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Monday, August 13, 2012

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman

Most of these slasher flicks can be real downers. But every now and then, I find one that is just apeshit insane, and downright funny. That's the case with Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, a sequel to a movie I know I've seen, but couldn't find in the SAW archives. I must have though, because I distinctly remember how surprised I was to see American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth in the film. Anyway, maybe I saw it before I started this blog, in which case, I'll have to watch it again someday. Prepare for big, snowy SPOILERS, matey!

The movie starts out with the hero from the first movie, a cop named Sam, talking to his shrink. He provides a nice recap of the first film, so I'll sum it up for you: See, Sam arrested a serial killer named Jack Frost, who was later sentenced to death. A collision during a snowstorm caused Jack's DNA to mix with some experimental chemicals and snow, causing Jack to be reborn as a killer snowman. Yeah, that's seriously what happened in the first one.

Anyway, while Sam is recalling Jack's murder spree, the doctor's receptionist and other folks in the waiting room are listening in on the session through the intercom. Sam doesn't realize that, of course, even after they start laughing. Sam describes how he finally brought Jack down(with antifreeze), and even the shrink is trying to hold back his giggles.

When Sam is asked where the evidence is, he says that the pile of antifreeze was buried someplace that is secret, to prevent anyone from ever bringing Jack to life again. Right on cue, we see a country bumpkin(well, his feet, at least) showing a mysterious stranger where the antifreeze was buried. The stranger shoots the redneck for his trouble.

In some type of laboratory, a pair of scientists are fiddling around with beakers of multicolored liquids, as a Christmas song plays over the opening credits. They keep failing with their experiments, as evidenced by a handy "PASS/FAIL" checklist that we see repeatedly on a clipboard. Wow, Exposition For Dummies.

After the credits, the scientists go home for the night. One of them leaves his coffee cup near the experiment area, and a janitor who comes into the lab to clean the floor knocks the cup into the vat of antifreeze. A cloud forms in the tank, some cartoon DNA comes to snowy life, and the tank fills with snow. Yay!

The befuddled custodian turns around, just as the tank explodes. A massive shard of glass severs his mouth, and a puddle of water yawns and starts mumbling as it trickles down a drain to freedom. Jack's back!

...And Sam's leaving. He's at the airport with his wife Anne, waiting for his best friend and deputy Joe, and Joe's new bride(and secretary at the Sheriff's office), Marla. They're all headed for a Pacific island, where Joe and Marla can enjoy a nice honeymoon, while Sam tries to get over his traumatic memories of being stalked by a living snowman. Oh, and Sam had a son in the first film, but he's "staying with relatives" while the adults go on vacation. I guess his trauma while nearly being killed by Jack didn't matter as much.

Anyway, the foursome are greeted at the island resort by the Colonel, a wacky British coot who runs the place with the help of his cohorts Bobby and Captain Fun. Wait, did I slip into a fugue state and start watching Club Dread again? No wait, that was Sam, the Fun Police. Man, I've seen WAY too many of these dumb things!

The Colonel also introduces us to our other victims: we have Rose, Ashlea and Paisley, 3 cute young ladies who've come to the resort to party; Sarah and Cindy, 2 models who've arrived to be in a bikini photo shoot; and their homosexual photographer, Greg. After the Colonel greets everyone, Sam surprises Anne by announcing that the trip also serves as their second honeymoon, complete with their own bridal suite.

Jack washes in with the tide, I guess. I did some snooping online, and found out that, since Sam was injured by Jack in the first movie, he supposedly bled into the snow and had some of his DNA mix into the toxic goo that makes Jack come to life. This is supposed to give Jack the ability to "track" Sam to any long as there's water, I would assume.

Well, I guess Jack hasn't come ashore just yet, because now we're meeting 2 new characters, a pair of idiots who are stranded in the ocean on an inflatable raft. They're annoying as Hell, to each other as well as me. As they argue about being hungry, one of them finds a carrot in a small cooler.

They start to fight over the carrot, and one throws the other one overboard. He loses the carrot as well, and leans over the side of the raft to snatch it out of the ocean. When he does, Jack makes an icicle and stabs through the underside of the raft, impaling the guy. Then he thanks his victim for the "nose", and takes it as he continues to the island.

