Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong (2013)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long


COMPANY: Full Moon Entertainment

RUNTIME: 83 mins

FORMAT: Screener


PLOT: The Gingerdead Man seeks revenge against Sarah Leigh for causing him to live his life in the body of a gingerbread man. Her only hope is to team up with Larnell who has problems of his own in the form of an evil magical talking bong named Eebee.


REVIEW: I already have reviews posted for Gingerdead Man, Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust, and Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver so you can go check those reviews out for my thoughts on each of those and that trilogy as a whole. As for the Evil Bong trilogy, I always meant to have reviews posted of those before I got around to doing a review of this Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong crossover 'epic', but I was sent the screener far sooner then I was expecting, so the Evil Bongs got pushed to the back burner for now. Still, I'll let you all know, briefly, what my basic thoughts were on them right here, so you understand where I'm coming from when I review this Part 4 in each respective series.

I love both Evil Bong and Evil Bong 2: King Bong. They are the perfect movies for modern Full Moon – they only need a small group of so-so actors, minimal sets to build/rent out, doesn't require much (if any) special effects, and it's all wrapped up in a really nice short runtime. I'm the furthest thing from a stoner, and I'm not particularly a fan of most stoner comedies outside of the Harold and Kumar trilogy and the first Friday flick, so it's a bit of an enigma to me as to why the Evil Bong movies turned out to be one of my favorite modern Full Moon movies yet. With that said, I really didn't care for Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong much at all. It's not that it did anything differently than the first two movies, but that was kind of my issue with it - It was just the same song and dance we've seen for three movies now, with the added addition of a muddled confusing ending that still has me wondering exactly how they defeated the Alien Bong because it wasn't really clear. But whatever, for the most part, a couple entries aside, I'm actually a decent fan of both the Gingerdead Man series as well as the Evil Bong series, so it goes without saying that I was especially excited for this Vs mash-up.


The best way for me to do this review is to divide it up into sections. First I'll start with the Gingerdead Man portion of the movie. Finally, after two unconnected sequels, it was great to have Robin Sydney back as Sarah. For those who remember, she played the original heroine in the first movie and I've been very vocal about having her back for the sequels, which never happened, so I'm thrilled to announce she returns to this movie, playing her original character of Sarah, having finally after all these years began to cope with and move on from the events that happened in the first movie, and she has opened her own little bakery now, of which she is obviously the boss of. For fans of this character, this section of the movie was the perfect 'Where is she now' catch-up, and she is a stronger person (and by association, a stronger character) than she was in the first movie, no longer being timid or taking crap from anyone. This comes to a head in what is my absolute favorite scene of the movie, where her character from Gingerdead Man meets her polar opposite character from the Evil Bong series (see, she was also in those movies but playing a totally different character) and the two of them (both still played by Robin Sydney) get into quite the fight.

The Gingerdead Man himself once again looks slightly different then any previous incarnation but seems to be the closest to how he was portrayed in the first movie (in terms of looks, voice, and attitude) as he tracks down Robin Sydney's character to finish what he began all those years ago. While he still has a few funny one-liners, he's much more subdued this go-around then he was in either Gingerdead Man 2 or 3, and he's very much out for revenge and isn't taking any side tours. He's also back to being basic yet brutal in his killings – no distractingly inventive deaths like in the second movie or dull boring ones like in the third where he mostly just used a gun. Just like in the first movie, he just grabs the nearest knife or axe and goes to town on his victims, spraying the blood as much as he can in each case. Sadly, there's only three of those deaths and two of them happen in quick succession in the same scene so there's not really much of that. Low number of deaths aside, this portion of the movie was actually exactly what I was looking for in a Gingerdead Man sequel and I really wish the movie focused more on this stuff, or that it was its own stand-alone Gingerdead Man sequel because over all, it actually makes up such a tiny bit of the movie. You see, despite the title, this was actually much more of an Evil Bong sequel that happens to have a couple characters from Gingerdead Man in it then an even mix of the two franchises.


Unfortunately, even though the Evil Bong portion of the movie is what makes up the majority of it, it's also the weakest portion. One of the only characters that returns from the Evil Bong series is John Patrick Jordan as lead stoner Larnell who, admittedly, is just not nearly as cool or fun without the rest of his gang there with him. The Evil Bong movies are very much an ensemble piece and without the rest of said ensemble, you're just left with this giant gaping hole that feels like something is missing. In this entry Larnell has opened his own weed and weed memorabilia shop and the worst offender with this part of the movie is that they could have had at least one of his pals around but instead they replace them with a new character that's not nearly as funny as the people making this movie thought he was. Personally I just found him eye-rollingly annoying. It also doesn't help that not only is this the weakest part of the movie, but it also makes up the bulk of it as well, spending a good 25-30 minutes on just these two characters trying to get the shop ready for business and opening the doors for the first few quirky customers. We spent all of 5-10 minutes on catching up with the Gingerdead Man stuff and then over half the movie on just this?It felt terribly uneven.

