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Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: GINGER SNAPS BACK: THE BEGINNING (2004)

Posted in Canada, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by goregirl

I actually re-watched Ginger Snaps before watching Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning which was really quite unnecessary. I love and adore Ginger Snaps, but you could watch either one of the sequels without seeing the original. The storylines are unique with the obvious sister connection and werewolf theme. I found Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning the weakest of the trio but it was not without some significant highlights.

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning takes place in 1815 somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Ginger and Brigitte are travelling by horseback and stumble upon a blood-soaked tent. They meet an Indian elder who gives each woman a bird skull necklace and some cryptic advice about killing a boy. The women’s horse gets spooked and runs off; and Brigitte steps in a trap attempting to chase after it. Fortunately a hot Indian guy called Hunter shows up and frees Brigitte from the trap. He takes the women to a nearby fort that is the property of the North Legion Trading Company. The women are given shelter by the understandably wary group of men. The men have been under attack by werewolves for some time. Ginger fetches some water while everyone is asleep and hears a strange sound. She discovers a hidden room where a child is crouching in a corner. When the child shows his face, he is badly deformed and attacks and bites her. The child it turns out is the son of Wallace, the company superior. Unbeknownst to the other men, Wallace has been hiding his son who was bitten by a werewolf.

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning serves as a prequel of sorts, but frankly I thought they were really pushing it with this storyline. The film is definitely the most serious of the trio. It is a bit unfortunate the film lacks the amusing and clever dialog of the first two. Brigitte and Ginger stick out like a sore thumb in this setting. The characters for the most part speak in that stilted type dialog present in stories set in this period. Brigitte and Ginger however speak to one another more or less the same way they have in the modern set films, even uttering the word “fuck” a couple times. It was like they travelled back to 1815 via time machine. The two women have such natural, impressive chemistry it is nonetheless a joy seeing them in action. Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle are part of what makes this series so entertaining. The supporting characters are also good. Perhaps a bit “by the book” but it worked for me. I had to wonder how in the hell none of the men had stumbled upon Wallace’s son previously. Yeesh! Ginger discovers the kid on night one! What the film does have over its predecessors is visuals. Ginger Snaps Back is a fantastic looking film. The wintery fort setting is superb. The effects are outstanding and there is copious gore and a significant body count. And the werewolves! Wow! The werewolves are stupendous. I always prefer the half man half wolf visuals best but these really are some scary ass creatures! And what a finale! I loved it! Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning lacks the elements that made Ginger Snaps such an epiphany and opts for a more straight-up horror film; but that’s okay, I kinda like horror films. Recommended.

Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: GINGER SNAPS: UNLEASHED (2004)

Posted in Canada, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by goregirl

If you are a horror fan chances are you’ve seen a sequel or two. Let’s face facts; rarely do sequels live up to the original film. Of course, that has not stopped me from watching every Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Puppet Master and Final Destination sequel. Despite being disappointed by many a sequel I still can not resist checking them out if I loved the first film. Call it part morbid curiosity and part mild optimism. Every now and again, a sequel can be as good and on very rare occasion better than the original. But usually the best case scenario is the film does not live up to the original but still manages to be highly entertaining. That sums up Ginger Snaps: Unleashed quite nicely.

Infected by her sister Ginger’s blood, Brigitte is attempting to stave off her inevitable werewolf transformation. She is shooting wolf’s bane directly into her bloodstream. She cuts herself after each injection and keeps a log of how long it takes for the wound to heal. Each entry shows she is healing more quickly. Brigitte visits the library on a regular basis and has caught the eye of the young male librarian. One night she has an “episode” and library guy attempts to get her to a hospital. Before he can get the car started a wolf attacks and kills him. Brigitte passes out and is found by the cops who mistake her for a junkie and take her to a women’s drug rehab clinic. With no Wolf’s bane to slow the process she begins new phases of her transformation. Ghost, a kid living in the clinic with her severely burned grandmother befriends Brigitte and helps her escape. Ghost takes Brigitte to her grandmother’s abandon house to hideout. Brigitte’s transformation is moving more rapidly and she is being stalked by a wolf that wants to mate with her. Could things get any worse for Brigitte? You bet!

There is far more to applaud than criticize in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed; so I’ll start with the less positive stuff. We never get to see Brigitte fully transform into a werewolf. I must admit I was fully expecting a massacre with the women’s drug rehab scenario; but the film has a relatively low body count. There is not much in the way of special effects, but they do include some gore here and there. I don’t get my transformation or massacre but I did get an intriguing and unique story. Like the original film, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed has well-written and amusing dialog with a dark and daunting undercurrent. Ginger is back, but is a minor character that appears only to Brigitte. Brigitte is the focus of Ginger Snaps: Unleashed. Brigitte is such a great character. She is intelligent, likable and one tough cookie. Emily Perkins does a top notch job as Brigitte. In my humble opinion, Brigitte and Ginger are two of the most interesting teen/20-something characters to appear in a horror film in ages. Why is it that so many teens and 20-something characters are so bloody stupid and vacuous anyway? Horror filmmakers should take some pointers from Ginger Snaps and its sequels! I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but I was pleasantly surprised by the twist. Brigitte’s pre-teen-partner-in-crime Ghost is awkward and occasionally annoying; but once she is freed from the confines of the clinic she becomes considerably more interesting. In the end I rather enjoyed Ghost! Despite a low body count and lack of gore there are a few visuals that are certainly memorable. Watch out for the “masturbation therapy” scene! I enjoyed Ginger Snaps: Unleashed! It completely cleansed my palate of the Blood and Chocolate. Recommended!