JACK FROST (1996)
STORY: Jeremy Paige & Michael Cooney
WRITER: Michael Cooney
DIRECTOR: Michael Cooney
Chris Allport as Sam
Stephen Mendell as Agent Manners
Rob La Belle as Stone
Eileen Seeley as Anne
Shannon Elizabeth as Jill Metzner
Scott MacDonald as Jack Frost
SYNOPSIS: A brutal serial killer escapes capture and becomes bonded with a pile of snow, continuing his rampage as a psychotically evil snowman.
Well, Christmas is past, but there's still snow on the ground, and I say that it is still the perfect time for a little holiday fear, so snuggle up someplace warm with a mug of cocoa, we're popping Jack Frost into the DVD player.
And no, not the charmingly cheesy, and equally as bad, movie with Michael Keaton getting his sould trapped as a snowman. But we still have a creepy anthropomorphic snowman running around, so close enough.
The movie jumps right into the fun, by lulling us into a false sense of security, as the camera pans slowly over a decorated Christmas tree, with each credit on a seperate ornament. While the movie shows off its tree, we hear a little girl demanding a 'happy scary' story from her uncle. Boy does he deliver.
Her uncle begins to tell her the tale of Jack Frost, a terrible man, a murderer who has left quite the body count in his wake. On the one hand, this is a story being told to a little girl on Christmas. On the other hand, she did literally ask for it, so...
Jack's story is pretty basic. He's your general messed up guy who probably had a bad upbringing. He never stays in any one place too long, being smart enough to move on after he's killed a few people. The uncle points out that Jack likes to kill little girls who look just like his niece. Sadly, I can see myself telling that sort of story to my own nieces.
Sadly, Jack was smart, but not that smart. He either got sloppy, or wanted to get caught. We know how that goes, it's pretty much said about every guy that gets caught. Pieces of people began showing up in pies, which allowed police to figure out where the killer worked, they tracked him down, and caught him.
This was actually a very clever way to do a credit sequence. It sets the tone for the movie right at the start. You know it's a Christmas movie, you know the bad guy is really bad, you know it's a Christmas story, and it's a little silly with its tongue planeted firmly in cheek. The narration kept what would have normally just been the ornaments and some music pretty interesting, and the infodump gave us much needed backstory. It's pretty clever, and a good use of all the elements.
Anyways, Jack's been caught, he's going to be executed at midnight, so the uncle and niece's voices depart the movie never to be heard from again, and the movie proper starts off with a giant van driving past. Written on the van in giant letters is "State Executional Transfer Vehicle". Would they really enblazen that upon such a vehicle? Anyone? It feels odd. Maybe it's that there's a special vehicle just for 'executionals' which is a weird word in and of itself.
But I digress. The truck is trudging its way through one heck of a blizzard, and we see the two drivers peering through a tiny wiped spot on the windshield, trying to keep their eyes on the road. And believe it or not, one of them is using a string of garland to keep the window from fogging up. I went back and paused just to be sure.
They taunt Jack a bit, and we cut to the rear of the vehicle, where we pan up from Jack's feet to his face, and damn is he one creepy bastard. I'd see him walking down the street and shout serial killer even if he wasn't. He asks the guard riding in back with him for a smoke, but that's not about happen.
The drivers pass by a sign and shout back to Jack, I kid you not, that they have just passed the Snomanton County line. Snomanton. Let that little bit of on the carrot noseness sink in.
They chat for a bit about the mistake he made, and the sherrif that brought him in. It's awfully quiet in the back, so they call back to the guard to make sure everything is ok. Well, it's not, as Jack's got his shoeheel on the guard's throat until it snaps, and Jack has his smoke after all, looking even creepier. He's somewhere between giving me nightmares, and making me crack up laughing.
We cut to another truck on the road, carrying something in a tank from some place called GCC Genetic Research. The driver is busy trying to fill up his thermos cup with whatever. While driving. In a blizzard.
A lot of people love to point out when people 'act dumb' during a horror movie. The classic example is when they hear a noise and go investigate. I never found that dumb. We've all done it. We all go and poke our heads out the door when we hear something in the yard or hall. We don't know we're in a horror movie, and neither do they. People are curious, and check that stuff out. But the driver's behaviour is beyond stupid. And sad to say, there are still people like that, and it's just as stupid in the real world. Rant mode off.
Surprising abosutely no one, the drivers can't see, and one of them isn't even watching where he can't see he's going. So the headlights blind everyone involved, and, oh this is cute. As they're about to crash, each of the three people takes a word in the sentence, "What. The. Fuck". It's silly, but in a good way.
