Saturday, 6 December 2014

Holiday Horror: Jack Frost (1997)

Jack Frost (1997)
Director: Michael Cooney
Starring: Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport, and Stephen Mendel
Running Time: 89 min

  It's a movie about a killer snowman! How awesome is that!  To be honest I'm a sucker for these bizarre premise horror films like "ThanksKilling", "The Refrigerator" and I've still yet to see "Deathbed" but it's on my list of films to catch.  I know going into this that this will probably suck buuuuuuut, how badly will it suck that is really the question.

  It's Christmas eve and serial killer, Jack Frost is being transported for execution by the police through the small sleepy town of Snowmonton . On the way there, Frost's vehicle crashes into a truck carrying genetic material or science goo and Forst escapes but only gets far enough to get hosed down the chemicals from the truck.  This melts Frost into a pile of goo and the police believe that Frost is killed instantly.  Case closed, let's get some donuts.
  Coincidentally the sheriff who nabbed Frost, Sam Tiler and his family are just on their way to watch Frost get executed.  Those are the best family outings, when somebody dies.  They arrive at the scene of the crash and the police tell them what has happened, so disappointed the Tiler family turns around and heads back to home to Snowmonton.  Dang it!
  Although the next day should be Christmas, it isn't because everybody is down town getting ready for the snowman building competition.  Sheriff Sam is down there in his snow barren town, watching people put together snowman from the one pile of snow in the middle of the street.  Anyway, he gets a call about a murder in the town and rushes to find old man Harper frozen to death.  Him and his deputy are confused and Sam can't get the nagging feeling Jack Frost is still alive.
  Meanwhile, Sam's son Ryan finds a unusual snowman in front of his house.  While adding some finishing touches to it with some coal for the eyes and a carrot nose, he is accosted by some local bullies who want to slide on his sidewalk(?).  However, when the bullies start sliding on the flat sidewalk, the snowman pushes the leader of the bullies down and he is decapitated by the sled coming behind him.
  The town thinks Ryan did it but he tells them and his father that the snowman did it.  The sheriff is starting to put two and two together and calls the FBI to confirm the Jack Frost really died in that accident.  Agent Manners confirms this and then takes his crony, Stone and they head to Snowmonton to try and stop whatever they think may be going on.
  Eventually we find out that Jack Frost, the chemicals from the truck and the snow fused together the night of the accident and he's back to get his revenge on the Sheriff and the town of Snowmonton for sending him to the chair!  Can Sheriff Sam, Agent Manners and the town stop this ruthless snowman or are the about to be buried in an avalanche of terror?

  Well, it is about a snowman that kills people but it's hard to believe that writer/director Michael Cooney could be the same person who wrote the thriller "Identity".  This movie is so dumb and the jokes are so bad that at time it's a bit painful.  The snowman is suppose to have these ironic one liners, like Chucky or Freddy but they're just terrible and corny.  It's like the jokes your drunk uncle tells you.
  However his jokes are funnier because the jokes here are pretty tame.  They're not offensive, biting and sharp, which is partly why I think that Cooney and co-writer Jeremy Paige don't seem to know who there audience is when they were writing this film.  The story is so childish and dumb at times but the violence is heavy, that is very confusing.  I think this film could have been a lot better if they went to the fence with the horror like "ThanksKilling" did.  If the violence was more gratuitous, the jokes were better thought out and of an adult nature and if they played the scenes more seriously, then this would have been a much better watch.  

  With that said, it's not all bad though, there are some funny bits and again the killings are some what creative and inventive.  Not plausible but still somewhat entertaining.
  Also, I like the look of the snowman.  He is very creepy and it's funny to see him pop up in different places.  There must have been a lot of thought, probably high, about ways an evil snowman could get inside places and how it could kill you.  Scott MacDonald (Fire in the Sky, Jarhead) isn't that bad as Jack Frost.  He reminds me a bit of Napoleon Wilson from "Assault on Precinct 13" but with lame jokes.  Again that's not MacDonald's fault that his character is the way he is, it's the writers.
  It's funny to also see Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Marshall the Miracle Dog) in one of her first film roles.  She plays a sexy teen who gets murdered in an almost rapey scene with the snowman but this is another example where Cooney and Paige back down on the horror and don't take it to that next nasty level.  Other than that, this isn't a very note worthy performance but it's one she should never forget.

  This is a bad movie but I don't know if it's funny bad or just bad, bad.  The story is so ridiculous and seems to not know what it is, the acting is bad but I'm sure you already knew this and the ending is really hacked together, which doesn't make it that satisfying.  I'm not saying don't watch this because after a few drinks or "something" this film might seem really funny but this might be the one movie you may want to secretly regift.

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