#27. Jack Frost

27. Jack Frost (1965) - Season 8, episode 813
"The movie that dares to ask the question... Will he find the dwarf?"

Plot:  A guy turns into a bear and has to outwit a mushroom to rescue a young peasant girl.
Famous for:  Being maybe the weirdest movie MST3k has ever covered

"So the first plot point involves knitting socks? I think we're in for quite a ride, guys."

My favorite riff: The most famous riff in this episode is when Nastenka's boyfriend Ivan turns into a bear.

Which gives us
this iconic MST3k line...

Although I have to say, there's one riff in Jack Frost that I love even more than the gay/bear one.

Any time you can take a Russian fairytale, and you can turn it into a Janet Jackson song... I mean, you will always have my undying love and respect.

Nastenka: Well, my name is Nastya.
Ivan: Nastya?
Tom Servo: Miss Jackson, if you're nasty.

Comments:  Jack Frost is one of the weirdest movies that MST3k has ever riffed, and it almost always shows up on people's lists of their favorite episodes. It has been a beloved fan favorite now for more than twenty-five years. And for good reason, too. This episode is hilarious.

Ivan: Darling, will you marry me?
Tom Servo: Um, I'm nine.

And look, I love Jack Frost as much as anyone else. It's one of those episodes that I can put on any day of the week, and it will always make me laugh. Even if I know the jokes that are coming, it will STILL make me laugh. It's just one of those episodes.

"You just got yourself a big sledload of whoopass, Frost."

But at the same time, you'll also notice something strange about the place that I ranked it.

One of the things you might have noticed in this writeup is that even though I say (correctly) that Jack Frost is one of the most beloved MST3k episodes of all time, and that (once again, correctly) it's nearly flawless, you may have noticed that I have it ranked down here, at number twenty-seven. And not up where most people would rank it, in the top ten. And you might find yourself wondering why. I mean, if an episode is this hilarious, and this popular, and this flawless, shouldn't it be ranked at least in my top twenty-five?

Well sadly no, it shouldn't be. And I'll tell you why.

The reason I don't put Jack Frost in my top ten is because I think the movie is just a little too weird for its own good. Like, for example, my wife can't stand this episode. It's one of the rare MST3k episodes that she refuses to watch, because she finds it too cartoony, and just way too weird. And to be honest, I can see her point. It IS weird. I mean, name another movie where the main hero turns into a bear, has to outwit a mushroom, does battle with a house, and then undoes the forces of winter to save the life of a nine year old.

Unless Nicolas Cage stars in that movie, that's gonna be kind of a tough sell.

"You know, if "Disappearing Elf Hide and Seek" were in the Olympics, Finland would be in great shape."

That being said, I love this episode. And I am more than happy to put it in my top thirty because it's fun little movie to watch, and because some of the riffs are just killer. I mean, seriously, the first ten minutes of Jack Frost are funnier than most entire MST3k EPISODES.

No, I wouldn't put it as my number one episode overall (as Mighty Jack does on his page Mighty Jack's MST3k Reviews), but it's still one of my favorites. And you know, it's amazing they found a Russian fairytale that actually manages to outweird "The Magical Voyage of Sinbad."

That's a tall order to ask of anyone, but by golly they did it.

"So, the premise of this movie is that everyone is just nuttier than all get out."

Trivia: I wasn't aware of this until my friend Sarah pointed it out to me the other day, but this movie isn't really "Russo-Finnish" like MST3k always claims it is. It's really just a straight-up Russian fairytale.  

The only "Russo-Finnish" movie they ever covered on Mystery Science Theater was The Day the Earth Froze. Both Jack Frost and The Magic Voyage of Sinbad (which you'll see real soon, it's the next entry) are one hundred percent Russian. Of course, all three movies are hilarious, and all three are goofy as shit, so I can see why one would want to lump them all together.

Also, I should point out that, despite the fact that they play Jack Frost for laughs on MST3k, it's actually a highly beloved Russian children's movie. 
It even won the award for Best Children's Picture at the 1965 Venice International Film Festival. 
It's also apparently a tradition in the Czech Republic for it to be aired on TV every year around Christmas. Heck, Steven Spielberg (of all people) once called it "the forerunner of many Hollywood blockbusters."  

So when you watch this episode, keep in mind you're watching a movie that a lot of people have really loved over the years. Yeah, it's goofy. But remember, when it first came out, it was considered a masterpiece. Some people STILL consider it a masterpiece.

Of course, most of those people are either gay or a bear.

 "The world's thrown into chaos, earthquakes, fires, but that's fine... you knit your sock."

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