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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: SE
Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: SE
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // April 13, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted June 9, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

Number-o Uno director and Number-o Two-o producer John Fawcett: "When we were talking about the original Ginger Snaps movie, it was always to try and be as unique and original as possible. So coming out with a sequel, it was important, again, it be unique on its own. That it be a smart movie. And it was important that it didn't suck!" Mission accomplished, John. Three-for-three, in fact. Capitalizing on the breakout success of the first little-movie-that-could was a fiscal inevitability. To preserve the core creative team and produce such an engrossing, amusing and satisfying sequel is almost as implausible as lycanthropy itself. And with a prequel on the way, Mr. Fawcett and his Canadian gorehounds could easily have themselves the Lord of the Rings of menstrual werebabe movies. Why stop at mere furry feet?

If Dog Soldiers was Zulu with werewolves -- this is Girl, Interrupted with werewolves. Having survived to the original's final credits, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) now finds herself succumbing to "the curse" that made her sis such a hairy handful. Confused for a suicidal dope fiend after self-medicating herself face first into a snow bank, Brigitte awakes at an all-girl treatment facility that makes the horrors of high school seem mundane. There's the been-there, done-that shrink (Janet Kidder) puzzled by her latest patient's snarling passion for mainlining a substance with no noticeable narcotic effect: Monkshood (a.k.a. Aconitum Napellus or -- Wolfsbane!) Then there's fellow inmates who gladly play hide-the-weasel with a hunky orderly (Eric Johnson) in exchange for pharmaceutical favoritism. And, in the junior league, a precocious poet and ravenous comic-book devote, Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), who's naive and needy enough to take one look at Brigitte and see her newest superhero. Which is nice, because Brigitte could USE a buddy about now. Especially one unphased by such extreme weirdness as spontaneous Spock Ear Syndrome. While comely Katherine Isabelle's Ginger prefers to haunt and, well, hound her kin throughout this trying time of moonlit transmutations and unwanted advances by a four-legged admirer whose mating ritual appears predicated on consuming lots and lots of human flesh. Gotta be a happily ever after in there someplace, right? In a deliciously twisted sort of way, yeah, there is!

Since first bewitching CineSchlockers, Ms. Isabelle has become the premiere scream queen of the aughts. She donned a do-rag as an unfortunate hip-hop honey in Snoop Dogg's woefully diss'd chiller Bones. Paid the price for relentlessly teasing TV's telekinetic wallflower in Carrie. But the ultimate coronation? When Jason Voorhees punched her party girl ticket in Freddy vs. Jason. (Still stings she opted out of that shower scene, though.)

No breasts. Five corpses. Wrist slashing. Diddling. Multiple hypodermic closeups. Puking. Mass masturbation. Ear carving. Decapitated doggie. Gratuitous duct escape. Bludgeoning. Oral gratification. Multiple foot chases. Amateur dentistry. Brigitte fails to embrace the "Happier Times" aspect of her therapy sessions: "My best-case scenario ... is hair everywhere but my eyeballs, elongation of my spine til my skin splits, teats, and a growing tolerance, maybe even an affection, for the smell and taste of feces -- not just my own. And, then, excruciating death!" Ginger advises her sister on relationships: "It all starts innocently enough, today you want to [email protected]#% him, tomorrow you just want to bite a hole in his sternum." Ghost's graveside demeanor is a bit lacking: "Good luck on the other side, Beth Ann. I'm sorry you were such a [email protected]#%."

Brett Sullivan, who edited the first film, returned as director and comments on that challenge with producers Paula Devonshire, Noah Segal and John Fawcett. It's an easy-going track that covers the usual bases. Divergent highlights include the aforementioned "evolving of the sequels," the deliberate choice to rapid-cut rather than linger over gore, the babe-ification of Brigitte and the further implications of that ferocious finale. The gang also provides optional commentary for an alternate opening and about a half-dozen deleted exposition scenes actually worth SEEING -- for once! Another nifty extra are a scant few pages from Brigitte's transformation journal and Ghost's buxom Goddess of Night comic. Oh, that worrisome static during the titles? Totally intentional. A techno stab at musical deconstructionism. (2004, 93 mins, 1.85:1 anam, DD 5.1, Commentary, Deleted scenes, Storyboards, Journal and comic stills, Trailers. Note: Unlike the first release, the Canadian and domestic discs are created fairly equal. However, our Northern neighbors do gain a 22-minute doc and other doodads.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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