Friday, November 24, 2017

Phil's Horror Watch: JACK FROST (1997) from Vinegar Syndrome - November 24, 2017

JACK FROST Limited Edition Lenticular Cover
Starring Jeremy Paige, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, F. William Parker, Rob LaBelle, Kelly Jean Peters, Shannon Elizabeth, Charles Stevenson Jr.
Written by Michael Cooney and Jeremy Paige
Cinematography by Dean Lent
Edited by Terry Kelley
Produced by Barry L. Collier, Barbara Javitz, Jeremy Paige, Vicki Slotnick
Directed by Michael Cooney
Originally distributed by A-Pix Entertainment
Released by Vinegar Syndrome

Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean that the scares has to stop! Today's film was one of my favorite films to rent at my local video store American Video Center. It was a treasure trove for horror films: classics, shot on videos, cult classics and low budget gems. It was here that I saw a movie that I had to see. It had a lenticular cover of a killer snowman! This was right up my alley and I rented it ans watched it that day. Now 20 later, Vinegar Syndrome has re-released this cult classic on Blu-Ray. Today's horror film is the one, the only JACK FROST! (Not to be confused with the 1998 Michael Keaton movie of the same name)

The film's official synopsis:  On his way to be executed, the vehicle containing notorious serial killer Jack Frost collides with a hazardous chemical truck, turning Jack into a snow covered mutant and unleashing him on the unsuspecting town of Snomonton, ‘The Snowman Capitol of the Midwest’. Jack immediately takes advantage of his newfound freedom and blizzardy abilities to seek revenge on the bungling Sheriff, played by Christopher Allport (TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.), that accidentally ended his cross-country killing spree. On his way to the Sheriff, Jack terrorizes the snow-man themed town and murders its residents in a variety of winterized ways. Can the residents of Snomonton fight back against the psychopath snowman from Hell or will they all end up in a snow-covered grave?

London born writer/director  Michael Cooney came up with the idea for the movie back in 1989. The story of a serial killer who becomes a murdering snowman just screams cult classic! Along with co-writer and producer Jeremy Paige, these two came up with a script that is funny, over-the-top and very clever! The gags work, the one-liner are hilarious and the characters are fun caricatures of classic slashers from years past!

Original VHS Box Cover (1997)
Filmed in 18 days on short end film stock, Cooney and his gang had to be creative and came up with some clever ideas to overcome their very low budget and many obstacles. One example was that the movie was shot during the winter drought and there was no snow on the ground. To rectify this situation, foam and cotton swabs had to be used for snow. So every scene the audience sees that has "snow" they had to put it all down. Plus since this was filmed during the drought, temperatures reached about 70 degrees and all the actors are dressed in sweaters, scarfs, coats and parkas!

The film is also well know for being the feature film debut of the lovely Shannon Elizabeth (billed here as Shannon Elizabeth Fadal). She would go one to give every red-blooded American male wet dreams in films like 13 GHOSTS, SCARY MOVIE, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK and, of course, the AMERICAN PIE franchise. The film's antagonist Scott MacDonald has had a very successful acting career, appearing in movies such as FIRE IN THE SKY, JARHEAD and WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, television shows like Charmed, The X-Files and Star Trek: Enterprise as Commander Doli. Boston born actor Christopher Allport (who plays our hero Sam) started acting way back in the 1960's. His resume includes titles like DEAD & BURIED, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., and INVADERS FROM MARS and a slew of TV shows like Another World, Days of Our Lives, M*A*S*H, St. Elsewhere, Dynasty, In The Heat of the Night and Murder, She Wrote. Sadly, Allport passed away on January 25, 2008 from a, "a trio of avalanches which swept off-trail canyons in the San Gabriel mountains at the Mountain High ski resort, northeast of Los Angeles."

The movie was released on VHS by A-Pix Entertainment on November 18, 1997. It became such a huge cult classic that a sequel entitled JACK FROST 2: REVENGE OF THE MUTANT KILLER SNOWMAN was released three years later. A third installment was planned but was scrapped when Allport died. The film was to be called JACK FROST 3: THE LAST COMING.

While the movie was released by A-Pix Entertainment on VHS, it was also distributed on DVD by Simitar Entertainment, both in the same year. Soon, it was out of print on both formants and commanded high prices on eBay. In 2016, Vinegar Syndrome released the film for the first time on Blu-ray.

JACK FROST is one of the best and funniest horror films to come out of the late 90's!! If your a horror fan who thinks they have seen it all, guess what? You are so wrong! You have not lived until you see a mutant snowman killing a naked Shannon Elizabeth in a shower! Yes, you read that right and that's just a small taste of the insanity that the movies offers! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

JACK FROST is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo at your local retailer as well on the Vinegar Syndrome website, where they are offering a Limited Edition Lenticular Cover. To order a copy for yourself, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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