This review originally posted in December 2015 for Rogue Cinema, it now reappears complete with an update of the first-time Blu-ray version released by Vinegar Syndrome in 2016, honestly this movie for a bizarre reason is always on my must watch list for Christmas Horror. After all, it contains comedic moments and glistening gore. In addition, this flick now celebrates its 20-year anniversary, so why not spread some holiday scares and give this snowman another thrill ride.
Michael Cooney, who made his directorial debut with this so awful it hurts and yet is an enjoyable good film, is the same man who penned the script of James Mangold’s extremely entertaining psychological thriller with horror tones, known as Identity (2003). Cooney herein proves a different abstract, that all the creativity on the topic of a killer snowman, makes for the worst movie, with the best fun, for a Christmas Horror Movie! Now, this concept beats Michael Keaton starring role in a family film by the same name in 1998, which many found as cute family fun movie, with wholesome qualities. In addition, for those completists, there actually happens to be three Jack Frost movies, the third came out in 1979, as short animation family film. Nevertheless, this so bad its good movie, brings lots of hesitation, yet the ghoulish moments combined with plenty of politically incorrect moments still make it quite funny especially when enjoying eggnog.
This was a straight-to-video, bottom of the bargain bin film, filled of the most inane actions, dialogue and behaviors and yet still entertaining, on a warp wintery blitz of insanity sliding on black ice. It all adds up for a level beneath camp, cheap production and sets to match, the quirky special effects to match a lunacy driven story of wicked disproportions which provides hilarity to the viewers. The plot, simple enough a convict killer name surprisingly Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald) transported for his execution, has a collision with a truck hauling a highly secretive liquid resulting in Jack, becoming liquefied and ultimate a water base creation in a winter land, hence a Killer Snowman. Upon his transform from human to water based, earns him the ability to claim his revenge against the man who incarcerated him, Sheriff Sam (Christopher Allport), a few days before Christmas. From here, the ride goes further down the bizarre path, and still holds horror fans in a sleigh of delight, without any comprehension of logic or believably require, all that is checked when one starts watching the movie. There is a brief foundation for the movie, in sense that the transformation, such as Shocker (1989) the killer transformed in electricity, which later repeated itself in a mode to Ghost in the Machine (1993) from director Rachel Talalay. Therefore, Jack’s abilities of a water based killing machine, tie back into the history of horror, quite well, and the noting that fact of all forms he can achieve, solid, liquid and vapor.
The flick has also achieves a cult following because of the role of Jill, played by Shannon Elizabeth in her first movie (who later starred in American Pie (1999) and then Thir13en Ghosts (2001)), similar what became of then forgettable Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), with regard to Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger. Surprising enough, Shannon’s character actually plays in the film’s more controversial scene, the rape from Jack while in a shower, and his nose is what violates her, similar in from the scene of the forest penetrating certain victims in the Evil Dead movies. However, aside from this offensive moment, the film attempts for suspense generating scenes, and achieving them only to squandered them away once again, in exchange poor dialogue or more unbelievable goofiness expounding from all directions.
An overly intentional ridiculous conceptual movie, only scratches the surface, and still through all the groans, moans, and outrageous laughter the entertainment level increases. The understanding for the viewer, accepts the humor, embraces the impossible storyline, and enjoys the strange death scenes to illogical disbelief of how a snowman drives a car. In addition, Jack enjoys the same treatment that Freddy Krueger and Chucky embrace in their character driven movies, the endless one-liners, however like the rest of the movie, dull and flat retorts. The execution delivers as much as it falls flat, and still earns itself first a holographic VHS cover and even a sequel called Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000). One, must note the tragic and yet a bizarre connection to actor Christopher Allport, passed in January 2008, from a freak occurrence of a trio of avalanches killed him, at the San Gabriel Mountains, he starred also in the sequel of the film.
Update on the Blu-ray (which includes a DVD too), first this marks the very important reason any horror fan should own a copy of the film, and not just stream the movie, it includes a slew of extras, though shockingly omits one the original trailer – WHY, doesn’t matter too much as I included the trailer at the end of this review. Vinegar Syndrome released it with a very cool custom limited edition lenticular artwork by Chris Garofalo along with a greeting from director Cooney who notes the difference between his flick and Keaton’s family movie of the same name. In addition, it’s loaded with great interviews from MacDonald and Dean Lent (Director of Photography) and of course the customary commentary track from Cooney. This all goes to deliver a film with great quality, which normally would never receive this respectable presentation, however after 20-years, and earning a weird reputation from the rental market of long ago, nothing quite a forgotten slasher having a lasting Christmas gift.
Cooney’s movie simply becomes a fun and entertain holiday ride, with the emphasis on campy and bizarre wonderment, for the horror fan, that rather rest the brain, and open the hearty laughter enjoying the banter with friends.
This review original had 1,482 views at the Rogue Cinema, and big thanks to all the readers.
IMDb Rating: 4.6/5
Baron’s Rating: 5/5