"Ginger Snaps" The Fitzgerald Sisters Rock!


This independent cult horror hit from Canada was released in 2000 and is one of those movies that comes along that has no big stars, no budget and yet is a completely satisfying experience. To date, it has also spawned two sequels that were filmed back to back in 2004. “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” and “Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.”

This is the story of two teenage sisters named Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald, played by Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. They are your average rebellious suburban teens. They are obsessed with death and stage phony crime scene photos for a class project. They are counter-culture outsiders that have made a suicide pact with one another, Out by 16 or death by then (or something like that). Screen veteran Mimi Rogers nails the part of Pamela, the girls’ neurotic and clueless mother. There is a father somewhere in the mix but is really a non-factor.

This movie is many things, its a suspenseful horror movie, a strong metaphor for female puberty and a sort of character study of the relationship of the two sisters. While out for a walk in the park one night Ginger is attacked and dragged away by a werewolf on the very day of her first period. Brigitte eventually finds her and they return home. Ginger starts to heal from her wounds almost immediately, and the transformation has begun. She becomes “sexified” and trolls the halls of her high school looking for her next victim. This movie also warns about the dangers of unprotected sex, when one of the high school guys does the deed with the “new” Ginger and starts to change himself. Ginger starts to grow hair in strange places (childish giggle) and also begins to sprout a tail.

Brigitte searches for a cure and becomes friends with the local high school drug dealer. They find that a certain plant called “Monk’s Hood” could possibly cure what plagues Ginger and the others. Because the filmmakers were working on such a small budget, they did not use any CG effects when Ginger finally transforms into a werewolf and it totally works. Just like in “An American Werewolf in London” all of the werewolf effects were created through practical effects and sheer inventiveness. I was truly surprised at how good this movie was, the two main characters were dead on perfect, there was a lot or real suspense and it was just a fun time watching it. I thought the first sequel was pretty decent with the latest one being pretty unwatchable. Ginger Snaps has a special place in my vast DVD collection.