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"I get this ache... and I, I thought it was for sex, but it's to tear everything to fucking pieces."
Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps (2000).jpg
Title: Ginger Snaps
Directed by: John Fawcett
Written by: Karen Walton; John Fawcett
Produced by: Tina Goldlist; Karen Lee Hall; Steve Hoban; Dan Lyon; Alicia Reilly-Larson; Noah Segal
Music by: Mike Shields
Cinematography: Thom Best
Edited by: Brett Sullivan
Distributed by: Motion International; Copperheart Entertainment; Lions Gate Entertainment; Artisan Entertainment
Released: September 10th, 2000
Rating: R
Running time: 108 min.
Country: Canada
Language: English
Budget: $5,000,000
Next: Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (2004)

Ginger Snaps is a Canadian independent werewolf film directed by John Fawcett and released in 2000. It premiered at the München Fantasy Filmfest in Germany on August 1st, 2000 while the Canadian premiere screening was on September 10th at the Toronto International Film Festival. Despite limited theatrical release, the film has been critically well-received and has become a cult favorite among horror enthusiasts. The plot of Ginger Snaps centers around sisters Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald, two social outcasts at their local high school with an unhealthy interest in death. The film offers a uniquely feminine perspective on werewolf lore by drawing a comparison between the curse of lycanthropy and the onset of puberty. The monthly transformation into a werewolf serves as a metaphor for a woman's menstrual cycle.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Twisted Sisters[edit | edit source]

Bailey Downs is an ordinary small suburban community in Ontario, Canada; however, the town is terrorized by a creature, nicknamed the Beast of Bailey Downs, that slaughters the neighborhood animals.

A small boy is playing in a sandbox when he uncovers and is intrigued by the bloodied paw of his pet dog, Baxter. His mother finds the eviscerated remains of the family pet and grows hysterical. Scooping up the child, she runs out into the street screaming, "It killed our dog!" The elderly neighbors and neighborhood children give a brief glance, but don't give second thoughts as they go back to playing street hockey and watering the garden, unfazed by another killing.

Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald

Across the street, the Fitzgerald sisters engage in their own stylized brand of macabre entertainment. Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald are social outcasts with anarchistic attitudes that border on nihilism. In their own introverted paradise, they shun the outside world, modern society, and everything it represents. In the room of their home, the sisters talk about their pending "suicides". Brigitte is concerned that people will laugh, but Ginger is confident that they will be in awe. They are not speaking of actual suicide, but rather, a school project chronicling life in Bailey Downs. Ginger and Brigitte put together an ambitious slide show showing the sisters in various states of death, most of which involve methods that are both violent and grotesque. Ginger is run over by a lawnmower and impaled on a fence, and Brigitte overdoses on drugs and is stabbed by a pitchfork.

The sisters present their slide show to their class, and while most of the students get a kick out of the presentation, including Jason McCardy (who asks to see scenes of Ginger again) their teacher, Mister Wayne (who is also the school guidance counselor) is sickened. He instructs each of them to report to his office after class.

Later, the girls go to gym class where they play field hockey. They are rivals with a more popular student named Trina Sinclair. The sister play a game where they imagine how one of their peers dies, and they choose Trina. One of Trina's friends overhears the sisters making disparaging comments about her and informs Trina, who decides to pay them back by attacking Brigitte during the hockey game. She knocks her down on the hockey field onto the remains of a mutilated dog. Ginger gets in Trina's face, warning her never to touch her sister again. Ms. Sykes, the field hockey coach, breaks up the fight. Brigitte goes inside where the school janitor helps her to clean the dog blood off her face.

The Beast of Bailey Downs[edit | edit source]

The beast attacks!

That evening, the girls return home for an uncomfortable family dinner with their parents Pamela and Henry. Ginger complains about a persistent pain in her lower back and Pamela wonders if it might be cramps. The sisters are unique in that neither of them have experienced their first period yet. Pamela tries to offer words of comfort, but the irritable Ginger has no patience for her. After a terse exchange of words, Ginger and Brigitte leave the house.

