Ginger may be dead, but “Ginger Snaps” continues on. Although the 2000 film managed to only gross about $135,000 in its brief domestic theater run, the Canadian picture lives on with two direct-to-video sequels planed. The original’s take on lycanthropy and feminine coming of age was called “the best teenage werewolf movie ever made” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and has transcended its low budget status to be considered a modern-day cult horror film. While I didn’t enjoy the film as much as others – I thought it pleasured itself too much in its slasher-type leanings, especially in the closing scenes- it manages to convey a wry tale of teenage nihilism, pressures to conform and sexuality.
According to sources, “Ginger Snaps- The Sequel” picks up almost immediately where the first installment ends, where Bridgette is cradling her dying older sister, who had become a werewolf. With Ginger now dead, Brigette Fitzgerald (played by Emily Perkins in the original) is on the run from the Canadian suburb of Bailey Downs. Beginning the transformation herself, she has managed to stave off becoming a werewolf by injecting herself with a calculated dose of monkshood daily.
Becoming ill, Bridgette passes out on the street, waking up in a drug rehab for young women. Assuming her monkshood is a drug, the rehab center’s supervisors have taken it away from her; without the daily doses, she starts going through the changes that had happened to her sister. Full of young addicts and kooky staff, she is befriended by a peculiar girl named Ghost at the hospital.
Like Bridgette in the first film, Ghost is a bright and nervous teenager, often shy around others. She appears to be a “normal” girl, but Ghost is holding a great deal of pain inside, as her grandmother is being treated in the adult side of the hospital for fifth degree burns. Unlike the other girls, Ghost is able to move freely within the center, a plot device that is central to the latter two acts’ scenes.
While Ghost is barely tolerated by most of the girls because of her eccentricities (she often speaks in comic book narrative form), the pair of Bridgette and Ghost quickly forms a close bond. With the transformation beginning to develop itself fully in Bridgette, Ghost manages to figure out her new friend’s secret and tries to help her from the full transformation. However, things don’t go exactly as planned, of course.
Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) also plays a central role in the film, albeit in Bridgette’s dreams and in a few other key scenes.
49th Parallel Films begins lensing the sequel in late January, scheduled to complete shooting the first week of March. Once again, filming occurs in Canada, although this time filming will take place in Edmonton, Alberta. Brett Sullivan, who was the editor of filmography on the first installment, takes over the reins from John Fawcett as director here. The third film in the franchise, which will actually be a prequel, is said to be set in the 18th century, and show the origins of the beasts that infected the Fitzgerald sisters. The film’s producers are eyeing a video release date domestically in the fall.
Executive Producers: Noah Segal, John Fawcett
Producers: Steve Hoban, Paula Devonshire
Director: Brett Sullivan
Casting Director: Carmen Kotyk
Shooting Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Start Date: January 27, 2003
Production Company: 49th Parallel