- Written and Directed by Michael Cooney
- November 18, 1997
A vicious serial killer seemingly killed in a freak accident returns as a lethal snowman.
What do you get when you cross a condemned serial killer with an acid meant to make people immortal because of the coming global environmental apocalypse? Yes you read that right. Acid to make people immortal. Anyway you get the film Jack Frost, a 1997 direct-to-video horror comedy filled with goofy deaths and really bad effects.
Our story begins one fateful snowy night when a prison transport carrying condemned serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald) to execution and a truck carrying an experimental acid collide bathing that prisoner in that acid where his mind and body bond with the snow. This mutant snowman then seeks revenge on Sheriff Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport) who arrested him during a traffic stop. What happened during this fateful traffic stop to cause a need for revenge that reaches out from beyond the grave? Not much as seen in a flashback. The dude just gave up really. By all indications our intrepid sheriff did not even know who he had by Frost gave up without a fight.
This is not something that would ever be confused with a quality production. Director Michael Cooney clearly knew he was making a bad movie. I dare say that was the whole point of doing this particular film. Who would make a serious movie about a homicidal snowman? And they embraced the terrible nature and ran with it which gets you past the bad aspects. A bad movie done with love can pull that trick off.
The featured kills are ridiculous. The direction is awful. And there are a few moments that will make you go “This doesn’t make any sense” such as when the sheriff while in the police station picks up a hairdryer sitting at someone’s desk in order to fight the killer snowman. Seriously. Who has a hair dryer plug-in sitting at their desk? I cannot think of a scenario where that makes sense.
The acting in Jack Frost is atrocious. Bad acting to sell the movie or go with its vibe is one thing. Bad acting because those involved lack skill is another. We get some of the former but plenty more of the latter. It sounded all too often like many of the actors were performing the dialogue for the first time or simply reading it.
The puppet they use for much of the movie isn’t bad looking but it is your generic friendly snowman of about the same quality as the Campbell’s Soup commercial from 2004. That is fine for the bulk of the time but there is one moment when Frost is killing a character and we see a very horror themed evil snowman. Clearly they had the budget for it so why did we not get more of it? It would certainly drive home the silliness they were clearly going for as well as get you jazzed for the kill which would have fit with the aesthetic they appeared to be going for.
The one-liners are really bad but in a strangely good way. “I can see your house from up here!” “‘What the hell are you?’ ‘The world’s most pissed-off snow cone!’” “Looks like Christmas came a little early this year. Well, I hope it was good for you honey. Oh, I must remember to send flowers.” “Look, Ma! I’m a Picasso!” “Gosh. I only axed you for a smoke.” Some only get worse with context. And that is part of this movie’s weird charm. I’m not sure if I can say there’s anything intended to be good about this movie. Then again I don’t think they ever really intended that. They revel in how bad it is.
This does suffer in characterization and not in a way that aids in making this a guilty pleasure. Who is who is tough to discern without thinking back and relationship are unclear based on what we get in the story. I am hard-pressed to tell the difference between any of the characters. Watching this movie, I honestly forgot that the kid that gets saved at the end is the sheriff’s son.
On that character, Ryan (Zack Eginton) provides our heroes means to stopping the killer. During a fight the sheriff flings some oatmeal that his son had made at Jack Frost causing the villain to melt. Turns out Ryan had added antifreeze to keep his dad warm. Yeah right…
As I said being a terrible film is most likely the point of what we get here. They’re not trying for horror or genuinely scary. This is aimed at people who like kills and gore as well as a themed killer much like what you could get very frequently in the 80s. And I can certainly see a level of appeal to this but it lacks the charm of those 80s movies. It doesn’t have that sense of fun or silliness while also taking itself seriously. Still it is entertaining in a strange way.
Jack Frost certainly is not for everybody. Its market is very niche and that particular niche is people who enjoy very bad movies. If you like those give it a look. Or if you just want something different during Christmas.