Listen to our Jack Frost episode on:
- Google Play
- Player FM
- Pocket Casts
Hollywood history is littered with terrible Christmas movies. Some make money, some are inexplicably beloved to this day, others are long forgotten, lingering only in the darkest corners of Netflix and in the reduced to clear sections of charity shops and what remains of the DVD rentals market. Most are benign at best, lazily uninspired at worst. But few festive flops achieve the scale of wrongheadedness and misplaced star power afforded to Jack Frost, a bafflingly misguided turkey that helped drain away the last few droplets of goodwill towards Michael Keaton in the late 90s.
In the movie, Keaton plays a fairweather father who dies in a road accident after promising his Son he’d be home for Christmas. The following year, he reincarnates in the form of a wisecracking Snowman. That’s pretty much the entirety of the plot, which coincidentally bears strong similarities to a cheap video nasty with the same title released a year earlier. Unlike that film, the Keaton snowman may not use his carrot nose to sexually assault anybody, but it’s scarcely less horrifying either way, thanks to a truly charmless design from the usually reliable Henson studios.
Even if the Snowman didn’t look terrifying, the plot of Jack Frost still wouldn’t make any sense. Keaton’s return from the afterlife is barely explained via a brushed off magical harmonica mcguffin, with no sense of where he’s been, what he’s come back to achieve or even whether he realises he’s dead. Keaton seems genuinely, understandable embarrassed, as he delivers clunkers such as “You da man… I’m da SNOW MAN” presumably while mentally firing his agent.
The best that can be said about Jack Frost is that the heights of badness it achieves are fairly interesting even if the film itself is a dud. It genuinely seems like nobody involved had any idea how to flesh out the plot beyond ‘Dead dad comes back as Snowman’, resulting in a painfully drawn-out intro and hilariously obvious padding including what might be the longest sledging montage in movie history.
You can check out our full discussion of Jack Frost, including our Sequel pitches and some much-needed drinking games, in this week’s podcast. Just use the links at the top of this blog post or search ‘Beyond The Box Set’ on your preferred Podcasting platform. You can also rate and review us, support us on Patreon from as little as $2 per month to access a wide variety of bonus content and purchase exclusive merchandise on Teepublic.
We’ll be back next week with the final edition of our Christmas mini-season. Until then, happy listening and remember – snow dad is better than no dad…