Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 16: Jack Frost (1997)

1612 Jack FrostPsyche! If you were expecting a review of the ‘heart-warming’ Michael Keaton snowman comedy, you’re barking up the wrong yule log. However, if you’re finding all the holiday sweetness a bit much and the gathering family are getting on your nerves a bit leaving you pining for a bit of sharp holly amongst all the mistletoe, then perhaps I’ve found the perfect film for you to watch.

1997’s “Jack Frost” is a schlocky little B-movie horror comedy directed by Michael Cooney and ‘starring’ Scott MacDonald and Christopher Allport about a prolific serial killer who wreaks havoc on a small town one winter’s evening. The story begins with our villain, Jack Frost, on his way to be executed. Due to the poor visibility of a winter storm, his transportation crashes into a truck coming the other way, which just happens to be carrying an experimental genetic acid. Yeah, I know. Jack survives the crash but before he can make his escape, the truck spills its cargo and Frost is dissolved into the snow and presumed dead. However, the acid has fused Jack Frost with the snow and given him supernatural powers which he plans to use to get revenge on the small town sheriff who caught him in the first place.

Unlike, say, “The Town That Cancelled Christmas”, this is low budget filmmaking as it should be. The special effects are cheesy in the extreme but well realised for the limitations they faced. I’m giving the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt here and assuming that when they realised they couldn’t make the visceral, gory terrifying film they wanted to make, they opted to go full-on comedy horror instead.

The killer snowman design is decidedly cute, making the crazed killer voice even funnier as he spouts choice snow-themed puns. The death sequences are as comical as they are varied, with victims being dispatched with Christmas lights, sledges, baubles and icicles. A young Shannon Elizabeth makes her screen debut here and is rewarded with a role that allows her less dignity than her big break in “American Pie” would. The way Jack Frost dispatches her may make you think twice about serving carrots with your Christmas dinner – you have been warned.

Dumb, comically violent fun, this cult favourite film isn’t the least bit scary and the acting, while not terrible, may tend towards the wooden but if you’re looking for something to watch after you’ve come home after one or two (or three, or more – I’m not judging) Christmas drinks, this might just be the perfect nightcap. After all, what’s Christmas without a ghost(ly killer snowman) story or two?

5/10 

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