Monday, December 14, 2009

The Jack Frost Duology

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so there's no better time to review the Jack Frost movies...

In brief "Jack Frost" is a watchable (if cheesy and goofy) monster flick, but "Jack Frost 2" isn't worth the effort it takes to open the DVD case.

Jack Frost (1995)
Starring: Christopher Allport
Director: Michael Cooney
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

A mass-murdering homicidal maniac named Jack is killed in a freak accident as he is being transported from one prison to another. The freakiest part of the freak accident is that he is resurrected as a snowman. A mass-murdering homicidal maniac snowman. With superpowers. And a carrot for a nose. Naturally, he sets about getting revenge on the small-town sheriff who captured him (Allport), but happily kills anyone else who crosses his path.

There isn't much else to say about "Jack Frost" than what I did above. As low-budget horror flicks go, it's not terrible... it's not great, but it's not terrible. The acting is fair all around, the effects are decent, and if you can buy into a murderous snowman wih the power to control snow and ice and use it as weapons, then I guess it's an okay monster movie. The kills are also bloody enough to please gorehounds, I think. (It might have been better if the snowcover had been more consistent in the various shots and a little less fake in many of them.)

I think the greatest flaw the movie has is that I got the sense the filmmakers believed they had their hands on a character around which a franchise could be built, ala Freddy Krueger and "A Nightmare on Elm Street", and I think this led them to play the film far straighter than the concept deserves.

One thing I think will probably make "Jack Frost" stand forever alone in the annals of film history is the snowman bathtub rape scene. I don't think that's ever been done before, and I don't think it will ever be done again. (I know some find that scene laughable, but I found it pretty horrific. I'm not saying it wasn't goofy as hell, but that entire sequence creeped me out more than anything else in the film. Heck, it was the ONLY thing that creeped me out. And ending the scene featuring a girl being raped to death by a snowman with the line "Looks like Christmas came a bit early this year" makes it all the more sickening.)

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Killer Mutant Snowman (2000)
Starring: Christopher Allport and Eileen Sheely
Director: Michael Cooney
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

Sam, our Hero from the original "Jack Frost" movie (once again played by Chistopher Allport), decides to spend Christmas someplace warm the year following the Attack of the Killer Snowman. Unfortunately, Jack (after escaping from what appeared to be certain doom at the end of the last flick) follows him across the ocean and starts cutting Christmas (and life) short for vacationers at a Caribbean resort.

Remember how I said above that I thought the makers of "Jack Frost" should just have gone for a full-bore comedic spin on their subject? Well, they did that with the sequel. It's too bad they had a collection of bad actors, no effects budget (or any other kind of budget, based on the sets), and a script so bad that I have to believe it was being made up as shooting was progressing. (I know what passes for the "big special effects scenes" in the film had to be planned, but I really hope that the rest of the unfunny crap that makes up the bulk of this awful film didn't even go through one draft. It had to have been spewed straight from a keyboard into the hands of the movie crew.) I probably should have known that I'd regret wasting part of my life on this turd when I realized the killer snowman was menacing people on a tropical island.

I think the only nice thing I can say about "Revenge of the Killer Mutant Snowman" is that it is fast-paced; although I think my IQ dropped another point with each lame gag, I never did get bored. But that doesn't mean that what I watched was good. There is really only one scene that I thought was worthwhile in this entire film... and it's the one where Jack breaks himself into ice cubes and sneaks into a cooler of a photographer and his nubile models. It ends with the niftiest murder in the entire feature.

The bottomline on both these flicks is that they represent mostly missed opportunities. The first fails at being a good horror/comedy fusion, and the second just fails.

(Trivia: Christopher Allport was killed in a skiing accident in 2008.)


  1. They made a Jack Frost 2? Horrendous.

  2. That is a good description both of the act and of the movie.