Ginger Snaps II : Unleashed
A film by
RT : 94 minutes
“You know, Brigitte, your turn's coming too… one day!” – Pamela Fitzgerald to her daughter Brigitte in the original “Ginger Snaps”
When we last saw Brigitte Fitzgerald, she was lying on top of the creature that had once been her sister Ginger, as it took its final breath. In Brigitte's hand was a hypodermic needle containing a liquid concoction derived from monkshood, which Sam, the late local pot supplier and amateur botanist, theorised would reverse or halt her transformation from human to werewolf.
Brigitte was hoping to inject Ginger to save her, but there was so little of her sister left in the beast she confronted in the basement of their home that it was too late for Ginger… but it might not be too late for Brigitte.
49 Films presents the sequel to the 2000 motion picture “Ginger Snaps.” Directed by Brett Sullivan from a screenplay by Megan Martin, “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” is produced by Steven Hoban, Paula Devonshire and Grant Harvey and executive produced by John Fawcett and Noah Segal. “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” stars Emily Perkins, reprising her role as Brigitte, the younger Fitzgerald sister as she struggles to survive and combat the same infection that claimed her sister.
Brigitte's journey takes her far from the suburbs of Bailey Downs to a drug rehabilitation clinic, run by Alice Seversen (Janet Kidder), a street-smart former addict who believes Brigitte is another strung out teenage drug user like the ones she tries to help on a daily basis. Assisting Alice at the clinic is the handsome but immoral orderly Tyler ( Smallville 's Eric Johnson), who it turns out, is much more interested in his own specific needs. Add into the mix the 14-year-old Miranda (Tatiana Maslany), known to all as Ghost. Not at the clinic for drug problems, Ghost is in residence there to be with her bedridden grandmother as she recovers from horrible burns. Her fascination with Brigitte's problems has her playing a key role in the story. And let's not forget Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) – dead, but appearing before Brigitte as a counselling apparition to lend her own advice and words of wisdom.
And finally, there is the beast – a fierce lycanthropic creature that is stalking Brigitte.
“ I 'd rather be dead than be what you are.”
– Brigitte to Ginger in the original “Ginger Snaps”
About The Story
Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins) does not wish to transform into what Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) had become. In the original “Ginger Snaps” she cut both her and her sister's hands, and then clasped their wounds together. By doing so Brigitte had contracted her sister's affliction, and now she must combat it.
After making one of several trips to the library, to continue her research on the biological infection that threatens to change her into a hideous creature, Brigitte goes to a local motel. There she learns her wounds, which she herself inflicts to gauge the effectiveness of her monkshood injections, are healing at an increasing rate. Alarmed, she injects herself with another hit of the purple toxin and immediately begins to overdose. She collapses into the arms of Jeremy (Brendan Fletcher), the librarian who has followed her to bring her some books. He helps her into his car, but before he can start the vehicle a wolf-like creature attacks him. Brigitte escapes the carnage, stumbling down the street before she passes out.
When she comes to she is in the infirmary of the Happier Times Rehabilitation Clinic, and is greeted by Alice (Janet Kidder), who runs the outreach program at the clinic. It seems Brigitte was found on the street and, mistaken for a junkie, was taken to the clinic where she is now locked up and kept from her monkshood.
In the rehab centre Brigitte meets an assortment of characters, mostly girls her own age, incarcerated for various psychological and drug-related problems. But then there is Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), an odd, hyperactive 14-year-old, staying there with her grandmother who is recovering from horrible burns suffered in a house fire. Ghost's strange manner disguises her intelligence, and she is drawn to Brigitte, intrigued by the new arrival's manner and unique “addiction.”
Meanwhile the morally corrupt Tyler (Eric Johnson), who secures drugs for the girls in exchange for sexual favours, offers to help Brigitte out, but she rejects him. However, when her hair growth and ear and eye begin to transform she realises she must have the monkshood at any cost. Plus, she is aware that the creature that killed Jeremy has tracked her to the clinic and as she tells Alice, “If you keep me here people are gonna die!”
Ghost offers to help Brigitte escape and together they make their way out of the clinic and, using the rehabilitation clinic car, drive to the rural cottage where Ghost lived with her grandmother. There, without her needed doses of the monkshood Brigitte's transformation begins to accelerate.
Before they left the clinic Ghost secured a vial of monkshood for Brigitte, but she had no way to inject it. Besides, she needed more than Ghost brought, so she phones Tyler and offers to trade the rehab car if he brings her stash and a needle. He soon arrives but when he injects Brigitte with the monkshood she has a violent reaction, causing Tyler to phone the clinic and inform Alice of the girls' whereabouts.
Constantly drawn by the attraction of a female that is turning into a creature like him, the beast has also found his way to the cottage.
Alone in the wooded cottage in the dead of winter Ghost, Tyler and Alice will confront the true nature of Brigitte's affliction.
“ We swore we'd go together, one way or another.
Out by 16 or dead in the scene, but together forever.”
– Ginger to Brigitte in the original “Ginger Snaps”
About the Production
On May 11, 2001, after a successful tour of film festivals around the world, John Fawcett's “Ginger Snaps” opened theatrically in Canada. Shortly after it found its way in markets around the world, and became, in the words of producer Steve Hoban, “a minor cult classic hit.”
