? Is there a very specialized satanic pastry cult populated by the pissed off mothers of other executed criminals out there somewhere? Who knows, cause after the first few minutes we never hear from them again, and the movie moves on to it’s next series of spoofs, which range from everything from Porky’s, to Carrie, to the obvious Roller Boogie, and even adds in some quick Back to the Future, Bill and Ted’s and Dr. Who references too, because why the hell not. If you’re wondering how all of these tie in together, it’s best you don’t worry about it, because the film certainly didn’t. The movie cares less about having a coherent plot, than it does about indulging in the director and/or writer’s bizarre need to fulfill a childhood wish of making a film, and any film from the looks of it, in a roller skating rink. In that one aspect they succeeded, but absolutely nothing really ties together, and in the off-chance it does, the attempted connection is tenuous at best. The movie’s just an excuse to string a handful of unfunny skits together, and bookend them between scenes of a cookie killing a few people. And sadly, those scenes of murder and mayhem are not only terribly unfunny, but also few and far between.
Sadly, the movie even seems to have taken a plunge in the effects department. Costumes often look more like they belong in the 1980s, rather than the 1970s, and the poor Gingerdead Man himself has gone through yet another pointless redesign, this time miraculously managing to look even more ridiculous than his previous counterparts. His eyes are more clear and his face has more expression, but his teeth have increased dramatically in size, oddly enough making him look even more like he’s supposed to be a caricature of Gary Busey, despite Busey’s involvement in the films ending two movies ago. The end result is that they sucked all the menace out of him and made him look derpy as hell.
Seriously movie, what the hell? How the hell did you manage to make him even uglier?
The film also seems to have managed to score a budget to include CGI. And because this is Full Moon, by that I mean they’ve included some spectacularly crappy CGI. Half of the Gingerdead Man’s movements have been replaced with very wonky computer graphics, and the film was so cheap that filming on location in an actual roller rink must have meant that they had to scrimp somewhere else. So I guess that means it cut into their bucket of colored corn syrup budget, because even scenes involving blood splatter got the cheap CGI treatment. There wasn’t even a lot of it, either. They only used it in like, two scenes, and it looks so bad that I can’t help but feel as though it would have been more cost effective to just hire a guy to splurt some blood at the characters off camera.
Other than that, Gingerdead Man 3 is about what I expect from a Charles Band/Full Moon production. The acting is terrible, the dialogue is worse, and the plot makes zero sense. Which, honestly, isn’t too far off from what one should expect from this production company, but after watching Gingerdead Man 2, I have to admit that it was still a little disappointing. Neither one of them could be considered great films, but even so, when compared to its predecessor the third film looks worse, sounds worse and, sadly, like the first film, mostly winds up being rather boring and unfunny. Sure, you might get a giggle out of a skit or two, mostly due to how ridiculous it can be, but I guarantee that that alone won’t be worth a lot of viewer’s time. If you’re a fan of roller skating, cheap horror films, Full Moon Entertainment, or just interested in the Gingerdead series, then it might be worth one viewing, just for the silly idea and cheap puns. But I can’t imagine too many other people getting any enjoyment out of it.
Gingerdead Man 3 is available on a variety of streaming services, including free on Tubi TV.
It is also available on DVD.