Jack Frost (1997)
He's chillin' and killin'!
Year of Release: 1997
Running Time: 86 minutes (1:26)
Director: Michael Cooney
Scott MacDonald ... Jack Frost
Christopher Allport ... Sam
Stephen Mendel ... Agent Manners
F. William Parker ... Paul Davrow
Eileen Seeley ... Anne
Rob LaBelle ... Stone
Zack Eginton ... Ryan Tiler
Jack Lindine ... Jake Metzner
Kelly Jean Peters ... Sally
Marsha Clark ... Marla
Shannon Elizabeth ... Jill Metzner
He's got ice in his veins and he's giving cold-blooded a whole new meaning... his name is Jack Frost. After five years of terror and 38 bodies in five states, serial killer Jack is on his way to execution. But a freak accident with a truckload of genetic material in the middle of a snowstorm mutates Jack into a killer snowman. Now only an army can stop the slayride of terror from this frosty monster with icicle fangs. Hell has just frozen over... he's the abominable Jack Frost.
Jack Frost, the movie that reminds us that if Jack had gotten a stay of execution until July, the movie would be Swamp Thing. Atheists love this movie. Not only does a cherished holiday icon go on a Christmas rampage slaughtering god fearing bumpkins, but lets not overlook the fact that Jack is, in fact, a graven image. In a way, the snowman is very much an embodiment of Christmas. Maybe not to the extent Santa Claus is, but try to stay with me here. So you've got this graven image massacring Christians, during Christmas, the irony is as sweet as candy cane underpants on Salma Hayek. But anyway, lets get back on tangent. An who knew Shannon Elizabeth had ever appeared in something watchable? Good for her. At least when she's 60 and reflecting on her life, she can at least hold her head high an tell everyone; "I was in Jack Frost." An not that God awful version with Michael Keaton. Even the 1965 Russian version was a little better than that. Anyhow, as the best killer snowman movie ever to feature the same basic plot from Child's Play, at least half of this movie should have some helpful tips for surviving the holiday season. First of all, and this is important, even I wasn't aware of this one: pissing in the woods is an arrestable offense. I'm sure you realize the implications of this, it is quite literally illegal to camp without a port-a-john. So don't be surprised if Smokey the Bear comes up from behind an body checks you into a tree an cuffs your ass before you can even get your pants up. Second, death row inmates are not only not housed at the same complex where they are to be executed, but they're not even transported to the site until half an hour before it is to take place. This is bad preparation, to say the least. Suppose the transport runs outta gas or runs over four porcupines crossing the road, then where the fuck does that leave 'em? Asshats I say, all of 'em.
An third, and this one's real important cause it opens up a lot of possibilities: despite being highly flammable, it's perfectly safe to cook antifreeze on your oven burners. So don't let anyone, especially the cops tell you otherwise. You just tell them you saw it in Jack Frost an to get the Hell outta your kitchen. So with all that in mind, there's one last thing I wanna go over before the plot rundown. It's about improvisation. Improvisation can save the day in nearly any situation, if you've got the ingenuity to figure out another way. You've seen Macgyver, right? Same deal, but imagine the kinda things he'd come up with if he was in the crossbar hotel an had all the time in the world, just him, and his thoughts. Well, like 'em or hate 'em, no one improvises better than criminals, even if they don't have Macgyver's baseline intelligence. They can take an ordinary object like a toothbrush an shiv you to death with it. No tattoo gun? No problem. A mechanical pencil and a some melted plastic for the ink, tada! You're lookin' good in the neighborhood. But to bring this into some semblance of relevance, in the movie, Jack comes across a fine lookin' young thing in the bathtub. There's just one problem. Snowmen don't have penises. Well, they can, but they'd just melt. Well I guess real penises kinda melt too after... my head hurts. The point is, Jack doesn't let it get him down, he IMPROVISES. Yank that carrot off your face, jam it into your groin region an you've got yourself a lady pleaser. Satisfaction guaranteed or... well if it fails you can always make stew I suppose. Anyway, what you should take away from this is when you have a problem that seems unsolvable, just think of Jack and his carrot. He found a way, and you can too.
