Monday, July 21, 2014

REVIEW: GINGER SNAPS (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - After the Blood Comes... The Wolves

I remember vividly enjoying Ginger Snaps the first time I saw it on VHS. It should be known that I am a fan of werewolves though most recent werewolf movies incorporate simply too much CGF (computer generated fur) for me to possibly enjoy. I've tried to enjoy The Wolfman and the recent Howling incarnation have almost completely turned me off modern wolf flicks. It's a shame because Ginger Snaps was created just fourteen years ago and has superior creature effects filled with rich gore and a rather original creature design that is both scary and fun to behold without straying too far from the traditional conception of the wolf. This may be the last full-on wolf movie that I could really get into before the computers completely took over. That's one great reason to like Ginger Snaps I suppose and a reason to be perfectly eager to see its new life on Blu-ray. Of course Katharine Isabelle instantly became a star crush of mine at age twenty. Something about a werewolf in heat that makes you say, "eh, I don't mind if she infects me with some strain of lycanthropy" at least I'd howl at the moon happy. 

Note: I'm very excited to see her in See No Evil 2 from the Soska Sisters.  

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Fifteen-year-old Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins, Insomnia, Juno) and her nearly-sixteen-year-old sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, Freddy vs. Jason, See No Evil 2) are both best friends and outcasts. Obsessed with dying and bound by a childhood pact to stay together forever, they loathe their mind-numbing existence in the suburbs of Bailey Downs. One night the two girls are heading through the woods when Ginger is savagely attacked by a wild creature.

Ginger’s horrible wounds miraculously heal over, but something is not quite right about her. Ginger is irritable and in denial. But to Brigitte, it is obvious that a terrifying force has taken hold of her sister. She’s convinced that the insatiable craving her sister is experiencing can mean only one thing – Ginger is becoming something unspeakably evil and monstrous.

Ginger Snaps is a rich, colorful production and carries very well onto Blu-ray. It's also a modern film from 2000 and as such looks damn good in HD. No complaints about DNR or other technical issues. Note: 1.78:1 AR with DTS Master Audio 5.1 sound. The original artwork is on the reverse of this Collector's Edition, however the newly commissioned artwork is a clear enhancement offering some of the vivid colors from the film itself preparing the viewer for something exciting rather than the moderately drab original cover design. It's important to note that both a DVD and Blu-ray are included .

The movie itself holds up to fourteen years of wolf pictures especially given many lackluster entries into that particular genre. To be fair I am biased toward wolfman pictures and movies like The Howling and American Werewolf in Long in addition to the Hammer and Universal pictures of old. Ginger Snaps takes all of those a step further and conveys, both literally and actually the transformation of girl into woman and woman into wolf. Gingers Snaps excels at showing the relationship between Body Horror and the werewolf genre which should seem obvious but doesn't seem to enter into the discussion. Typically when we discuss werewolves we think of curses and the supernatural rather than physical transformation; the things of Cronenberg and Henenlotter. 

Performances by all involved are excellent especially Emily Perkins and counterbalance Katharine Isabelle. They play sisters, feel like sisters and also convey the family politic that takes over whether it be in the new discovery of relationships, menstrual cycle initiation or werewolf transformation. This movie is filled from credit to credit with beautiful, luscious, outstanding and entertaining gore. It's bathed in blood. Still, this is the blood of a Horror picture, before the genre felt the need to become ultra realistic. You can read that as before Horror movies stopped entertaining and started going for the spookhouse, jump factor. 

Bonus features:
  • NEW interviews with director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, actors Emily Perkins and Jesse Moss, Producer Steve Hoban, Make-up Effects artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields and Editor Brett Sullivan
  • NEW Women in Horror panel discussing GINGER SNAPS
  • Audio Commentary with Director John Fawcett
  • Audio Commentary with Writer Karen Walton
  • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by John Fawcett and Karen Walton
  • The Making of GINGER SNAPS - Vintage Featurette
  • Creation of the Beast - Vintage Featurette
  • Being John Fawcett- Vintage Featurette
  • Cast Auditions and Rehearsals
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Production Design Artwork
  • Photo Gallery 
Ginger Snaps is a wolf of a different color and even more so under the package put out by Scream Factory that is laced with a hefty supplemental package filled with interviews and effects featurettes that makes this an instant fan disc. I hope that younger generations pick this up because its message is still strong and valuable and the movie holds up even in the face of computerized monsters. The violin based score is haunting and sets the perfect mood for becoming a woman... or a wolf.

Order your copy from Scream Factory now. Available July 22nd. 

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