Ski Patrol (1990)
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I finally found a copy at Goodwill and I bought it! Now I finally have a copy and wont have to keep renting it at the video store.
This movie was made in a more innocent time when people could make a movie without worrying if someone would complain about being politically incorrect. The same time when most of my favorite movies were made. For some who are concerned about this type of thing, there are times when they poke fun at characters for different things (for example one of them being bothered by being short) but it's more of good natured teasing than spiteful attacks.
One of the most memorable characters would have to be an individual by the name of suicide who has a few screws loose and does some outlandish things while trying to feel a rush.
I saw this movie for the first time when I was 19, and it's remained one of my favorites of all time. Not because it has in in depth and compelling story, because it doesn't. It was made during a time when a movie could be about next to nothing and still be good. For example, Breakfast Club was about 5 kids in detention. This movie is good, light hearted fun that I can watch again and again.
But it's wonderfully sill trash and everyone with a silly 90's sense of humor will enjoy it. It's not as funny as it should be, and they miss so many tricks that I think are obvious, but hey, it's all easy in hindsight I suppose.
I won't write too much here as it'll ruin my article!, but it really is worth a watch if you don't take things too seriously!
This movie is pure, silly, unironic fun - it's hard to find a movie like this these days. George Lopez is great in his first acting role - And everyone needs to see Paul Feig's MJ-inspired dance sequence. He tears it up! As well as his onstage performance with 'Iceman' to win the talent show and thus save the Ski Patrol from the evil young blond yuppie Lance and his devious developer boss. Intrigued? That's what I thought - Ski Patrol is the ultimate B-Comedy cult film, the genre that the DVD format was made for!! Let's see a release soon, eh? - taste death, live life!
The movie is an interesting study in failure, actually. There's some decent talent involved: Ray Walston out-classes everyone else in the film as "Pops", the owner of a ski resort that scurrilous Martin Mull tries to swindle away from him. Ubiquitous 80s "token black guy" actor T.K. Carter -- an effective presence in stuff like THE THING and SOUTHERN COMFORT -- puts on the Stepin Fetchit routine for a couple of musical numbers where he karaoke's along with a boom box system, aping black performers like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Little Richard ... One wonders if he was aware of the characiture he was manipulated into creating.
The oblique racist attitudes in the film continue with George Lopez doing a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation to amuse a young Latino tyke who doesn't get the joke until Lopez repeats it in Spanish. Then there is the family of vacationing Japanese tourists with their cameras who jabber excitedly to one another in their own language & snap pictures of the same things. There's also a "little person" ski patrol supervisor who's diminutive stature is the butt of several potentially cruel jokes. Perhaps one of the redeeming qualities of the film is that it's a repository of the innocently offensive pre-political correctness era. There's even a PETA baiting sequence where mice are somewhat callously handled on screen before being released en-masse to disrupt an awards banquet.
There were a couple of unintentionally funny moments like the bad guy "preppie" ski patrol members decked out in their intricately patterned fashion sweaters during a fireside discussion scene, as well as a climactic trashing of a giant wiener mobile on skis. I'm not sure they were meant to be funny but they provided the sole bright spots in the film, which to me looked like a colossal waste of talent, time, and money. The budget for the film was modest but could have been used to feed starving 3rd worlders or maybe build a school for disadvantaged American kids crowded into classrooms staffed by ineffectual teachers. Instead, someone bankrolled this movie, which quickly went out of print.
If you read the other comments posted here one theme is shared by those with a favorable opinion of the film, which is nostalgia. Most of them encountered the film as kids or as home video rental choices, which is really the only purpose I can see for the film even existing in the first place. Then again if the plug line "From the creator of POLICE ACADEMY" doesn't make you cringe with disdain there's probably nothing that could dissuade you from wasting your own time watching it. For the most part the movie is a harmless waste of time that probably won't win over any new converts and as an out-of-print video title unavailable on DVD still provides some curiosity value.
What's most curious, however, is the apparent enthusiasm that most of the cast displays while on-screen. Nobody behaves in a rational or realistic manner, everything is all gonzo, hyperactive and unreal, festooned with a sheen of late 1980s fashion sensibilities that make one wonder what the hell we were collectively thinking back then. SKI PATROL is thusly a repository of out of date ideas, fashions and values that hopefully won't ever be revisited by our culture, though it is always great to see Ray Walston owning some hotshot covered with spilled mustard.
Ski Patrol is the true cult classic for any 1980's skier who idolizes Glen Plake, the glory of the 215cm straight skis, and the power of Neon at its prime.
check it out at classic time video dot com;)
"Live life, taste death"
I was expecting something even remotely funny. Crude, but funny like Police Academy (made by the same folks). It had Ray Walston, a cute dog that farts and belches, a psycho named 'Suicide'(comparable to Bill Murray in Caddyshack), and an obnoxious, yet funny ski patrol supervisor.
The plot is simple: the "bad guys"--a land developer looking to take over the popular ski resort owned by the "good guys" uses his evildoer ski team to sabotage the resort so they'd flunk the safety inspection.
The movie has its funny moments at times. A few quick wit jokes here and there (and I do emphasize few). There's the running gag about the psychotic skier who tries all these downhill methods in order to "taste death while living life." And there's the short ski patrol supervisor who is convinced that he is getting taller (I liked pretty much any of the scenes with him in it as he may've been the only saving grace to the movie), and T.K. Carter was funny. But there's not enough going on with the plot. In fact, about 80% of the movie is just long scenes of downhill racing or downhill hijinks and of course, dancing (as it was made in the 1980s).
Unfortunately, the movie is not all that funny and not all the fun to watch, no matter how much of stupid comedy it is. And to top it off, the climax was just plain ridiculous.
***SPOILERS*** The short guy gets stuck on a mountain when he swerves his snowmobile to avoid a tree knocked over by 'Suicide'. He's left hanging on the mountain, and soon enough, so is the dog. Yep. Just dangling there, even when he moves around too much.
Martin Mull, the slimeball character, gets stuck in a hot dog snack stand which had broken loose from the platform and floated downhill and, what do you know, conveniently stops just before the end of the cliff. So Jerry, the glory boy of the ski patrol first ties a rope to the thin wired flag (like an antennea on your car hood) first and then hangs on to the rope before tying it to a wimpy tree. All this, while Mull is moving around enough that the damn hot dog stand would have fallen over. I'm not saying they had to be so realistic, but at least pay attention to detail. And the final scene is a chase where somehow, Jerry manages to hog tie the ski team leader that sabotaged them without ever having to make any sort of knot. The rest of the film may not have been so bad, but the ending is just plain horrible.
Could the sequel be better?
The first of course is, "It's a Mad, Mad, World".
This comedy is not stop hilarious. It's even more funny if you've actually been skiing. My favorite character is the guy with, "rocket skis".
If you like the movie, "Airplane" or, "Animal House" you will also like Ski Patrol.
It's sort of the good guys versus bad guys done in a very comical and wintry way.
Everything about this movie is over the top. I highly recommend it. It's great having this movie in my Blu-ray collection.