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The second film of Red Christmas was the gloriously insane Jack Frost; and no, it’s not the Michael Keaton snow-dad movie. The movie is absolutely wacky as Hell and has the distinguishment of being Shannon Elizabeth’s feature film “debutt.”

Also, this movie introduces an ultimate betrayal of our good host, and of us, the viewers. Even now, I still feel the sting of the horror host community’s betrayal of Joe Bob.

Jack Frost (1997)

Opening Rant: Joe Bob promises some guests, and that we will get “nasty with a snowman.”

1997’s Jack Frost is a direct-to-video horror-comedy. It was written and directed by Michael Cooney. The film features a town called Snowmonton under siege by a serial killer named Jack Frost. Oh, also, Jack Frost is a mutant snowman resulting from a genetic accident. The movie is every bit as ridiculous as you’d expect.

The film stars a smorgasbord of character actors and was shot in Big Bear, California. The film features Christopher Allport, Scott MacDonald, Stephen Mendel, and F. William Parker. The film’s largest claim to fame is that it is the debut, of course, of Shannon Elizabeth. Shannon Elizabeth would really explode onto the scene for teenage males everywhere in 1999’s American Pie a couple of years after.

The film is 90-minutes of black comedy insanity and has developed quite the cult following.

Given the low budget, there are some genuinely solid effects at times.

Review

Drive-In Fashion Show: Darcy wears an extremely low-cut Christmas-red ensemble with black trim hood and high-laced boots.

Joe Bob, perhaps not so surprisingly, gave Jack Frost a half-star higher rating than Black Christmas. The film is far better drive-in fare than Black Christmas and fits firmly within the insane wheelhouse that is The Last Drive-In. Jack Frost comes in, officially, at three and a half stars.

There is a lot to admire about Jack Frost given its low-budget and ridiculous premise. It has some truly ingenious deaths, swerves, and generally screwed up moments that satisfy a lot of those drive-in cravings that we seek.

For example, here is a snowman murdering a nude Shannon Elizabeth:

As a whole, this might be the most fun film that has been on The Last Drive-In since season one’s DEATHGASM. Everything about the movie clicks from the outrageous cartoony writing and killings to the clever usage of Christmas Carols for a score. We even get a nice segment around the third break with Joe Bob Briggs regaling us about the British farces. This second feature of the night basically offered everything.

Where’s the carrot? WHERE IS THE CARROT?!

There was also the continual tease of guest horror hosts, which was a bit of an impish trick on Joe Bob’s part. But the brand new musical number, “Lonely Red Christmas,” was a wonderful holiday treat.

Now, this was my first experience watching Jack Frost. I only knew it from its amazing lenticular VHS cover I kept seeing on the shelf at my local video store as a kid. I am sure you’ll recognize it from the Blockbuster Video days too, even if you’ve never seen the movie.

My parents were never cool enough to let me rent this movie as a kid and I weep for the amazing childhood I could have had.

Jack Frost might be one of the best experiences I’ve had on The Last Drive-In yet and I fully believe it is a four-star film. Joe Bob clearly deducted a half star due to actual breasts that aren’t made of snow, but I’m not as picky. Basically, I had a complete blast. The movie is ridiculous as all hell, and there were some genuinely cringe-inducing kills that really stand out for me. The scene with the Christmas ornaments, for example, is already on my list of the best kills in horror films ever.

Also, any film that features an anti-snowman firing-line with hair-dryers is clearly worth three stars at the minimum. It just helps that the rest of the film is so goddamn insane.

Best Line: “Well it ain’t fucking Frosty!” – Jack Frost

Snowmen: Now with Bologna-filling.

Haunted MTL Drive-In Totals

As has become a tradition, let’s turn to Shudder’s handy-dandy Drive-In tweet for those official totals.

  • 1 Darcy Costume Change (SnowTran Darcy!)
  • 2 “Snowballs” Jokes
  • 18 Days of Shooting this Movie
  • Darcy Jailing
  • Christmas-Pig Joking
  • Darcy Impalement Threatening
  • Silver Bolo Awarding
  • Gratuitous Character Actors
  • Gratutitous Farce Lecturing
  • Sled-Decapitation Fu
  • Yuki Pasty Fu

Jack Frost was pretty much exactly what I would personally want in a Drive-In experience. There was a huge sense of fun throughout the entire experience, even if Joe Bob’s party plans, cruelly, did not seem to pan out throughout the evening. Poor guy.

One big surprise was the beginning of the Silver Bolo Awards, which will seem to be a feature of The Last Drive-In going forward. It is an award representing excellence in horror blogging and the horror community. The first recipient was, of course, Dinosaur Dracula, which is well-deserved. I’ve been following Matt, the blogger behind Dinosaur Dracula clear back to the X-Entertainment days and his work made me interested in blogging.

Our Snow Queen of the evening.

So yes, congratulations, Matt. It is well deserved. It also gives me something to shoot for with Haunted MTL.

Anyway, stay tuned for our final post on Red Christmas, due later this week. Until then, please check out all the other content our new writers have been posting.

Breaking News

The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!

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The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.

Love Spells Abound…

Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us  @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder@therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.

Drawn image of Joe Bob Briggs pouring  a drop of pink liquid into a clear glass potion bottled filled with a glowing red substance. To his left lies a book a magic spells with a golden pentagram necklace resting on top. Also on the books rests a human skull with heart shaped pupils for eyes hiding behind a pair of clear glasses. In bold white letters a text reads "Join us on February 10th as we live tweet The Last Drive-In Valentine's Day Special".
Follow @hauntedMTL for live tweets and replies!

What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.

Picture of Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, John Patrick Brennan and Yuki Nakamura standing together dressed in medieval costumes. A cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins stands between Darcy and Yuki. Darcy is seen drapped in a beautfiul elegant princess dress, satin white with gold trim. Yuki is seen holding a small wreath of purple, white, and yellow flowers that match his loud medieval king costume. Resting atop both their heads are golden crowns. Joe Bob Briggs is seen standing to the left of Darcy, as he smiles whilst wearing a half-put together jester costumer. Lastly, we see Brennan with two wooden recorders in his hand as he mimics playing them both dress clad in a bright yellow dress.
An unexpected ceremony during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You (2021) special.

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”

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Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Silenced

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Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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