Vinegar Syndrome Movie Review: JACK FROST

With the holidays just around the corner, I've been making it a point to watch Christmas themed films that have that added bonus of being horror.  Having seen so many of the same ones over and over again, I thought it would be fun to add something new and refreshing to my pile, something that I had never seen before but that garnered quite a bit of a cult following.  I finally settled on Vinegar Syndrome's latest 2K restoration, the 1996 horror/comedy JACK FROST.  At the time I didn't know much about the film, other than it involving a killer snowman, so I went in rather blind which I think added to the experience. 

For those not familiar with JACK FROST, the story centers around notorious serial killer, Jack Frost (yes, that's his real name) who, after a series of unfortunate events, mutates into a Snowman and wrecks havoc on the unsuspecting town of Snomonton aka "The Snowman Capitol of the Midwest."  The film is as absolutely ridiculous as it sounds but there's definitely some heart in it that I don't see too much in modern horror films.  JACK FROST is directed by Michael Cooney, who would go on to direct the sequel, and stars Scott MacDonald, Shannon Elizabeth, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, F. William Parker, Rob LaBelle and Kelly Jean Peters. 

Let's get something straight from the beginning, this isn't a good movie story-wise.  However, not once did that deter me from having an incredible viewing experience.  There were a lot of inconsistencies throughout the film, but I appreciate how far the director went in trying to make things come full circle.  In a day in age where we see the same types of serial killers over and over again, it's quite refreshing to see a new take on that genre, even if it is a snowman. Even when the viewer eventually finds out how the snowman was made, it made no sense yet I found myself loving that.  Being so far-fetched and so out of the realm of possibilities gave the film a humorous quality that I couldn't help but adore.  Speaking of humor, that was definitely one of the most consistent aspects of the film.  Whether it be the one-liners from Jack Frost himself or the ridiculous dialogue given to the actors, I found myself giggling non-stop at the events that were unfolding.  When it came to the acting, I loved the different characters that were presented.  There was the tough-as-nails, but soft on the inside, sheriff, the sexy girl next door, the child that just wanted him parents to adore everything he did, and the quirky neighbors.  It truly was a hodge podge of people that just all seemed to work perfectly for this film.  Clearly everyone knew that they wouldn't be winning an Oscar for this film, but they made the experience enjoyable nonetheless. 

Aside from the story and the acting, something that was done incredibly well was the practical effects during the kill scenes.  Each and every one of them was amazing and it made me miss when special effects weren't done with the use of over the top CGI gimmicks.  Speaking of the kills, they were some of the most unique kills I've seen in some time and I appreciate that a lot of them had to do with Christmas decor.  One of my favorite kills actually had to do with Christmas lights that were strung around a tree.  I don't want to ruin the moment so if you really want to see what happens, I suggest picking up the film.  Aside from Christmas decor, Jack Frost made use of his newfound wintery body by stabbing and killing multiple people with icicles.  I'm sure you are also wondering, wouldn't it be easy to kill a snowman? Apparently the answer is no.  These characters tried multiple heat inducing items to kill Jack Frost and found themselves stumped as to why it wouldn't work.  But alas, there is one thing that will destroy a snowman, and I'll leave that to you to figure out. 

I'm really glad that I had the chance to watch JACK FROST on Blu-Ray because it really added to my viewing experience.  The quality of the picture was absolutely dynamite and the music and sounds pumping through the speakers were top-notch.  Since I got my copy through Vinegar Syndrome, I was able to get one of their limited edition lenticular covers which more than paid for itself as it's absolutely incredible and has some of the best artwork I've ever seen on a Blu-Ray/DVD cover.  Along with the Blu-Ray and DVD there was a slew of special features that included a commentary track with director Michael Cooney, a video introduction, which I really enjoyed, from director Michael Cooney, and interviews with lead actor Scott MacDonald and Director of Photography Dean Lent.  Overall, JACK FROST is a quality purchase especially when seeing all the work that went into restoring this to 2K.  It may not be a perfect film in terms of story and acting, but it's still one hell of a fun ride from start to finish.  The limited edition lenticular artwork is only available on Vinegar Syndrome and there are only 3,000 units available so I highly suggest picking this up before time runs out. 

Devastatingly Yours,
Shannon M.