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Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman

A-Pix // R // December 12, 2000
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Adam Tyner | posted December 31, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The 1996 horror/comedy "Jack Frost" is, out of 175 or so DVDs, the most requested disc I own. It's the one disc that everyone seems to pull out whenever anyone comes over and sees my DVD collection. I was really looking forward to "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman", but I felt kind of let down...probably just because I set my sights so high.

In an attempt to escape the memory of the massacre in Snowmonton, Sam and Anne Tiler head to the Bahamas for the wedding of Joe and a significantly-heftier Marla. (Strike 1: The creepy son from the original is nowhere to be found.) No one aside from those who were present during the massacre believe Sam's tale of the mutant killer snowman, who is inexplicably revived by some scientists and the usual lab accident. Jack follows Sam and the gang to the resort in the Bahamas, led by an old colonel, Captain Fun, and a remarkably different looking Agent Manners, who left the FBI (or whatever group he worked for in the original) to head security at the resort. Jack quickly starts chillin' and killin'...icin' and dicin'...and it's up to Sam and Agent Manners to try to ice Jack once again.

The first few kills on the island were great, my favorite being a Warner Bros. influenced attack that had me laughing hysterically for several minutes. After those early kills, nearly all of Jack's assaults seemed to be icicle-impalings, which aren't that interesting. I'd be surprised if Jack's total screen time added up to more than 5 minutes, and it's probably not even close to that. Jack's suit looked even cheaper than the original styrofoam suit. Too much time was spent focusing on these awful mini-snowball things with cheesy squeaky voices that Jack has gained the ability to create. The sets look left over from an episode of "Saved By The Bell Goes Hawaii" (not even that quality, really), and the hi-def digital look of the video just rubs me the wrong way. "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman" has some moments that makes it seem worthwhile, but sooo much of the movie drags and seems extraordinarily boring, something I can't say about the original. "Jack Frost 2" was, believe it or not, the only title I was really looking forward to for the latter quarter of the year, and I ended up feeling really disappointed with the end result. I haven't seen many positive comments about the film, although fellow DVD Talk reviewer G. Noel Gross seemed to get a kick out of it. Look for his review in the not-too-distant future...

Video: "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman" was shot on hi-def digital video, meaning that the usual nasties associated with film transfers aren't a problem here. The tradeoff, of course, is that "Jack Frost 2" can't shake that video look, despite the use of some process of Sony's to give the movie a more film-like appearance. I really dislike the look of video, but I guess it's not really fair to give the DVD presentation low marks, considering it looks about as good as can be expected given the source material. The only problem I noticed was some shots that had a slightly "noisy" appearance, but these are infrequent and not that noticeable. The image, by the way, is enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track on "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman" is really front-heavy, with the surrounds limited almost entirely to the sound of wind-blowing. There are a couple of directional effects which ended up sounding a little awkward, but a couple of other effects using the rears -- such as a model jumping into a swimming pool and the footage shown during the credits -- sound much smoother. There's not really much else to say...the mix isn't impressive, but it's not bad...just a little below average.

Supplements: "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman" (I love typing out the full title repeatedly) has a surprising number of extras on first glance, though most of them are pretty insubstantial. The music video (also enhanced for widescreen televisions) is an awful two-line song with some footage of the cast singing and goofing around. Pretty much a waste of time. Among the other widescreen-enhanced extras are a collection of 11 short behind-the-scenes segments (a couple lacking accompanying audio) and an interview with director Michael Cooney that ranks just behind the director interview on "Being John Malkovich" in its bizarreness (I looked it up, and amazingly, 'bizarreness' seems to be a word). The only supplements that aren't 16x9-enhanced are the full-frame trailers for "Jack Frost 2" and other A-Pix DVD releases. The best extra is the extremely entertaining audio commentary with Michael Cooney, and if A-Pix hadn't recently filed for bankruptcy, I'd hope that the original "Jack Frost" would be re-released with a commentary track. Cooney spends quite a bit of time talking about the production, certain effects, humorous anecdotes, and the like.

Conclusion: I had really high hopes for "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman", and maybe I set my sights a little too high. The sequel looks a lot cheaper, and it's a lot less imaginative. On the commentary, it's revealed that one of the few kills that really impressed me and had me laughing out loud was a leftover idea from the original. I would say that "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman" is best suited as a rental, but I don't realistically know how many rental places carry 'fringe' titles like this. I'd only recommend this sequel to fans of the original, and even then, don't pay more than $15.
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