“Is it cold in here or is it just me…”
There is a romance to bad cinema that you just don’t get with books or music. People don’t have record listening parties where they spin Cliff Richard or Westlife, not in the same way that disciples of The Room or Troll 2 religiously watch those movies. The fact that James Franco’s take on Tommy Wiseau and The Room even exists goes some way to supporting this point. The distinction though, and it is an important one, is that not all bad cinema is entertaining. I’m now approaching fifty Christmas films for this feature, a genre that by its very nature results in lots of genuinely terrible films. Most of them are a lot of fun because of their kitsch value. Jack Frost is not one of those films.
This version of Jack Frost is like the demented uncle of the bizarre Michael Keaton version that came out the following year. That film sees Michael Keaton’s family man come back to life as a cheerful snowman. This version instead features a sadistic serial killer… who comes back to life as a cheerful snowman. To be fair, the scenes in which the comically oversized snowman is killing anyone are mostly wonderful. The problem is that every second that the snowman isn’t on screen feels like an eternity. At one point I went to make a sandwich during a particularly boring scene and came back ten minutes later to find that nothing had moved on. The same two characters were just chatting. Its like they had thirty minutes of film still to use so they just left it running.
In the third act, a shady organisation called The Company are brought up, with one FBI agent commenting ‘watch your mouth’ at the mere mention of them. Hilariously we never from them again. These idiosyncrasies don’t quite push Jack Frost into the arena of cult classic but if you were liberal with the fast-forward button there is a Christmas movie worth watching in there somewhere.
Oh, as an additional curio this is the first film role of American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth. Weird.