The movie begins with a morbid Brit reading the backstory of Jack Frost's character to a little girl who seems to be voiced by Pikachu. It's just a helpful distraction to keep us from paying too much attention to the credits. When the story comes to a conclusion, we head over to Jack, who's being transported to the site of his execution. The bad news is there's a big snowstorm an the van only has one of those windshield wipers that most rigs have on the back window. Plus these guys come from the city so they don't know about things like studded tires or chains an it's not long before some douchenozzle who thinks it's better to try to drive and pour coffee into a tiny cup rather than just drink out of the thermos crosses the center line an collides head-on with Jack's ride. But that's not the worst of it. Jack had already stepped on the guard's neck til it made a noise like somebody twisting celery stalks an he's out of his cuffs an none too pleased about how the driver was teasin' him earlier about sitting in ole Sparky. Unfortunately, the truck the douchenozzle was driving was carrying top secret hazardous chemicals, ya know, the kind you generally entrust to a man with the IQ of mustard, an just before Jack is able to squeeze his tormenter's neck, the tank of chemicals explodes all over him an he melts into glopola like the Wicked Witch of the West. Elsewhere, the podunk sheriff that captured him is havin' flashbacks about how Jack is gonna get him and Eddie Caputo no matter what, an generally struggling to get home without makin' a pee in his pants. Back at the wreck, an FBI agent that looks a lot like Danny Bonaduce, an a little twerp of a scientist are talkin' to the guy that was driving Jack's truck, who keeps tellin' 'em "he ran away but he didn't have any legs." Which doesn't make a lot of sense, but if he elaborated it'd ruin the surprise for anyone that didn't see the box art for the movie. It's really not that big of a deal, military amputees do this in droves when the movie showing in the physical therapy center is Steel Magnolias. The next morning, the sheriff (Sam) bonds with his ugly, bowl haircut sporting son before he goes to work, an takes a zip lock bag full of what appears to be vomit, that the kid made for him for lunch. On the way, he stops at the local snowman competition so we can do the townsfolk roll call, which includes; Asshole Christian Guy, Bride of Asshole Christian Guy, Daughter of Asshole Christian Guy, Goofy Shop Owner, Son of Goofy Shop Owner, the Reverend, and later the Deputy Dogs an Feisty Dispatcher.
Then Sam thinks about throwing away the barf bag, only he can't cause that'd be wrong, plus there's probably some foreshadowing attached. Possibly. Well obviously, why else wouldn't he throw away an inedible mound of coagulated diarrhea. But before he can even get to his desk an have a donut, the dispatch sends him an the Deputies Dog out to the scene of a murder. Murders around here generally only happen when census takers show up in town, so this is not cool at all. Seems the murder victim suffers from having irreversible Linda Blair syndrome, an that's not even accounting for bein' frozen to his rockin' chair. Ever piss yourself in sub-zero temperatures? Whatever you do, don't go to sleep on anything that's gonna require more than a chisel to separate yourself from. So Sam has to go cower in his police cruiser for a few minutes an call Danny to make sure Jack Frost is really dead an not just the kind of dead where he can still run around an twist old guys' heads around backwards. Danny tells Sam it's alright, an to quit buggin' him with his small town problems, cause in fact, Danny knows about Jack. But he has to make sure that nobody else knows Jack, cause the crap that spewed all over him was experimental an super secret. Back at home, Mom returns from the grocery store to find Jr. in the kitchen cookin' up meth an she has to shoo him outta the house so she can hide it from his P.O. an get all the fumes vented outta there before they all go gonzo. So the kid goes outside to finish decorating the snowman created by an anonymous artist when the local punks show up an wave their dicks around until Jr. mouths off an the head punk decapitates the snowman in a show of overwhelming masculinity. Only the snowman's super pissed, an Jap slaps the punk right into the path of his buddy's runner sled, which severs his head and sends it flying through the air like a half court Hail Mary. Well, it seems the Headless Sledman is the son of Asshole Christian Guy, an he's real mad at Sam. Mostly cause he's embarrassed at the thought of his kid being killed by a sissy kid that bakes and is half his size. So later that evening, over at Asshole Christian Guy's house, he's even madder now cause his wife spoke without first receiving permission, and because his daughter's a tramp that won't stop disrespectin' Jesus, an she tells 'em she's gonna go have premarital sex an not think about her dead brother at all just to get his hackles up.
