25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: JACK FROST 2: REVENGE OF THE MUTANT KILLER SNOWMAN

CAST

Scott MacDonald (Threshold)
Christopher Allport (Felicity)
Eileen Seeley (Batman Forever)
Chip Heller (Beverly Hills Cop)
Marsha Clark (Guiding Light)
Jennifer Lyons (That 70s Show)
Ian Abercomrbie (Birds of Prey)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Shonda Farr (Planet of The Apes 2001)

20090123-frost-1Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport reprising his role) has been struggling to recover from the encounter with the Mutated Snowman known as Jack Frost (much to everyone else’s disbelief and amusement), ever since he rampaged through his hometown last Christmas. To get away from the stress, Sam’s wife Anne (Eileen Seeley) suggests a tropical vacation in a cabana far away in the Pacific for the wedding of his deputy, Joe Foster (Chip Heller reprising his role) and his secretary Marla (Marsha Clark). Sam reluctantly agrees, after reinforcement from his doctor (Ian Abercrombie).image-w448Meanwhile, the FBI has dug up the antifreeze used to dissolve Jack in the first movie, attempting to test it for remains of the genetic material. One of the janitors (Brett A. Boydstun) accidentally spills a cup of coffee into the tank of antifreeze, waking Jack up and causing him to reform and break free. He heads for the tropics, due to the idea that since Sam was wounded by Jack (voiced by Scott MacDonald, who reprises his role) in the first movie, and his blood dripped into the antifreeze used to dissolve him, Jack is linked to Sam’s psyche. Sam, Anne, Marla and Joe, arrive at the tropics to a greeting by the eccentric Colonel Hickering (Ray Cooney) and his assistants Captain Fun (Sean Patrick Murphy) and Bobby (Tai Bennett). The festivities quickly begin, but things get deadly when Jack washes ashore and kills three ladies by transforming himself into an ice anvil and crushing Ashlea (Shonda Farr), impaling his icicles into Paisley (Granger Green), and stabbing Rose (Jennifer Lyons) in the eyes with a pair of tongs. The next morning, the Colonel discovers the bodies and tries to cover up the whole mess, as he does not want this to ruin his resort. However, the island’s manager, Agent Manners (David Allen Brooks), suspects that Jack has returned.jack-frost-2-occasionally-theres-an-attempt-to-scareJack continues his rampage, killing a beach model named Sarah (Melanie Good) by making her head explode (after she swallows him as a piece of ice) and stabbing her cameraman (Paul H. Kim) to death with his carrot nose. Sam begins to suspect that something is amiss when he runs into Manners, who agrees to an alliance in order to stop Jack Frost. Sam, Captain Fun, and Manners stage a trap to capture Jack. This fails as the snowman they capture was really the Colonel in costume. After slaying another beach model named Cindy (Stephanie Chao) by freezing the pool she is swimming in and drowning her, Jack decides that the tropics are a bit too warm and freezes the place, causing it to snow and freeze the lifeguard (Kerri V. Griffin). The party guests begin to play around in snowball fights when Jack enters the fray, killing at least another dozen. Sam, Anne, Marla, Manners and Joe lock themselves up in their room, using antifreeze to keep Jack at bay.ce9d5-jack_frost_2Sam and Manners decide to find help, and end up finding a room where the Colonel, Captain Fun, and Bobby have barricaded themselves in. Sam asks the three of them where they can find antifreeze, to which Bobby suggests they use the coolant for the generator, which uses the same material. Luring Jack into a trap, Sam once again tricks Jack into a pool of coolant. Unfortunately, this does not work, as Jack has become much more resilient to the antifreeze due to his time in the lab. Jack spits out a snowball and flees, followed by Manners, into the woods. Sam, Anne, and the others observe the snowball and it “hatches” and becomes a baby snowman, who kills Captain Fun. They trap the snowman in a blender and try many different ways of killing it, all of which fail. Meanwhile, Manners has followed Jack to a shed, where he sees that Jack has spit up many, many snowball children. He calls the others and tells them what he has seen, but before leaving he is attacked and devoured by the tiny snowmen. Sam, in panic since the antifreeze does not work, is pushed to the side as Anne takes charge in order get Joe and the Colonel to go around the island to trap as many of the snowmen as they can until the supply boat (which is coming to the island to drop off more supplies) comes, while Bobby, Marla and Sam wait back in the kitchen. During the search, the snowmen kill seven more tourists. Eventually, Anne realizes that they can be killed by bananas, due to Sam being allergic to bananas. As a result, Jack would share the same vulnerabilities, since he absorbed some of Sam’s genetics in Snowmonton. maxresdefaultEverybody soon makes a big batch of banana smoothies, which they then use to kill the tiny snowmen. However, one of them crawls back to Jack, fatally wounded. Jack picks it up and observes it, and then watches it slowly die in his arms.Jack sheds a tear, mourning the loss of his new family. He then becomes angry, stabbing the Colonel through the head with an icicle from behind and slitting Bobby’s throat with another icicle. Marla and Joe flee and lock themselves in the freezer with Captain Fun’s body, while Anne is attacked by Jack. Sam snaps out of his paranoia and shoots Jack with a banana attached to an arrow, causing him to explode. Anne and Sam embrace each other and walk towards the ocean, prepared to leave the island with any of the other surviving guests. During the credits the two sailors on the supply boat are crushed by a giant carrot, implying that Jack is still alive and has become kaiju-sized. After the credits roll, we’re shown that Joe and Marla were accidentally left in the freezer by Sam and Anne, and it’s implied that the couple froze to death there.jackfrost24
The movie is fun and is more spoof on horror than horror itself. There is blood, killing, and some Troma style gore. A killer snow ball fight