That evening, the resort has a "wild party", mostly consisting of extras who couldn't fake-dance their way out of a paper bag. No one is on the beach to see the carrot wash up onshore, and begin crawling its' way toward the resort. Yes, a carrot is crawling along a beach, looking for people to kill. Makes sense to me!

The trio of single girls are at the bar, ordering drinks and looking for hot guys to seduce. The bartender points out a pair of young men eyeing them, and they all greet each other with brainless "heys". Good lord.

Everyone else is in a conga line, save for Sam, who is staring out at the sea and having flashbacks. Captain Fun distracts him, and proves just how annoying "fun" can be when you really work at it. Then Captain Fun suggests karaoke, and we discover that whoever wrote the script, he had no idea what karaoke actually was. Instead, the main characters get roped into a singalong of Christmas carols, which isn't actually karaoke at all...although Marla is at least holding a prop microphone, trying to fake like it's on. Nice try, stupid movie.

At the end of the night, Sam and Joe are stinkin' drunk. Joe makes the mistake of bringing up how nice the weather is compared to back home, and that sets Sam off on a drunken rant about snow and killer snowmen again. Talk about a 1-track mind!

Fortunately, we switch back to the trio of cute drunk girls. They're on the beach, waiting for those dimwitted "hey" dudes from the party, but it looks like they changed their minds. Jack Carrot slides in their direction, eager to claim more victims. Sure enough, Ashlea leaves the others, because she wants more charcoal for their measly fire.

In a happy coincidence, Jack Frost also wants some charcoal, to remake his face(why he wants charcoal, before he has any snow to make his boy is anybody's guess...Maybe he's making a sand-man this time?), so he stalks Ashlea first. She finds several pieces of charcoal in the sand, next to a couple of palm trees. As she bends down to retrieve them, Jacks tries to stab her several times by dropping sharp icicles down from the treetops, but he keeps missing his target. After a few attempts, he crushes her under an anvil that looks like it's made out of snow.

The remaining girls, Paisley and Rose, begin to worry about Ashlea when she doesn't return with the coal. As Paige goes to see what's taking her so long, Jack impales her with jagged icicles that he forces up through the sand. When it's time for Rose to die, he simply stabs her in the eyes with a pair of tongs.

Early the next day, Sam and Anne are disturbed by Captain Fun, who somehow managed to get into their bungalow and has jumped into the bed between them. He's somehow even creepier than a killer snowman! Anyway, he wants them to take part in his silly activities, and he seems to have trouble taking "no" for an answer.

In the "other" honeymoon bungalow, Joe and Marla are sleeping in different beds, like a couple from a sitcom in the 1950's. Joe hates it, but Marla doesn't seem to care. Pretty much sums up marriage, doesn't it?

Bobby sets up a tropical buffet, under the watchful eye of the Colonel. The Colonel samples every dish down the length of the table, and has recipe suggestions for every single damned dish. Wasn't there supposed to be a movie in here, at some point along the way? This is even more dull than my OWN vacation movies!

They hear a scream, and the Colonel runs off to investigate. Bobby, being smarter, stays behind at the buffet. Bobby must have seen his share of slasher movie as well, to prepare for being in one.

The Colonel finds the screaming tourists, who have discovered the bodies of the three girls from the previous night...or they discovered parts of them, at least. The Colonel covers up the incident by bribing the couple with free accommodations for the remainder of their stay. Then Bobby arrives, and the Colonel tells him to fetch their head of security, a "scary dude" named Manners.

Cool! Manners was Agent Manners in the first film, until Jack Frost ripped out one of his eyes. Now he's working for the resort, and he still treats every crime like it's a case file. Manners is one step ahead of the Colonel, having found another corpse on the beach. The Colonel wants to pass the deaths off as shark attacks, until Manners shows him the tongs with eyeballs attached to them.

At that point, Sam shows up. The Colonel, Bobby and Manners all block his view of the body parts, but then Sam recognizes Manners.Manners tries to deny that they know each other, but Sam keeps insisting that they do. Finally Manners loses his cool, telling Sam that it took several surgeries to fix what Jack did to him. Unnerved by his intensity, Sam agrees to back off.