The two decide to kidnap Trina's dog and fake its death while away from the house and go walking through a nearby park. Ginger begins bleeding and Brigitte notices it dripping down her thigh. Ginger is frustrated, feeling as if her own body is betraying her. Suddenly, they hear a rustling sound from nearby and grow nervous. The legendary "Beast of Bailey Downs", in fact, a werewolf, leaps out and pounces on Ginger. It drags her deep into the woods where it begins clawing and biting at her. Brigitte runs after them screaming Ginger's name. As the monster continues to attack Ginger, Brigitte smacks it across the back with her camera. One of the hits snaps a picture of the creature. Ginger scurries away and the two girls flee the scene. They run across the street and the beast gives chase. As it bounds after them, it is struck by a County Regreening Programme van driven by a young man named Sam. The impact completely destroys the animal. Sam slams on the brakes, gets out his van, and is in shock at the bloody mess, while the girl's stumble back to their house.

In their room, Brigitte frantically begins cleaning Ginger up. Miraculously though, her wounds are already beginning to heal. They both decide that going to the hospital would be a bad idea; besides, Ginger was almost fully healed! Brigitte breaks open her ruined camera and finds the snapshot of the creature's face.

The following day, Ginger and Brigitte go to the local drug store to buy some tampons. Ginger's cramps are overwhelming and she can barely walk. When they reach the checkout counter they see Jason McCardy. Jason recommends "a good toke" to take the edge off. Ginger goes with him and Brigitte finds her later smoking marijuana with Jason and his friends in the back of Sam's van. When Sam returns to his vehicle however, he expresses his disapproval of their actions and kicks them all out. Brigitte grows concerned over her sister's sudden confidence.

It is at this point that Brigitte meets Sam. Sam recognizes her from the previous evening and asks her about what really happened. He says that he is sure that what he hit was a lycanthrope even though his rational mind tells him that no such creature should even exist. Brigitte dodges his inquiries and returns home.

The New Ginger[edit | edit source]

"I can't have a hairy chest, B. That's fucked!"
Ginger Fitzgerald

At school, Ginger and Brigitte go outside to talk about all of the strange things that are going on. Trina Sinclair approaches them with her dog. Trina has a fondness for Sam, but Sam has no interest in her. Trina's dog begins barking and snapping at Ginger and Trina tries to hold him back. Ginger gets tired of listening to the animal and kicks it in the face. The enmity between Trina and Ginger deepens.

In the restroom, Ginger reveals to Brigitte that she has sprouted hair from her scars. A Brigitte tells Ginger the facts (about her changing appearance and how she was bitten on a full moon), but Ginger dismisses her, but she is angry that the changes are happening. She starts bleeding, and the sisters go to see Nurse Ferry. The nurse talks to them about Ginger's menstrual cycle and goes into great detail of the process, causing both sisters great discomfort.

That evening, Pamela Fitzgerald finds a pair of Ginger's soiled panties in the laundry basket. Realizing that her daughter has finally had her period, she beams with pride. She bakes Ginger her favorite dessert for dinner. She attempts to broach the subject again, but Ginger is overwhelmed with embarrassment. Brigitte and she get up from the table and go to their room. Ginger accuses Brigitte of telling their mother about her period, but Brigitte insists that she never mentioned a thing. The discussion gets heated and Brigitte points out how different Ginger has become ever since the werewolf incident. Ginger counters by saying Brigitte always wanted to be her, but Brigitte, who normally took insults from her sister quietly, denies wanting to be the new Ginger, telling her to go ahead with her habits.

Brigitte begins an independent study to find out more about werewolves and how to treat them. Most sources show werewolves as ruthless and must be destroyed. Meanwhile, Brigitte discovers evidence of Ginger's transformation in the restroom, seeing razors covered in excess hair.

The new Ginger

The following day, Ginger sheds her introverted image and proudly struts down the corridors at school. Her hair now has two long white streaks in it. On the prowl, she finds Jason McCardy and tackles him into the grass on the field hockey field. Brigitte watches in disgust as Ginger fawns all over him.