“Ginger Snaps” attracted not only a large fan base of horror fans and women who identified with the lead characters, but also drew acclaim from critics world-wide. The Toronto Star called the film “a superbly realised take on the perils of being different in a world that demands conformity.” The New York Times praised “Ginger Snaps,” calling Fawcett “fundamentally a sly, dry satirist,” while stating “the bloodletting has some real thematic resonance.” And the London Daily Mail called it “that rarity, an intelligent horror film - and deserves to rank among the best werewolf movies ever made.”
There are web sites devoted to the film and as interest in the film built and as more people saw it throughout the world the thought of a sequel, only wishfully discussed during the original film's production, became a reality.
Hoban explains how the ball got rolling: “It is not often a distributor comes to you and says “Will you make a movie?” Usually it is the other way around with you going to them hat in hand. But Lions Gate Films (the foreign sales company of “Ginger Snaps”) was very excited to see a feature sequel to “Ginger Snaps.” I went back to them and said, “Okay, but it's two features.” Lions Gate came on board as the foreign sales company as well and the U.S. distributor for both the sequel and the prequel. Our Canadian distributor of the first movie (TVA International) was also very interested at the time; they were incredibly supportive with the first film and they put a great deal of effort and resources into it. They had always talked about doing sequels from the beginning, unfortunately they were in the process of being bought by another company and were not able to commit to the films. We were very lucky to find that Seville Pictures was just as interested in doing sequels to “Ginger Snaps”.
Once it was decided there were going to be two features, the decision was quickly made to shoot the films in the same location. And to shoot them back to back, thus saving several hundreds of thousands of dollars by shooting the second film (“Ginger Snaps – the Prequel”) two weeks after wrapping “ Ginger Snaps: Unleashed .” The savings were made in having basically the same production crew for both pictures and eliminating the set up cost for the second film.
The creative team then had to be settled on. Executive producer John Fawcett, the director of the original “Ginger Snaps,” explains his involvement, and why he choose not to direct “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” “When Steve (Hoban) approached me I had other things I wanted to do more than direct sequels. As a director I felt I had done what I wanted to do with the first movie, and directing is such a major, enormous commitment. I liked the idea of being in a creative position, where I could keep an eye on the script and hire directors and have a say in casting without having to direct either of the two films. I do seriously love the characters and I wanted to make sure that the integrity of the characters and the whole ideology behind the first “Ginger Snaps” stayed true. So I signed on as an executive producer.”
Fawcett's thoughts were in line with Hoban's, who continues, “The initial concept I presented to John Fawcett and Karen Walton (the screenwriter of “Ginger Snaps”) was to do the sequel with a first time director, a first time writer and a first time producer, and give those people an opportunity, and we could act like mentors. Not that we had a tremendous amount of experience, but the first film was significant enough to spawn two more films, so I felt we could give some new people experience, rather than me producing again, John directing again and Karen writing again. From a career point of view, I felt this did not do anyone a great deal of good. We are not stepping up; we were not moving forward as far as director, writer and producer. So that was the idea – we said let's retain creative control over the films, but let's give creative people a break. Everyone seemed to be on board with that idea.
For the producer, who spent every day on set during the shooting of “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed,” Paula Devonshire was chosen. Experienced in production, she had worked for Hoban's company, 49 Films, for over a year, and had line produced Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing” for the company. Hoban felt Devonshire was ready for the next step up, and hired her as producer for “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed.”
The task was then to find a screenwriter who could pen a sequel, creating interesting characters while remaining true to, as Fawcett simply stated, “The whole ideology behind the first “Ginger Snaps.”
Hoban said it was very difficult to find the correct writer for this script. “We read so many scripts – we read many, many scripts – and although we started out with our idyllic plan of getting beginners for these key roles, we decided to possibly forego that plan and just get the best writer(s) we could find for this film. We had to have a Canadian scriptwriter, as we were modelling our financial structure based on that. In Canada there are a lot of really good writers. The problem is they are working on TV and other disciplines; it is difficult to see what their potential is as feature writers. It is hard to identify who those writers with potential are. So you really are looking at spec scripts for the most part.”
“That's how we selected our writers – we read spec scripts from one hundred and fifty different people and Megan (Martin) had written this script called “My Superstar,” which had exactly the kind of subversive attitude that we were looking for. It had echoes of “Ginger Snaps” in it. Beyond that, however, it had another aspect that we felt no one else on the creative team could bring to it – a really edgy, sexy smouldering element that wasn't going to come from anyone else on the creative team. We felt the rest of us could be counted on to come up with the horror aspects, but when it came to the attitude of the characters and getting believable voices, which Karen Walton did so well in the first film, we needed that in whoever was going to be our scriptwriter. Megan was able to create complex characters with writing that had a great sexual edge as well.”
Producer Paula Devonshire echoed Hoban's comments, saying that they were looking for a female writer to understand the special personalities of the characters. “We wanted a female writer who could get into the characters' – especially Brigitte's and Ghost's - heads and Megan won out. Had there been a male screenwriter who nailed it we would have hired him, but certain aspects of the film work well and will not be questioned because they are written by a woman.”
The first time director was the Genie nominated editor of the original “Ginger Snaps” – Brett Sullivan who, when asked “Are you a fan of the horror genre?” replies simply “How can you not be a fan of the horror genre?”
