An all-new Pop Culture Beast is coming!

An all-new Pop Culture Beast is coming!
Pardon our dust!

Pop Culture Beast proudly supports The Trevor Project

Pop Culture Beast proudly supports The Trevor Project
Please consider doing the same.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blu-Ray/DVD Review: Ginger Snaps (Collector’s Edition)

Ginger Snaps is a truly excellent horror film starring Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle as two sisters who are social misfits and best friends. They are going through the normal changes of becoming adults, and the older of the two is going through some more extreme changes as well after being attacked by a werewolf.

Ginger Snaps was originally released in 2000, and now a Collector’s Edition packed with lots of special features is being released through Scream Factory (a division of Shout! Factory). The film opens with a delightfully creepy scene involving a child in a sandbox. The reaction of the other neighborhood children to the mother’s screams is great – they continue with their game of street hockey.

Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are somewhat obsessed with death, and at the age of eight they had entered a pact to commit suicide together. Now Brigitte is beginning to rethink this: “It’s the idea of everyone staring at me just lying there. I mean, what if they just laugh?” We’re introduced to them through a series of staged suicides, a sequence which ends with the slides being shown in a classroom, to the teacher’s surprise and disgust. The teacher, by the way, is played by the wonderful Peter Keleghan, who played Jim Walcott in the incredible Canadian series The Newsroom (one of the best television series ever made). This film has a really good cast, including Mimi Rogers as the slightly misguided mother to the two girls.

Ginger and Brigitte are late bloomers, and the very moment that Ginger (at almost sixteen) finally begins menstruating (and says, “I just got the curse”), she is attacked by a werewolf. The attack scene is intense and done quite well, and afterwards Ginger begins noticing her body changing. But of course she is confused, because some of the changes might be the normal things that all girls go through. And that leads to a humorous scene with the nurse in which she tells Ginger that the heavy blood flow is normal. Brigitte asks, “What about hair that wasn’t there before, and pain?” The nurse responds, “Comes with the territory.” It’s funny, but oddly sad at the same time, which is something I love about this film.

Ginger and Brigitte kept to themselves, and now that Ginger is changing and becoming interested in boys, Brigitte is even more alone. After Ginger’s first date, she tells Brigitte, “I get this ache, and I thought it was for sex, but it’s to tear everything into fucking pieces.” There is humor to this film, but it’s never silly. It never pokes fun at the world it’s created, and thus it avoids a mistake genre films often make.

Ginger Snaps has everything you could possibly want from a film: a good story, interesting and believable characters, and some really good performances. It just happens that it’s a horror film. But it’s really about the characters and the changes that people go through as they grow up. These are characters that you care about (even Trina, the bully character, is well rounded as we learn a bit more about her). It also has an original and interesting take on the werewolf story.

Special Features

As you might expect, this Collector’s Edition has plenty of bonus material. There are two separate commentary tracks, one by director John Fawcett, the other by writer Karen Walton. John Fawcett talks about the casting, and how the two leads actually already knew each other. He mentions that he was attracted to goth girls when he was in high school. There is some interesting information on how the attack scene was shot, and about what Mimi Rogers brought to the project. He provides good tidbits about the film, like how Lucy Lawless does all the announcements in the high school scenes. Karen Walton talks about the influences on the script and her goals for the film.

Ginger Snaps: Blood, Teeth And Fur is over an hour of interviews with key crew members, such as director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, producer Steven Hoban, composer Mike Shields, editor Brett Sullivan and SFX artist Paul Jones. There are also interviews with cast members Emily Perkins (who talks about her character and the similarities to her own feelings while growing up) and Jesse Moss.

Growing Pains: Puberty In Horror Films is a panel discussion about how the female puberty experience is portrayed in horror movies. The panel includes Kristy Jett, Axelle Carolyn, Heidi Honeycutt and Rebekah McKendry. This feature is approximately twenty-seven minutes.

There are twenty-five minutes of deleted scenes, including more stuff with Peter Keleghan, Mimi Rogers and Kris Lemche. You can watch the deleted scenes with commentary by director John Fawcett. He talks about why each scene was cut, but also what he likes about these scenes. You can also watch these scenes with audio commentary by writer Karen Walton. It’s interesting that she felt she had to write a particular scene with Brigitte and Sam because Sam needed more of a story, and Brigitte needed to connect with him, and she tells her feelings about the scene.

Featurette is a five-minute promo reel of behind-the-scenes footage and short interviews with John Fawcett, Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche, Mimi Rogers, Karen Lee Hall, Karen Walton and Steven Hoban.

There is footage from the auditions of Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins (Emily has short hair, which is mentioned in the commentary), as well as footage of rehearsals, most of which is with the two leads. There is also a five-minute feature on The Creation Of The Beast, with behind-the-scenes footage of the werewolf creature. Being John Fawcett is a two-minute bit featuring footage of Katharine and Emily talking about how they auditioned together.

The special features also include two trailers, two television spots, and a photo gallery of production design artwork.

Ginger Snaps was directed by John Fawcett. The Collector’s Edition is scheduled to be released as a Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack on July 22, 2014 through Scream Factory (a division of Shout! Factory).

Post a Comment