Written by / 3/17/2016 / No comments / , , , , ,

FORGOTTEN CAMP OF SKI PATROL

Sean Sullivan as Suicide, one of the worst characters in one of the worst motion pictures of all time, SKI PATROL
There are several big directors that, no matter how many hit movies they come out with, right now or actually, very soon, in the comedy department, like it nor not, with the female sequel of GHOSTBUSTERS already in the can (starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig), the man of the future hour is Paul Feig: And mind you, this new GB is not a reboot, which would start everything over without any trace of a predecessor. Bill Murray, who originally starred as sarcastic, grounding fan-favorite Dr. Peter Venkman, wanted nothing to do with another sequel for decades, desperately prompted by fellow GHOSTBUSTERS, co-writers Harold Ramis, who scribed MEATBALLS and directed Murray in CADDYSHACK and GROUNDHOG DAY, and his SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE alumni Dan Aykroyd...

Paul Fieg in SKI PATROL
Of the three mentioned, the two living actors, Murray and Aykroyd, probably appear as their characters, so the new GHOSTBUSTERS, using that very name, like VACATION (with Ed Helms) did while leaving out NATIONAL LAMPOON'S, is, for the simple fact that Murray's Venkman and Aykroyd's Ray are, in fact, returning, a bonafide sequel (unless they're nameless cameos?!?). And what's funny is, people were shocked that Murray so quickly leaped onto the project; but for a guy who wanted the franchise swept under the carpet since after the horrendous sequel, GHOSTBUSTERS 2, in 1989, it makes complete sense... heck, he'll probably even buy the farm like Han Solo to really be laid to rest and forgotten altogether... and he does have a son, who was once possessed, kinda.

GHOSTBUSTERS Sequel
But back to Paul Feig, the man behind surprisingly decent films like SPY and BRIDESMAIDS, he was a main character in what's one of the worst comedy vehicles ever made, SKI PATROL, centering on an eclectic group of low-rent oddball employees of a Ski Resort who, living in a party quarters, ANIMAL HOUSE style, are trying to save their "home" from the powers that be in the usually-nefarious or at least, not very likable Martin Mull, who wants a super nice old fella (and everyone's favorite martian) Ray Walston to sell so Mull can develop some kind of condominium land and, all the usual stuff.

The main poster with Roger Rose
The cast is led by an actor you don't see much of, and if PATROL has anything to do with that, it makes complete sense. Roger Rose is the failed attempt to channel Tim Matheson's Otter (the true hero of ANIMAL HOUSE), or a hybrid of POLICE ACADEMY stars Steve Guttenberg with his failed replacement, Matt McCoy (seeming way more the latter). With constant one-liners and perpetually flirting with the ladies and without a funny bone in his body, Roger finally falls for Walton's niece and, along with his band of useful idiot friends... including future big hit director Feig as a sort of low rent Jim Carrey before there was a famous Jim Carrey, spending much of his screen-time in drag, even as Tina Turner... there are attempts to be funny at every twist and turn, and very few lines or situations actually work.

TK in not much COMFORT
T.K. Carter has sort of been lost in the horror genre canon since he wound-up a super nice fella on children's TV shows and bad comedies. But hell, for nostalgia's sake, the guy was killed off, off screen in John Carpenter's arguably best feature, THE THING, and gets massacred worse than anyone else, right up front, in Walter Hill's body count (and arguably best) action classic SOUTHERN COMFORT. And here he's a smiling DJ with a giant "ghetto blaster" trying so hard to be Eddie Murphy that, at one point, he actually admits he's imitating Murphy imitating Ray Charles. Also on board is future Spanish standup/sitcom star George Lopez, constantly doing an uninspired Rodney Dangerfield impression, while the second worst character (besides a near-midget house-head not even worth mentioning) is Sean Sullivan as a crazy ski bum named Suicide, living out of his RV and wearing a two-sided mask that, whatever direction he turns, is either happy or sad, talking in either face that's shown, and he constantly (living up to his name) flies down the slopes at 100 miles per hour, or faster, providing some decent action sequences for genuine ski buffs.

A Foreign Poster
SKI PATROL holds firmly onto a decade that it's sadly, just-barely removed from; probably filmed in 1989 since it was released in 1990, and movies usually take about a year for post-production... Too bad they didn't rush to make this sooner, for it could have been the worst of its kind, closing the gloriously cheesy 1980's, a decade full of deliciously terrible comedies like this, centering on casual sex sans guilt; corporate raiders more evil than Nazis; perfect blonde bully dudes fighting "normal looking" square heroes (although Roger Rose looks like an anemic Roger Daltry from THE WHO while his character could be another handsome ski instructor, yet he  choses to be the King Geek instead); pretty girls with gobs of makeup and giant hairdos; and a desperate attempt for one character, who happens to be the GHOSTBUSTERS sequel director, wielding the most important plot-device in almost any 1980's sex comedy: to lose his virginity!

Feig as David Lee Roth's accountant
Instead, SKI PATROL, kickstarting the 1990's, when auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and a handful of others started making good movies again, popcorn filler late night crap was seen less and less in theaters. Five years later, SKI PATROL would have been, from the very onset, straight-to-DVD, where it really, always, truly belonged. And so, if you want to see one of the biggest directors today, making a complete ass of himself yesterday, check out SKI PATROL for that and that alone...

Feig & Carter
For you might not care about the guy otherwise. Unlike the era when directors were last names and almost as famous as the actors (Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Kubrick were named like high school football players while you rarely hear people saying, for example, Abrams, Bay, or, um... Feig); and it's forgotten that motion pictures are actually "made" at all: They just seem kinda, for better or worse, turned out nowadays, again and again; while the best stuff is found on cable originals. And the theatrical stuff, either bombs or blockbusters, are quickly ready for Blu Ray or TV Streaming. So it's nice going back to a spectacle like SKI PATROL, which was either the last extremely bad sex/sports comedy, or simply a forgotten "one of a kind" terrible classic that deserves a bigger cult following. Let's hope this review can help make that happen!

TK Carter
NORMAL REVIEW: *1/2
CAMP VALUE RATING: ***
PRETENTIOUS TRIVIA REPOSE: Twenty-five years ago, yours truly and a friend made yet another of many weekend trips to see a bad movie. The more mellow, usually reluctant friend, this time, made the call and said, without the usual "Hello" (this was pre cell phone days so you never knew who was calling, imagine that?) or "What's up, man?" but stated, simply, "Dude... 'Flakes on the Slopes'"! Which was the tagline of this movie, advertised in the newspaper, or perhaps a quote from a critic. Either way, SKI PATROL was one of the few movies that literally almost destroyed two young cinema-viewing bums who lived to enjoy bad movies. A Waterloo, of sorts. We bounced back, of course, and one created the very site you're reading. But truth be told, SKI PATROL was (and still is) so bad, it almost massacred the Cult Film Freak in his fetal stages (a let-down for those who write angry emails about being nothing but a wannabe hack who's not even a hack). So beware, PATROL can be downright lethal. Which probably (should) make it more of a temptation to experience: and what an experience it is! And for a pretty decent ski comedy, check out HOT DOG starring AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON actor, David Naughton, which makes SKI PATROL seem like THE GODFATHER.
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