So Asshole Christian Guy heads outside so nobody'll see him cry, only there's an inconspicuous 8' snowman in his yard an some disembodied voice keeps gigglin' at him. So he gets his axe an wanders completely around the snowman til it takes his axe away an makes him deep throat it. Of course by now we know it's that ole rascal Jack, an he heads inside so he can garrotte Bride of Asshole Christian Guy with Christmas lights an shove tree ornaments into her mouth an use her like a nutcracker. You'd think Asshole Christian Guy wouldn't be such an asshole, I mean, this woman can fit an entire Christmas tree ball in her mouth, that's not easy. About that time Goofy Shop Keeper comes by to drop their salt an sees that Jack's kinda busy here an decides to just come back later. It's really a very amusing scene, kinda looks like Bride of Asshole Christian Guy left a mess on the rug an Jack's rubbing her face in it to break her of the habit. Then while Sam an the Deputies Dog head out to the latest crime scene, Daughter of Asshole Christian Guy an Son of Goofy Shop Owner break into Sam's house cause they figure that's the only safe place to sin while there's a killer on the loose. Only while DoACG pretties herself up, Jack shows up an starts shootin' icicles outta his hands like Spiderman webs an leaves SoGSO expertly nailed to the door until Arnold Schwarzenegger pokes his head in an hollers "stick around!" Then DoACG gets in the bath, an Jack decides to join her an uses his carrot nose as a marital aid until he's gone an bludgeoned her head against the wall too many times for her to stand up anymore. By this time, Danny an the wormy scientist have made it to town, an Sam takes 'em to the crime scene where they figure out that Jack can freeze an unfreeze himself at will. So he's kinda like a vengeful wife, but not metaphorical. So Danny makes Sam put the town on lockdown an get everybody to congregate at the church. If it were me I'd take my chances with Jack, but whatever. Then Goofy Shop Owner shows up an starts decapitating all the competition snowmen an generally acting like a nutbar until Danny has to jack his jaw a little to settle him down. So Sam sends out one of his deputies to see what scared the bejezus outta Goofy Shop Owner, when the deputy happens upon Jack in the middle of the road with a stop sign. So the deputy decides to settle Jack's hash, only when he gets his shovel outta the trunk Jack's not there anymore. He's melted his way into the car, an he leaves skid marks all over the deputy til the studs on the tires are full of little face bits.
Back at the church, Danny's tellin' Sam about how he's got a big deal task force headed in here to take care of this shit, only Sam tells 'em there's no way anybody's gettin' in here cause of the weather. Danny's understandably skeptical, considering he himself only arrived about an hour ago, but he ends up taking Sam's word for it. But about that time the deputy's police cruiser pulls up an when Sam an Danny go to have a look Jack springs up behind 'em an Danny puts a few rounds into his head til it rolls off. So now Jack is understandably upset, if none the worse for wear, an while he starts pouring into the station Danny finally decides to tell Sam what's goin' on. Namely, the spirit of Jack Frost is in this snowman, an this snowman's fuggin' invincible cause you can't hurt snow an he's really not fond of any of them. Then Jack pulls himself together an everyone has to run back into the cell area an fill the room with Raid an Febreeze so they can blow him up, only the sheriff doesn't carry the keys to his building with him cause it hurts his thigh to keep 'em in his pocket an they can't get out til he goes an retrieves 'em while Jack trickles in through the door an everyone else inhales a lovely, fragrant combination of roach-b-gone an springtime fresh. Sam gets the keys an gets everyone out just before Jack's angry face mashes up against the window an Danny puts a bullet through the glass an Jack gets splattered to the four winds. But really all that accomplished was severe bodily disfigurement an while Jack takes a moment to get his nose outta his rectum, they decide they're gonna lead him down to the boiler room of the church an stuff his frosty ass in the boiler. Then the ground starts rumblin' like Queen Latifah an Marlon Brando spotted the all you can eat prime rib buffet dinner special at the Sizzler an pretty quick Jack rolls in in the form of a huge snowball an the stage is set for the finale with the mutant serial killer snowman. Giant ball rolls into town, plows into a church... kinda like Critters 2 aint it? Ah well.
