Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong (2013)

gingerdeadvsevilbong_3Starring John Patrick Jordan, Robin Sydney, Sonny Carl Davis, The Don, Michelle Mais, Bob Ramos, Victoria Levine, Ryan Curry, Amy Paffrath, Masuimi Max, Mindy Robinson, Chanell Heart, Tian Wang, Jinhee Joung, Chance A. Rearden,  Joss Glennie-Smith, Orson Chaplin

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: I don’t even know, honestly. On the low end, for sure.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


Despite what that poster to the right might make you think, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is not a movie for everyone. I’m inclined to go with the tired adage, “It’s for the fans,” but since I’m not the biggest fan of either series and I really enjoyed this one, I can’t say that it’s as exclusive as that. And liking this movie leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I’ve lambasted some of Full Moon’s modern films for a few recurrent reasons: being excessively trashy, being questionably racist and for being shameless in their self-promotion of the company’s merch. The conundrum comes when Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is all three and yet I still liked it. I guess what it boils down to is that when it’s not being horrible, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is a lot of stupid fun. I can’t fully explain it, but I definitely enjoyed Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong. Most of it, anyway.

As the fourth entry in both the Gingerdead Man and Evil Bong series, there’s definitely a bit of baggage going into this one. So thank God Full Moon decided to pair the heroes from the respective series with a new friend each, allowing them to regale their new acquaintances (and the audience) with stories of what happened in the previous films. But wait, this is a movie! Who wants to hear boring stories about what happened when you can just show a bunch of clips from said movies? Charles Band actually has the gumption to do this to summarize all three previous Evil Bong films, as well as the first Gingerdead Man movie. The other two Gingerdead films are apparently non-canon, which makes sense as they’re not about anything even remotely related to the tale of blood and dough told in the first film. Surprisingly though, I actually enjoyed the recaps as it had been a while since I’d seen the films so it got me back up to speed.

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Unlucky Charms (2013)

unluckycharms_3Starring Tiffany Thornton, Nathan Phillips, Jeryl Prescott, Nikki Leigh, Seth Peterson, Charlie O’Connell, Masuimi Max, Alex Rose Wiesel, Anna Sophia Berglund, Peter Donald Badalamenti II

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


In terms of Charles Band’s output in the last few years, Unlucky Charms is at or near the top of the heap. While most people would definitely argue with me if I called this a good movie, I found Unlucky Charms to be very entertaining. There are also thin layers of social commentary and pathos, which don’t work as well as they might in a “real movie,” but they add a charm otherwise missing in many of Band’s films from the last few years.

The film’s surreal opening hints at there being more under the surface than there actually is, as Unlucky Charms is another in a long line of “someone’s playing with dark magic for selfish reasons and they don’t care who it affects” horror movies. But the intro shows us the leprechaun Farr Darrig (Nathan Phillips), AKA The Red Man, sitting on a park bench watching children at play on a swing set. A small child sits with him, and Farr Darrig is unable to understand why she smiles knowing the current state of the world. Whoa! Is this really a Full Moon movie?

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