Hoban recalls it was not difficult to decide upon choosing Sullivan as the director. “Once we decided that we wanted to approach it with people who were just starting out, when we came to the director we went back to the first film. Brett edited “Ginger Snaps.” John (Fawcett) and I both loved the work he did on the film. I have worked with Brett on a number of projects in the past, as has John. Brett was the co-editor on the very first feature I ever produced, a film entitled “Blood & Donuts.” He had directed a few short films that were very good, and he wanted to direct a feature. He was very much connected to the Ginger Snaps tone and attitude from the first movie. He brought a piece of that tone and attitude to the cutting that he did. When it came to moving forward with the sisters from Bailey Downs and evolving them into new stories it seemed to make sense to look to somebody like that.”
In casting the two leads of Brigitte and Ghost one would be the easiest to cast while one would prove to be very challenging.
Emily Perkins received tremendous accolades from her performance as Brigitte, the surviving Fitzgerald sister, in the original “Ginger Snaps.” Even critics who didn't take to the original film praised Emily's acting.
Hoban remembers, “Our financiers were interested in taking the Ginger Snaps name and capitalising on it and making more horror movies with werewolves. So yes, we could we have done it without Emily Perkins. But I don't know whether any of us involved creatively would have been interested in doing the film without her. She was so much a part of the fun and she is a really great actress as well as a really great person. Plus, this was an opportunity to make her character front and centre. Brigitte had a large role in the first film, but it really focused on Ginger, who was the flamboyant character. Now this film is really about Emily's character.”
Co-star Tatiana Maslany who, as Ghost, acts opposite Perkins in nearly every one of her scenes, also sings Perkins' praises. “Emily has such a powerful energy and yet she makes me feel really comfortable on the set. I never felt alone out there. Emily was always so supportive and she was always there to show me the ropes. Working with her is great because our characters are so contrasting, and yet the chemistry between us really helped make some of our scenes work incredibly well.”
Not only is Ghost a new character to the Ginger Snaps saga, she is also a unique character to film, and the producers knew they had to bring a very talented actress to the role.
“It was very difficult to cast Ghost,” says Hoban. “We all believe she is a very unique character and in cinema a very memorable character. Where that character goes and the revelations by the end of the movie as to who she really is and what she is really about is really fantastic. From the inception of the script she was an amazing character, so we wanted and needed very strong actress to portray her. If we had anything less we would not be doing justice to the role that Megan Martin wrote. So we were hard on ourselves to find someone who would be “right”. We searched all over the place. We cast all over Canada, we cast in both Los Angeles and New York, and there were a lot of interesting, terrific actresses we could have gone with, and the decision went down to the wire – we held off on the decision as long as possible. We had debates among the creative team, for we all agreed that the whole movie depended upon casting the right actress in the role of Ghost. John Fawcett and I went to New York and saw a bunch of exciting actresses when we were casting for the first film, which we drew upon when looking for our Ghost. But in the end, we went with Tatiana, and she proved to be the best choice of all. Tatiana was great at bringing all the little nuances we needed Ghost to have.”
John Fawcett calls Ghost's character “The biggest most original element in the feature – a character you do not often see in film. People are not going to be expecting Tatiana's character - this young hyperactive comic book loving, braces-wearing little girl that I think is going to catch everyone off guard.”
Once it was decided to shoot the sequel and the prequel back to back the focus on locations centred solely on the prequel – it being a period piece set in 1815. When Fort Edmonton was chosen as the ideal spot for the prequel, then Edmonton became the chosen site by default for “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed,” because the two main sets for this feature, a hospital and a rural cottage, could be found anywhere. That being said, what was found for the hospital was spectacular.
Built in 1922, the hospital was located within Edmonton city limits and was only operating in approximately two-thirds of its buildings. This made some old abandoned hospital buildings available which, through the vision of production designer Todd Cherniawsky, made the Happier Times Rehabilitation Clinic a unique character in its own right.
Explains Cherniawsky, “I believe that buildings have souls of their own. A building like that you just can't fake no matter how much money and space you have to build; there is something unique that comes with a location like that. Working in a hospital that was once very active brings layers of character that you can't build on a soundstage. When I saw the photos of the hospital, even before I had had a chance to visit it, I knew we had something. But the place was white from inside out. There were a lot of doors missing. A lot of stuff that although great visually, were not in line with what we wanted, so there was a lot of work to do. It's the kind of shell and soul of a building you could not build, not by any means. We shot there for 13 days out of 30, so close to half of the feature was shot in the hospital.”
Director Brett Sullivan was equally taken with the location. “The whole atmosphere the hospital naturally created; it was a beautiful find – I took one look and I knew we had to shoot there. Sometimes when you were there by yourself it was very creepy. You could sense the pain and suffering that had gone on there in the past.”
The main location besides the hospital was a cottage, the interior of which was built in an Edmonton sound stage.
Cherniawsky says the Alberta locations gave “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” a unique look. “I think it is really interesting we wound up in Alberta , and it gives the film a very different look, an interesting contrast. Brigitte has come from this terrible homogenous suburban world of Bailey Downs, and where we pick her up is in this bleak prairie landscape which is the perfect place for her, because she wants to get away from people, and get as isolated as possible. But of course she finds herself in the clinic in the same sort of institutional, governing world that existed for her in her old neighbourhood.”
A constant in the palette of the design was to isolate the colours red and purple, having red used primarily for blood, and having purple used only for the medicinal antidote monkshood, which Brigitte needs to inject to delay her transformation.
The colours selected for the costumes were important in maintaining the look Sullivan wanted and also in showing the progression of Brigitte and Ginger since the original “Ginger Snaps.”
Costume designer Alex Kavanagh explains, “We wanted to show that Brigitte had grown since then. In “Ginger Snaps” she had been very quirky and Goth-like with a lot of vintage pieces and was wearing a lot of black and we wanted to show progression from there because she is pretty well on the run. So we wanted her stylised - to blend into the background. Her clothes are very nondescript; we have kept them very dark, but made a specific effort to not have her in black, because Brigitte is trying very hard to be alive, not embracing death as she did in the first movie, so we are avoiding black on her. I think having Ginger appear as her conscience/ghost sister, she is still in black as Brigitte's memory of how her sister used to be. We wanted to have a lot of saturated colour but have it muted, so everything is dyed over with greys to tone down the colours and using the complimentary colours, so if we had blue jeans we dyed them with an orange dye. And of course we avoided using red or purple, with key deliberate exceptions - when Brigitte is getting injected with the monkshood in the clinic her underwear is purple on purpose.”
A character as unique as Ghost demanded a unique look. Kavanagh reflects on Ghost's wardrobe. “Ghost was the most difficult of all the characters to conceptualise, because the audience has to feel somewhat sorry for her. We wanted Brigitte to feel a kinship to her and be empathetic towards her, but on the other hand we wanted her to be distinct and separate not only from Brigitte, but also from all the other girls in the rehab, so when we were discussing her character originally, I had a strong feeling towards using a Japanese anime influence, a nerd punk thing with a lot of colour, because she is so into comic books, but we didn't want her to be that stylised. When it came down to it that approach seemed a little too out of place for the world we had created in the rehabilitation centre, so we toned it down on the style factor, but if you look at her you can tell that she is trying to achieve this within her limited means. What she can get her hands on she is using to project a unique look. Of course we want her to be very childlike, to be separate from the other girls. She dresses very young, very colourful like her comic books; we wanted her to be sickeningly sweet.”
An added factor in filming “Ginger Snaps – the Sequel” only marginally thought of was the influence the Edmonton winter would have on the thirty day shoot. There were some days shooting outside when the mercury dropped to thirty degrees below zero, without the wind chill factor! Director Sullivan wanted to employ the cold as much as possible. “It was important to me that breath be visible, something you can't create properly,” he said, adding “I wanted to take advantage of the cold and capture it in the exterior footage we shot.
About the Design of the Creature
From the moment they knew they were going to produce back to back follow-ups to “Ginger Snaps,” the producers wanted the creature effects to be impressive. Explains producer Hoban, “We wanted to up the budget on our creature effects from what we had in the first film. One way was to do the sequel and the prequel back-to back and hire one company that would do all the design work at the outset that would serve both films. That design work is amongst the most expensive part of the effects work to begin with, so we got real benefit. We were also fortunate to land KNB.”
Howard Berger is one of the principals of KNB EFX Group Inc. of Van Nuys, California, one of the leaders in film and television prosthetics and creature design. Berger was on set every day of the shoot, to ensure the desired look was obtained for the creature that follows Brigitte throughout “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed”.
Born in Los Angeles, the son of a film industry sound engineer, Berger became involved in the sequel and the prequel after working and becoming friends with John Fawcett, the director of the original “Ginger Snaps” and an executive producer on the two follow-up films.
Berger explains, “I used to work on “Xena: Warrior Princess,” and John came down to New Zealand to work as a director on the series. That's where we met. During one of the last episodes we did in New Zealand he showed me this script for a film he was going to direct, the original “Ginger Snaps.” Unfortunately I was unable to work on that film due to conflicting commitments, but I said to let me know when you do the next one.”
“So a couple of years pass and just before Thanksgiving, 2002 Fawcett called me at KNB and says “We're doing Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps - the Prequel, are you available?” As luck had it, I was freed up for the first half of 2003, so this would work fine, and I said I'd love to do it.”
“I was sent a script and after I read it I did some conceptual artwork. We were very excited at KNB, for we had never done a werewolf movie before and were dying to get to do one. The producers liked my initial design, and they, along with director Brett Sullivan, came down to our offices and had a big meeting over a weekend and found we were pretty well all on the same page.”
Actually the first designs for the creature were very different from the beast that stalks Brigitte in “Ginger Snaps – the Sequel.” Berger explains, “We started with something that was fairly hairless. It had a light hair on it, but it was more ‘ gorilla meets Hellhound .' It had a very different look; small ears, and very bony looking. Then as we started to get into it more we realised we needed more of a wolf-sort of creature and the producers and Brett had a lot of input into it.”
Berger originally envisioned a biped creature, one that walked on its hind legs as in “The Howling.” But the producers wanted the beast to be a quadruped, on all fours. And that's what KNB ended up building – a quadruped werewolf. Director Sullivan wanted a white beast, which conceptually worked well, but when the design team at KNB saw how much a white creature stood out against any background they suggested toning it down with black and greys. This was agreed to, and all that was left was to create the beast.
Because the film was not going to rely on computer-generated imaging, and instead have a creature that was a man in a suit, Berger decided to try a different approach to the construction of the creature suit.
Explains Berger, “When creating this kind of creature effect you basically sculpt in clay the skin that you want and what you want the creature to look like. Then you make moulds, make a negative impression of it and then produce foam rubber skins, paint it and add the hair. I didn't want to go that route. So I had our fabricating department at KNB build a muscle suit, comprised of individual muscles glued on to a body form along with the bones and then covered with a spandex material, because I wanted the skin to be really tight. I wanted the suit to be as thin as we could get it based around the actor, Jake McKinnon, who KNB uses a lot in suits and who the producers and director Sullivan were delighted to have as our creature.”