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: JACK FROST (1997)

CAST

Scott MacDonald (Threshold)
Christopher Allport (Felicity)
Stephen Mendel (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
F. William Parker (Lost Highway)
Eileen Seeley (Batman Forever)
Rob LaBelle (Watchmen)
Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie)

On a snowy December night, a state execution transfer vehicle crosses into the quiet backwater town of Snowmonton. Inside is serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald), who eluded police for years and left a trail of thirty-eight bodies across five states before finally being arrested, by the sheriff of Snowmonton. Frost is scheduled to be executed at midnight but due to the weather, a tanker containing genetic material collides with the prison truck, freeing Jack. As he tries to escape, the acid contained within the tanker breaks free, melting Jack’s skin and skeleton. Shortly after his death, Jack’s remains are fused with the snow.jackfrost8Sheriff Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport) is still haunted by his memories of Jack Frost. Despite news reports of Jack’s demise, Sam cannot forget Jack’s threats of vengeance. The sheriff’s fears soon prove to be founded when Old Man Harper is found murdered. Soon afterwards, a local bully named Billy (Nathan Hague) and his ski patrol gang are also killed. According to the sheriff’s son, Ryan, a snowman caused the deaths. Billy’s parents Jake (Jack Lindine) and Sally (Kelly Jean Peters) are then murdered. Paul Davrow, the sheriff’s friend, witnesses the murders, but no one believes him. Sheriff Tiler has his deputies lock him up.image-w448FBI Agents Manners (Stephen Mendel) and Stone (Rob LaBelle) arrive in Snowmonton and convince Sheriff Tiler to put the town on 24 hour curfew, sending his officers out to gather all the townspeople. One of the officers (Brian Leckner) is killed when Jack Frost runs the officer over with a police cruiser. Billy’s older sister Jill (Shannon Elizabeth) and her boyfriend sneak into the sheriff’s home to steal his wine and have sex as payback for her brother’s death. Jack kills Jill’s boyfriend and rapes Jill in the shower, ultimately killing her.20090123-frost-1Jack Frost returns with the police cruiser to the station, finally confronting Sam. Agent Stone reveals himself to be a representative of the genetic research company that created the acid and reveals that the snowman is a mutated Jack Frost. He also reveals that the human soul exists as a chemical and that the acid was going to be used to contain DNA in case of a nuclear holocaust. They attempt to destroy Jack by blowing him up by releasing aerosol cans in the police station and firing a bullet at him, but to no avail. They then use blowdryers to drive Jack into a furnace, which evaporates the snowman. Unfortunately, Jack condenses, killing Agent Stone and wounding Agent Manners. Jack traps Sheriff Tiler and his son, Ryan (Zack Eginton) within his car, but the sheriff escapes by inadvertently throwing the oatmeal his son made him at Jack, burning the snowman’s head. His son, not wanting his father to be cold, put antifreeze in the oatmeal, believing it could help keep the oatmeal from getting cold.jack_frost-2Sheriff Tiler tells his friend, Paul Davrow (F. William Parker) to fill the bed of his truck with antifreeze. Jack chases Sam through the halls of a church and finally catches him, driving an icicle into his chest and almost killing him. The truck full of antifreeze arrives just in time, however, and Jack and Sam crash through a window and into the truck’s bed. Jack Frost melts in the antifreeze, and afterwards, the antifreeze is poured back into the containers, and then buried deep under the ground of Snowmonton. Tiler’s wife Anne (Eileen Seeley), realizes that the state police are on their way. When Paul asks Tiler what they are going to tell them, Tiler says, “we’ll tell them that it’s too late”. However, one of the containers is shown to be bubbling, suggesting that Jack is contained as a liquid, and is still alive.
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To have a serial killer return as a snowman to the town that threatened his life borders on the insane and the shots of jack up close reveal a man in a dodgy white suit,but again it works,not every film could find glory in its failings but with jack frost it works.

