After a serial killer gets doused with some toxic, mutating ooze, a small town must deal with the terrible wrath of his new deep-freeze form (to say nothing of his horrific carrot nose and eyes made out of hellish coal). A... more »lthough clearly indebted to the superior horror-comedy of Sam Raimi (the venerable director of The Evil Dead trilogy), this killer snowman movie is somewhat less than abominable (sorry), with a cheerful, wonky sense of humor, some intentionally cheesy special effects, and a creative enthusiasm that belies the obviously low budget. Good fun for the less-discriminating horror fan, although potential viewers should be warned in advance that a blatantly misogynist scene in a female victim's bathtub crosses the line between enjoyably tasteless and downright disgusting. --Andrew Wright« less
"While the script idea for a serial killer snowman is a novel idea, the execution of the story, which possibly could have been on a par with Shaun of the Dead in its wit and visual humor, falls short. Whenever you try to combine the elements of comedy and horror, you have to decide where to take the story: should it be a parody, a satire, tongue in cheek, or a mix of these approaches? What visual framing will convey your choices, and how will the characterizations and actions move the story along to highlight them?
Beginning with the opening narration, an inappropriately told bedtime story to a young girl (at least the voice was supposed to be that of a young girl), the camera moves slowly across ornaments on a Christmas tree, pausing to show the film's credits written on each one (a clever but drawn out setup). This narration sets up the story, sort of, for Jack Frost, and we cut to him being conveyed to his execution in a van aptly titled with Troma-like subtlety "State Executional Transfer Vehicle." The ensuing truck collision with the aptly titled "Genetic Research" van shows the miniscule budget the movie was shot with, and Jack is now conveniently melted into the snow, where his molecular do-hickies merge with the stuff to create the killer snowman.
Cut to Snowmonton, site of the annual snowman contest and...hey, wait a minute, there's that lack of budget again. No snow! Well, okay, a few very small piles of fake snow lying around, but the snowman contest does look pretty pitiful, and awfully fake. This would have been a funny scene if intended as such, but I doubt the script was that sophisticated.
The first murder is done off camera, and the victim's discovery is framed pretty well and is humorous: the camera angle from behind the dead man's frozen head, looks up at the three police officers looking down at the body in the rocking chair, with one of them annoyingly rocking it back and forth with his foot. Another killing later in the story has a woman viciously murdered by Jack, using a Christmas tree, Christmas tree lights, and ornaments. The scene is vicious and not particularly handled well, so falls between intended to be funny, but not really funny. The camera angle here mimics the first murder, and while clever, loses a lot of its intended humor due to the way the woman's murder was handled. The killings become more vindictive and bloody, as the film becomes more gore oriented, and the characterizations lose the humorous aspect they were meant to convey because the balance of parody, satire, and tongue in cheek are lost to the stereotypical escalating violence.
In a convenient plot device to make Jack more mobile--he can change from snow to water as needed-he can enter houses, and commit a particularly distasteful rape and murder that completely changes the tone of the story. While the scene must have looked clever on paper, it defies logic and thematic sense, and moves the film into more serious horror-head territory (which would have been great if the rest of the film had joined it).
The ensuing scenes, which include the sheriff's penchant for losing keys, and, hey, where did all those aerosol cans and hair dryers come from?! combined with the highly unlikely denouement involving the anti-freeze filled truck bed, are incongruous with the more serious tone of Jack Frost's killing spree.
While this is not a good film, it still contains some elements worth watching, and also provides a primer in what you should not do when attempting a humorous horror film for budding scriptwriters."
More comedy than horror
Marc Black | USA | 02/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A movie like this should be classed as comedy not horror all though there is a bit of blood and gore. So it should please gore fans. The movie is about a murderer on his way to The Chair, but the cops taking hem there encounter a problem. They crash into a truck carrying an new kind of acid, and it covers the prisoner and he melts into the snow, and turns into a snowman, and goes on a killing spree. Sort of a dumb idea, but they make it work with lots of dark humor."
A Second Chance to be the Coolest Dad...Whoops, Wrong Film!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 02/20/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Although often touted as a horror comedy, the most amusing aspect of this 1997 direct-to-video clunker is the fact that it is often confused with its saccharine family-flick namesake, a commensurately clunky and similarly themed Michael Keaton vehicle released in theaters the following year. Interestingly, the titular character of each film is a snowman that has somehow come to life. However, those planning a nice evening with the youngsters will be in for quite a shock if they purchase or rent the wrong movie. The snowy dude in Keaton's film is a benevolent father figure who wants to help out his real-life family; the icy hombre in the 1997 horror flick is animated by the soul of an escaped convict with a penchant for rape and murder.Outside of the amusing thought of 1997's JACK FROST getting an accidental showing at a kiddie party, this film has very little to offer. The special FX are amateurish, the script is so inane that it is nearly impossible to suspend one's disbelief for the duration, and much of the acting is horrid. While some films can be admired for their cheesiness--Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD (1981) comes immediately to mind--JACK FROST falls way beneath even THAT standard. Writer-director Michael Cooney seems unable to decide if he wants to spoof the horror genre--there are scenes that mimic horror clichés but few, if any, that parody or satirize them--or simply make, á la Wes Craven's A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984), a scary film with humorous characters and an amusing premise. The film vacillates between both styles without gaining sufficient footing in either, and the result is a slushy thematic jumble that is neither scary nor entertaining.JACK FROST is not without a few near-redeeming qualities, however. There are lots of amusing Python-esque puns and jokes sprinkled throughout the film, the kind of verbal gags that make you simultaneously chuckle and...well, GAG. And this film also marks the cinematic debut of gorgeous actress Shannon Elizabeth, who here has some, ah, revealing moments with the eponymous snowman. Unfortunately, these elements do not elevate the film enough to make it worth wasting an hour-and-a-half of one's life.Don't be fooled by the artwork on the DVD's packaging--that cool skull made of snow does not appear in the film. In truth, 1997's JACK FROST is an ice-cold stinker that few discerning horror fans will want to add to their collections."
It's not SUPPOSED to be scary!
Andrew Estes | Maine | 11/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flipping through a lot of the one-star reviews I noticed a lot of people saying it was fake and wasn't scary, and I'm sorry, but if that's what you were expecting, you obviously missed the whole point of this movie and what makes it so great. I mean, c'mon, a killer Snowman? You had to of known what you were getting into here. Personally, I love this movie. It is so hilarious and the fake effects only heighten the cheesy quality that makes it so enjoyable. I loved the scene where the kid gets killed by the sled, it was so fake and I couldn't stop laughing, "The snowman pushed him!" And who could forget the giant tub of anti-freeze where Jack met his demise? Nothing is funnier than watching the cop tear about white pieces of foam in a tub of green colored water. This movie is sure to be a cult classic in the years to come, and yes, it is along the same level of Evil Dead 2, minus the budget.Also, look for Shannon Elizabeth in a very cool scene involving a carrot..."
A must see B movie!
Edward A. Massee | Aurora, IL. | 01/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Every once in awhile a really good 'bad' movie comes along. To name a few: 'Attack of the Killer Tomatos', 'Killer Clowns From Outer Space', 'Santa Claus Vs. The Martians', etc. If you have an occasional craving for a fun and entertaining bad movie then 'Jack Frost' is for you!"