So yeah, the crash, the cameras spin around, the door pops open in the back, and Jack jumps for freedom, wheeee! The crash starts a fire, as Hollywood cars tend to do, and the pressure on the containment tank begins to increase.
At least one of the executional transfer drivers survives, and gets out to check on Jack. Fortunately, the hatch on the tank gives way before Jack can kill the guy. The solution bursts out straight at Jack, conveniently going nowhere else, and in one of those moments that can only happen in decompressed movie time, Jack has enough time to stand there staring at the acid hurtling towards him and dryly comment, "This is gonna hurt."
The acid naturally melts Jack down in 3.2 seconds flat, in a pretty graphic scene. His skeleton convulses in the snow for a bit, until even that melts into nothing more than a red smear. And even that gets quickly absorbed, leaving no trace behind. Now that's an executional.
Justice is served, right?
The camera dives into the snowbank, and we see blood cells floating around that quickly sprout little spiky bits, and it's some weird crystalisation effect, making little snowflakes with gooey bloody centers. The cop sees the snow begin to writhe and convulse like it's breathing so he pulls his gun and fires at the snow, for all the good that will do.
Before the movie can tell us what happens next, it jumps to yet another car. There's a lot of people driving about in this blizzard. A husband and wife are driving along, and the husband keeps glancing at the car clock, as it inches towards midnight. His wife reassures him that now it's over, he's gone, no more stays of execution, and no more need to have nightmares about Jack Frost.
The movie doesn't stand still for long, and jumps into a flashback, to the husband as a sheriff, pulling over to check on some guy pissing in the woods. That guy just happens to be Jack Frost, who says the cop will regret what he's doing. I don't know if the sheriff recognises Jack, but the executional drivers were right, this is one lucky grab on the sherrif's part. FBI and cops everywhere trying to find this guy, and he gets hauled in by Sheriff Randy McRandomstop because he stopped for a pissbreak.
Finally the movie rejoins the present, and the sheriff's kid pops up from the backseat with a snowman plushie. There's already been a few snowmen in this movie, and I was going to keep a running tally, but the movie makes that a chore pretty quickly. It's good to point out as a recurring motif though.
They pass right by the scene of the accident, where the driver is miraculously still alive, but rambling about something trying to run away without legs.
The next day dawns at the sheriff's house, where his kid is asking who Jack Frost is, since his acidic death is all over the news. Points to Sam for taking the humble route, and not wanting to be called a hero for what he did, and that he was just in the right place at the right time. That makes me like him a whole lot.
The sheriff heads out and checks in on the local snowman building competition. And there's just too many to try and count, so there goes any hopes of a running total. But I guess this is how they try to justify being in Snomanton County.
While there, we meet a bunch of characters, including an at the time unknown Shannon Elizabeth helping her father work on his entry. You might remember her from such films as American Pie, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
Shannon's mom is making angel wings for the snowman, and she says how when she was young, she always wanted to be the angel on top of the tree. I'm going to go out on a very sturdy limb and say this is blatant foreshadowing, because otherwise it's a really random line.
Shannon's boyfriend has made his own snow...man, er 'snow babe', and in all fairness, it's a pretty well rendered version of the human form in snow. Or coconut flakes. Or whatever it was they used.
Sheriff Sam finally gets to the office, and the receptionist is looking all kinds of grumpy. Sam asks what's wrong, did somebody die? We all know that joking way of saying that, we've probably all done it. But Marla holds up one of those phone message note papers, that literally says, "SOMEBODY DIED." That's a uh, really weird way to convey that message. Although it is also a unique way to do it too, since we've seen scenes like this where the cops hear about a death a bazillion times before.
Sam and his deputies stand over a frozen old man, while the chair slowly and ominously keeps rocking. The deputies say they got nothing, no clues, no ideas, and Sam suddenly yells out to one of them to take his foot off the chair, and it instantly stops rocking. I'll admit it, I laughed. I love black humour like that.
The Sheriff calls up the FBI, since the frozen guy somehow makes him think of Jack, and he wants to check in on the accident investigation. The agent, Manners, assures him Jack is quite dead. Sam is glad to hear it's over, but Agent Manners says it is only beginning to someone else in the room with him. He tears away the newspaper he's reading and dramatically reveals one of my favourite character actors, Rob La Belle. He's always pretty spastic, or playing a crazy guy, and is just a treat to see him. I've loved catching him in stuff ever since Scifi Channel's original program, First Wave.
