It’s fair to say that a filmmaker who sits down to make a horror film may have the slight hope that his little offering will spawn a franchise like Friday the 13th or, to a lesser extent, even something like The Howling franchise, but the 1997 release of the horror film Jack Frost didn’t quite make enough of a cultural impact for this to come to past, yet that didn’t stop it from getting the inevitable sequel.
Writer/director Michael Cooney returns for this not so anticipated sequel, but where the first outing was a quaint and fun horror romp, its limited budget brought a bit of charm to the effects, sadly, that was not the case with the sequel as it had the appearance of one of those Asylum knockoffs only with even less money spent on the production. The basic plot of Jack Frost 2 is that Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport), suffering from PTSD after the events of the previous movie, is convinced by his psychiatrist that he needs a vacation, so he eventually agrees to take his wife Anne (Eileen Seeley) on a tropical vacation in the South Pacific for the wedding of his deputy, Joe Foster (Chip Heller) and his secretary Marla (Marsha Clark), which he hopes can also work as a second honeymoon for him and his long-suffering wife. Cue evil government operatives who have dug up the antifreeze used to dissolve Jack (Scott MacDonald) and in an attempt to test it for remains of Jack’s magical genetic material things go wrong.
Needless to say, an accident in the lab allows for Jack to be reborn and escape into the world – some idiot janitor knocks coffee into the tank of antifreeze – and before you can sing “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” Jack is arriving at the same tropical paradise as our a group of protagonists are residing. Is this the stupidest coincidence in the history of film? Possibly, but worse is the completely contrived plot twist dealing with Jack Frost and Sam Tiler becoming bonded due to the mixture of Frost’s antifreeze and Tiler’s blood during the climax of the previous film. Regardless of the reason for any of this, Jack is back and he immediately goes into full-on murder mode with the slaying of vacationing women, as expected, but his killings are aided by the moronic actions of the resort’s owner Colonel Hickering (Ray Cooney) and his equally moronic assistants, Captain Fun (Sean Patrick Murphy) and Bobby (Tai Bennett), who try to cover up the deaths by claiming it was some sort of coconut shark-related death.
Tiler isn’t so easily convinced but any suggestion he gives that something more sinister is going on is met with derision and is blamed on his PTSD fueled obsession with Jack Frost, lucky for him, the head of the island security is none other than Agent Manners (David Allen Brooks), who had survived Jack’s maiming from the first movie, and they team up to track down Jack and save the day, just kidding, this doesn’t happen because once he learns that this new and improved Jack Frost is immune to antifreeze Tiler has a complete mental meltdown and it’s up to his wife to save the day. And just how improved is Jack Frost? Well, not only can he form large amounts of ice weapons in a tropical setting he is also somehow able to turn the entire island into a winter wonderland. Now, that is impressive, but that’s not all Jack can accomplish in this outing as he has also gained the ability to “birth” snowballs that later “hatch” and become little baby snowmen.
• This sequel takes place one year after the events of the first film but, shockingly, everyone looks twenty years older.
• The town of Snowmonton is a backwater little piece of nothing, but it has an International Airport?
• As the resort guests arrive Colonel Hickering gives his assistant a rundown on each of them as if he were some kind of low-rent Mister Roark from Fantasy Island.
• The resort bar has a karaoke night, where the guest sings Christmas carols, and sure, this movie takes place during the Christmas holiday but karaoke carolling is a step too far.
• With the phones out they can’t call the police so they have to wait for the next day’s supply boat to get parts for the phone, so we are supposed to believe that an island resort doesn’t have boats of its own?
• Ann is worried that if they wait for the supply ship to arrive Jack and his snowball minions will use it to get off the island, did she forget that Jack seemingly had no problem getting to the island without a boat in the first place?
• The little snowball minions partying in the bar is an obvious rip-off of a similar scene in Joe Dante’s Gremlins.
• They use a modified vacuum to suck up the little bastards and trap them in small containers, clearly ripping off Gremlins wasn’t enough, so they had to go after Ghostbusters as well.
The original Jack Frost was a goofy low-budget schlock horror film, one that didn’t take itself too seriously, but it did not go for the off-the-wall Looney Tunes type humour found in this entry, where each and every individual is either a cartoon character or a walking punchline. Jack Frost himself has amped up his obnoxious ice pun banter to such a level that he comes off like a Freddy Krueger clone on steroids, worst of all is that he’s never even remotely funny, not even ironically. I’ll give it to the filmmakers that some of the kills were executed well, I particularly liked Jack freezing the resort’s pool so that the poor swimmer was trapped beneath the ice to drown, but the effects to create Jack Frost and his snow minions were so beyond the pale terrible that they make the previous film’s shoddy effects look like Oscar-calibre offerings by comparison, and sure, with a title like Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman one can’t expect a work of cinematic excellence but Michael Cooney and company’s attempt at a “zany comedy” fell flat at every turn and its bargain-basement production value wasn’t so much laughable as it was sad.
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
Movie Rank - 2.5/10
Not only was this sequel two decades too late but the whole production comes across as a soulless cash grab that hoped to ride the cult following that the original film had built up over the years, this film isn’t just bad it’s painfully unfunny and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.