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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jack Frost (1997) Horror Snowman

Jack Frost (1997) - In the credits to this film we have an uncle scaring his nephew by telling a story about a killer named Jack (Scott MacDonald). It really is quite a horrible list of things this creep does before he gets caught. It was also a freak traffic stop that got him caught too. A small time sheriff Sam, (Christopher Allport) in Snomonton captured him and he was convicted of his crimes and set to get the death penalty. Jack swears he will get the sheriff and his family somehow but it seems unlikely. This is where our story begins, as Jack Frost is being transported to his execution they just happen to be passing through the town he was caught in. It is a dark and stormy night as they say and the snow is really coming down. The driver is doing all he can to stay on the road. Little do the drivers of the criminal transport know but Jack in the rear has over powered the guard and is free from his shackles. At the same time a truck coming the other direction swerves into the lane causing both trucks to crash. This truck carrying a acid that has been changed on the molecular level come spraying out all over Jack Frost and his body appears to melt into the snow.  Then the snow moves and we realized that Jack has become one with the snow.
   Sam has been haunted by the capture of Jack Frost since it happened. Through flashbacks we see how the capture happened almost by accident and then we see Sam still looking over some of the stuff connected to the case. Jack during his trial made a point to say that he would find a way to get back at the sheriff and pretty much this is the plot of the movie except that Jack is now a killer snowman. It is too soon for that, the cops think that Jack Frost died in the crash and so at first in the film they are just going about there business, and unfortunately for them it just happens to be the yearly snowman building contest. Here is something about this film that really struck me odd. The film starts with this big snowstorm with the crash and then everything is about the winter festival. BUT the shots around the town show that there is almost no snow on the ground. There is a patch here and there but really after that first shot there should be a foot all around the town.
  Now without any mystery the entire premise for this film is explained. An FBI guy, Agent Manners (Stephen Mendel) and the geneticist who designed the acid, Stone (Rob LaBelle) head to the town because the acid is designed to fuse with the material it comes in contact with somehow and where it was on a psychopathic killer it seems to have absorbed the personality of Jack Frost. Now Stone thinks this is amazing news since to him it means that there is a soul, which is transferable. Too everyone else though it means there is a psycho snowman on the loose seeking revenge in the very town where he wants to get that revenge.
So let the killing begin, the first is done off screen when old man Harper while sitting in his frozen yard on his rocker has his neck snapped. The find him head back frozen solid the next day. They know it is a murder but never really question why he was sitting outside in the cold? Then there are the Metzners, Jake (Jack Lindine) our second victim who has an axe handle shoved down his throat. Shoved yes but the logistics of how without it coming out the back of his head are a bit fuzzy. Maybe if his head was all the way back like he was swallowing a sword it could happen but as you can see in the image that is not the case. His ditzy wife Sally (Kelly Jean Peters) is next getting the Christmas decorations treatment, and teenage daughter Jill (Shannon Elizabeth) who has the strangest death of all. She is having a connection with her boyfriend and sees the tub full of water, and figuring he got it ready for her, after just blow drying her hair she gets in. Lo and behold Jack Frost can change from snow to water in an instant so it looks like Jill has really gotten into him literally.
  Have I mentioned that this is really a bad movie? There are so many poorly written one liners for the snowman to make that it is embarrassing, writers Michael Cooney and Jeremy Paige should have taken more time with the script to tighten their lame zingers up. Okay so its hard and they gave it a try. As I was starting work on this review I saw one of the lovely people I follow on twitter had finished writing about this film.
Ann Hale wrote this piece up at Pop-Break where she talks about the lack of logic this film has. I really can't agree with her more. So much of the how the snowman works in the world just does not seem very well thought out. Or more to the point he can do what he needs to do to get at his next victim, change to water slide under a door and then freeze up again, etc. It is really not well thought out and thus the idea that he can be damaged by heat (blow dryers) is equally silly. 
  As the plot plays out it comes down to the town trying to defend themselves from the creature and they do come up with a method but boy what a coincidence that Sam manages to push Jack out the right window at just the right time. Oh fuck I am not even going to pretend that this movie was fun. It was more than a bit annoying and lacked the writing chops to be campy. So let me end saying there is no way I am recommending this one.
Rating (2.9) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others

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