Jack Frost (1997)
Not to be confused with the 1998 film of the same name starring Michael Keaton
Jack Frost is a 1997 American direct-to-video horror-comedy film directed by Michael Cooney. It is about a titular serial killer (Scott MacDonald) who is reincarnated into a snowman.
The film spawned a sequel entitled Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, which was released in 2000.
On a snowy December night, a state execution transfer vehicle crosses into the quiet backwater town of Snowmonton. Inside is serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald), who eluded police for years and left a trail of thirty-eight bodies across eleven states before finally being arrested by Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport), the sheriff of Snowmonton. Jack is scheduled to be executed at midnight, but Jack kills the guard and the vehicle crashes into a genetic research truck. Jack is exposed to chemicals from inside the truck, causing him to dissolve and fuse with the snow.
Despite news reports of Jack's demise, Sam cannot forget Jack's threats of vengeance. Old Man Harper is found murdered, and soon afterwards a local bully named Billy (Nathan Hague) is killed when he is pushed into the way of an oncoming sled, getting decapitated. According to Sam’s son, Ryan (Zack Eginton) a snowman caused Billy's death. Billy's father, Jake (Jack Lindine) is murdered when the same snowman stuffs an axe into his throat. Billy's mother, Sally, is later killed when the snowman strangles her with Christmas lights, shoves her face into a box of glass ornaments, and slams a light-up snowflake into the top of her head.
FBI Agents Manners (Stephen Mendel) and Stone arrive in Snowmonton and convince the Sheriff to put the town on 24-hour curfew, sending his officers out to gather all the townspeople. Deputy Chris Pullman (Brian Leckner) is killed when the snowman runs the officer over with a police cruiser. Billy's older sister Jill (Shannon Elizabeth) and her boyfriend Tommy sneak into the sheriff's home to steal his wine and have sex, as revenge for her brother's death. The snowman kills Tommy and pretends to be bath water to lure in Jill, solidifying around her and proceeding to rape and physically assault her, resulting in her death.
The snowman returns with the police cruiser to the station, finally confronting Sam. Agent Stone reveals himself to be a representative of the genetic research company that created the chemicals and reveals that the snowman is a mutated Jack Frost. He also reveals that the human soul exists as a chemical and that the acid was going to be used to contain DNA in case of a nuclear holocaust. They attempt to destroy Jack by blowing him up by releasing aerosol cans in the police station and firing a bullet at him, but to no avail. They then use blowdryers to drive Jack into a furnace, which evaporates the snowman. Jack condenses, killing Stone and wounding Manners. Jack traps Sam and Ryan within his car, but Sam escapes by inadvertently throwing the oatmeal Ryan made him at Jack, burning the snowman's head. Ryan put antifreeze in the oatmeal, believing it could help keep his father from getting cold.
Sam tells his friend, Paul Davrow (F. William Parker) to fill the bed of his truck with antifreeze. Jack chases Sam through the halls of a church and finally catches him, driving an icicle into his chest and almost killing him. The truck full of antifreeze arrives just in time, however, and Jack and Sam crash through a window and into the truck's bed. Jack Frost melts in the antifreeze, and the antifreeze is poured back into the containers, and buried deep under the ground of Snowmonton. Sam's wife Anne (Eileen Seeley), realizes that the state police are on their way. When Paul asks Sam what they are going to tell them, Sam says, "we'll tell them that it's too late". However, one of the containers is shown to be bubbling, revealing Jack is still alive.
Why It Sucks
- A really stupid premise about a serial killer reincarnating as an snowman as a means of continuing his killing spree.
- False advertising: The cover has a really creepy-looking snowman that looks like a demonic skull, which may lead people thinking that Jack looks like that in the actual film, however, Jack's physical appearance is actually cartoonish and not even scary.
- The acting is extremely bad. The most notable example is when Billy's father gets extremely mad at Sam for Billy's death, and blames Ryan (despite the fact that he's only a little child and much shorter than Billy, who's a teenager), and later states that he's close to punching Sam in the face, even though that would get him arrested since Sam is an officer.
- Barely any scary moments, even though it is meant to be a horror-comedy film.
- The infamous scene where Jill gets raped by Jack in a bathtub.
- Really poorly done special effects, especially when Billy's head gets cut off by a sleigh.
- Most characters are very poorly written, but most especially with the secondary ones like Ryan, who put anti-freeze in a bag of oatmeal in a well-meaning but short-sighted attempt to keep his father Sam from being cold (though granted it does contribute heavily to Jack's defeat).
- Stupid attempts at humor, like Tommy making snow-women with breasts.
- Some confusing moments, like when Jill is drying her hair she's more than happy to hop into a warm bath and completely drench it.
- Jill also seems to not care about Billy's demise at all, and decides to go visit her boyfriend. Even when she does say she missed him, she still prefers to go out.
- Plot holes, like the scene where Billy gets decapitated by Jack but for some reason nobody didn't see Jack come to life and trip Billy IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.
- Jack Frost himself is a really entertaining and hilarious villain. His puns and antics, though extremely corny, are worth more than a few good laughs, but most especially the Picasso part ("Look ma', I'm a Picasso!").
- Even though the acting and dialogue is bad, it's bad in a really funny and deadpan sort of way, with a noteworthy example being Jack Frost calling himself the "World's most pissed off snow cone".
- The movie itself could be seen as a "So Bad, It's Good" guilty pleasure due to how hilariously insane and ridiculous it gets.
- Some great death scenes.
- Everybody who was involved in the movie had a great time making it. Even Shannon Elizabeth herself.
- Funny subliminal things going on in the background.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 7% based on 15 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 3/10. Grave Reviews gave the film 2.5 Graves.
- The film has been infamously compared to the 1998 family film of the same name, which stars Michael Keaton, and it is mostly due to the fact that they are both named "Jack Frost" and they have a very similar premise about a man dying but reincarnating as a snowman, which has led to many occasional confusions like people accidentally renting one of them when they were trying to watch the other one, and there were even rumors that say that a film magazine mixed up the films by claiming George Clooney (who was gonna star in the 1998 film before getting replaced by Keaton) was gonna play a killer snowman in a then-upcoming movie, while another testimony claims that a channel accidentally aired this film when they were supposed to air the family one instead.
- Christopher Allport, who played Sam Tiller, died in an avalanche on January 25, 2008.
- I-Mockery has a webpage feature that discusses Jack Frost (and it's sequel) in-depth as shown here.
- The rape scene in the first film wasn't originally intended to be this; it was meant to just be Jack Frost smashing Jill into the wall until she died. But when the movie got into the editing phase, the editor told the director, "You know what this looks like, don't you?", due to the shot of the carrot floating to the surface of the water earlier in the scene, as well as Jack's carrot nose not being on his face during the scene. Rather than re-shoot the whole scene (which was difficult to achieve as it was), the director went with it, and quickly shot a few shots of Jack Frost making bad sex puns after Jill's death for continuity.
- Originally there was going to be more than one rubber snowman made for use in this movie.