 

REVIEW: STARGATE SG.1 – SEASON 7

Starring

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Amanda Tapping(Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Twin Peaks)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)

Michael Shanks in Stargate SG-1 (1997)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Loose)
George Touliatos (This Means War)
Kevan Ohtsji (Elektra)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
Michael Adamthwaite (Supergirl)
Eric Breker (Scary Movie 3)
Cliff Simon (Project Eden)
Adrian Hough (the Fog)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Odi Ndefo (Angel)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Peter LaCroix (Atomic TTrain)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight (I, Robot)
James Parks (Kill BIll)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Kavan Smith (Mission To Mars)
G. Patrick Currie (Dark Water)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)
Benjamin Ayres (Saving Hope)
Patrick McKenna (Robocop: The Series)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Kirsten Zien (Elektra)
Carmen Argenziano (House)
Bill Dow (Izombie)
Teryl Rothery (Arrow)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Ingrid Kavelaars (Dreamcatcher)
John Novak (War)
Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars)
Craig Veroni (Dark Angel)
Emily Holmes (Paycheck)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Black Sails)
David DeLuise (Wizards of Waverly Place)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Nels Lennarson (The Cabin In The Woods)
Saul Rubinek (True Romance)
Mitchell Kosterman (Smallville)
David Lewis (Man of Steel)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Kristen Dalton (Jack Reacher)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
William Devane (Interstellar)
James McDaniel (Sleepy Hollow)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jerry Wasserman (Alive)
Jessica Steen (Chaos)
Colleen Winton (Van Helsing)

Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate SG-1 (1997)That is the season when Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) returns from being an ascended being, albeit on an alien world without his memory (“Fallen”). This required getting rid of Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) to get the old gang back together again, which happens when Anubis download Jonas’ memory and the Goa’uld attack Kelowna (“Homecoming”). Wisely, this is not the last appearance of Jonas for the season (“Fallout”) as he becomes another one of recurring guest characters that are a major strength of the series.Don S. Davis, Amanda Tapping, and Michael Welch in Stargate SG-1 (1997)There are several Daniel Jackson stories that make a point of giving the actor interesting things to do, such as “Lifeboat,” where his mind becomes a resting place for a bunch of alien minds, “Enemy Mine,” which requires Jackson to show diplomatic skills, and big time flashbacks in “Chimera,” to before Daniel first saw the Stargate.Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)Overall, Season 7 is really Samantha Carter’s season and Amanda Tapping has several episodes where she pretty much goes it alone. “Space Race” has her joining an alien pilot for a little intergalactic competition, while “Death Knell” finds Carter being hunted by the supers soldiers of Anubis after an attack on Earth’s secret off-world base. In “Grace” Carter literally ends up alone when the Prometheus is attacked and she wakes up to find herself the only one on a ship drifting in deep space. The other characters show up as the angels of her better nature, which is the only way that Sam and Jack are ever going to have an honest conversation.Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, and Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1 (1997)The whole Anubis/Lost City bit ends up being equal parts time to beat another bigger and badder system lord and find a fitting end point for the series that can also work as a transition to the spinoff.