Once they're alone with the corpses again, the Colonel tells his employees to help him with the fake shark attack story. Manners doesn't like the idea of covering the tracks of a killer, but Bobby disrupts their debate by announcing that the phones are out. This is getting more and more like Club Dread by the minute! If a guy named Machete Phil shows up, I'm turning it off.

Oh, and as they leave the room, Jack's voice seems to come out of a snow globe, as he talks to himself about the vengeance that he has planned. Uh, sure. An air-tight snow globe. That sure does seem logical to me.

Bobby and the Colonel use a toolbox to open up the control panel to their satellite dish, and the box is waterlogged. Bobby suggests that they let it dry out and wait for a supply ship to arrive the next day, and the Colonel agrees. Then Captain Fun and the other staff members are told some of what's going on, and ordered not to reveal anything to the guests.

While they're having the meeting, Sam's group is at the bar wondering why no one's there to take their drink order. Back in the kitchen, Manners suggests that they interrogate the guests until someone confesses. Captain Fun disagrees, and the Colonel takes his side. When the meeting finally ends, Bobby discovers that the resort guests have opened the bar themselves, and a large, rowdy crowd is the end result.

Meanwhile, we finally get an eyeful of the photo shoot with the swimsuit model named Sarah. About time! Jack swims underwater in that direction, humming a song that is a weird mixture of the theme from Jaws and "Jingle Bells". As Jack tries to move closer for a better view, Sarah can hear him somewhere behind her.

Greg announces that Sarah's breasts seem to be drooping in the heat, so he asks her to get 'em perky again with an ice cube. She opens up a cooler, and several ice cubes, speaking in "chipmunk" voices beg for her to pick them for the job. That's actually pretty funny. When Sarah's done, she throws the ice cube away in the sand and dirt.

That pisses off Jack, but he gets his revenge soon enough. Greg grabs her a bottled ice coffee from the cooler. Sarah drinks it(and some of Jack) down rather swiftly, and Jack makes her head explode. Then Jack murders Greg, which is shown in a series of Polaroids. Again, pretty funny.

At an archery contest(what is this, summer camp?), Sam hears(or thinks he hears) some of the attack. He can apparently sense when Jack is around, similar to the way that Jack can track him. Sure he can. He probably has organic webshooters too, and the ability to climbs vertical surfaces.

As the others run to the targets to admire their archery skills, Sam is approached from behind by Manners. The retired agent wants Sam to meet him later, so they can discuss the murders. When Sam asks him why they can't just meet right now, Manners admits that he needs to pee first.

Sam goes to the rendezvous site, where Manners admits that the story of the killer snowman got him fired from the FBI. He also has Captain Fun with him, and he says that Captain Fun's whole discussion at the staff meeting was just a ruse. Sam reminds Manners that he wasn't in that scene, and the former Fed is dumbfounded--with special emphasis on the "dumb".

Anyway, Captain Fun has a plan to capture the killer. He wants to make the killer think that no one suspects anything is wrong, then throw a party. In all seriousness, that's the actual plan. At the party, Captain Fun reveals that "a party" is his solution for every problem. Again, as dumb as it is, I still laughed.

When Captain Fun and Manners mingle and lose themselves in the crowd, Sam hears Jack Frost taunting him. He runs outside, followed by the other 2, and sees a flash of movement as he searches for any sign of Jack. Sam grabs an oar to use as a weapon, then spots the carrot on the sand. When he reaches down to grab it, a snowman comes at him from behind, and Sam whacks the snowman with the paddle.

It wasn't Jack, but the Colonel, wearing a costume. Luckily, he was merely knocked out, and is soon revived. He announces again that the supply ship will arrive the following day, and that they can call the authorities when the ship arrives. Then the Colonel tells Sam and Manners to stop panicking the other guests with their strange antics.

Sam stares at the head of the snowman costume, and a clue clicks in his brain. He realizes that the head has a carrot nose sewn on it, but that he had found a carrot in the sand right before the incident. Even as his wife warns him not to over think things, Sam can't rest until he knows why the carrot was on the beach in the first place.