Anyways, enough with the lovefest, he's a doctor or something from GCC, and he explains that they've yet to test the acid on anything living. They both seem pretty certain that Jack Frost is out there though.
Sam's wife returns home and sees the snowman their son has started building, but the kid knows nothing of any snowman. Not caring about that detail, and just wanting to get the kid out of the house so she can clean up the mess he's made in the kitchen, she ships him outside to give the snowman a face.
While out there, the kid gets interupted by the local bullies, the lead of which is Shannon's brother. They want to use the sheriff's lawn as their own personal sledding route, but the snowman is in the way, so he's promptly Highlandered.
The bully keeps giving the sheriff's son, Tyler, crap, until the snowman pushes him down, right into the path of his sledding buddies, and one of them slices HIS head off. I'm not even going to contemplate the possibility of that ever actually happening, and move on. We've got magic acid melting a guy down into a killer snowman, so what's a little razor sharp sled skid that can cut through a six inch diameter neck?
The sheriff's family is recovering from the shock of a dead kid on their lawn, which his parents are blaming Tyler for. There's some noises outside, so Sam grabs his gun to investigate, but it's just the local general store manager, dropping off some salt for the driveway.
We cut to the home of the family of the dead boy. The father is pretty much a wreck over it. The mother wants to try and keep to their routine, keep things somewhat normal, but her husband won't turn on the Christmas lights, since this is no time for festivities. Shannon just wants to escape and see her snowbabe making boyfriend, rather than be cooped up with dad.
Dad heads outside to get more firewood, and Jack Frost is standing right there. Literally just standing right outside. Ok, it's dark, but the porch light is on, and maybe others, so it's not that dark out. I don't see how the guy could miss the suddenly appearing snowman, even if he is grieving. I'll just go with doesn't care, for now. But still, I'd be curious if a snowman suddenly appeared in my yard.
He pulls out a pipe, and Jack asks for a smoke, just like he did earlier. The father pauses and looks around, asking who's there. Hey, while you're asking questions, let's start with where the hell did the giant creepy snowman come from, dude! Sure, you wouldn't suspect it of being a living snowperson, that's absurd. But there's still the question of where it came from, right?
He stalks around Jack with an axe, looking for who's taunting him. Jack moves quick for a snowman, and grabs the axe from his hands, and shoves it 'down' the father's throat, handle first. Points for not using the blade, but as shown, there's no way this works. It either didn't go down the throat and should be sticking a lot more out of his mouth, but at the angle its at, the axe really should have come out the back of his skull. Which would have been an acceptable kill.
The wife is puttering around the house, having a nice cup of tea, as Jack reforms himself behind her chair. And again with the not noticing. Snow is cold people, even evil possessed snow. Bring a snowball inside sometime and wave your hand over it, you can feel a cool chill wafting off it. And that much snow would make a lot of cold. But again, magic acid melting man into snow, so moving on.
The tree lights flicker on and off. The movie cuts to a wide shot, and Jack is gone. Did he somehow get out of the corner, or is this an editing error? The world may never know. And where did he go? It's not a big room, and even melted, he's a lot of water.
She tries to see what's wrong with the tree, and backs right into Jack, who wastes no time decorating her throat with Christmas lights. Now this is how to executional someone!
Jack smashes her face into a box of ornaments over and over again, ties her to the tree, and shoves the star into her head, and it all lights up right nice. Not exactly what she always wished for, but I still think I called it. Close enough for government work, right?
The shopkeeper shows up again, with an bag of salt for the Deadersons. He sees Jack and smartly runs the opposite direction. At least someone has some common sense around here.
Sam and his deputies arrive at the crime scene, and they have a shot that mirrors the earlier one with the old man, except this time the camera is placed inside the tree, and we're looking out through the branches as they discuss the weirdness. I like the consistency of style there. And the deputy who was rocking the chair makes more comedy here by asking about leaving her up there. I love black comedy, and while this is wildly inappropriate for cops, I rather enjoy it.
Sam returns to the station, not paying any attention, and asks Marla the receptionist to try and find Shannon's character, and to get him that 'asshole called Manners'. Sam finally turns around and sees the agent sitting where Marla should be. "Who are you?" "I'm the asshole." Great delivery, and the setup may be forced, the actor sells it.
They had *back* to the house with the dead parents, and Rob does some sciency stuff on a watery footprint, and he can tell that Jack can freeze and unfreeze as well. Ok, if you and your glow stick say so, Doc.