“From there we painted up the spandex which was all sewn in, and then we haired it. I ordered a specific hair from a Boston company, National Fibre Technology that makes 4-way stretch fabric that the hair, a mix of yak and human hair, is then put on. They are the only company who does it, and it is the absolute best.”
For the creature's head there were two different head coverings McKinnon wore. The first was a lightweight, fixed expression mould, which was used whenever the beast was filmed from a distance. The second head was heavier, with radio controlled facial features, used whenever details of the creature's face were in the shot. The radio controlled head required two people to run it – one set of transmitters to operate just the eyes – moving them side to side, up and down and enabling a blinking action. The second, and larger controller, which was custom made for this creature, had four radio controlled units built into one, enabling the creature to open its mouth, move its lips, draw back its ears and move the muscles of its nose.
It was decided not to have a mechanical neck on the creature. This way, McKinnon's neck movements would be the creature's movements and would look more natural. This also enabled McKinnon to move faster, as the mechanical head was lighter than if it contained gears and equipment to operate the movement of the neck.
Berger says he is very pleased with the way the creature looks in the film, as he is with the other makeup effects he was responsible for, the most noticeable being Brigitte's transformation process. She actually goes through thirteen different makeup changes. They start out being subtle, with just the scars on her arms, and progress until the final stage until she becomes a creature-like thing, although she never fully transforms into a werewolf.
KNB also created bodies for Beth-Ann and Jeremy, as well as the application and manufacturing of the blood. Berger is very detailed when it comes to effects dealing with blood and gore. “There is some gore in this film, but there is not a lot, not as much gore as you might think, but the gore that we are doing is substantial. We are mixing a lot of different bloods with different viscosities. Director Brett Sullivan likes blood, so we mixed up a real light blood, which we call “3M” blood, a blood they used to use in the earlier days of filmmaking. If you see films from the sixties and the seventies the blood looks almost like paint, like a weird, more orange than red paint. So we mixed some and it actually looks cool, especially during the low light situations. If we used the normal fake blood that we make, it appears too dark and we were concerned it might disappear during the dark scenes, so we've mixed different types to achieve a maximum effect.”
“ The thing about blood is, it's not a matter of spilling blood on the floor, and there is an art to dressing blood on a set. There is a talent to it. The way you splatter it and the way you dress it. It is very specific. You can't just pour blood on the floor and walk away and call it a day. A good artist can take bad blood and make it look good, while a bad artist can take good blood and make it look terrible.”
While dedicated to his craft, Berger knows its place in horror films. “Some films rely too much on their special effects. I think the general public from ages 4 to 90 are way too educated and critical when it comes to special effects. And the truth is that special effects can't carry a movie. The films that work the best are films that integrate the special effects and use them as a tool within the structure of a good story. If they stick out and distract the viewer from the storytelling I don't think they've done their job properly. They might be really cool, but a lot of the time they just are overwhelming. Sometimes you are distracted and say “Wow! What a great special effect.” Or they are bad, and you go “Gosh, that was terrible,” but you are removed from where the story itself wants to take you.”
At the conclusion of “ Ginger Snaps: Unleashed ” Berger and his team at KNB immediately started work on “ Ginger Snaps – the Prequel .”
"You wrecked everything for me that isn't about you. Now I am you.” - Brigitte to Ginger in the original “Ginger Snaps”.
“I know you are, but what am I ?” – Ginger's response
About the Cast
EMILY PERKINS (Brigitte Fitzgerald)
Emily Perkins is Brigitte Fitzgerald, the surviving sister of the Fitzgerald sisters who, infected with the same virus that caused her sister Ginger to transform into a hideous werewolf, is in a constant battle to stop her own transformation.
When she was ten years old Emily begged her mother to let her be in plays, after seeing theatre productions tour her elementary school. The rest, as they say, is history.
Perkins is an award-winning veteran of stage and screen. Her film performances include “Past Perfect,” “Broken Pledges,” “Insomnia” and of course the original “Ginger Snaps,” where Brigitte was introduced to audiences. Her television appearances include a current recurring role as Sue on Da Vinci's Inquest,” a performance that won her a Supporting Actor Leo Award in 2003 at the BC Provincial Film & Television Awards. Other television projects Perkins has been in include “The X-Files,” “Mom P.I.,” “In Cold Blood” and “Danger Bay.” She has also appeared in the stage productions of Mythologically Speaking” and “Kid's Right Lead.”
In 1990 Perkins was recognised by YTV with a National Youth Achievement Award in Acting. She has trained with the Company of Rogues, The Vancouver Youth Theatre Company, the Carousel Theatre and the Amadeus Children's Choir.
She will next be seen again as Brigitte Fitzgerald, although this time an early 19 th Century version of her, in “Ginger Snaps – the Prequel.”
TATIANA MASLANY (Miranda “Ghost”)
Tatiana Maslany plays Ghost, aptly named by her grandmother who hated how quiet she would be before scaring her with sudden noises. A very intelligent and devious 14-year-old, the hyperactive Ghost takes a curious liking to Brigitte from the moment she sees her at the clinic.
