Frozen Scream (1975)
(Release Date: 1975)

It doesn't even ACT like it's not a dog!

Completely Unacceptable! ACTING!

J.C. Mašek III... 

Video Nasty Critic!
J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!!!

To call Frozen Scream a "Movie" would be to toss shovels full of soil upon the collective coffins of such films as Citizen Kane, Gone With The Wind, Seven Samurai, The Empire Strikes Back, Lawrence of Arabia and Apocalypse Now. Actually, to call Frozen Scream a "Movie" would be to shovel soiled soil all over the collective improvised shoe boxes of such films as Rock 'n Roll High School, Dead Alive, eXistenZ, Halloween 4, Knightriders, Open Water, Wayne's World, Underworld Evolution and Zathura. Actually, now that I really think about this, to call Frozen Scream a "Movie" would be to bulldoze boat loads of moldy, clay and crap-chunked, oiled, soiled soil without soul onto the collective paupers graves of Zombie 5, Omen IV, Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, Star Crystal, Robot Monster, Superman IV, Adventures of Hercules, King Kong Vs. Godzilla, Adam & Evil, Blood Sisters of Lesbian Sin, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and The Devil's Rain!

But, to be fair, at its worst, Frozen Scream is still better than Corpses are Forever!

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Technically, this movie is a bit of a Zombie Flick, and fits, amazingly, into that weird, iconoclastic subgenre of Zombie Flicks that also includes fellow Video Nasty Dead & Buried as well as the French Film They Came Back! The biggest difference being that while They Came Back and Dead & Buried ranged from interesting to groundbreaking, Frozen Scream ranges from merely inept to completely bathetic (note: not "pathetic", "bathetic"... it's much, much worse).

We begin with a nervous pervis named Tom Girard (Wolf Muser), who seems to be convinced that evil drones in black hoods are coming to kill him that very night. If he were on a game show he'd go home with the grand prize, because that very night evil drones in black hoods come and kill him. His forlorn wife (Lynne Kocol's Ann Girard) shows up just in time to see him die. This naturally ruins her day.

Perhaps if he had taken her last phone call with "FOR GOD'S SAKE COME HOME I'M GOING TO DIE!" instead of "I worry about you..." things might have turned out differently.

Perhaps if he had called the cops instead of repeatedly phoning the family priest (Wayne Liebman's Father O'Brien) Tom might not now be a Zombie Popsicle!

Perhaps if this movie never got made we'd only have 73 films on the Video Nasty List!

But I digress with my wishful thinking...

When Ann wakes up to find the meddling German Doctor Lil Stanhope (played by Californian Renee Harmon, who also produced) standing over her with inappropriate good cheer Ann starts to get even more freaked out.

It's around this point that we meet our narrator, a vastly inappropriate cop named Kevin McGuire (Thomas Gowen). I have to wonder if Kevin's ineptitude is the reason Tom didn't bother calling the cops.

Officer Kev-o's voice breaks into varied scenes as soon as things start to get dull (which is invariably). Not only does Kevin's near-omniscient voice practically scream "conflict of interest" (not in so many words), but it also seems to give its own review of the film while it's still going on.

In the first category, Kev reveals that he and Ann used to date and that he is using the opportunity of Tom Girard being "out of the way" to "win her back"! Who cares if the grave isn't even cold yet? Kev's goin' full on Girard's widow!

In the second category, after listening to Renee Harmon (as Doctor Stanhope) speak for the first time Kev's voiceover actually states "what a bad acting job!"

What is this, Mystery Science Theatre 3000? was director Frank Roach using the voiceover to apologize for the acting? Not that I disagree, or anything.

Regardless, as the "story" (by Doug Ferrin, Celeste Hammond and Michael Sonye) progresses, Ann, Kevin and Kevin's disembodied voice begin to unravel the truth behind all this crap using, primarily, Ann's nightmares as their roadmap. Slowly we start to see a convoluted quilt work of the occult, medical experiments and weird zombification and reanimation.

This might have been interesting if the film wasn't terrible.

It is.

It is terrible.

Most of the blame for this can be found in the fact that this was an amateur film made on a lower-than-low budget with community theatre actors. All of the actors sound like they're either reading or reciting from memory without the inflection one might offer up to your average introduction to a guest speaker at traffic school. The scares are almost nil (making the title of Frozen Scream all that much more appropriate) and the special effects are effectively anything but special.

This makes me wonder how in the name of Margaret Thatcher this film ever got classified as a Video Nasty! There isn't even any intentional nudity here. I stress the "intentional" part. There are a few teases in this film, such as a flashback to a ritual in which Ann is told to "disrobe", but is stopped by a bleeding skeleton before she can (what is this, Freudian?). Then, there is Cathrin (Sunny Bartholomew) who repeatedly takes off her top but keeps her arms crossed over both breasts (what is this, a GUESS ad?)... except for the one time that she misses a little. Of course that's the footage editor Matthew Muller used!

And that's a good metaphor for the entire film. All the slip ups, all the rough edges, all the flaws all made it into the final product. Sadly few of them are as pretty as Sunny's slip, which makes Frozen Scream a bad movie, right on down to its non-surprising, but certainly twisted surprise twist ending. It's understandable why it's this bad, sure, and I'm positive the cast and crew did their best, but folks, this one is Manos The Hands of Fate bad! And for the same reasons. I sympathize, kids, I do (especially with you, Sunny), but Frozen Scream gets a Zombie Dogsicle! Medical science, strange rituals and futuristic cryogenics can't resurrect this one from the dead. Frozen Scream is yet another one for the Dog Pile! Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go look up local freezer banks or maybe local delicatessens. Frozen Yogurt, Frozen Steak, Frozen Pizza, Frozen Coke and Frozen Dick Cavett all seem to be making killings around here... maybe we could make a mint by selling some FROZEN SCREAM! Frank, Renee, how'd you guys do? How'd that work out for you? Hmm?



It's an Emotional Thing.
I have no emotion for this movie... that's the thing!
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Frozen Scream (1975) reviewed by J.C. Mašek III
Who is solely responsible for his reviews...
And for the fact that some of the Freezing Scenes
reminded him of College Dating.
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