The sheriff and town doctor talk about the weirdness of this crime scene, and Manners shovels around some BS story to try and keep them happy. Meanwhile, we see the Christmas tree being carried off in the background. Another silly moment, but that's the movie in a nutshell.
Sam heads down to the church to get a curfew organised, and the shopkeeper makes a reappearance, ranting about what he saw, and pushing over the snowmen entries, until Agent Lack O'Manners socks him out cold.
Sheriff Sam sends one of his deputies up to the store owner's house, to see if something might have set him off, but on the way there he runs into Jack in the middle of the road holding a stop sign. Where did he get the stop sign? Add that to the list of inexplicable occurances. He stops the car and gets a shovel from the trunk to clear the snowman off the road. While he's in the trunk, Jack melts, which confuses the deputy mightily. He puts the shovel back, and when he closes the trunk, Jack has reformed in the driver's seat and he backs over the deputy, executional style.
Sam's wife has gone home to get more blankets for the people gathering at the church for safety. We hear a police car pull up, and a flood starts to spray from her faucet. Decent job of a fakeout using what we just saw with Jack taking the deputy's car, but it actually turns out to be the other deputy, and an actual burst pipe.
Once wife and deputy are out of the way, Shannon and her boyfriend break into the sheriff's house to hide out for no apparent reason, and she starts to seduce her guy. To the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. The movie gets a pretty good laugh out of me from the lengthy, drawn out scene of them stripping off layer after layer after layer of winter clothing, until they're down to their long underwear. They're both panting and exhausted by the time they get down that far. Great bit of humour, and poking fun at wearing layers.
Shannon makes demands of her man, saying there better be a roaring fire and a bottle of wine before they do anything. Again, let me remind you that this is the sheriff's house they're in. Let's assume she has some reasonable explanation for being in this house of all houses in town. Don't you think SOMEone might notice the remains of the fire the next day? Am I crazy for asking these little things?
Boyfriend gets the wine ready, but needs some ice so he opens the freezer, and it's pretty much a frozen solid block of ice. Hi, Jack! Boyfriend starts stabbing out chunks of the ice, and again logic pokes the back of my brain and I just have to ask, "Wouldn't someone notice?" Sure, some people let their freezer get a bit over iced, but to let it get that bad? To the point of being a literal block of ice, with nothing more than a carrot sticking out? The boyfriend wouldn't have any reason to think 'killer snowman laying in wait' but again, he's gotta think this is weird, right?
As an aside, if chunks of Jack get dropped in wine, does he get drunk?
Surprisingly, the movie fakes you out yet again, and Jack IS NOT in the freezer. He's actually lurking outside, and he punches the boyfriend in the face when he opens the door to investigate noises. This just makes the iceblock in the freezer all the more weird!
I will say this, if you're breaking and entering into the sheriff's house, using his fireplace, drinking his wine, and pretty much make yourselves at home to the point where you're going to have sex? You get what you deserve when the killer snowman comes a-knockin'.
Finally, we get to see Jack in all his gory glory. He makes bad puns, he tosses the kid around like a rag doll, and he launches an icicle out of his hand and impales the boytoy to the door, then finishes off the job with another to the brain. Obligatory 'surprised he had one' joke goes here.
Meanwhile, Shannon's been busy drying off her hair, so hears none of the commotion. When she's done, she finds a tub full of water waiting for her, which she believes Tommy drew for her. Ok, I can buy someone thinking that.
She strips, and we get the requisite scene of implied nudity that keeps the teenaged guys happy at these movies, when there's no blood on the screen.
Shannon enjoys her bath until a carrot bobs to the surface of the water, heralding Jack's arrival. The water begins to get cold, and she thinks Tommy is adding cold water to the tub. A) can she not hear the lack of faucets being turned and B) why does she not open her eyes to see there's no one actually standing there? She'd still be in trouble, but at least it wouldn't seem like she was being forced to be stupid by the writers and directors of the movie. I can deal with stupid behaviour, but when people do things that a regular person wouldn't normally do, to further the plot, it bugs me.
Jack freezes the water, and reforms himself, with bits of her body stuck through him. He begins bashing her against the back wall of the shower, and I can't help but think how sexual the scene looks. Of course, since it's a snowman humping a girl, it looks absolutely insane and absurd. Shannon's a real trooper for being able to scream during this, and I'd love to see outtakes. I'm pretty sure I can see her starting to crack before the editor cuts to another angle in some of these takes.
