Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Gingerdead Man

GINGERDEAD MAN

(2004)

In Gingerdead Man a four-inch gingerbread man becomes possessed with the spirit of a serial killer, who is played by a confused looking Gary Busey. The film uses a number of clichés: the soul of a serial killer inhabiting an inanimate object, the use of a familiar childhood symbol, and the requisite “blood sacrifice” that seems to be common to these films. What’s interesting is that the film seems to not even understand the context of these clichés, thus while Chucky used a bizarre African chant to some effect, here we get completely unrelated chanting over the soundtrack as we see the gingerbread man being created. Why? I’m assuming it’s because the director thought it sounded cool.

A girl inadvertently stops a serial killer’s rampage only to have him return for her at the bakery she works at in the form of a four-inch-tall gingerbread man. The gingerbread man actually looks a little bit like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in that both have moronic-looking bow ties and are apparently made out of plastic. The film actually seems to play on this resemblance a bit, with Pillsbury-related jokes and snickering mannerisms reminiscent of the TV mascot. No matter how hard the film tries, however, any laughter you may experience will be directed at the movie itself rather than its feeble attempts at humor.

At one point the main characters find a girl who is alive, but for some reason has had her body completely covered with frosting. Instead of, you know, taking the frosting off, they put a blanket over her and then leave her on the floor. Also, if there’s a killer gingerbread man running around, why don’t these characters just leave the bakery?

The climax of the movie occurs when one character named the Butcher Baker, who is apparently an amateur wrestler, jumps in through a window and literally wrestles the four-inch confectionery delight to the ground where he bites off its head. He then utters the classic line, “Got Milk?” with his face covered in blood because, apparently, possessed gingerbread men have circulatory systems.

Then the gingerbread man seemingly possesses the man who bit off his head, making this possibly the first entry into the previously uncharted “man possessed by possessed dessert” genre, and then steals lines from Evil Dead. After this last incarnation of the gingerbread man is disposed of, the owners of the bakery have a bake sale. Two nurses drop off a box of gingerbread cookies and we are treated to the obligatory credits where we are forced to endure the names of people we will never hear from again, including Gary Busey.

–Dustin Acton


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