Friday, September 4, 2015

The Chill Factor - Demonic Slasher on Ice

The Chill Factor
D: Christopher Webster
W: Julian Weaver

S: Dawn Laurrie, Aaron Kjenaas, Connie Snyder
Rated R - Approx 93 Minutes

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the slopes.....

Alternate Titles:
Demon Possessed

"Stop whining you stupid girl, we have to get Tom to a hospital!"

It's late on a Thursday night.  The Mrs is in bed and I'm already in a few cocktails on my way to feeling pretty nice.  Sure, I could pop in a Night Flight disc and lose myself in a sea of ancient and obscure music videos but instead I'm feeling the urge to watch some ancient and obscure horror flicks.  And so, I delve down the Amazon Instant Video rabbit hole.....down past the usual suspects (World War Z, Leprechaun, etc) and down to the bottom of the digital barrel.  The place you can only reach by clicking the "Customers Also Watched" section.   Seriously.  How did they also watch these flicks?  They pop up NOWHERE else!  It's quite amazing, really.

That;s where this film lives.  This time up we're taking a look at a little supernatural slasher gem called The Chill Factor.  Apparently it's also known as the more blasé title Demon Possessed, which I think is an absolute crap title.  I mean, The Chill Factor is such a flavorful yet ambiguous title.  Is it referring to actual temperature or frightful chills?  An intriguing question!  If you were watching under the Demon Possessed moniker, you would pretty much know what you were getting (though not really, but kinda sorta in this case...we'll talk about that in a bit.).

See, there's a group of friends who go on a snowmobile trip up north.  While they are enjoying a meal and some brewskies, two of the fellas get into an argument about who's snowmobile is faster.  You know, real meaningful stuff.  They ask the waitress, who gets shit done (according to her hat), where they would be able to find some wide open land to race their machines and definitively determine who's the king of superfluous seasonal vehicles.  They're told about Black Friar Lake (which apparently the locals have shortened to just Black Lake) which sounds like a perfect place to race crotch rockets attached to skis!

I know that this is going to come as a shock to you, but one of the lads is injured during their race.  He hits a rather nasty snow mound and catapults himself into a tree, sustaining some considerable injury.   Being that the group is something like 30 miles from town, the seek shelter at an old summer camp.  After assessing their friend, one of them decides to go back to town to get help.  The others stay behind to watch over their wounded friend.  This is where they find the dumbest looking Ouija Board I've ever seen.  They decide to use it to "kill time" and end up summoning up a demon that possesses their unconscious friend. 

So now this guys laying on a bench in front of a fire and he miraculously wakes up.  Everyone's all super excited.  Of course they don't pick up on the fact that he's acting strange.  This is where the film becomes a slasher as the possessed guy kills off his friends.  Well, sort of.  He actually just lays there all bandaged up on the bench while stuff happens to his friends, but it's insinuated that he's the cause when the camera pans to a close-up of him with a goofy evil smirk on his face.  Though we do see the shadow of a robed figure with long, bony fingers with sharp fingernails stalking the victims.  I'll go more into the various killings when I run the tally at the end of the review.

I was rather surprised by this film.  I went into this expecting bottom of the barrel production values, bad acting and laughable effects.  I pretty much got what I was expecting, but I wasn't counting of the fact that it was all going to coalesce into a charming, quirky trashterpiece that will definitely become a staple in my winter horror flick rotation.  The music is a cross between an After School TV Special and someone rocking out on their Casio keyboard in the basement.  The wonky dialog is accentuated by the hilariously terrible acting (see the quote that begins this review).  The cinematography is pretty straightforward but there are a few nice shots once the gang is in the camp.

There's a decent amount of blood in this one, yet it still manages to be tame.  For your money you get a snowmobile accident resulting in a bloody face and severely lacerated hand.  A guy on a snowmobile catching a face full of barbed wire, a strangulation, an icicle through the eye and  a few more kills to boot.

There's a little skin on display here too!  Not a ton, but we do get to see two different girls in their bra & panties, some side boob and a brief flash of nipple.  Hey, it's better than nothing, right?


Well, there's the shadowy figure that I'm guessing is the demon that is doing the possessing.  There's also the guy who gets possessed. 

Final Thoughts
This would make a great winter afternoon flick.  Especially if you ran it as a double feature with They (aka. Invasion From Inner Earth).  Picture it:  The afternoon sun is hanging lazily in the sky casting it's golden light on the white snow while prisms of light dance on the wall courtesy of the icicles hanging outside your window.  There's some chili that's been simmering on the stove all afternoon and a nice warm fire in the fireplace.  You are snuggled up next to your significant other (or favorite pet....I don't judge) on the couch....all while a chilly doubly shot of questionable horror plays across your television screen.  If that isn't a slice on Heaven on Earth, I don't know what is!

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