Back at the sheriff's station, we learn another blizzard is on its way, and it will cut the town off before any backup for Manners can get there. Welcome to the mountains. Manners and Stone are still being evasive as hell, but at least the doc is beginning to spaz out and blurt out helpful information.
The car belonging to the dead deputy arrives, but its empty, and they note that the seat is soaked. Jack handilly reforms and introduces himself, so at least Sam has an inkling of what's going on. Or he just thinks he's gone insane at the sight of a psychotic snowman, but either way.
They barricade themselves into the station, but it does no good as Jack sprays himself under the door. Manners shoots the growing puddle. Seriously. He shoots a puddle.
He shoots. A puddle.
The more I say it, the more insane it sounds.
Sam grab's Marla's hair dryer, and the heat actually seems to give Jack pause. At least until the cord pops out. He makes a run for it, and everyone holes up in the wing with all the cells.
They gather up a supply of handy hairspray cans, to use as incendiary devices, but Stone keeps trying to knock them away, not wanting them to hurt his special baby.
They set up the cans to disperse their contents into the air, planning to ignite it I guess. While that's going on, they try to make their escape through a window at the end of the hall, but it's locked, and the keys are back in the doorway where Sam left them, and Jack is quickly flooding around the door.
Sam returns back through the haze of hairspray, and we're treated to an agonisingly drawn out scene with Sam unable to reach the keys because of the puddle of Jack on the floor. He finally decides to step in the water and grab the keys, but he drops them. Next cliche, please!
I love how the snowman supposeldy grabs a person, but if you look, it's little more than the arm being placed on top of the limb, or whatever. Next time someone's crawling away from you, place a two by four atop their foot, it will apparently grab them!
They escape the aerosol filled hallway, and...close the window behind them. What was the point of going through all that? Since Jack was hot on their heels, I guess there wasn't enough time to properly ignite the fumes, but it still comes off as a massive waste of a setup and time.
Oh, good. Once they're far away, Manners actually bothers to fire at the window. And using the magic of Hollywood science, even though there's no actual spark, it actually makes things go boom.
It would appear to be over, but by the time code on my DVD player, and reversed footage of melting snow, it's plain that's not the case. Jack pulls himself together, but in a mixed up jumble. I supposed the heat could have screwed him up, but I don't see why he couldn't put his arms back where they're supposed to go, when he could do it before.
They run into the church for cover this time, and Sam demands answers. Stone continues to be evasive, until Sam shoots near his feet. That makes him a lot more compliant.
He explains that he created a magic acid that would bond that would bond human DNA with an inert material, so the human race could survive any potential holocaust. Yes, because acid has such a reputation for bonding materials together. It was just supposed to be a means of storing the DNA, but somehow Jack survived death, and it proves the existence of the human soul. I think if you're looking for a soul, Jack's the last person to look in.
They decide that they need to force Jack into the church furnace, in hopes that it will be hot enough to finish the job. They head outside to try and lure Jack in, but he's nowhere to be seen. The ground starts to rumble, and Sam comes just short of putting his ear to the ground. It feels like we just fell into a snowy western.
Jack's taken on the form of a giant snowball, the sort we've all seen in cartoons rolling down during an avalanche, and he barrels right past everyone and into the church. Jack turns to the door, and the entrance is now blocked with all our heroes, each and every one armed with a blow dryer.
More and more people join in, driving Jack deeper and deeper into the boils of the church. Even the priest joins in, who makes the sign of the cross with his blow dryer as he attacks. Hee.
Jack backs right into the furnace, and they slam the door shut on him. I'm going to ignore the existence of all the pieces that fell off of him before he reached the furnace. Just like I'm going to ignore Sam's bad, "We iced him!" pun.
Manners and Stone keep watch over the furnace, until they notice all the steam coming out of it, which is condensing back into water. Jack's back! Ain't the water cycle a bitch?
Manners is about to blow dry him some more, but Jack pulls the plug. He grows giant icicle teeth, and chomps down on the FBI agent. Once he's had his snack, he turns his attention to the doc.
I am sparing you a load of bad puns. The ice and cold puns they throw out there make Batman & Robin seem intelligently written.
Stone tries to bargain for his life, but Jack's not interested. He tries to find out what it's like to cheat death, but that's not working either. Jack has better things to do, and pounces.
We next see Stone stumbling out of the church. He looks very stiff, and is walking very awkwardly. As he passes the sherrif, Jack gives up the ruse, and spews himself out of Stone's corpse.
