Jack Frost 2:
Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Our rating: one LAVA® motion lamp.
"So yeah, once you piss off
Frosty, you're done in this town. That's
why I lost the part to Michael Keaton."
Way back in 1997, Michael Cooney made a movie. That movie wasn't very good, but because it had a snazzy lenticular motion cover lots of people rented it. (You would think that after Werewolf, people would have learned their lesson.) The movie also had enough lowbrow humor to keep the average frat boy entertained, and enough imagination to make one think that Cooney actually cared about the film he was making. So last year Mr. Cooney got to make a sequel.
There is a bizarre law in Hollywood that ensures that the least deserving movies get sequels. Albert Pyun has made four Nemesis films. There are seven Puppet Master films and another one is supposedly coming. The Witchcraft series has progressed to the point that we can no longer count them on our fingers. As with these other films, the question is raised: What possible reason can there be for a sequel? Where else can a snowman go to kill people? As they said in Jurassic Park, "Money will find a way."
"Are you sure this how you make
a 'Sex on the Beach?'"
Since Jack Frost was set in the snowless town of Snowmonton, a change of scenery was in order. You see, we have it on good authority (okay, some guy told us) that Cooney shot Jack Frost in a place where snow would naturally be found, but it was unseasonably warm when he actually had to shoot. Without the budget to manufacture snow and his actors contracted to shoot for those particular days, Cooney had to forge ahead and film a snowman story with very little of the white stuff in evidence.
Determined to avoid this problem, Cooney set Jack Frost 2 on a tropical island, and gave Jack the mystical power to maintain his icy evilness in any temperature. Although the film was shot in sunny California, the exteriors don't look very bright and we rarely see the sky. According to Cooney's commentary, this is because a similar weather disaster occurred: it rained during the entire shoot and they had to film under a tent. So what can we learn from this?
GOD HATES MICHAEL COONEY.
Next on Fox:
"When Marshmallow Peeps Go Bad!"
He's not the only one. Jack Frost 2 is so derivative, so hare-brained, so utterly moronic that we have spent the last 500 words trying to avoid the plot synopsis. But since (all together now!) We Love Our Readers, we will sally forth.
Sheriff Sam Tiler (Chris Allport) and his wife Anne (Eileen Seeley), along with the now married couple of deputies from the first movie, decide to escape to the Caribbean for their next Christmas. Sam, still suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome after his encounter with Jack, thinks that in a place with no snow, he might actually be able to relax. Their son remains behind, suggesting that this movie didn't have enough money to get the kid back. That's not a good sign.
Also arriving on the island is a large contingent of bimbos and models, the better to provide us with our daily allowance of flesh and bubble-headed comments. Overseeing the resort is The Colonel, an over-the-top Brit played by Ray Cooney. Yes, folks, the director got his father involved. Not that Ray is a bad choice for this sort of role, but it makes us wonder: if Cooney is already writing roles for his relatives, does that mean he realizes his directing career will be short, or is he trying to start a tradition like Ron Howard's? The thought that we might actually live to witness Ray Cooney acting in still more movies is enough to make us reach for nearby sharp objects in the hopes of gouging out our eyes.
Survivor 3: Some Guy's Kitchen
A few quick laboratory scenes clue us in to the fact that Jack's remains (liquefied and buried in gallon jugs) have been unearthed and a team of scientists are working to revive him. Naturally, their efforts are in vain until a janitor spills coffee into Jack's vat. The snowmonster springs to life, proving what millions of people already know about the restorative powers of a cup of coffee. If only that scientist had been drinking decaf, we could have been spared this film.
In a series of developments too stupid to relate in detail, Jack locates Sam on the island resort, kills a few innocent bystanders for good measure, and begins to torture his arch-nemesis. Heard this one before? So have we; it's a retread of the original Jack Frost and every other serial killer plot in recent memory. Even for a supposed spoof, it is ground that every horror film viewer has already covered.
With any luck, Captain Fun
will meet Corporal Punishment.
Sniffing out the staleness of this plot, Cooney shifts gears abruptly and starts ripping off another genre of horror movies: the "evil little critters" from Gremlins, Critters, and the like are given new life in Jack Frost 2 as demonic little snowballs with beady little eyes of coal and sharp teeth. This is as imaginative as it gets in this movie, though -- the remainder of the film plays out as a witless parody of the genre.
We were hoping that Jack Frost 2 might have had a little more substance, but alas, it adheres to the same old shtick, aping the allegedly humorous serial killer monologues that were woefully tired in 1991 when Freddy Krueger finally died. (Freddy was actually so hackneyed by that point that he was ripping off taglines from TV commercials.) It was bad in 1997, and it's even worse today. Jack Frost 2 will only appeal if you like your movies dumb and your comedy dumber.