**/**** Image A Sound A Extras B
starring Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, JR Bourne, Tom McCamus
screenplay by Christina Ray and Stephen Massicotte
directed by Grant Harvey
by Walter Chaw Ravenous but not funny, the clumsily-titled Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning takes the venerable Canadian she-wolf franchise and, in Canuck fashion, de-sexualizes it by suggesting that the appearance of two relatively nubile lasses at an isolated fort populated entirely by men rouses no passions beyond a metaphorical anxiety of invasion from without. The females in horror films tend to be the consumptive dank underground--in slashers specifically, they're the avatar for teen-boy fantasies of revenge. But in Ginger Snaps Back, they're neither avatar nor holy object, really, just catalysts for the interpersonal dramas of male settlers. The implications are many, most strident among them the unavoidable one that in Canadian cinema, sex is either perfunctory, ugly, forced, or involves a dead person. We've come a long way from the budding sexuality of the first Ginger Snaps film--all the way to an almost complete evasion of both the Orientalism in a medium-hot near-tryst wet dream with a Native American warrior and subsumed homosexual buddy lust. This despite the menstrual implications so cannily established by the franchise.