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Jack Frost (1996)
Rated R

Starring: Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport and Stephen Mendel

Rating:
***
out of
*****

Not to be confused with 1998's Michael Keaton vehicle, this direct-to-video horror flick may feature a living snowman, but that's about where the similarities end. This Jack Frost concerns a serial killer who, by way of a freak genetic accident, is turned into a killer snowman. Obviously, with subject matter like this, there's little temptation to turn the movie into a serious, melodramatic horror film. The film makers were, thankfully, more than willing to make the movie as campy as possible. And, with the very small budget they had, I doubt they had much choice.

Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald), the human version, is being transported to the electric chair by van during a snowstorm. A pick-up truck carrying an experimental acid slams into the van and Jack Frost is covered with the acid, which melds his genetic material to the snow. When people start dying in the small town of Snowmonton, the sheriff (Christopher Allport) suspects that Jack Frost might not have died in the accident.

The FBI, meanwhile, knows what has happened to Frost, and have put Agent Manners (Stephen Mendel) on the case. Along with a man named Stone (Rob LaBelle), who's apparently responsible for creating the genetic acid stuff, Agent Manners commandeers the town as more innocent people are chased around by the crazed snowman.

Now, its really hard to fault this movie for being bad when the budget was so obviously limited and its obvious that the film was aiming for laughs rather than scares. Occasionally, the humor misses the mark, but for the most part, the film is successful in conjuring a few laughs from the viewer. (And a few unintentional ones as well.) When the "killer snowman" strangles his victims with what appear to be oven mittens, you can't help but chuckle. When a snowman-building competition is held on a street with no visible snow, you can't help but ask, "Who are they trying to kid?" The answer is, "Nobody." The film is being played for laughs. (However, when a man dives into a pool of chemicals with a gaping stab wound in his chest and doesn't even wince, one might question the continuity of the film just a bit.)

As tempted as I might be to slam the film for being stupid, I enjoyed it too much to do so. Why? Because it is so stupid and not the least bit ashamed of it. When a movie contains a killer snowman, who refers to himself as "the world's most pissed-off snow cone," how can you not respect it? Even just a little?

Trivia: Christopher Allport, who plays Sheriff Sam, was visible in 1984's To Live and Die in L.A. as Max Waxman. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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