Born and raided in Regina, Maslany, who at 17 years of age is three years older than Ghost, started acting in community plays in Regina. Her first stage role was as one of the orphans in a musical production of “Oliver.” She went on to do a lot of musical theatre and then auditioned for anything that came up. On television she has been seen in the 1997 series “The Incredible Story Studio” and the 2002 futuristic science fiction series “2030 CE” as Rome Greyson. Her performance as Rome won her the 2003 Best Actress Blizzard Award at the Manitoba Film & Television Awards.
Maslany lives in Regina with her parents and her younger brothers Daniel and Michael.
KATHARINE ISABELLE (Ginger Fitzgerald)
Katharine Isabelle plays the apparition of Ginger Fitzgerald, Brigitte's older sister who Brigitte killed defending herself from the creature Ginger had transformed into. Caustic and sarcastic, but bonded all their lives; the two remain connected even after Ginger's passing.
The daughter of “The X-Files” production designer Graeme Murray, Isabelle has amassed a wealth of big screen and television credits. Besides starring as Ginger in the original “Ginger Snaps,” other features she has appeared in include a key role in Christopher Nolan's “Insomnia,” as well as “Falling Angels,” “On the Corner” and “Turning Paige.”
Although not a large fan of the horror genre, Isabelle excels in performing in them, recently prompting TV Guide to write she “seems destined to become the “Jamie Lee Curtis of the ‘00s.” Horror specific films she has appeared in include “Freddy Vs Jason,” “Carrie,” “Bones,” “Disturbing Behavior” and of course the original “Ginger Snaps,” as well as the Ginger Snaps prequel that was filmed immediately after “Ginger Snaps – the Sequel.”
Notable television appearance include roles in “Night Visions,” “Da Vinci's Inquest,” “First Wave,” “Goosebumps,” “The Net,” “The Outer Limits,” “John Doe,” and “The Chris Isaak Show.”
JANET KIDDER (Alice)
Janet Kidder plays Alice Seversen, the kind but firm administrator of the outreach program at the Happier Times Rehabilitation Clinic. A reformed addict herself, Alice knows how to handle the teenage girls who come to her, and believes Brigitte is not much different from the others.
Born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Kidder left Canada when she was two and was raised by her mother in England. She returned to Canada after graduating from high school. She trained at the University of British Columbia and at Studio 58, both in Vancouver.
Kidder was seen weekly for two years as Cpl. Marina De Luzio on the CBC series “Tom Stone.” Other television appearances include roles in “The Big Heist,” “Made in Canada,” “The Girl Next Door,” “Sea People,” and as Julia Cook on the series “Earth: Final Conflict.” Feature films she has been in “Darkness Falling,” “Dead Awake,” “Too Much Sex” and “Bride of Chucky.”
Now living in Toronto, Kidder loves performing on stage and has many performing credits to her name. Her last play was George F. Walker's “Featuring Loretta,” part of the playwright's suburban motel series.
ERIC JOHNSON (Tyler)
Eric Johnson plays the clinic's handsome and boyish orderly Tyler, who, although he looks it, is not the poster boy for Happier Times Rehab Clinic workers. He quite often obtains drugs for the girls in the institution's care in exchange for sexual favours. Johnson describes Tyler as “a dorky, good natured sleaze with some morality issues.”
Born and raised in Edmonton, Johnson joined a local theatre company when he was nine, which he says taught him the discipline to be focussed on making acting a career. When he was fourteen years of age he was cast as the young teenage Tristan (Brad Pitt's role) in “Legends of the Fall.” Other features he has acted in include “Heart of the Sun,” “Texas Rangers,” “Bear With Me,” and “Borderline Normal.”
Johnson now lives in Vancouver, where he moved in 2001 to play Whitney Fordman in the hit television series “Smallville.” Other television appearances include “Scorn,” “Children of Fortune,” “Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story” and “Jackie Collins: Hollywood Wives the New Generation”
BRENDAN FLETCHER (Jeremy)
Brendan Fletcher plays Jeremy, the young librarian who has been watching Brigitte with a shy affection whenever she visits the library to do research. Awkward and sweet in his smart-ass approach at piquing her interest, he becomes, in Fletcher's words, referencing “Scream” – “the Drew Barrymore of “Ginger Snaps – the Sequel.”
From his debut performance in “Little Criminals,” which earned him a Gemini nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program, Brendan Fletcher has been impressing audiences and critics alike. Born in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, he now calls the city of Vancouver home. Known for his emotionally explosive characters, Brendan's other films include John Greyson's “The Law of Enclosures,” for which he won a Best Actor Genie, Jeremy Podeswa's “The Five Senses,” “Turning Paige” opposite Katharine Isabelle, “My Father's Angel,” with Tony Nardi and Scott Smith's “Rollercoaster” as the short-fused character Stick.
Other notable performances include the title role in the independent feature “Jimmy Zip,” and as one of the teen killers in the CBC television movie “Scorn.” Amongst his television credits is a recurring role on “Caitlin's Way,” for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Gemini Award, and guest leads on “Dead Man's Gun,” The Crow,” “Da Vinci's Inquest” and “Millennium.”
PASCALE HUTTON (Beth-Ann)
Pascale Hutton plays Beth-Ann, one of the girls Brigitte meets at the clinic. 18-years-old, with an air of private school gone bad, she is eager to get high, and more than obliging to give Tyler what he wants in order to do so. She definitely is not one of Ghost's favourite people. Newcomer Pascale Hutton landed the role with the first audition she ever gave for a movie or for television. Born in Creston, British Columbia, Hutton attended the conservatory program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She had acted in local theatre productions in Edmonton and had done voiceover work for radio prior to landing the role of Beth-Ann. Hutton lives in Calgary with her fiancé. Following her role in “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” Pascale landed the key supporting role playing Farrah Fawcett's daughter in “Jackie Collins: Hollywood Wives the New Generation.”
