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By Pete Vonder Haar | March 3, 2003

Low budget, even by Troma standards, “Just Desserts” is the tale of a bad boy gone good in a battle against a terrifying beast made entirely of Jell-O. Young Peter Cooper is in trouble for bringing a BB gun to school in anticipation of that afternoon’s boy-vs. -girls BB gun war (we just used to throw water balloons at each other…curse these violent times). While fleeing an irate teacher, he runs into Jason, the unlikely lone hero standing against the gelatinous fiend that killed his family and threatens all life on earth. According to Jason, Peter is the Chosen One who must finish off the beast once and for all.
Peter is having none of it, and it’s hard to blame him: Jason looks like the older brother of the “Man Show Boy,” only clad in plus-sized ninja garb and wielding an assortment of spoons (the only defense against the Jell-O creature). Peter changes his tune upon discovering his parents have become the confection’s latest victims. Peter’s only hope now is to get to the, er, old abandoned spoon factory and find the spoon capable of destroying the quivering horror once and for all.
“Just Desserts” is, quite obviously, a silly film. Its most immediate influence seems to be a certain Joss Whedon film-turned-TV series (“Buffy the Marmalade Slayer,” anyone?), but writer/director Eric Jewell infuses everything with an appreciably dire feel. Too bad the whole effort comes across as hurried, like Jewell was rushing to get the thing finished. This isn’t apparent as much in the acting (which honestly would need more than a few more days of principle photography to significantly improve) as it is in the effects department. We should all be willing to give a little slack to Z-grade productions, especially Troma ones, but the monster in “Just Desserts” is just sad to watch as it slimes its stop-motion way across the same stretch of driveway. In multiple scenes, no less. Forget spoons, Peter could’ve just grabbed a shovel and been done with the whole thing.

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