Halloween Scene: Jack Frost (1996)

After being bored with Terror Train and Funhouse, I knew I was going to have a good time with Jack Frost. And I knew this because it might be the horror movie I’ve watched the most. See, while older horror fans came up with a myriad of Friday the 13th and Halloween sequels, I was enjoying Scream and Jack Frost. I’m not 100% on the details, but I think I saw that crazy lenticular box at the video store and rented it. Then, when HBO did one of those free weekends, I taped it.

The plot follows a serial killer called Jack Frost who gets in an accident while being transported to his execution. His genes mix with the experimental genetic material in the oncoming truck and the snow which turns him into Jack Frost the killer snowman. So he heads back to Snowmonton, the town where he got busted by small town cop Sam. Now Jack is wreaking havoc while Sam, a government agent and a scientist try to put a stop to it.

As a teenager just getting into horror, this movie was perfect. You’ve got a villain who’s funny, but very scary in theory (how do you stop water?), some really creative POV shots, a ton of great kills and all kinds of humor. And it’s a great kind of humor because it’s very dark. Watching it again after a few years, I can also appreciate that the dark humor isn’t solely based on horror tropes. Yes, you get some of those, but then there’s just great throwaway lines like just before Jack gets splashed with the genetic goo and he says something like “This is gonna hurt.” I’m also not exactly sure if the story is supposed to be a joke all around (I would guess so), so the gaps in logic can either be read as funny or lame. I read them as funny. It’s a lot like Dance Of The Dead in that respect.

I was also impressed with the acting. Yes, the special effects look very homemade at times, but I thought the acting was spot on and realistic. And, as you may or may not know, one of those good actors is Shannon Elizabeth in her very first movie. Her character definitely falls into the logical gap I mentioned before (she wants to go out and party after her brother dies), but I took it as satire. She also takes part in the infamous carrot bathtub scene which is…weird to say the least. If you haven’t gotten enough Jack Frost goodness, hit the jump for my live blog of Jack Frost and tons of screencaps!

*Woah, I do not remember this weird voice over opening. This is super annoying. And not appropriate at all to tell a kid.

*Showing the credits as actual Christmas ornaments is very creative.

*Woah, I forgot Shannon Elizabeth was in this. Is she the carrot girl?

*”State Executional Transfer Vehicle” written on the side of the van transporting Jack? Seems like a highly specific vehicle, that county must have a ton of money.

*Haha, Snowmonton, that’s almost as good of a town name as Nilbog.

*Jack’s penchant for looking at the camera and tossing out one liners is pretty epic.

*Oh no, the Genetic Research truck flipped over. Too bad this isn’t a Marvel comic, otherwise, Jack would be moments away from turning into a superhero.

*The shots of Jack melting are pretty great, but the shots of the cop watching him are even better. He looks like he’s trying to do a Magic Eye from a few feet away.

*Yes! Animated DNA/snow sequence. As if you couldn’t understand what was happening.

*Now we’re introduced to our hero Sam, the guy who nabbed Jack and swore revenge.

*How had his son not heard about Jack Frost? Word like that spreads like crazy in a small town school.

*It looks like his son literally made him poop with marshmallows for breakfast. They’re actually oats and they’ll come into play later.

*Are those supposed to be real snowmen? How are they supposed to last till Saturday?

*Shannon Elizabeth is super hot in this.

*Haha, what the heck is this guy going to put that giant ornament on? He looks so happy about it too!

*Sam asks “What’s the matter, somebody die?” Then the secretary shows him the note “Somebody died.” Good stuff.

*Ah yes, the creepy “behind the dead, frozen guy in a still-rocking rocking chair shot. “Take your foot of the chair.” Damn this movie’s funny.

*Haha, the country store owner was also in Lost Highway!

*”It wasn’t meant to happen like this!” The scientist guys says they hadn’t even tested an acid on an amoeba, but why were they transporting an entire trunk of the stuff anywhere? Don’t scientists usually do experiments with a small amount of things?

*I like that the coroner actually knows his shit. This was even before CSI!

*The sound of Jack dragging himself is awesome.

*They probably should have filmed this movie somewhere where there might actually be real snow.

*How did those men find out about the killing so quickly? Sam JUST got back.

*Sam’s kid needs a freaking puppet to figure out where the coal and carrots go on a snowman? Yet, this isn’t the stupidest thing he does in the movie.

*Why does that bully talk with such a stupid accent?

*Also, why would you want to go on “black ice sled run” on flat ground?

*Yes! Decapitation! That’s what happens when you mess with Jack Frost! Why would their runners be so sharp?

*”He’s usually not so short tempered.” the dead boy’s mother says. Lady, your son just died, get emotional.

*Sam’s kid is old enough to know that telling anyone “the snowman did it” probably won’t make any sense.

*The acting in this movie is surprisingly strong.

*Woah, it was Shannon Elizabeth’s brother who died. “The lord forsook this house long ago.” – Shannon. That was intense.

*Screw physics, I love that Jack shoves the axe down Billy’s dad’s throat.

*Haha, Jack took the time to put the lights on the tree just to lure Billy’s mom into death.