The hardest part for her was lying still throughout her being filmed as a corpse. “I am on this cold concrete floor for upwards of an hour and a half while they cover me in prosthetics and makeup and gore and it was freezing. The deserted building we were shooting in was not heated and it was 32 degrees below outside, and it felt colder inside on the basement floor. The biggest challenge was not moving my eyes and remaining still and unblinking.”
About the Filmmakers
BRETT SULLIVAN (Director)
Brett Sullivan has edited numerous features and over one hundred hours of television, receiving respective Genie and Gemini nominations in 2001 for “Ginger Snaps” and “Lucky Girl.” He won a Gemini Award in 1998 for Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Program or Series, for "Psi Factor." Other projects he has edited include “Blood & Donuts,” “Pocahontas: The Legend,” “Dream House,” and “Treed Murray.”
In 1998 he wrote and directed his first short film, “Shudder” followed by “6ix” in 1999, and “The Promise,” starring Gordon and Leah Pinsent, in 2001. Sullivan also attended the Director's Resident Programme at the Canadian Film Centre in 2001. Recently Brett has directed both for television series and 2 nd Unit feature work.
“Ginger Snaps: Unleashed” is his feature directorial debut.
Executive Producer John Fawcett on Sullivan: “Brett is an extremely talented editor. Editors in director's shoes shoot differently from most directors because they possess this foresight of ‘I only need from here to here.' This strikes me as dangerous. I personally like to have a few more options. But then you look at his cuts and you realise how he has turned his footage into something really cool, and you appreciate that what Brett lacked in production on set he has made up for it in spades in post production.”
MEGAN MARTIN (Screenwriter)
Megan Martin was born in Edmonton and grew up in Saskatoon. She now calls New York home.
She received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Saskatchewan, her Masters from the London School of Economics and is presently getting her doctorate at Columbia University.
In 1999 Martin attended the Canadian Film Centre, taking the Residency Film Program and the Writers' Program back to back. Although this is her only formal training as a writer, she has been writing since she was very young. She has had a collection of short stories published.
“ Ginger Snaps: Unleashed ” is her first screenplay to go before the camera, but she penned a feature screenplay previously, entitled “My Superstar,” currently in development with another production company. Producer Steve Hoban read “My Superstar” and said it had the kind of subversive attitude they were looking for when deciding to hire a writer for the “Ginger Snaps” sequel.
STEVEN HOBAN (Producer)
Steve Hoban started in the bond business as Vice President of Business Affairs at Motion Picture Guarantors, where he worked on productions from all over the world with budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand to tens of millions of dollars. He began his career as a feature film producer in 1994 with “Blood & Donuts.” Directed by Holly Dale, it was the first feature film produced under the auspices of Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre.
In 1995 Hoban joined the IMAX Corporation, spearheading the creation of their animation studio and the development of proprietary 3D-animation technology. The first glimpse of this new technology was unveiled in 1998 with the international release of “Paint Misbehavin,'” an animated 3D short produced by Hoban with IMAX co-founder Roman Kroitor. Hoban then produced the first IMAX 3D computer-generated film “Cyberworld.”
Hoban's other credits include producing the original “Ginger Snaps”, “Blood & Donuts”and Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing” and two shorts: the critically-acclaimed “Elevated”directed by Natali and John Fawcett's award-winning “Half Nelson.” Besides the “Ginger Snaps: Unleashed”, Hoban is producer of the prequel to “Ginger Snaps,” and executive Producer Jesse Warn's “The Nemesis Game.”
PAULA DEVONSHIRE (Producer)
Paula Devonshire started in the film industry as an editor, working on the television series “Due South” and Nikita,” and the television movies “The Waiting Game” and “Recipe for Revenge.”
In 1998 she produced “Shudder,” and followed up with “6ix,” two shorts directed by Brett Sullivan. She then was associate producer on two films by Catalyst Entertainment – “What Katy Did” and “Virtual Mom,” before working as the line producer on William Phillips' “Treed Murray.”
In December of 2001 Devonshire began working at 49 th Films where she line produced Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing” before signing on as the producer of both the sequel and the prequel to “Ginger Snaps.”
GRANT HARVEY (Producer)
Since graduating from the film program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Grant Harvey has directed over one hundred commercials. In 1990 he started up his own Calgary commercial film and television production company, Combustion Inc., specialising in commercials, music videos, short films and documentaries.
In 1996 Harvey produced, co-wrote and directed his first feature, a very low budget (shot in 11 days for $50,000) film entitled “American Beer.” The film created some very positive buzz. Variety wrote “First time helmer Harvey has taken a good idea and made the most of it with threadbare resources, marrying a smart script to good young talent.”
In 2000 Harvey received a call from his friend and SAIT film school classmate John Fawcett, who was about to shoot “Ginger Snaps” and asked him if he would serve as second unit director on the feature. Two years later Harvey is not only producing both the sequel and the prequel, but directing the prequel as well.