Jack grabs his nose back, and Sam returnsto the bungalow, while his wife tries to calm him down. Sam admits that his obsession with Jack is unhealthy, just as we see Jack prowling around the resort, looking for another victim. He soon discovers a very attractive woman in a yellow bikini, who I think might be Cindy, the second swimsuit model who came for the photo shoot.

She decides to have a late-night dip in the resort's pool, and chooses to go skinny dipping even. She dives in and makes her way to the other end of the pool, then goes underwater again. The third time, Jack arrives at the edge of the pool, dips one of his snowy hands in, and freezes the surface water into ice within seconds.

Cindy tries to come up for air, but she can't break through the ice.She sees Jack above her, and drowns when she screams in terror. Jack then finishes freezing the water in the pool, before also freezing the bar and the immediate surroundings as well. At the end of the scene, the swimsuit model is seen in a lounge chair, also being frozen over. When the heck did he unfreeze the pool to drag her out???

Jack then sneaks into Sam's bungalow, and pulls his blanket up over his shoulder, even giving him a friendly little pat. Sam wakes up, and walks into the bathroom, then sees that there's snow falling outside. He calls over to his wife that he thinks he's having one of his nightmares about an endless winter, except that he's wide awake.

Captain Fun then scares them both by lobbing snowballs at the couple. Sam and Anne step outside to see that snow is covering everything, and everyone is outside, playing in it. Even Anne seems to finally believe her husband, although their honeymooning friends don't. Sam goes back inside, presumably to come up with a plan to defeat Jack.

A couple of idiotic stoner-types find a frozen metal pole. One challenges the other to stick his tongue to the pole, and offers to pour his warm beer down the pole to keep his friend's tongue from being stuck. Being dumbasses, they agree that this sounds like a really awesome plan. Sheesh, I wonder if these are the "hey" guys from earlier?

As soon as the idiot sticks his tongue to the pole, his buddy takes off. Then Jack arrives. He puts both of his hands on either side of the poor kid's head, then yanks....causing his tongue to be wrenched out of his mouth in gory fashion. Ouch!

Captain Fun is busy passing out snowballs to folks, then he scurries away to make more Our protagonists are all back inside, when Sam gets another telepathic message from Jack. The snowman implies that something terrible is about to occur outside, so he and his friends watch the snowball fight with (club?)dread.

Jack makes the snowballs into projectiles of solid ice. When the first one is thrown, it knocks one man's arm off. Blood from the stump starts spraying everywhere, even smacking one poor woman right in the face while she screams. Another victim gets a snowball lodged in his mouth. Then there are a series of icicle-related deaths: eyes gouged out, impalements, throats torn get the idea.

Sam's group decides to venture outside, and Sam spots a snowman in the middle of the mayhem. He steps forward to confront it, even as the others try to tell him that he's being silly. How are they not seeing everyone getting killed around them?

Well, it turns out that the others were right(for once). As Sam splashes the snowman with antifreeze(which he wore in a vial around his neck, like holy water), it turns out that the snowman was just a decoy, designed to draw him out into the open. When Sam turns around to face his friends, the real Jack pops up behind him.

Just in time, Manners shows up to save the day, with his gun drawn. Jack vanishes into the snow, sparing Sam's life. Sam's wife and friends are shocked to see Manners, and they all start questioning him and Sam about what's going on. Manners searches for any sign of Jack, while urging the others to go back to the safety of the bungalow.

Once inside, Sam reveals the psychic connection that he and Jack now seem to share. Marla still has her doubts, until Sam asks her how many other psychotic, living snowmen she has any knowledge of. Sam reaches beneath the bed, and reveals that he brought a stash of antifreeze, caulking tubes and other tools along on the vacation, in case they needed them. Why doesn't he just hide porn under the mattress, like most husbands would?

Armed, Sam and Manners announce that they intend to hunt Jack down and destroy him again. They ask Joe to stay with the women, which is what he wanted to do anyway, so that worked out great. Then Manners, armed with a squirt gun, asks to be called "Agent Manners" again, and they leave the safety of the bungalow to begin their snowmanhunt...but not before the 3 others come out to give Sam goofy "pep talks".

Manners and Sam make their way to the main building, and start their search for either Jack or other survivors. They get pelted with frying pans and other kitchen implements by Bobby, the Colonel and Captain Fun, who mistake them for dangerous intruders. Are there any heroes in this movie who aren't utterly incompetent?