The Evil Bong herself barely even makes an appearance during this stuff. It's not until the other returning Evil Bong character, the always-causing-trouble Delivery Man/Priest/Traveling Salesman Rabbit shows up and, of course, accidentally frees the Evil Bong from where Larnell had her hidden away and it's not until this part that the movie even begins to start picking up it's pace and by that point it's only 15-20 minutes from the end.


Now for the crossover portion of the movie. Larnell learns of the new bakery opening up nearby and goes to check it out, hoping to talk the owner (which is Robin Sydney's character) into a joint-business venture seeing as how his business gives people the munchies and hers cures the munchies. They hit it off pretty well and I have to admit that those two characters actually have really good chemistry together. He brings her back to his shop to show her what it's all about (at which point the stalking Gingerdead Man kills the other two bakery workers and then follows them to the weed store), and it's here that he reveals himself to them by killing Larnell's annoying new sidekick and they end up having to smoke from the Evil Bong in order to enter the mystical Bong World of the previous movies to escape the Gingerdead Man and he, of course, follows them in. During this part there's a nice cameo by King Bong and the Poontang tribe of the second Evil Bong movie, and even a really funny Superman spoof as Gingerdead Man gets caught in these whirling rings and the three Prisoner Pastries from the intro of Gingerdead Man 3 show up to judge him.

Unfortunately, this is also the portion where the movie continues to fall even further. All that strength and growth we saw in Robin Sydney's character earlier is totally gone as she's regulated to essentially just following Larnell around and doing what he says, rarely (if at all) coming into her Own and taking the lead. Also, you know that epic showdown between the Gingerdead Man and the Evil Bong that the title and advertising of this movie promises? Yeah, don't hold your breath because it never happens. Hell, they don't even interact at all except for one short scene where the Gngerdead Man finds out his would-be victims smoked from the Evil Bong and escaped from him into the Bong World so he then has to go smoke from her to follow them in. That is literally it for their interactions together. No fight, no showdown, not even any heated argument. Oh and don't expect a climax or any sort of proper ending either because there's nothing like that here. The big 'climax' consists of the two main characters escaping from the Bong World and the Gingerdead Man deciding to stay in there, and that's it. They walk off into the sunset together, leaving the Evil Bong behind and back out in the open of his store and not even trying to get rid of it or hide it or anything. They escape from her and then just walk away laughing while the Gingerdead Man decides to stay inside of her and smoke weed. That's it for the 'big climax'.


I really wanted to like this movie as I'm a fan of both series', and of the characters from them. And while I loved seeing Robin Sydney back again and I loved most everything from the Gingerdead Man portion of the movie, I hated that she was regulated to just following Larnell around all movie, and it also didn't help that the stuff I liked made up such a small amount of time in the movie. The Evil Bong portion was way overlong and drawn out, missing most of the characters that made those movies fun to watch to begin with, and then the actual Vs part was just a joke that didn't even come close to living up to the promise that the title of the movie and it's advertising gave, leaving things off on a very quick and sudden end without any sort of proper built-up climax. And speaking of broken promises, on Full Moon's Facebook page they said that Gary Busey would be returning to voice the Gingerdead Man in this movie, but he doesn't. Granted the guy who does is the closest to sound like him out of all the other Gingerdead Man voice actors, but point is it indeed is not Gary Busy like we were led to believe.

I actually would have preferred it if the Gingerdead Man stuff was in a movie by itself and then extended to feature length, as that would have actually made a really good Gingerdead Man 4 worthy of the first movie, but sadly it's totally underused and forgotten about in this so-called crossover movie that's really just an Evil Bong 4 in disguise that happens to have a couple Gingerdead Man characters in it, that also manages to leave out most of the fun Evil Bong characters as well. Add to that a muddled and weak ending, no actual confrontation between the two title characters, and way too much time spent on just the weed store's opening, and what you're left with is, unfortunately, a very far cry from the epic crossover that I was hoping it would be.

3/10 rooms in the Psych Ward
 


Comments

  1. Ouch that stings! :) But I'm glad I'm not a fan of this franchise. No payoff makes Mikey a sad boy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The potential was there, but sadly it just did not come together well at all. The only reason I even gave it as much as 4 stars was because of some of the Gingerdead Man stuff, and Robin Sydney.

      Delete
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