JOHN FAWCETT (Executive Producer)
A talented filmmaker, who is meticulous with his attention to detail, John Fawcett has amassed a sizeable amount of credits, including feature films, television episodic series work, music videos and commercials. He was the director of the original “Ginger Snaps.” He also has several award winning short films to his credit.
A big fan of the horror genre, Fawcett credits his interest in gore and transformation effects as key to getting him interested in film when he was fourteen years old. After graduating from the film studies course at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Fawcett received additional training at the Canadian Film Centre.
He made his feature film debut in 1996 with “The Boy's Club,” which received five Genie Award nominations, including Best Director.
“Ginger Snaps” was Fawcett's second feature film, and became a sleeper hit and cult favourite around the world, spawning not only a sequel, but also a prequel set in the early 19 th century.
He has been twice nominated for a Gemini Award for directing, in 1999 for “Power Play” and winning in 2002 for “Da Vinci's Inquest.”
His television credits include “Xena: Warrior Princess,” the television movie “Lucky Girl,” and episodes of “Mutant X,” “Nikita” and “Steven Spielberg's Taken.”
NOAH SEGAL (Executive Producer)
Noah Segal began his career in the film and television business at Cambium Productions , then entered the world of film distribution with New World-Mutual Films (later renamed Malofilm). After nine years, he joined Multi-national Corporation BMG as their Vice President of Marketing.
In January of 1999, Segal returned to the film business as Senior Vice President of Distribution with Lions Gate Films where he soon became Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. While there he executive produced the original “Ginger Snaps.” He left Lions Gate to found 49 th Films with the company's two other partners, Steve Hoban and Philip Mellows.
Besides “Ginger Snaps” and this sequel, Segal is the executive producer of the prequel to “Ginger Snaps,” as well as two recent films – Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing” and Jesse Warn's “Nemesis Game.”
TODD CHERNIAWSKY (Production Designer)
A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta and now living in Los Angeles, Todd Cherniawsky attended the American Film Institute where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Production Design. His training also includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art & Design) from the University of Alberta and an Honours Diploma in Architectural Design Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
He was the production designer for all three “Ginger Snaps” features, thus making him one of only two crew members to work in the same position on all three films (the other being camera operator/steadicam operator Sean Jensen). Cherniawsky was also the production designer for the CTV television movie “100 Days in the Jungle.”
Cherniawsky's many credits as set designer include “Hulk,” “Ghosts of the Abyss,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Sphere,” “Armageddon” and “Planet of the Apes.” He is also working as set designer on “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “The Polar Express.”
MICHELE CONROY (Editor)
Michelle Conroy has been constantly busy as a television and feature film picture editor. In addition to “Ginger Snaps – the Sequel,” her other feature work includes Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing” and Bill Corcoran's “Sealed with a Kiss.”
Her extensive work on episodic television series includes HBO's “Strangers,” Fox Television Studio's “Eerie, Indiana,” Warner Bros Television's “Eternity” and three seasons of Fireworks Entertainment Inc.'s “The Relic Hunter.”
A resident of Toronto, recently Conroy has been working as picture editor on ESPN's “Playmakers.”
HOWARD BERGER (Special Make-up Effects and Creature Effects)
Howard Berger is the “B” of KNB EFX Group Inc. of Van Nuys, California, one of the leaders in film and television prosthetics and creature design. Born in Los Angeles, the son of a film industry sound engineer, Berger, a huge fan of special effects, wanted to work in the make-up and creature creation end of the film industry.
Mostly self-taught in his craft, Berger worked for others for a few years before meeting Robert Kurtzman (the “K”) and Greg Nicotero (the “N”), with whom he formed KNB in 1988. Their company has been involved in dozens of creature and special make-up effects features, including “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” “Minority Report,” “Vanilla Sky,” all three “Spy Kids” movies, all three “Scream” movies, “Army of Darkness,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” Quentin Tarantino's “Kill Bill,” the prequel to “The Exorcist,” the “Tremors” television series, “Thir13en Ghosts,” “Spawn,” “Ghost Ship,” “Little Nicky” and “The Haunting.”
ALEX KAVANAGH (Costume Designer)
A graduate of the costume studies program at Dalhousie University, Alex Kavanagh began designing costumes for the stage and worked her way into film and television in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She moved to Toronto to pursue a career in wardrobe and costume design.
Recently Kavanagh designed the costumes for “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” as well as all the period costumes for the early 19th century prequel to “Ginger Snaps.” Other features and television movies she has worked on include Gregory Hines' “The Red Sneakers,” Vincenzo Natali's “Nothing,” Ivan Passer's “The Wishing Tree,” “Charles Carner's “Unanswered Questions” and Donna Deitch's “The Devil's Arithmetic.”
Her costume work for television series include twenty episodes of Showtime's “Leap Years” and nineteen episodes of the Disney Channel's “In a Heartbeat.”
KURT SWINGHAMMER (Composer)
Toronto based musician/visual artist Kurt Swinghammer¹s film score credits include the NFB feature doc The Devil Inside, and Helen Lee¹s Genie award winning The Art Of Woo. He created the theme music for City TV¹s Media Television and CBC¹s Marketplace, and has written for the series Queer As Folk. Kurt is the musical director of an upcoming hour long special produced
for the CBC called Yukali Hotel starring Patricia O¹Callaghan. As a guitarist he has recorded with Ani DiFranco and toured with Ron Sexsmith, and is currently collaborating on a new album with Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. His recordings include the concept album VOSTOK 6, released internationally on Righteous Babe Records.