Alright, so it's pretty bad. It's also pretty god damn funny. I'm not real sure why serious critics would even watch this thing. As far as I'm concerned, anyone that watched a movie about a mutant killer snowman, an then panned it, is completely missing the point. Really, there exist tons of reviews of this movie, where they treat it like any other movie an basically eviscerate it, because they don't get it. Or they don't want to get it. These are the same guys that pan movies like Leprechaun and Demonic Toys, cause they're afraid people won't take them seriously as reviewers, or something. I know this much, I can enjoy a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously far more than reviewers who aren't capable of doing the same. Above all else, a movie only has to be one thing, just one. Entertaining. And it is that. Is it a good movie with high production values? No, it's not. Big deal. That said, it's got a significant amount of charm. It's clear that while the film makers were enjoying themselves, they also gave a shit. Which is a lot more than can be said about the sequel. That one's got about as much charm as a slobbering rummy at last call that won't stop asking people to pull his finger. The sequel is, in fact, legitimately what everyone claims the original is. But back on topic, while the movie is really very low brow, it's got about a dozen hilarious one liners that're delivered flawlessly by Scott MacDonald. MacDonald is the guy that makes this thing happen, his delivery is fantastic. It's also interesting that in the early scenes where he's actually a human being, his voice sounds a lot like Brad Dourif, who was of course, the voice of Chucky. And in the movie we've basically got a serial killer that vows revenge, even though he knows he's gonna die, and is given that second chance to achieve it through supernatural means. So you've pretty much got the same story, with two guys that sound somewhat similar to each other. Without MacDonald though, I'd say this movie ends up completely in the toilet, he alone pulls it out of the fire. It's really pretty enjoyable if you can just relax your standards. I try to expect virtually nothing when going into any movie, that way you don't end up laying on the hate too thick due to disappointment.
So, on to the dissection. The plot's silly. It's nonsense, it's movie science run amok. But I've seen plenty of movies with movie science that was at least this silly, and really, how DO you explain a serial killer taking on the form of a snowman? Crazy movie science is not only beneficial, it's REQUIRED. And I would again reiterate, not that it'll matter for some people, you're willingly watching a movie whose villain, is a snowman. Complaining about the plot says far more about you than whatever you say about the movie. This was never going to be one that "had more potential", so relax your standards or just don't watch. Those are the only ways to maintain any kind of dignity. The acting isn't bad, the zany over the top characters like the goofy shop owner and the wormy scientist are well executed and amusing. MacDonald, as mentioned previously, is pretty much the entire show, but the rest of the cast is adequate. Relevant people include: Scott MacDonald (Fire in the Sky), Christopher Allport (Invaders from Mars 1986, Dead and Buried), Stephen Mendel (Stepfather 3), Eileen Seeley (Creature), Rob LaBelle (Fido, Wes Craven's New Nightmare), Zack Eginton (Rattled), Kelly Jean Peters (Poltergeist II), Chip Heller (Munchies), Paul Keith (House IV), and of course, Shannon Elizabeth from a bunch of inane, vapid nonsense which I've no interest in. The special effects... well they're bad. Real god damn bad. Terrible, really. It's not actually possible to put into words just how bad they are so I'll probably just stop trying. But pretty not good. This is the one area the movie needed to improve on, and yet, I'm not sure how you'd go about making a snowman that moves, while not looking like crap. Although, there is this movie with a similar name that came out a year later that, if nothing else, had better special effects, so clearly it's possible. Something else that other movie had though, would be a budget. But really, if this movie had better special effects, it might be a classic horror/comedy. But it doesn't, so I suppose that's not important. The shooting locations were pretty good. Small town, forest surrounding most every major setting. Oh look, filmed in California. For fucks sake, now I know where the budget went. You idiots, shoot this fucker in Montana or Canada an you've got twice as much money left for production related expenses. The soundtrack is awesome. Essentially, it's just traditional Christmas songs with electric guitar. Not only does it work for the movie's style, but it's just fun to listen to. Overall, it's pretty bad, but a lot of fun. Do avoid the sequel though.