Horror films are the ultimate form of escapism. And with that in mind, one of my favorite ways to escape is by indulging in a campy horror film. I am particularly fond of the titles that fall into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. Stuff like Andre the Butcher and Thankskilling. What makes films like these so much fun to watch is that whether they are intentionally (or better yet unintentionally) bad, they treat their audience to a delightfully absurd viewing experience. One of the prime examples of this very specific genre is Michael Cooney’s Jack Frost (and its sequel, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, but we’ll get to its predecessor in a moment).
Jack Frost is about a serial killer who, while on his way to his execution, gets turned into a living snowman. A truck of genetic material mixed with snow will do that, I guess. Now equipped with supernatural snowman powers, Jack goes on a rampage and kills anyone who stands in the way of his revenge on Sam, the officer that arrested him.
Between all the unsavory one liners and the forgettable and choppy looking kill scenes, Jack Frost left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. However, if you can look past that, there’s much to love about this train wreck of a film.
People with a good sense of humor who were able to look past the film’s flaws and appreciate it as a camp classic were the target audience for the even weirder sequel. Yes, believe it or not this zany flick about a serial killer snowman got the sequel treatment. While entertaining, I must confess that it’s bad. Really bad. But, therein lies the magic. Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman was released in 2000 and it’s even more absurd than its predecessor.
Following the events of the first film, officer Sam is a bit stressed at the thought of the upcoming winter so his wife plans a tropical vacation to get his mind off of things. Meanwhile the FBI accidentally resurrects Jack during an experiment on his remains. Alive (and for some reason way more powerful) Jack hunts down Sam at the island resort and makes it snow. Hysterical.
One of the pros of this sequel is that we actually see more of the cheap snowman costume moving around. And that’s a lot of fun. Even though its low budget CGI, the fact that the creative team embraced their limitations makes for a ridiculous and festive spectacle. Michael Cooney returned to direct this follow up effort and he clearly had fun in doing so. Everything is even more ridiculous than it was the first time around and the camp quotient is through the roof.
I could tear into this ill-advised sequel for about ten more paragraphs but I won’t because I really get a kick out of it. Sure, it looks terrible and the acting is atrocious but that’s half the fun. If you have a sense of humor (and even the slightest appreciation for bad movies) there is so much to love about Jack Frost 2.
The film is very much a product of its time and it never tries to hide its low budget. Moreover, with the way Jack Frost 2 ends, it leaves room for the possibility of a third film. It’s the perfect movie for people who, like myself, don’t care for cheery holiday fare. Besides nothing says Happy Holidays! like a little murder.