Winter Of Our Discontent

Try to convince kids that in your day, cartoons were only on Saturdays and holidays, and they look at you like you’re crazy. The Flower and the Barbarienne were treated to some “Herculoids” today and while the Barbarienne was satisfied with it–as she is with anything animated–The Flower was incredulous that we were subjected to–nay, grateful for–such entertainments.

Even more amazing is that “Herculoids” and most of those holiday entertainments were hand-me-downs from Boomers. And sometimes not even English-speaking hand-me-downs. For example, Morozko (1964), known here as “Jack Frost” or “Father Frost”, was a bizarre Russian fairy-tale/love-story–or even worse, the 1959 Mexican movie Santa Claus.

Both of these would later be mocked on “Mystery Science Theather 3000” along with the perennial 1964 classic Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.

Jack Frost was the subject of one of the lesser–yes, one of the lesser–Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated specials. He’s a sympathetic character in that one, but I’m pretty sure he was villainous in one of the other Rankin-Bass abominations.

As bad as the Russian Jack Frost is, it towers over the Michael Keaton movie of the same name. I saw that in a theater, believe it or not. Keaton is an on-the-road musician dad who ends up dying and being given a chance to fix things–as a snowman. Michael Keaton. Star of Batman. Snowman.

The premiere Jack Frost movie is also about a human being reincarnated as a snowman: This Jack Frost is a serial killer whose DNA merges with snow and gives him all the super-powers of, um, snow.

Better even then this movie is its sequel: Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman. The serial killer villain of the first movie is back, and where the first film has occasional moments of distasteful gore, the sequel is pure camp and a laugh a minute.

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