Jack Frost (1997)

Author: Brett Gallman
Submitted by: Brett Gallman   Date : 2011-12-01 07:22

Written by: Jeremy Paige and Michael Cooney
Directed by: Michael Cooney
Starring: Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport and Stephen Mendel

Reviewed by: Brett Gallman

ďWell it ain't fuckin' Frosty!"

Indeed, this isnít jolly old Frosty, nor is it Michael Keaton returned from the grave so he can bond with his kids after his untimely death (though youíve got to imagine this caused for a lot of confusion in rental stores in the late 90s). No, this Jack Frost is a slasher flick with a pretty ludicrous concept of a serial killer wreaking homicidal vengeance as a snowman. Call it Childís Play by way of "Frosty The Snowman," I guess, with the results being pretty much as shitty as youíd expect, though this one is nuttier than a fruitcake at times.

Serial killer Jack Frost (yes, thatís actually his name) has killed nearly 40 people across five states, but his reign of terror is ended when heís arrested by sheriff Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport) of Snowmanton (Ö). En route to being executed, his transport collides with a tanker truck carrying some experimental genetic material that causes Jackís body to fuse with the snow. This allows him to live on, albeit in frosted form; conveniently for him, this all occurs near Snowmanton, so he can take revenge on the cop who put him away.

And everyone else that gets in his path, of course. Since this is a slasher movie, he canít just kill the one guy heís targeting and be done with it, though most might wish that were the case. Those people are either smarter than me or less tolerant of bad movies (those two things probably go hand in hand), but I didnít completely want to gouge out my eyes with a candy cane shiv while watching Jack Frost. Itís admittedly one dumb joke stretched out over the course of a movie, but at least itís got a lot of good punch lines in the form of some over-the-top kill sequences, which are almost always accompanied by some hideous one-liners (and Scott MacDonaldís gravely delivery makes Frost sound like a low-rent Charles Lee Ray).

Jackís got a lot of tools at his disposal--sleds, axes, even Christmas lights, which make for a nice compliment for a severed head. Perhaps ironically, he doesn't literally nip at anyone's nose, but he can even shoot out icicles (for when heís ďgot a point to makeĒ), plus he still craves smokes that would only melt his lungs, I guess, but whatever. It isnít like he needs to worry about melting because turning into water is his preferred method of travel through doggie doors and whatnot. Iím surprised they even went through the effort to throw that wrinkle in because Jack himself is obviously the biggest joke here; I love how he can somehow stealthily stalk his prey right in their own living room. One minute, thereís a weird noise over near the Christmas tree, then the next, heís popping up behind the dimwit that goes to investigate. Heís a ridiculously realized effect that looks to be mostly made out of foam or something, so his limited mobility just adds to the joke.

Even when heís not around, things arenít entirely terrible because this is one of those slashers where none of the characters resemble anything close to real people. From the overly anxious shop owner (who puts a discount on bullets once Jack shows up) to the asshole father whose kid ends up decapitated, Jack Frost is populated with a stew of clichťs and caricatures (just add blood and the formula is complete). One of the victims here is Shannon Elizabeth in her first role, where she stripteases to ďThe 12 Days of Christmas." In what I think is the filmís most infamous scene, she ends up on the wrong end of Jackís carrot, and not the one thatís supposed to be his nose. And, yes, Christmas comes early.

Speaking of which, this is a decent display of Yuletide slaughter, as the town has decked the halls and all that mess (whoever named this place Snowmanton probably felt like a jackass whenever spring rolled around). Some familiar Christmas songs grace the proceedings, with some of them being re-imagined with a sinister timbre to complement Jackís stalking. I donít know that this will join the annual plate of cheesy Christmas horror (along with Santaís Slay and Black Christmas), but fans of this sort of thing will want to check it out if they havenít already. Doing so will be a bit difficult, though, as both DVD releases are currently out of print and carry a hefty price tag on the secondary market. Itís certainly more than this one is worth, but the more recent release from Ardustry is decent enough, even though itís got a non-anamorphic transfer. There is, however, a 5.1 track, but no extras. Basically, this is exactly the type of movie that needs to show up on Netflix Instant for the holiday season. Maybe Santa will deliver an early present this year in that respect, though I suspect some would consider Jack Frost to be a lump of coal. Bah humbug. Rent it!

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