That evening, Brigitte watches Ginger as she sleeps. She notices that she is now growing a vestigial tail. Horrified, she makes plans to visit Sam. She meets with him at the Greenhouse where he works and bridges the discussion about lycanthropy. Brigitte implies that she is the one suffering from the curse, not Ginger. Sam tells her that he read how some metals like silver may purify the blood. He gives her his silver earring and tells her to put it to the test.

Brigitte then goes off to find Ginger. When she finally tracks her down, she finds her in the arms of Jason McCardy. Ginger is still mad about their spat from the previous evening and has nothing to say to her sister. She turns her back on Brigitte and gets into Jason's van.

That night, Ginger has sex with Jason in the back of his car. She comes at him not as a lover, but as a predator. Ginger's sexual energy is too much for Jason and he begins screaming as she digs into him. Ginger returns home, crying. When Brigitte inquires what happened, Ginger runs into the restroom. Brigitte finds her vomiting, blood smeared all across her face. In horror, Brigitte demands an answer, and Ginger replies that she killed Norman, the neighbor's dog. When she comes back inside, Brigitte convinces to try a naval piercing. She uses Sam's silver earring, but when Ginger inquires where she got it, interestingly, Brigitte lies and says she "just found it," further breaking from the sisters normally telling each other the truth about everything. The experience is painful and doesn't produce the results that Brigitte had hoped for. Ginger is still slowly changing into a werewolf.

The Monkshood Solution[edit | edit source]

Daddy's little girl.

The next day at school, Jason McCardy meets with his friends on the bleachers near the hockey field. There are scratches all across his face and blood stains on his trousers. He brags about how Ginger Fitzgerald "rocked my world." On the hockey field however, things become a bit more violent. Trina is still furious at the Fitzgerald sisters for their recent altercations, and she pushes Brigitte onto the ground. Ginger snaps and leaps upon Trina, brutally pummeling her in the face. Ms. Sykes separates them, and Ginger is sent to the guidance counselor. While Brigitte is standing outside Mister Wayne's office waiting for Ginger, she sees Jason McCardy walk by. She notes the blood stains on his pants and knows that Ginger has infected him with the curse of lycanthropy.

Brigitte convinces Ginger to visit Sam, but Ginger believes Brigitte has started a relationship with Sam and just wanted to see him. When they arrive at the greenhouse, Sam researches the lore of lycanthropy and discovers that a perennial plant called monkshood might possess properties that could counteract the curse. Ginger's anger grows with each passing moment and she dismisses everything that Sam says. She even accuses him of trying to seduce Brigitte and cites that she is only fifteen. Brigitte forces Ginger to leave, to which she replies that she won't protect her from Sam. Brigitte rolls her eyes at Sam who states that he does not think of her that way.

That night, as Brigitte is walking home, she unexpectedly meets Trina, who came over to the Fitzgerald house carrying a dog leash and sporting a band aid across her forehead, ready to confront the sisters. She yells at Brigitte and accuses Ginger of stealing her dog. Ginger runs out of the house, grabs Trina in a headlock and drags her inside. Brigitte tries to get her to stop, but Ginger keeps antagonizing the girl. During the scuffle, Trina frees herself and grabs a knife, forcing Ginger back. However, Trina slips and cracks her head on the corner of the countertop, instantly killing her. Brigitte and Ginger hear their parents returning home, and they hide Trina's body in the freezer. They go through the motions of filming another one of their "death movies" for extra credit as a means of explaining all of the blood on the floor. As Henry Fitzgerald looks at them mortified, Ginger wipes her finger through the blood, claiming it is corn syrup. Once the parents are away, they pull Trina's now-frozen body out of the freezer. While using a screwdriver to free Trina's body, Brigitte accidentally breaks two frozen fingers off. The sisters then move the body to the backyard tool shed and bury her. Brigitte tells Ginger she can't go out anymore, and plans for them to lay low until everything passes.

Several days pass, and at school, news quickly spreads about Trina Sinclair's disappearance. As an announcement is made over the PA system, Brigitte forges a note from her mother, excusing Ginger from class. Jason McCardy comes up to her and pushes Brigitte into a supply closet. He is grotesque, suffering from physical transformations, and he demands to know what is happening to him. Fortunately, the school janitor arrives, and Jason is forced to leave Brigitte.

