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Review: JACK FROST (1996)

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Best Bad Quote:
“Don’t eat yellow snow.”
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Let’s face facts. The horror villain died with Hannibal Lecter– the peak of serial killer awesomeness. Before Silence of the Lambs, we had faceless, soulless, motiveless, unstoppable killers like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees. Now, everybody’s gotta psycho-analyze everything. Case in point: the updated TCSM Leatherface was given a stupid skin disease in the redick remake of 2003 to explain not only his choice of disguise but also the deep inner sorrow that compels him to kill. (Announcement to Slasher directors: Do not create compassion for your villains. It’s horror, not drama)! As witnessed in recent releases, sheer, unstoppable fear has necessitated over-exaggerated gore to counteract the utter lack of “the creeps.” Today we cringe, not scream.
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Therefore, there is only one other method of attack for the slasher filmmaker artiste: the horror-comedy.
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After John Landis gave us An American Werewolf in London, and before Gary Busey combined the culinary arts with murder in The Gingerdead Man, a murderous soul found a hilarious home in the only true Christmastime villain: Jack Frost. No, I am not referring to the ’98 Michael Keaton, family-friendly film (rip-off). This Jack is not ‘friendly’ at all. He murders families, puts pieces of them into pies, and eats them for breakfast! In addition, he serves them to unwitting midwestern families. That is, until the superbly absurd killer (Scott MacDonald) is captured by an inept small town Sheriff (Christopher Allport) and sentenced to death for his crimes. Jack swears vengeance, and he will get it… in the most unfathomable way possible.
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En route to his execution, during a snow storm of course, Jack successfully kills one of his guards before the transit truck suffers a head-on collision with another vehicle and the maniac is set free. Unfortunately for Jack, before he can get on his merry [Christmas] way, a tank from the other car, filled with experimental, genetic materials- which we later learn cause the human chromosome to bond with the elements– explodes ALL the eff over him, melts him down to his bones (in very Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish SpFX), and kills him. Yet, there are two sides to every coin, so Jack’s demented soul mutates and melds with the snow into which he has just died. He immediately comes back as “the world’s most pissed off snow cone!”
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Through the remaining course of the film, we witness deaths by Christmas tree, icicle, and axe, not to mention one-liners so bad that they’re good: “Look, Ma! I’m a Picasso!” Jack rolls out (literally) to Sheriff Sam’s home and proceeds to take out half the town before the intruding FBI fill the sad and bumbling lawman in on the truth: Jack is back and cold as ice! Among other coups in the film, director Michael Cooney’s greatest triumph may be his creation of the most brutal rape scene since Jodie Foster’s gang bang in The Accused. Shannon Elizabeth (in her first but unfortunately not last role) mistakenly takes a bath in Jack’s melted form. Tragically(?), she soon finds herself overwhelmed by his snowy exteriors and being thrust against the tiled bathroom wall. Jack’s carrot nose is missing. You know where it is.
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Yes, Jack can be snow, water, even condensation. This is the heinous crux of the film. How do you kill a monster who does not die but merely transforms? Thanks to Sam’s retarded son– who baked him a breakfast special complete with a surprise ingredient of anti-freeze– the Sheriff finds a way! But is his mortal flesh fast enough to defeat the coolest killer around, whom he has mistakenly thought defeated not once, not twice, but three times throughout the film??? As there is a sequel, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, I’ll let you do the math.
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Oh, this movie is bad. Very, very bad. Par exemple, the people of Snomonton (yes) are supposedly in freezing weather, yet you never see their breath. In addition, the Deluxe Hamburger acting is enough at times to make you want to stuff two corn-cobbed pipes into your eyes. But, Jack Frost is blatantly and shamelessly bad on purpose and so hysterical that I was laughing to the brink of making some yellow snow myself– if you know what I mean. A film wherein local law enforcement officials replace their pistols with hair-dryers is not to be taken seriously and purely to be enjoyed. Thus, the winter wonderland of Jack Frost.
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Rating:
4 out of 5 Shrinkage-Proof Snow Balls
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