Jack Frost - Jack Frost( Blu Ray) [MVD Rewind - 2021]
From the late 1990s, Jack Frost is a festive slasher that swings between the campily silly and nastily cruel. It charts the killing spree of a serial killer, whose spirit gets sucked into a tall and imposing snowman. Think a more playful and ice-bound take on Child’s Play, but with more grisly gore- and you’ll get an idea of what to expect. Here as part of MVD’s Rewind series is a Blu Ray release of this camp, yet brutal slice ‘n’ dice film- taking in two commentary tracks, a few interviews, a slip sleeve and a mini-poster.
Appearing in 1998 Jack Frost was a US production, which was directed and co-written by London born Michael Cooney. He only has two feature-length director credits to his name this, and the film's sequel Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman- though he’s directed twenty-seven episodes of US TV doc series CenterStage. He also wrote a few scripts, the most famous of these being John Cusack mystery thriller Identity. Jack Frost was a made for video B-movie, and by those standards, it’s not bad at tall- with the just over hour and a half film being entertaining and bloodily amusing throughout.
The film kicks off with two bumbling prison guards taking the tall and scar-faced serial killer Jack Frost (Scott McDonald) to be executed during the festive season- outside a snowstorm is raging, and the hapless two crash into a chemical truck. Jack gets melted by the chemicals and sinks into the snow- creating a huge six-foot-plus snowman. He makes his way back to the small town where he did his initial killings, wiping out all he encounters, but his key focuses is the do away with middle age sheriff Sam (Christopher Allport) who caught him.
As you’d imagine with this premise the whole thing is fairly ridiculous, and it does very much have a campy horror comic air. With the snowman been full of quips and sneering asides. But we do get some fair neat and effective kills- faces stuffed with baubles and tightly wrapped in Christmas lights, brutally icicle impalements and gouging’s, and ice teeth ripping’s. We also have decapitations, blood crushing’s, and general snowman bound brutality. The snowman itself looks neat enough- been both manically, and at points fairly sinister with its black coal eyes, cruel twig eyebrows, blunt carrot nose, and ice teethed leering mouth.
Festive slashers can be decidedly hit and miss affairs- you of course have classics like the original Black Christmas, though equally, you have the less stellar fare like Silent Night, Deadly Night sequels, and really terrible 2019 remake of Black Christmas. Jack Frost manages to keep a fairly good & even blend of the silly and the brutal, with occasional effective sidesteps into the creepy and slightly unsettling. So, if you're in the mood for a festive horror film, that’s both playful and brutal, Jack Frost is certainly one of the better examples of this blend.
Moving onto this recent Blu Ray release, and on the new extra side of things, we get a few things. First, off we have a commentary track from ‘Hack the Movies podcast’ taking in Tony Piluso, Newt Wallen and Crystal Quin. This is a very relaxed/ chatty affair- with no great research or revelations being uncovered. They talk about the film being made in 1996 in just eighteen days, and when they first saw the film. Moving on they joke about the film’s fictional location of Snowmanton, and the real location in fawnskin California. As they go on, they make on-screen observations, tell funny stories connecting to the film, and general light banter. It’s a-ok and entertaining enough track, though I didn’t learn anything. The other new extra on the disc is a forty-two-minute skype interview with actor Scott McDonald aka Jack Frost- this sees him discussing his whole career- though of course, we get some discussion about his playing of Jack Frost.
Moving onto the archive side of things we get the following: an introduction from director Michael Cooney (0:37), audio commentary with director Michael Cooney, Interview with Actor Scott MacDonald (16:01), Interview with Director of Photography Dean Lent (6:01), and the original trailer.
In conclusion, if you enjoy the campier and sillier, yet still brutal side of the slasher genre you’ll enjoy Jack Frost and what it has to offer- with this new MVD Rewind release offering up worthy new & old extras.Roger Batty