“Jack Frost”: A cult comedy-horror classic about the country’s first psycho serial killer snowman

By on September 24, 2018

Jack Frost — perhaps you remember seeing the lenticular VHS box cover art in your local Blockbuster? — is a low-budget 1997 cult comedy-horror classic about the country’s first psycho serial killer snowman.

It’s just one of the titles we’ve added to our new Moonstone Films section now streaming over on Night Flight Plus!

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Director Michael Cooney (who co-wrote the screenplay) sets his story in Snomanton, a snow-blanketed burg where there’s been no real felonious crime to speak of for decades.

Years earlier, the town’s sheriff, “Sam Tiler” (Christopher Allport), brought down a notorious serial killer named “Jack Frost” (Scott MacDonald), who’d been on a cross-country killing spree, leaving thirty-eight dead bodies behind in eleven states before finally being arrested.

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Frost, of course, is a total nutjob who threatens to one day get his revenge against the sheriff.

The town, we should note, is actually nicknamed “The Snowman Capitol of the Midwest” (Jack Frost was filmed, in part, at the Fawn Lodge in Fawnskin, California, on the northwestern shore of the touristy Big Bear Lake).

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The movie begins on a snowy December night, a week before Christmas, with Frost being being transported to the facility where he’s going to be executed at midnight for his horrible crimes.

Then, the vehicle collides with a truck belonging to a genetic research company, which transporting is an DNA-enriched acid they’re planning to use to resurrect the human soul in dead people after a nuclear war. Something like that.

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Strange things start happening right away in Snomanton, though, when a character called poor “Ol’ Man Harper” is found dead in his rocking chair on his home’s front porch, and the sheriff and his deputies “Foster” (Chip Heller) and “Pullman” (Brian Leckner) can’t find any footprints or tire prints.

Then we see the sheriff’s kid, “Ryan” (Zack Eginton), playing around with a snowman that has suddenly appeared on their property, and when some older mean kids try to bully him, the snow-covered mutant kills one of the bullies, a boy named “Billy” (Nathan Hague).

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Of course, no one believes Sam’s kid is telling the truth — including Billy’s parents, “Jake” (Jack Lindine) and “Sally” (Kelly Jean Peters), who later meet their own demise at the hands of the psycho killer snowman — but we know Ryan’s telling the truth.

Sheriff Tiler calls in the feds at this point, bringing a couple of alpha-male FBI agents “Manners” (Stephen Mendel) and “Stone” (Rob LaBelle) to their snowy hamlet to help investigate the two killings.

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The agents convince the sheriff to talk to the townspeople about what’s happening and to place everyone under a 24-hour curfew until they can all figure out what to do next.

As you might expect, these precautions don’t keep the psycho killer snowman from wreaking further havoc in Snomanton.

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Jack Frost also gives us one of the strangest sexy bathtub death scenes in cinema history, when Billy’s lovely older sister “Jill” (Shannon Elizabeth, who you may remember from American Pie) is raped and killed by the psycho snowman.

Read more about Jack Frost and Moonstone Films below.

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Jack Frost ended up developing a cult following after being briefly released to theaters on November 18, 1997.

It did most of its business on VHS (A-Pix Entertainment) and DVD (Simitar Entertainment) video sales and rentals.

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The film was deemed successful enough that it spawned a sequel in the year 2000, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (also written and directed by Michael Cooney).

A third movie — tentatively titled Jack Frost 3: The Last Coming — was being planned for theatrical release but was canceled following the death of actor Christopher Allport in 2008.

Late last year (on December 23, 2017), Jack Frost was released on the internet with a RiffTrax audio commentary by Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni comedians Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett.

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Moonstone Entertainment was established by Ernst “Etchie” Stroh and his wife Yael at the Cannes Film Festival of 1992.

The company built on the couple’s close close relationships with worldwide film distributors worldwide, as well as Etchie’s connections to respected filmmakers.

After first concentrating on film sales, in 1996 Moonstone began focusing on film production, financing and distribution, with Etchie acting as an executive producer on titles (typically action flicks and comedy titles) featuring classic actors from the era, including Lara Flynn Boyle, Casper Van Dien and Jaime Pressly. You get the idea.

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We’ve currently got ten Moonstone titles for you to stream at your leisure over on Night Flight Plus:

Absolution (a sci-fi thriller originally released as The Journey: Absolution in 1997, starring Jaime Pressly, Mario Lopez and Richard Grieco, directed by David DeCoteau); Afterglow (a romance-drama produced in 1997 with Robert Altman and directed by Alan Rudolph, starring Nick Nolte and Julie Christie, in a role that captured her a 1998 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress); All Tied Up (a dark comedy directed by John Mark Robinson in 1993, starring Zach Galligan and Teri Hatcher); Coyote Run (Shimon Dotan’s 1996 mob action flick, starring Michael Paré); Digging to China (a weepy drama directed in 1997 by Timothy Hutton, starring Evan Rachel Wood and Kevin Bacon); High Voltage (Isaac Florentine’s 1997 mob action flick, starring Antonio Sabato Jr.); Jack Frost (see above); Kimberly (Frederic Golchan’s 1999 romantic comedy, starring Gabrielle Anwar); The Collectors (Sidney J. Furie’s 1999 mob action flick starring Casper Van Dien, Rick Fox, and Catherine Oxenberg); and, When Justice Fails (Allan A. Goldstein’s 1999 dramatic thriller, starring Jeff Fahey and Marlee Matlin).

Watch Jack Frost and other Moonstone Films on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.