*This goes to show how much of a bastard Jack is. Not only does he frame Sam’s kid for murder, but he also decides to off an entire family after killing their kid.

*Gotta love the meanness behind the death of Billy’s mom with her mouth stuffed with an ornament and her head smashed into the ornaments repeatedly.

*Yes! Another weird death POV shot, this time from inside the tree.

*ANOTHER cool POV shot: underneath the puddle.

*”F#cker’s a snowman!” – Paul

*”What the hell is eating him.” – one cop “I bet it’s not his girlfriend.” – the other cop

*Yeah! Jack Frost driving a cop car!

*The map of Snowmonton is hilariously basic.

*Shannon Elizabeth would rather break into the sheriff’s house to bone than mourn.

*The awkward winter strip down is hilarious (gloves, parkas, scarves, long johns).

*Now they’re stealing the sheriff’s wine? You never steal a man’s booze!

*Heh, the freezer just has a carrot sticking out of it and a TON of ice.

*”Who’s out there?” – Shannon’s boyfriend “Well, it ain’t f#cking Frosty!” – Jack

*Woah Jack can shoot icicles, forgot about that one.

*Yeah, she’s bathing in Jack. And there’s the carrot. Things are about to get…weird.

*Hey, where’s his carrot?

*”Looks like Christmas came a little early this year.” – Jack. Yeesh.

*You’re walled in, just tell Sam what’s going on!

*Haha, he’s shooting a puddle, but the floor isn’t getting damaged.

*I like that it’s the nerdy scientist who’s all “remember your orders to bring it back alive” and not the secret agent man.

*Yeah, hair dryer’s as guns, blowing him into the furnace.

*Hey, it’s not really over. That’s the brilliant thing about this character, you can’t really ever get rid of him because water can turn into steam, ice, etc. If it wasn’t so goofy, he’d be scarier than Freddy.

*Haha, Jack’s “frost bite” is awesome!

*Jack inside the scientist dude is pretty funny.

*Hey Sam’s son is a friggin psychopath, he put antifreeze in his dad’s food!!!

*Jack’s melted head looks surprisingly cool.

*Finally! A hero playing dead so the killer will stop strangling him, but it’s a trick!!!

*Gotta love the idea of killing the bad guy with a truck full of anti-freeze.

*Trusting the cap of a plastic bottle to be air tight is probably not the best idea in the world when dealing with a killer snow man, just saying guys.

*Now I just need to watch the sequel, which I’ve never seen. Giant pupper snowman on the beach? Score!

Zone-ing Out

3:25:34 am

Okay, so there’s a channel we get called My 9 that shows basically all syndicated shows. It’s not usually a channel I watch, but I happened upon a King of Queens rerun which had both comic convention staple Lou Ferrigno and comedian Patton Oswald (plus, remember when Leah Remini played Alyssa Milano’s friend on Who’s the Boss?). Anyway, during KoQ I saw a commercial for an upcoming episode of Twilight Zone which I SWORE had Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar and Shannon Elizabeth. So was I right?


Yup. I stuck around for the next hour as Forrest Whitaker introduced me two different episodes from the 2002 TZ relaunch. I’m a big fan of these kinds of shows (the original TZ of course, both the old and new Outer Limits and, my favorite, Tales from the Crypt) so I would have watched anyway (it also helped that Em was out running errands and visiting a friend).

So anyway, yeah the first episode of TZ I saw was called “Dream Lover.” In it, Adrian Pasdar plays a graphic novelist (that’s a comic book writer AND artist for the less pretentious). He was super successful with his first graphic novel and is trying to work on his second so he starts drawing this sexy woman in a towel who comes to life. He assumes she’s his muse and only he can see her, but it turns out to be a big twist (duh) and that SPOILER SHE actually created HIM! Oh snap!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that twist coming so it was a pretty welcome treat. Overall the episode was great. I couldn’t place the artist who drew all the comic book drawings (and IMDB wasn’t much help), but it looked like pretty solid art. Shannon Elizabeth’s character even drops (or tries to) a comic book in-joke with the line “Alan Moore couldn’t do better.” Now, this is funny for two reasons. The first is that Alan Moore’s name got said on TV (it’s still weird for me to see comic creators mentioned in the “real” media). But the REAL reason it’s funny is because Adrian Pasdar is DRAWING at the moment.

It’s a great episode to check out for comic fans, it even reminded me of a Tales from the Crypt episode where Harry Anderson plays a comic book artists whose creations keep coming to life (though I think they kill him or something, it’s been awhile).

Oh, one last thing, when Shannon Elizabeth first appears and Adrian Pasdar disappears at the end of the episode the effect is straight out of A-Ha’s video for take on me.

The second episode was a standard bad-guy-getting-haunted-by-kids-he-accidentally-had-killed story. The only thing that really elevated it was that Jason Bateman played the guy. Also, they made him agoraphobic, so he’s actually too scared to leave his house and once he really tries to the kids have locked him in with creepy kid magic. And by that I mean these kids are super creepy. Not, twins-from-The-Shining creepy, but close.

One day I hope to get the Tales from the Crypt DVDs or even the original Twilight Zone DVDs and do disc-by-disc or season-by-season reviews. Any PR people out there listening?