Sam makes a break for his car, and AGAIN he's forgotten the keys. And this is the town sheriff? Sigh. Jack does his melting trick, and starts pooling into the car.
Earlier in the film, Sam's son Tyler made him some sloppy treat to eat later. Sam uses it here as a distraction by shoving it into Jack's face. Jack begins screaming and writhing in agony, the first time he's shown pain all film. Sam asks Tyler what he put in it, and his son explains that he didn't want his dad to get cold, so he put antifreeze in it.
I need a minute to parse that one, ok?
Ok, I'm back. Kid almost kills his dad, but actually saves the day, through the dumbest of dumb luck. Must run in the family.
Since there was only enough antifreeze surprise to melt half of Jack's head, which in most circumstances would be enough to finish the job, they send the store owner to get more while Sam keeps Jack distracted.
Jack chases Sam all through the church, until he pins him through the chest with an ice spike. Things look pretty dire until Jack threatens Sam's wife, and he finds some renewed strength, and pushes Jack back and out through the second story window and right into the back of the waiting truckbed filled with antifreeze.
Sam rolls around with some pieces of styrofoam, I mean, snow, and if that was really antifreeze? I'd feel sorry for his chest wound. Sam's doing pretty good with that hole in his front.
The kid holds up a forgotten arm, and it promptly wraps around his head like the white scarf of doom. His mother does what any good mom would do; scoop up her son and hold him under the antifreeze until the arm melts away. Thanks, mom!
Another moment of "I shouldn't ask" but...how can an arm scream?
They pour the antifreeze back into the empty bottles, and bury them in the Earth. Wouldn't they need a lot more bottles? The empties would hold the antifreeze just fine, but now it's antifreeze plus a melted snowman. That's a lot of water gain.
And of course, that can't just be the end, since we need that last shot to make us go, "Or is he??" of the jugs bubbling away angrilly underground, with a little laugh.
The movie's over, but it has one last moment of insult as the sound just drops off completely before the credits can end. And since the credits are done, that can only mean it is time for...
Video: This movie commits a cardinal sin of DVDs, for me. It takes the widescreen image, but formats it with LARGE letterboxes, to make it only be a mere 4:3 presentation. This makes for a rather poor image compared to a native 16:9 image, and this movie could be really good to watch in a proper presentation. For what it is though, the colours are bright and the images are sharp, but it could easily have been better.
Audio: Another letdown. The DVD has a 5.1 and stereo track, and both of them are very muted, to the point of being well below the volume of almost every movie I own. Turning it up a bit made it fine, and the sound field is filled adequately in 5.1, but again a subpar effort.
Special features: Left out in the cold. Nothing.
First kill: 26 minutes in, when the bully gets pushed to the ground and decapitated executional style. And no, I'm not counting Jack's death at the start of the film, since he obviously didn't die. It does get a special mention though, since it did involve a melting skeleton.
Best kill: I gotta go with the mother in the Christmas tree. It was the most brutal one to watch as he kept smashing her face into the bulbs, and the irony of what she said earlier is appreciated.
Best line: "Well, it ain't fuckin' Frosty!" declares Jack, when Tommy wants to know who's outside while Shannon's getting ready for her bath. It's just delivered with such gleeful abandon, and sums the movie up pretty well. Jack Frost ain't fuckin' Frosty, indeed.
Blood Type: There's quite a bit of death and mayhem, but the blood is kept pretty minimal. The worst thing in the movie is the melting skeleton, I think.
Sex Appeal: Shannon Elizabeth, ladies and gentlemen! Probably best known for getting naked in American Pie, she took it off here first. Although, you don't get to see anything. The most boobs you see are on the snow babe. Still, there's a lot of flirting, and skin, so it should keep the teens happy enough.
Ratings: The movie itself is chock full of pain. There's no logic. Stuff just happens. The means to the movie aren't really explained and are little better than magic, which would have been a better explanation than magic acid. But it knows what it is, and sets out to do its thing with dark humour, logic be damned. If they'd taken a little more time to work on the rough patches, and make a little more sense, I'd give it more, but I have to stick with only three out of five carrot sticks.
But for entertainment value? Oh, this movie has plenty. There's jokes good and bad, and the dark humour is actually not half bad. The movie does have its clever moments, and with a group of people, it could be quite fun. Heck, even alone it's a nice little diversion. It reminds me a lot of Shocker, with the crazed serial killer seeking revenge from beyond the grave, while cracking wise and being hard to kill. But at Christmastime. That alone makes it a winner in my book, so four out of five vats of magic acid.