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US / 1995

Despite what you might assume from that screenshot and the fact that FROSTBITER: WRATH OF THE WENDIGO was released under the banner of Troma Entertainment, that bastion of questionable tastes, this film is actually rather wholesome in its own bizarre way, not unlike another wintry favorite of mine released from the same company, Trey Parker’s CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (1993). Take for example the sequence when our brave heroine (Lori Baker) strips down to her birthday suit: the only bare skin we see is her back, and the reason for this gesture was not in service of some skeevy sex scene, but so that she could revive her hypothermic pal with her body warmth! This kind of doe-eyed innocence permeates throughout the film even in its most antithetical moments. Gushing decapitations set to crackly old country tunes never seemed so sweet. Or maybe that’s just me.

Those jukebox tunes provide a constant aural backdrop to the film, even when scenes consist only of characters holding a conversation. The songs seem intent on matching the frenetic pace of the action, and frenetic it most certainly is. Director Tom Chaney grounds his debut feature solidly in the school of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, a ceasless churning of invention and inspiration that never comes off as the least bit cynical of its genre trappings and remains full-proof fun all the way to its electric finale. Any movie that can boast a prophecy-whispering ancient played by an actor in a latex mask, exterior shots made up almost entirely of miniatures, five-minute jokes told solely for the reveal of terrible puns, and a Great Elk-hybrid stop motion monster instantly has my heart. Consider me FROSTBIT.

***

That’s two titles in a row that have had colons in them. You believe that shit?

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