Movie junkie Jessie Robbins picks a fright flick for a Saturday night.
What film defined YOU as a child/pre-teen? What did you watch that made you go, Oh yes, this is who I am, or This is how I feel, as an adolescent, I can relate to these characters, and I will cherish this film for the rest of my years? When I think of typical coming of age films, I think STAND BY ME, NOW AND THEN, THE GOONIES even. But for horror loving girls like me, there was only one film that made the pain of puberty, the confusion of sex and the assholes that bullied me a little bit more tolerable. That film is GINGER SNAPS.
GINGER SNAPS stars Katharine Isabelle (AMERICAN MARY, HANNIBAL) and Emily Perkins (IT, JUNO) as Ginger and Brigitte, sisters, obsessed with death, others and their own, who run into some trouble when Ginger gets her period but also gets bitten by a werewolf. Honestly, I dont know which one would be worse. The signs that her glorious menstrual cycle was starting, the back pain, hair in strange new places, and an insatiable blood lust, were all masking her transition into a hairy, bloodthirsty beast.
GINGER SNAPS is the most honest coming of age story for girls. The film looks at the world the way teenage girls do, their parents are lame, boys are around every corner, what is happening to them seems like something out of a horror movie, and WHY DOESNT ANYBODY UNDERSTAND HOW ANGRY I AM?
Gingers literal transformation into a monster and the sisters gruesome Death Project photo gore was achieved by special effects genius Paul Jones, who also assisted on the makeup effects for HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, SILENT HILL, KICK ASS, WRONG TURN, and all of the other wickedly gory movies you love. Gingers transformation is an interesting three part process culminating in some pretty freaky puppetry and a lot of slippery innards.
Katharine Isabelle is great as usual in this film, its no secret that Im a big fan of the girl. She has a no nonsense attitude in a lot of her roles but her fierce metamorphosis from semi-awkward teen to full blown sex-wolf is bad-ass, and definitely gives girls the idea that puberty is less of a death sentence and more of an awakening.
Emily Perkins is such a beautiful thing, I connected with her so much as a young girl, fully the most awkward person at her high school, but so confident in who she is. Not yet succumbing to puberty (or werewolfishness herself) she is left to watch on as her older sister grows to be this magnificent thing and she struggles to come to terms with seeing her sister grow up and grow independent, while also trying to stop her from like eating people.
Kris Lemche (FINAL DESTINATION 3, my dreams) also stars in this film, and served to be one of my big high school crushes, appearing in another of my high school fave franchises, FINAL DESTINATION. He is that dark and brooding weirdo with confidence that I fell for time after time in my younger years. Who am I kidding, basically everyone Ive ever loved is because of Lemche.
I have so much love for this series, GINGER SNAPS BACK: THE BEGINNING maybe not as much, but I have such fond memories of growing with them. However twisted that may be. While some girls feel the romance watching THE NOTEBOOK or NEVER BEEN KISSED I had my first real kiss while watching GINGER SNAPS 2: UNLEASHED I really am a weird girl.
Anyway, now that I have sufficiently kicked writers block in the ass and paid homage to one of my favorite films, I must go and be a normal human being now. So cuddle up with your cutie and try to pay attention to the film that got me through high school, and gave me just a spark of confidence where I once had none.
Have a fun Saturday night!