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Review: Jack Frost 2: Revenge Of The Mutant Killer Snowman

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The sequel is much more lighthearted and self-deprecating. It even opens with characters laughing as a survivor recounts the plot of the original. Some of the more interesting personalities from Part 1 decide to spend Christmas on vacation away from the snow, hoping Jack Frost, a creature prone to melting won’t follow them. He does and we get an inspired setup: a killer snowman stalking victims on a hot tropical island.

The tone is thankfully much lighter and embraces its own ridiculousness and the gimmick of snowman themed murder. There is a much bigger emphasis on comedy.

The effects have improved…to an extent. Where part 1 relied solely on cheap practical effects and stop motion techniques, the sequel uses cheap practical effects, stop motion techniques and CGI. This allows us to see much more of Jack’s powers and the violence he inflicts on the hapless holidayers. Though the improved budget also means we’re occasionally bombarded by references to a Japanese beer. The product placement is so overt it becomes yet another joke.

The first movie takes most of its runtime to establish Jack as the one-liner spewing bundle of ice. It’s his origin story. The sequel continues the originals technique of not showing him fully from the outset, just glimpses. But now that his personality has been established we do hear him from the very beginning, often making jokes to himself and us.

The sequel is also much bloodier – that is if you have the original US version. For whatever reason the UK DVD and VHS versions are heavily cut. So much so that the lack of violence makes it a completely different, more cartoonish movie. One of the best scenes involving a chaotic snowball fight has been totally butchered by censors into bloodlessness.

The sequel is much more fun – there’s even a character called Captain Fun whose job is to make sure everyone on the island is having a good time – whether they like it or not. There are a number of other exaggerated characters including a 1930s style British colonel who won’t shut up about India. A very serious character from the original is recast as a parody of himself. The cast do a very good job and giving Jack’s potential victims a likeability. So much so that I groaned when some were killed. Despite the fact this is most certainly a comedy there is one scene that is oddly heartbreaking.

Together these movies make an enjoyable double bill for fans of Gremlins and watching people getting impaled by icicles.

It would have been great to have seen a third Jack Frost. Sadly actor Christopher Allport who played Sheriff Sam Tiler, Jack’s nemesis died tragically in an avalanche in 2008. He was an essential part of these two movies and plans to film Jack Frost 3 were abandoned due to his passing. His straight man realistically traumatised performance keeps the films grounded and stops them from floating off on their own ridiculousness. That being said this is a series with a lot of potential. It would be a shame if we never get to see the re-return of such a fun character as Jack Frost the mutant killer snowman.

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