Thursday, February 17, 2011

Red Snow (1991)
Dir. Phillip J. Roth
Genre: Action/Sports

"...You can talk the talk, but can you SHRED the walk?"
Ski movies.  Whether they're comedies involving bungling teenage ski instructors just trying to touch a tit or shady mob-like drug dealers trying to to sabotage chair lifts in order to take over ski lodges (I'm pretty sure that even happened in a Jem episode), they're almost always a good time.  I mean, how could snow settings not be chock full of wackiness and intrigue!  Especially when ski resorts are involved, I mean they're already rich and white.  Clearly crime, coke and sex on animal skin is bound to happen!

"Hold on Kelly, my cabin doesn't look aloof enough yet!"
1991's RED SNOW tells the story of a ski instructor named James Palmer (played by some ugly dude) who happens upon a robbery of the ski resort he works for.  The thieves/conspirators murder James and frame him for the robbery.  The town tries to forget about this awkward situation until along comes blond-haired, blue-eyed, smooth talking Kyle Lewis (played by some slightly less ugly dude), the brand new snow board instructor who will stop at nothing to find out what happened to James and to fuck James' pre-dead girlfriend.  But why does this dude Kyle give a shit about what happened to James?  Could it be Kyle was his secret best friend?  His secret brother?  His secret son?  Or maybe he thinks this will further him along into widowed girlfriend's ski pants?  Check out some spine tingling/snow shredding clips here.

Benton goes in for the kiss.
Come to find out, the owner of the ski resort, Frank, is obviously behind the conspiracy to rob his own resort and the murder/frame up of James.  It's not that much of spoiler really.  It's really obvious when this character is introduced that he is the bad guy.  The movie clues you in on this fact by showing how evil he is in 6 ways

1. European Accent
Everyone knows, you hear smarmy Euro-accent in an action movie, some shits going to blow up or a girl is going to get killed.  Why?  Because European equals French which equals asshole or German or something like German and Germans equal Nazis.  This is known as the general American thought process.

2.  He Smokes Cigars
Cigars are symbols for two things, the mafia and penises.  Both things scare people.  Put those things in a Nazi's mouth and you've got yourself a corn-fed American nightmare.

3.  Snake-skin Boots
There is a metaphor here.  I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's possibly biblical in nature and applies serpentine type qualities to the bearer.  Watch out for this guy.  He lives by no rules.

4.  Gigantic Ugly-Faced Henchman
Frank employs two all-in-one henchmen.  The first is Benton, a pock-marked angry and violent small dude that besides his general bad-ass hobbies of skiing and snow angels, works on bikes and babes.  He is the thinker of the two so by default, the more evil one.  The most important to no-one member of this duo is Werner, a giant-sized Nordic cave-man that has one of the most unfortunate faces I've ever seen.  I couldn't find a good picture of him, but he's the giant Swede on the video cover.  Hench on, dude.    

5.  Blond Hanger-on
"Another blowjob?  But I just washed my hair."
Thankfully Frank will never want for vagina because Nicki/Angela/Shannon is always there and always available.  Her only purpose is to stay skinny, never speak, eat things he hand-feeds her, laugh at his maniacal laugh and keep her hair clean.  Pretty easy job.  Too bad I don't like blowing people in front of their friends, otherwise I apparently could have had it made.  Damn you brown hair and sexual prudence!

6.  He Kills People
Frank kills people and he doesn't care that he kills people nor does he feel any remorse about killing people.  Now if this doesn't give him away as the antagonist of the film, I don't know what does.

"Jesus, I can't take this guy anywhere."
There are pretty much three plots to this movie.  The first involves Kyle trying really shittily to find out who killed James while also trying to make coitus with James' girlfriend, Kelly who by now has turned into a more naive mostly drunk person.  The second involves a conspiracy by Frank, Benton and I guess Werner to keep James' murder and the embezzlement under wraps which causes distrust and within the group that eventually leads to Frank sicking Stacey/Jennifer/Carol on Benton.  This leads to a really awkward chones on scene where they air hump on his bike.  The third plot is about the lesser known ages long battle between skiers and snowboarders.  This is the most boring of the three. 

Murder/Mystery/Romantic/Comedy sub-plot aside, what RED SNOW is REALLY about is sick snowboarding tricks.  70% of the movie is dedicated to long montages of skiers and snowboarders attempting aerial maneuvers and downhill movement.  The best part of this is, the stunts usually end in wipe outs.  I'm not sure if the director just couldn't afford the time or film for stunt people to try the tricks again and actually land on not their ass or if he just decided however they ended, the shit was SICK.  This is debatable.  What is for certain, is there is a shit load of ridiculous over dubbed sound effects every time a skier jumps in the air or a snowboarder whips their board.  It is the unmistakable crack of a bullwhip and it's used over and over and over again.

Everything about this movie was fairly predictable.  What did surprise me about this movie is despite it's wooden acting, lines like,

Random Friend: "...If there's any woman on this mountain you want to avoid now, it's her."
Kyle:  "...Does she have Herpes?"

It's use of the same exterior ski resort shot used over and over and the not so clever switch of an obviously different interior as the set and to top it all off a B-movie shot on video and only a tiny glimpse of a side boob throughout, I give RED SNOW a resounding TEC stamp of Enematic approval!  There are loud headbands, giant Swedes, skiers carrying shot guns, explosions, blatant Roadhouse rip-offs, unnecessary deaths and the aforementioned side boob!  It takes a minute to give a shit, but ultimately, it's worth it.

Fake Whip Sound Effects: 62
Maniacal Laughs: 1
Skiing While Gun Wielding: 4
Guys Exploding: 2
USA Hats: 1
Is That A Face?: 1
Loud Hats: 2
Snowboarding/Skiing Montage: 12
Butt Chins: 3
Mountain Shots: 15
Uni-brows: 1
Sex On Motorcycles: 1
Leopard Skin Scarf Arm Sling: 1
Red Snow: 1/2  

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