Reviewed by Jason Coffman
Rating: 10 Beans
y first review for Bad Movie Night, lo those many years ago, was for "Jack Frost," an awful (and incredibly bizarre) straight-to-video horror movie about a serial killer who is turned into a mutant snowman. When I saw that a new movie was coming out called "Jack Frost," I felt obligated to see it. Now, I believe that any film called "Jack Frost" is going to be the weirdest damn movie I have ever seen, because this one is somehow more bewildering than the first.
Michael Keaton plays Jack Frost, vocalist/harmonica player for The Jack Frost Band. They are horrible. Anyway, it seems that every record label in the United States is after this band, which causes some trouble... family trouble. Eventually, Jack is killed in a car accident on the way to meet his family for Christmas. Luckily, Jack gave his son a magic harmonica so when he plays it Jack will be there. The boy plays the harmonica, and Jack returns as a snowman. Hijinks ensue.
From seeing the previews, I anticipated something out of the ordinary. However, I was not ready for the full effect of "Jack Frost." It is Hollywood Manipulative Sentimentalism's finest hour. In attempting to appeal to everyone, the studio responsible for this mess created something beyond their power to control. At one point, a tear runs down Jack Frost's snowman cheek. God help me, I laughed. Out loud. I absolutely could not help it. Meanwhile, the lady two seats to my right cried for the entire running time. I almost felt bad, but then I didn't.
In a lot of ways, "Jack Frost" is a lot like "Armageddon." It has ridiculous amounts of special effects (all done expertly, of course), and a completely predicatable storyline which should theoretically guarantee misty eyes all around. But it's so weird that any part of the movie meant to be serious is drowned out in surrealist horror. It's a snowman. And it's scary. More scary, in fact, than the creature in "Jack Frost" (1996), because this one is supposed to be Michael Keaton.
I'm not sure what that meant.
At any rate, "Jack Frost" is worth watching to see how profoundly screwed-up films can be made if someone somewhere sees money to be made. Want to see a bully get hit in the crotch, during a snowboard chase? Check. Want to hear said bully actually say "Hey, Snow dad is better than no dad?" Check. Want to hear horrible, horrible music (soundtrack featuring the inexplicably popular Hanson)? Check. "Jack Frost" pretty much has every cliche you'd expect from a film aimed at young teens, but packs them in a framework more subliminally unsettling than "Lost Highway." Thusly, I give "Jack Frost" my highest possible recommendation.
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