Friday, January 7, 2011

Ginger Snaps-review

​“Ginger Snaps” is a really good movie.  For a Canadian indie horror movie about werewolves it really does the trick.  It features Emily Perkins, or as she is known in some circles as the young girl in “Stephen King’s IT”  and Katherine Isabelle, who was in a heap of nothing specials to  her credit including “Freddy vs. Jason”.    The big draw though is they use lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty.

​Mimi Rogers (who few seem to remember used to be married to Tom Cruise Pre-Nicole Kidman) plays an overbearing mother in a humorous fashion.  She adds a light hearted charm to the dark material.  Katherine play’s Ginger and Emily plays her sister Brigitte.  They are two Goth girls who are very fixated on death.  On the night Ginger gets her first period she is attacked by a werewolf.  Soon she finds herself changing in all sorts of ways.

​She grows apart from her sister.  She starts to hang out with boys more and more since her lycanthropy has increased her sexual appetite.  This leads to her having unprotected sex and even giving a boy lycanthropy.  He isn’t as lucky about how he looks when he is going through his change though.  Seems rather nuts that Ginger becomes this sexual beast while slowly sprouting a tail, and growing her teeth and claws.  Meanwhile this bastard has horrid acne and bloody discharge.

​The effects are not bad either.  The werewolf itself is one of the best I’ve seen and is a testament to the days of movie not using CGI for everything.   The change seen is not the greatest.  That award still goes to “American Werewolf in London” but “Ginger Snaps” is well worthy of recognition.  This movie had two movies that followed it a sequel and a prequel.

​They show them a lot on the Syfy channel.  Though why would you want to only show those movies and never the original is beyond me.  But then again why would you change your name from Sci-fi to Syfy?   The sequels are watchable but not nearly as good.  The second takes place 4 years later and really tried to be clever.  The third is almost hilarious.  At least the same actresses came back for it.  But for fuck’s sake it’s a prequel that takes place in 19th Century Canada.  Two girls with the same names are wandering the woods as antecedents of their modern part counter parts even though they are identical to them in just about all ways.

​Frankly that one is fun to watch because they test lycanthropy on a person by putting leeches on them.  If they got the curse, the little parasites explode.  So the movies got stranger as time went on.  I’ll give it this: At least this one is worth a crap.  It’s actually got an interesting plot that goes beyond the usual monster mash.  The metaphor is on the nose and it’s obvious without coming right out and saying it.   It’s just nice to see a movie where it’s not always about the same thing most werewolf movies are about.

Man gets bitten by werewolf>man struggles to retain humanity>man loses control and goes on a kill spree> man is inevitably killed by humans who he sought to protect.

​I can’t tell you how many werewolf movies out there are like this.  Some break the mold.  “Ginger Snaps” and “Dog Soldiers” come to mind immediately.   So if you are in the mood for something a bit different in the werewolf genre give it a look.  It’s a really good one that more people should pay attention too.

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