To thoroughly confuse parents who thought they were going to be renting a cute family film starring Michael Keaton on VHS at the end of the 90s, a little campy slasher series was born, also called Jack Frost. Killer snowman with a horny carrot nose? Frosty and Rudolph step aside.
Jack Frost (1997)
The first film is Child’s Play without the doll: a psychotic killer is chemically mutated into a snowman then goes on a killing spree. The opener pans over a lovely Christmas tree while an uncle after my own heart is heard terrifying his niece with a scary story.
We see the great moment when Jack Frost is born, there are plenty of inventive kills loaded with holiday spirit, and Shannon Elizabeth makes her film debut. Her comic performance when Jack Frost gets her in the bathtub with his carrot make it clear why she was soon being cast in comedies like Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, American Pie, and Scary Movie.
While the film flirts with its campy theme, the funny lines are still reserved, but Jack Frost himself does start out with the kind of one-liners that became big with slasher killers in the late 80s. It only gets better in Jack Frost 2.
Jack Frost 2: The Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
Jack Frost 2 is the kind of amped-up, bad b-horror movie that only a lover of the first film could appreciate. Actually, it’s just slapstick comedy with gore. They go for it this time and the result is a cross between Club Dread and Gremlins 2. The only disappointment is the lack of exploitation of Jack Frost’s carrot trick.
Several of the original actors are back, heading to the tropics a year after the events of the first film to get away from it all. In a classic moment, one of the returning actresses doesn’t immediately recognize a character now played by a different actor, but then comments that he got cuter. Brilliant.
Don’t even try to understand how Jack Frost comes back, how he gets to the island, or why he doesn’t melt in the heat, especially since the film doesn’t try to explain it. Just know that Jack Frost goes mad with icicle kills, and this time they actually give us some boobs, which were sorely lacking in the first film.
The cast has a (snow) ball acting foolish and fighting off mischievous baby Jack Frosts. Jack Frost is unrelenting in his delivery of cheesy one-liners, as is most of the cast. Blood and gore abound. Two hot young guys get drunk on beer together and decide to experiment, doing the old A Christmas Story trick and licking a pole. HOT. Coolest of all? Jack Frost is also essentially Snow Miser; everything he touches turns to snow in his clutch.
Do yourself a favor. Wait until New Year’s Eve, get trashed on heavily spiked eggnog with all your friends, and make this double feature your countdown to midnight.
Here’s my video of loads of Christmas horror flicks you can check out: