Director – Silvia St. Croiz, Screenplay – Carolyn Applebee, Eunice Burns & Silvia St. Croix, Producer – Charles Band, Photography – Viorel Sergovici, Music – Richard Band, Visual Effects – Joan Patrick, Makeup Effects – Magical Media Industries (Supervisor – John Carl Buechler), Jim Bonner & John Vulich, Production Design – Jeffrey Givens. Production Company – Full Moon Features/Transition Films.
K-von Moezzi (Kevin Cheatum), Kelsey Sanders (Heather Crocker), Joseph Porter (Tommy Hines), Michelle Bauer (Polly Bunderhoof), Frank Nicotero (Marty Dradel-Brillstein-Shwarz), Jacob Witkin (Sir Ian Cavanaugh), Bruce Dent (Ricki Johnson), Jon Southwell (Jake Jackson), Emily Button (Wendy Heinz), Kenneth J. Hall (Lord Astoroth), David DeCoteau (Himself)
Cheatum Studios, which is run by Kevin Cheatum following in the father’s footsteps, specialises in making low-budget horror films. They are currently shooting Tiny Terrors 9 but the production is mired in problems. The set is visited by Tommy Hines, an ailing wheelchair-ridden fan whose greatest wish is to see the studio where his favourite films were made before he dies. Attraction sparks between Kevin and Tommy’s caregiver Heather. At the same time, the Gingerdead Man has been delivered to the studio in a box of donuts and proceeds to kill its way through those present.
Producer and occasional director Charles Band has been one of the most prolific makers of low-budget films in the last half-century. Band began making movies in the 1970s. Along with his now late father Albert, the two formed Empire Productions in the 1980s and went on to set up Full Moon Productions in the 1990s. During his time, Charles Band had put out multiple series of low-budget genre films including the Ghoulies, Trancers, Subspecies, Prehysteria! and Demonic Toys series, among many others, including quite a number of films about malevolent toys and dolls – in particular Puppetmaster (1989) and sequels.
The Gingerdead Man (2005) was another of Full Moon’s gonzo creatures – you can’t exactly call it another toy film but it falls in the same arena as the others. It was followed by a host of sequels beginning with Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust here and followed by Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2011), before being crossed over with the Evil Bong series, which features a demonic bong pipe, in Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong (2013).
I enjoyed Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust as one of the better Full Moon films. Even aside from coming with a title that digs a knife into Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) – and yes we do get a scene near the end where the Gingerdead Man is nailed to a cross – it is a hilarious work of Meta-Fiction where we see Full Moon in self-parody mode.
You are reminded somewhat of Troma’s Terror Firmer (1999) where Troma head Lloyd Kaufman went away and filmed his own autobiography, making it into a film that takes place on the set of the shooting of a Troma film where Kaufman himself played the director. In a similar vein, Cheatum Studios and K-von Moezzi’s Kevin Cheatum is Full Moon and Charles Band in everything but name – a low-budget studio that has built a reputation on churning out numerous low-budget horror films about dolls and a young producer who is building on the legacy created by his father. The film mercilessly pokes fun at Full Moon’s legendary cheapness and corner-cutting. In one of the more entertaining twists, the villain of the show turns out to be an internet film critic who is eliminating his way through the studio in revenge at being made to suffer years of bad filmmaking!
There are cameos from real-life Full Moon director/makeup effects artist John Carl Buechler, best known for Troll (1986), as the director of the film-within-the-film while Full Moon director David DeCoteau turns up as himself shooting a film on another set amid snide comments about his constant homoerotic output. Full Moon regular and former Scream Queen Michelle Bauer turns up as an aging former Scream Queen reduced to working craft services. There are even appearances from makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero as the film’s makeup effects artist and director Adam Green, known for Hatchet (2006) and sequels, as a homeless man in the final scene. The background is filled with posters for assorted principally 1950s B movies labelled with different titles.
The opening scene starts in a film-within-a-film, which resembles another Full Moon doll film and features the bringing to life of dolls with names like Shit For Brains and Haunted Dildo, among others. This is something that shows either Full Moon in parody mode or else using up some of the ideas they haven’t been able to squeeze into other films. The one thing in comparison to Terror Firmer this never delves into is the ready bad taste of Troma product, although a scene where a gay man is bent over and has a heated curling iron shoved up his ass and enjoys it at the same time as being fried to death does venture into this territory.