Sam tells the resort workers a dumbed-down(ironic, I know) version of the story of Jack. When he gets to the part about the antifreeze, Captain Fun reminds them that they're in a tropical paradise, with not a lot of access to antifreeze. Then Bobby pipes up, and reveals that the secret ingredient in one of his most popular drinks is a coolant, or similar enough to antifreeze to do the trick. Nice. Anyone thirsty?

Manners and Sam grab the chemical, then the group of men work to make a huge batch of the stuff to use against the killer snowman. Well, most of them help...Captain Fun is too busy making snow angels and dipping his head in the snow to be of much use. After creating the stuff, they build a huge, fake field of snow-like mashed potato flakes over it, and wait for Jack to step into their trap. Then Sam volunteers to be the bait to lure Jack there.

As they wait for Jack to reappear, Anne is seen watching out the window for any sign that her husband is safe. She hears the bathroom faucet dripping, and decides to check it out. Oddly enough, nothing happens to her. What a missed opportunity!

Oh well, Jack decided to approach Sam directly. Sam's squirt gun goes dry, but he turns out not to need it: Jack stumbles into the trap all on his own. He quickly melts, and everybody rushes out to congratulate Sam for not getting himself killed. Then Jack returns, reformed out of a different pile of snow, and yells at Sam about how much getting melted hurts. Shooting more antifreeze/chemical coolants at him has no effect, because Jack claims that he's now "new and improved", which explains nothing.

Jack then poops a snowball and escapes into a pile of snow. Joe and Marla stay behind to examine the snow-poop, and gingerly pick it up with a pool net. Manners, alone in an unlit section of the island, spies a second snowball. He flattens it under his shoe, then grins like a maniac.

Back indoors, they all stare at the snowball Joe and Marla captured. Not only hasn't it melted, but now it's glowing with a bright light. As they try to figure out what to do with it, the snowball hatches, revealing a baby snowball inside.

Captain Fun thinks it's cute, and begins babbling baby-talk at it. The snowball responds by sticking an icicle through his eye socket, and killing him. Yeah, how cute. Marla picks up the pan containing the snowball like it's a tennis racket, and flings it against a wall. Then the tiny snowball chases them all around the room.

Bobby squashes it with a pot, but the snowball simply resumes its round shape with no difficulty. Then they work to trap it under another pan, and fling it into a blender. It squeals and shrieks as the blender reduces it to a watery mess, but when they switch the blender off again, the living snowball simply retakes it shape and declares, "That was fun!"

They debate different ways to destroy the thing: pouring salt all over it, heating it up on the range, cooking it in a microwave, wrapping it in a towel and steaming it...Heck after about 3 years, I think a slasher movie has finally suggested a montage I wouldn't mind seeing!!

But they denied me that one pleasure. No, instead of watching a group of people attempt to kill a snowball monster in dozens of wacky ways, we get more scenes of Manners traipsing around outside. He goes back to the supply shed, where he comes face-to-face with dozens of baby snowballs. Can you imagine how great this movie would be if we were high right now?

As Manners picks up one of the babies to examine it, Anne calls him on his radio, warning him not to pick any of them up. Awesome. As he attempts to slowly back out of the shed, one of the snowballs bites his finger off, then dozens jump up and attack him. He falls to the ground, and a pool of blood seeps out of the shed.

The group in the kitchen, meanwhile try shoving the snowball into a waffle iron. It reassembles again, covered in waffle-marks, and says cheerfully, "Mmmm, toasty!"

Sam is still a shell-shocked looney, so Anne puts herself in charge. She orders the others to gather as many jars, bottles, boxes and other lidded containers as they can find. Then she dons a bicycle helmet, pots-and-pans armor, and arms herself with a dustpan and a large jar. Rambo-ette lives!

She meets up with the Colonel and Joe, and they agree to split up and search the building, one room at a time. Then we see that the snowballs have taken over the bar. They're spinning around on the turntable, getting drunk, forming conga lines...for psychotic mutants, they sure do know how to have a good time!

Several of the snowball monsters are seen dragging away a severed arm to snack on, while the Colonel is sneaking around in the same general vicinity. Other snowballs are munching on fingers, innards, get the picture. Sam and the others are briefly shown, and Marla threatens to kill Sam herself if he doesn't pull his shit together.

