Directed by William Butler and Sylvia St. Croix
If you want to know what to expect from Gingerdeadman 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, look no further than the pre-title sequence set at an asylum for criminally insane baked goods. Had the entire film revolved around the Gingerdeadman joining forces with the psychopathic loaf of French bread, the seductively sociopathic cherry pie, and some of the other preposterously portentous puppeteered pastries introduced in the opening, this would have been a new classic for the ages.
Circumstances quickly take a turn for the iffy when a Jodie Foster stand-in is introduced and the film misfires doing the same sort of tired Silence of the Lambs spoofing we’ve seen poorly done entirely too many times throughout the years. But then a group of pastry rights advocates storm the prison, the Gingerdeadman gets free, and, as luck would have it, there’s also a time travel research lab within the facility – naturally. Off the killer cookie man goes back to 1976 where he arrives inside the floundering Skateland roller rink on the night it will crown its final Roller Boogie Queen.
Once in 1976 the film turns into a chuckle-worthy Carrie spoof with the rink owner’s wallflower niece becoming the belle of the roller boogie ball that night much to the chagrin of both her aunt and the Kristen Bell look-a-like seriously irked that this new girl may upset her for the Roller Queen crown she cherishes more than life itself. Yes, pig blood does get spilled, as does the blood of unlucky skaters.
I’ve written numerous reviews in the past comparing particular films to the campy low budget offerings broadcast on USA Network’s “Up All Night” back in the 1990’s, but this is that all-too-rare instance where not only is the comparison extremely apropos, they actually got it right. Gingerdeadman 3: Saturday Night Cleaver’s witty in a lowbrow sense script is elevated by an enthusiastic cast that make this 75-minute smorgasbord of delirium a real guilty pleasure. Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear would not have felt guilty about presenting this film to viewers, but I’m sure many of those viewers would have felt guilty for enjoying it.
Strange as this may sound considering we are talking about a movie based around a foul-mouthed gingerbread man (Gary Busey’s distinctive voice work from the first film is still greatly missed) that savagely murders people by means such as a hydrochloric car wash and a nail gun ménage-a-trois, there’s something oddly good-natured about the movie’s tone. “Peppy” is not a word one typically finds oneself using when describing a slasher flick.
You might also find some amusement spotting the myriad of anachronisms. I don’t think people used the word “epic” in 1976 the way we do today. I’m almost certain the drug “ecstasy” wasn’t around back then. The villainous girl’s attire looks less roller disco and more in style with Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” of the early 1980’s. Watch closely, and you’ll even notice “The Simpsons” is playing on a television in the background.
Gingerdeadman 3: Saturday Night Cleaver is exceptionally absurd even for a franchise built around a serial killer reborn as a maniacal dessert treat, and keep in mind the previous sequel featured a puppet named “Haunted Dildo”. Heck, I haven’t even told you about the Carrie girl using her psychic powers to fight the killer cookie man, the time traveling kid cadets, or the transgendered skating superstar owner of Skateland who secretly resents roller skating because she believes one of her performances indirectly allowed Pear Harbor to happen – the flashback sequence chronicling this turn of events is some truly inspired lunacy.
Nothing gets more insane than the means by which the Gingerdeadman is dispatched with in the end. I mean someone had to have been eating gingerbread man cookies laced with LSD when they devised the last five minutes of this film.
Two words, people… roller Hitler.
3 out of 5