Warning: Dogs die in this movie. So do people, but dogs are more sympathetic.
In a shitty suburb somewhere in Canada, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) & Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) Fitzgerald are the cutest goth sisters, in love with death and horror, staging death scenes like Chainsaw & Dave from Summer School, but with less mercy. They play a game “DOA” of ideal death staging for mean girls they hate… real or filmed. Sam the drug dealer (Kris Lemche) in his panel van (gardening/tree management, good cover for a pot grower, ha ha) is a bit cliché, but has the obvious 3rd party member look.
Dad is completely useless, and rarely present. Mom is surprisingly cool, even offers an extreme solution to what she thinks is going on. But parents, awful kids at school, school counsellors, janitors, etc. are completely useless compared to the sisters.
The problem with a movie about SFX fans is if there’s “real” gore or monsters, how do you show the difference? The corpses and monster look like talented but somewhat amateur Tom Savini or Rick Baker fans made them. The monster is filmed in the shakiest of shaky cams, so it doesn’t have to be American Werewolf in London or even The Howling good, but if you pause or just have fast image memory, it’s kind of too obviously staged.
The girls reaction to the attack and several changes happening to Ginger are the important part, tho. It’s a film about female troubles first, the monster second. Ginger turns all hot and witchy, white stripes going thru her hair, the dumb boy obvious prey. Sam and Brig hang out plotting how to hunt lycanthropes:
Let’s not panic here. For one, that thing on the road,
my van did a pretty good job on it,
without the benefit of silver bullets.
So, let’s just forget the Hollywood rules.
There’s gotta be a cure, right?
Otherwise there’d be a hell of a lot more of them.
I get this ache, and
I thought it was for sex,
but it’s to tear everything into fucking pieces.
Ginger gets worse and hotter, even the little tail is cute. But fucked. In wolf form she has six teats! For a chicks-empowerment movie, it does actually a lot of pinup posing of pre-monster Ginger.
I love how the suburban house has a giant maze of unfinished walls in the basement, almost like a sound stage filled with the cheapest building material.
The movie hits a climax and then just ends, rolls over and says “done” like a shitty teenage fuck. Which is why there’s a sequel.
Brigitte is on the run, sometimes hallucinating her dead sister Ginger. And yet she uses her real name for her library card, Canadians are just that polite & orderly. A big, male werewolf is stalking her. She’s shooting up with monkshood extract, and it’s keeping the change at bay but not for long. And found like this, she’s treated like a junkie and shoved in a semi-abandoned mental institution, played here by a real abandoned mental institution. She has maybe a month before she goes like Ginger?
The other people are annoying. Child named Ghost (Tatiana Maslany) dresses like a normie, but says spooky Emily the Strange type crap, crawls thru air ducts like Newt, immediately connects hints and badly painted comics to figure out “WEREWOLF” (where, wolf?) Asshole abusive orderly (Brendan Fletcher, scumbag/not-quite-heavy in every Canadian B-series ever) offers drugs/poison for whoring; pretty clearly you should not employ young men to control young women. Alice (Janet Kidder, somewhat upscale Canadian fill-in parts actress) as therapist, can put a guy’s eyes out with her rockets, claims to be an ex-junkie who’s done everything but looks way too fresh & professional for that.
Ghost eventually leads Brigitte into a dark outer world, the monster returns, running & screaming. Hmn. I’ve been assuming Ghost is like 12, but Tatiana Maslany is 19 in this, and the character drives a car. But then, Emily Perkins was 23 in the first one playing 15, is now 27 playing… 17? Best not to think about it, but Ghost makes it an issue at all times.
Ghost’s hell-house & booby traps are the worst, only accidental victims. Of course, it’s a big bad wolf attacking grandma’s house thru the woods. And he’s gonna huff and puff, or maybe get inside… some other way. But Ghost is no innocent Little Red Riding Hood, and Brigitte, Jeremy, & Alice aren’t the Huntsmen.
I guess I like the ending, but a lot of the middle is tedious, obvious chase scene crap, minimal speaking cast unlike the first one, stock horror movie instead of a drama that happens to have monsters.
The new monster suit looks better, it sustains some longer shots. There’s more Canadian alt-rock, the end song by Joydrop especially made me laugh.
- Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning
An origin story nobody asked for. The sisters are back in 19th C (but C-average history student research) Canada, wandering around the woods (oh, cheapest of Z-movie sets) for no reason, to a fort where they seem awful paranoid of outsiders.
Either I’m very tired after 3 movies, or this is a very dull, formulaic film. They have occasional gunfights against the monsters outside, there’s no mystery or even suspense. Couple wandering around Colonial Williamsburg type set and pretending to see monsters. The doctor’s leeches turn weird & mutant if used on an infected, ripped off from The Thing.
There’s a new bullshit mythology that personally killing the one who infected you, cures your infection. Obviously nonsense, as we know from the first/good film, it’s a scientific infection not magic. Indian Hunter (Nathaniel Arcand, given no character name) claims white men brought the Wendigo along with other plagues, which is unlikely since the Algonquin myth predates the invasion of North America, is widespread northwest of them too, and isn’t bestial, but a hungry giant.
The hunter’s magic cave is lit with like $200 (CDN$300) of candles from Bed Bath & Beyond, doing drugs tells you what you should do, but of course the Fitz girls never do anything right.
The monster suits except the main one are pretty bad, and they don’t do anything except growl and get killed, no fast attacks like in the previous movies.
What I think of when watching this is Ravenous (1999), which has a slightly similar premise, but the characters are fun, especially the antagonist, the mythology is creative and more authentic to Wendigo myths, the story suspenseful and morbidly fun. Everything this isn’t.
No animals or werewolves were harmed in the production of this film.