At dinner, Pamela reveals that she knows that Ginger has been cutting class, in addition to telling her that the Mr. Wayne called, asking to question Ginger for Trina's disappearance. The two argue and Ginger storms off. Pamela asks Brigitte what is going on, but Brigitte is distracted when she sees a pile of purple flowers on her mother's crafts table. She asks her what they are and Pamela says that it is monkshood. She runs upstairs to show Ginger the Monkshood and finds her trying to cut off her vestigial tail. Ginger is scared, and Brigitte promises her that the two of them will find a cure and leave town together the next day.

Halloween[edit | edit source]

"Understand... you may kill her trying to save her."

Ginger snaps... and bites.

The next morning, Brigitte locks Ginger in the bathroom. She says that she needs to find a solution and that she is doing this before Ginger can hurt herself or anyone else. She takes the monkshood to Sam who warns her that he has no idea if this theoretical cure will work- the results could even be fatal. He also reveals that he knows that Ginger is the one suffering from lycanthropy, not Brigitte. Brigitte convinces him to help, and Sam boils the Monkshood down into an extract and aspirated it in a syringe.

Racing home, Brigitte finds Jason McCardy attacking a small child dressed in a Halloween costume. Brigitte confronts him, who has a feral expression crossing his face. He attacks Brigitte, who retaliates by stabs him in the neck with the monkshood needle. Jason falls to the ground, immobile, and suddenly coming back to life, his face returning to normal. A smiling Brigitte realizes the cure works, but now she needs more of the monkshood.

When Brigitte gets home, she finds that Ginger has broken out of the bathroom. She goes back to school where she discovers to her horror that her sister has just slaughtered their teacher/guidance counselor Mr. Wayne. Ginger is even more animalistic than ever. Her teeth are pointed and her facial features are growing even more distorted. They decide to wait until everyone leaves before cleaning up the mess. Brigitte waits until the coast is clear then instructs Ginger to wait while she finds cleaning supplies. However, the janitor is still making rounds in the school, and he accidentally walks into the murder scene. Brigitte returns to find Ginger grievously injuring the janitor, transmitting the infection. Brigitte tries to stop Ginger, but she is consumed with rage. Claiming that she doesn't like how the janitor looks at Brigitte, she finishes him off. Ginger tries to convince Brigitte to willingly become infected and experience changes like her, but Brigitte denies her request. Ginger, dismayed that her sister broke her pact to be "together forever," announces her intent to pay a "visit" to Sam.

At the Fitzgerald residence, Henry finds the two severed fingers of Trina Sinclair in the dirt. Pamela assures him that they are just fake props from one of the girls' death projects; however, she knows differently. She saves the fingers and goes to dig up Trina's remains. Now knowing the truth, Pamela gets into her van and drives off to find her daughters.

A Halloween party is being held at the County Regreening greenhouse where Sam works. Ginger shows up, but by now her hair is completely white and she looks only remotely human. Most of the revelers think that she's just wearing a Halloween costume. She finds Sam and tries to force herself upon him.

Meanwhile, Pamela drives by a running Brigitte and picks her up. Brigitte tells her mother to drive to the Greenhouse. On the way, Pamela tells her daughter that she loves Brigitte and her sister and will do anything to protect them, including burning the house down and running away with them, letting Brigitte know that her mother discovered their secret. Brigitte arrives at the party and searches for Ginger.

Sam pushes Ginger away, but in retaliation she breaks his arm. Brigitte enters the room at the same time, and, at her breaking point, pleads with Ginger to take her instead of harming others. Brigitte cuts her hand and places it on Ginger's bloody palm, thereby infecting herself, proving her loyalty and willingness to help her sister. The sister's fight at an end, they start to leave. Brigitte sees her mom in the party searching for them, but she decides to abandon her mother. Sam revives and knocks Ginger out with a shovel, calling the sisters crazy. Brigitte tells Sam that he is misunderstood and the cure works, but they need to get Ginger back to the Fitzgerald house to get more monkshood. They load her into the van and drive back to the house.