REVIEW: CONAN THE ADVENTURER (1997)

MAIN CAST

Ralf Moeller (The Scorpion King)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Robert McRay (Legend of The Phantom)
Jeremy Kemp (A Bridge To Far)
T.J. Storm (VR Troopers)
Andrew Craig (The Toxic Avenger)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ally Dunne (V.I.P.)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Arthur Burghardt (Transformers)
Mickey Rooney (Nationel Velvet)
Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2)
Brad Greenquist (Alias)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Paul Le Mat (Puppet Master)
Matthias Hues (Star Trek VI)
Ali Landry (Eve)
Brooke Burns (Baywatch)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Angelica Bridges (Mystery Men)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Claudette Mink (Children of The Corn 7)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)

xb3aghiq2wii23iaSyndicated television is often called the last bastion of poor writers in this modern age, much like the pulp fiction writers of years gone by were back in their day. This is not to say that syndicated television is always bad, just that the odds greatly favor such a global statement. The first example that comes to mind would be Black Scorpion but I’m sure you’re familiar with other shows like Sinbad, Robin Hood, and Lost World (an admittedly guilty pleasure). The 1990’s were the best years for fantasy shows in syndication due in large part to the success of Hercules and Xena; both of which proved profitable beyond the imagination of their creators. Is it any wonder that other producers sought to cash in as well? Such was the case with a single season show by the name of Conan The Adventurer, based on the writings of famed 1930’s pulp fiction writer, Robert E. Howard, a young man from the desolate plains of Texas.

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Mr. Howard created the mythic hero Conan as a character that could help free him from the shackles of poverty.His character of Conan evolved from another, King Kull, set in the same age of Atlantis era of 10,000 years ago, in epoch known as the Hyborian Age. Conan was a thief, a liar, and a barbarian in every sense of the word. His code of conduct was generally considered less than chivalrous with a “me first” attitude befitting the wild imagination of his writer, a man caught in the trappings of his time. Howard’s own description of the character was: “Some mechanism in my subconsciousness took the dominant characteristics of various prizefighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field bullies, gamblers, and honest workmen I had come in contact with, and combining them all, produced the amalgamation I call Conan the Cimmerian.” The world-view of such a man can only be placed in the proper context by understanding the effects of where he lived and the conditions the entire country were in, making more understandable the type of anti-hero that later was popularized in the Marvel comic books and art of Frank Frazetta. I think the rise of the anti-hero in the 1960’s attributed much to reviving such characters as Conan, a being thought up in 1931 by Howard, who only wrote 22 short stories in his later years (before he killed himself). With this in mind, let me turn to the television series this review is about:

Keeping in mind that the original character was a thief, cutthroat, mercenary that did anything asked of him for a price and ignored all social conventions that didn’t suit him (similar to the original Hercules being a power mad rapist drunkard), the show started off on the wrong foot with me by suggesting his “destiny was to free the oppressed” in the opening monologue since there’s nothing further from the truth in the original stories or in the previous movies starring famed bodybuilder-turned-Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Given that a kinder and gentler version of the character would probably be the only way to get the series made, I started off watching the episodes a bit disgruntled but content that a watered down Conan might be better than no Conan at all, I figured how bad could it be considering all the other shows I enjoyed (even as guilty pleasures).
Conan (1997)
The show focused on Conan’s quest to find, and kill, a wizard, Hissah Zul (that was responsible for the death of his sweetheart and the guy responsible for all the ills in the world. Each week would find Conan and a mish mash of odd companions  fighting the minions of evil and cheap CGI effects as they continued on a path to dethrone the wizard. I watched the generic exploits of the cast as they went through the motions and about midway through the series; I actually started enjoying it way too much.
Conan (1997)
So, after watching the episodes as presented in the set (which were out of order from the air dates) and then as they were originally shown, I found the plot to make at least a little more sense in the DVD order they were aired in syndication. Keeping in mind that most, if not all, of the episodes borrowed heavily from the Marvel Comics versions as opposed to the pulp works of Howard. The show tried to be in line with a modern sensibility imposed on the age old character, an uneasy fit at times. While the humor was often as dry as Dilbert in its own way, I think this was what was lacking compared to the movies. Regardless, it was nice to see a show long lost into the archives of some vault given new life for fans of the genre, if not the actual character himself, and I doubt Robert E. Howard would’ve lost any sleep over the way his characters were evolved.