Tag Archives: werewolves

Ginger Snaps Back

MV5BMTg1NTg3OTI4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDAxNDYwNQ@@._V1__SX1859_SY847_It’s a rare movie (or book, for that matter) prequel that can be watched prior to the original story without ruining the narrative flow, or at least spoiling the plot. Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning is such a film, which makes it all the more the pity that it was so superfluous. Purporting to provide the origin tale of the werewolf-y menace that led up to the surprisingly good Ginger Snaps and its sequel, it instead tells the same story from Ginger Snaps all over again, only without the clever puberty metaphor and with a tie-in to the old wendigo legend that, frankly, doesn’t really fit.

Sisters Ginger and Brigitte are back for an old-school battle against the werewolves that are terrorizing a trading company’s fort in 1815 Canada, with a conspicuously missing explanation for how they arrived on the scene or why their dialogue sounds so modern compared with the members of the fort. With the setting and cast list out of the way, the plot follows its predictable (to anyone who has seen the original, and generally speaking, you really should) arc into the final act, which ought to have had real dramatic tension. Unfortunately, as a prequel, the outcome was basically pre-ordained.

This is why I say it would go better as the original film of the trilogy. The only problem being, it’s not nearly as good as Ginger Snaps, and deciding to give that film a miss based on it being the sequel to a fairly iffy movie would be in the same ballpark of unfortunance as skipping multiple seasons of television goodness because you were turned off by Ben Affleck’s film debut.

Ginger Snaps: Unleashed

MV5BMTgxNjI0MzQzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTA3NDY3._V1__SX1859_SY893_Not long ago, I had the great pleasure of Netflixing a pretty decent werewolf movie in Ginger Snaps. Sure, okay, the metaphor of lycanthropy being analagous to puberty has gotten quite a bit of play in my lifetime, from Oz in Buffy to Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf. And if you listen carefully, Lon Chaney’s voice breaks more than once in the original Wolfman. But Ginger Snaps had a lot going for it in the anti-charisma of its gothy stars, Ginger and her younger sister Bridget. Without going into the details, preppy cheerleaders were killed and snarkily buried (and their little dogs, too!), wolfsbane was freebased, and a couple of werewolves ended up dead.

Ginger Snaps 2 starts off about six months later, with Bridget hitting books and still freebasing wolfsbane (technically, a weaker related plant, monk’s hood) in a desperate attempt to delay or halt her seemingly inevitable transformation, while being haunted by a horny male werewolf and her demons from the previous flick. Things take a turn south when she’s found unconscious after the other werewolf attacks and is admitted against her will into a drug program for girls. She’s supposed to be only 16 or so, but I guess since her only ID was her library card, maybe they didn’t know she was a minor and that they maybe needed parental permission. (Also, it could be that her parents died in the original. I forget.) Despite these legal issues and the fact that her “drug” of choice is completely legal and available in craft stores, they hold her, and of course keep the needles and distilled wolfsbane away from her. The eventual outcome is predictable, but there are a few good twists after she is helped to escape from the facility by Ghost, a comics-obsessed little girl without any kind of drug problem who lives there for somewhat contrived reasons and has free run of the place.

Even though they were clearly going for the same older/younger sister relationship that worked to such effect with Ginger and Bridget in the original, it never quite gels between Bridget and Ghost. Likewise, the metaphor of lycanthropy to drug addiction fails more often than it succeeds. In recompense, the dialogue has the same occasional gleam of brilliance shown in the original, there’s more gore than last time around, plus a gaggle of teen druggies masturbating in a group exercise guided by one of the facility counselors.

If that isn’t enough to draw your interest (and who could blame you?), stick with the original. There’s also a prequel, just released direct to video. I’ll have it in a while, so I’d wait on that one, too.