Joe finds one of the snowballs hiding in a Christmas tree, and traps it with a vacuum cleaner. He then transfers the little monster into a jar and seals the lid. While Joe's feeling pretty victorious, the Colonel is hidden in some tall reeds, and chatting with himself about past hunting victories. One of the snowballs climbs up a bamboo shoot and gets in his line of sight, distracting the Colonel long enough for other snowballs to surround him(including one with an icicle Mohawk) and make scary noises. Frightened, the Colonel runs away.

Anne explores an area that looks deserted, but then she hears something behind a table. She flings an object at the table to surprise whatever is back there, and discovers a female tourist named Amanda. Amanda was enjoying the snow with the other guests, until the massacre started.

Anne offers take her back to the kitchen hideout, but then an army of snowballs fire themselves at poor Amanda, knocking her to the ground. The sudden commotion reveals about 6-7 more survivors, who were apparently also hiding. And none of them heard or saw Anne trying to rescue Amanda?

Anne manages to defend herself fairly well against the creatures, but then she flings a mixed drink at one of them and it blows up. Anne brings the drink back to the kitchen, and asks Bobby what it is. He identifies it as Bobby's Island Daiquiri, and it turns out that the explosive ingredient is bananas. We discover that Sam has an allergy to them, and the mixture of his and Jack's DNA must have given the snowballs the same weakness.

They quickly gather as many bananas as they can find, and make a liquid that they can squirt at the snowballs. Then we get an exploding snowballs montage, complete with "Taps" playing during the sequence. They should name this sequence "Saving Private Snowman", or maybe "Full Winter Jacket".

After the completely bananas massacre(sorry...), Jack reappears. He sees the carnage, watches one of his "babies" die, then vows even more revenge, after a single cold tear rolls down his face. Sweet.

The Colonel and Bobby discuss how to clean up the resort and cover the massacre up, and then Jack shoves an icicle through the back of the Colonel's head, until it emerges out of his mouth. Then Jack slits Bobby's throat open, and rushes away to finish off the others. Joe and Marla are seen cleaning up the mess in another room, and Marla mentions that it's after midnight. They're supposed to be getting married in a few hours.

Jack pops up as they share a kiss, and the couple run back into the kitchen, screaming like banshees. They run past Anne, and Jack surrounds her with his own body, which he reshapes into a box. As the walls close in on Anne, icicles start to appear around her, and it looks like she's doomed. Then Jack resumes his snowman shape, and cackles with evil glee.

Sam pops up, holding a bow armed with a banana-tipped arrow. He fires it at Jack, and the snowman explodes, sending gory red slush everywhere. Sam realizes that he may have arrived too late to save his wife, and he crawls around in the red, slushy snow to search for her.

As he's getting more and more upset, a hand rises out of the slush, and waves weakly at him. Sam grabs her, then wipes all of the crap off of her face. They embrace, and he carries her out to the beach, so that they can wait for the supply ship to rescue them.

Normally, that's where I'd type THE END, but there's one more scene in the credits. The supply ship, which turns out to be from Japan, arrives at the island. The crew sees that the resort is now covered in snow, and then a gigantic carrot hits the ship from above, sinking it. Yup, Jack Frost is now....Snowzilla!!! THE END

Man oh man, this movie is exactly what I needed. After seeing so many grim, serious slashers, a goofy one like this is a nice change of pace. Plus, there were some really inventive kills, and several genuinely funny bits throughout the film. Sadly though, it looks pretty unlikely that there will ever be a third movie in this series, as the actor playing Sam passed away. It's too bad, because I could watch these dumb things over and over again. 4 killer trees out of 5. Rest in Peace, Sam.

And what did I learn from Jack Frost 2?

-Carrots can really get around!

-Snowballs can hatch monstrous baby snowballs.

-When you mix your DNA with another person's DNA, it gives you a psychic link to that person. So every time you have sex or a blood transfusion, you're psychic!!!

Next up: The Ruins, a grim affair about a group of young people being picked off by Mayans and a killer plant. And no, it's not as much fun as it sounds, it's grim. Really, really grim.