Gingerwolf[edit | edit source]

As Sam and Brigitte drive back home, Brigitte is seen slightly feverish, indicating the werewolf infection is taking place. Ginger fully transforms into a werewolf on the drive. When Sam and Brigitte arrive at home, they prepare to unload Ginger, who escapes from the van. Frightened, Sam tells Brigitte to turn back, but Brigitte is resolved to cure her sister, and they enter the house; fortunately, Pamela nor Henry are nowhere in sight. As they sense the "Gingerwolf" lurking about, Brigitte and Sam hide inside the pantry, and he begins preparing another mixture of monkshood. Sam wants Brigitte to take it first and then to run away together, but she tells him no, insisting that she needs to cure Ginger first. Brigitte is weakened from the werewolf infection, and Sam volunteers to find Ginger; out of nowhere, she leaps upon him, mutilating him, and drags him away.


Brigitte picks up the dropped syringe, and follows the blood trail downstairs. Weak from exhaustion, she collapses on the steps, dropping the syringe in the process. She recovers it, but when she looks up she sees Ginger hovering over the bleeding Sam. Brigitte slowly crawls towards them and begins lapping at Sam's blood in an attempt to calm Gingerwolf. When she begins choking on it, Gingerwolf senses Brigitte's insincerity and kills Sam in front of her, then leaps at Brigitte.

Brigitte runs away and the Gingerwolf chases after her. She manages to kick a hole through the plaster wall of the basement and scrambles through the crawlspace back to her and Ginger's bedroom. The werewolf claws through the walls, and Brigitte prepares to defend herself by finding the knife that Ginger first used when trying to remove her tail. Finally facing Gingerwolf, Brigitte pleads that she is her sister. When the werewolf fails to acknowledge her, Brigitte announces that she will not die in the room with Ginger. Hearing this, whatever human spirit left in Gingerwolf is let go, and Ginger fully lets the werewolf instincts take over. The werewolf lunges at Brigitte and into her knife, stabbing Ginger in the chest. In shock, Brigitte takes a moment to recover. Realizing what she's done, with tears forming in her eyes, she looks up at the bedroom wall, filled with pictures of memories of the sister's adventures. Brigitte craws to Ginger and lays her head upon her dying werewolf sister's chest, sobbing, listening until its breathing finally stops.

Deleted Scenes[edit | edit source]

There are 15 deleted scenes in the film. They are titled as follows:

Deleted Scenes
Cause I Rule?
What Was It
The Shower Scene
Priest of Prey
The Ruined Experiment
Brigitte Takes Over
PMS is the Least of Your Problems
Brigitte & Sam Understand Each Other
Can You Bark?
Don't Touch My Sister
Pam Discusses Trina
Brigitte & Mom Have a Heart to Heart
Wow - Nice Get Up
What a Party!
Let's Kill Them All!

Cast[edit | edit source]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Award Year Category Result
Saturn Awards 2002 Best DVD release Won
Canadian Comedy Awards 2002 Best film Won
Genie Awards 2002 Best Achievement in Cinematography Nominated
Genie Awards 2002 Best Achievement in Editing Nominated
Genie Awards 2002 Best Achievement in Sound Editing Nominated
International Horror Guild 2002 Best Movie Won
Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema 2001 Best Actress (Emily Perkins) Won
Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema 2001 Best Special Effects Won
Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema 2001 Best film Won
Toronto International Film Festival 2000 Best writer (Karen Walton) Won

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The title of the film is a pun on the biscuit of the same name. "Snap" also relates to losing one's self-control, or a quick, aggressive bite.
  • Principal shooting for the film took place primarily in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
  • The tagline for this film is, "They don't call it the Curse for nothing."

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

Werewolf films

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

See the Ginger Snaps wiki for more information about the trilogy.

Other links:

Ginger Snaps logo.jpg
Film Series
This article relates to the films within the Ginger Snaps franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Ginger Snaps films category.
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