Last Watch Date – October 6, 2022
Total Times Watched – Innumerable. SO MANY.
I’m going to put some SPOILERS in this one, so if you don’t want to know what happens in this amazing movie, I’d recommend watching it first.
Ah, Ski Patrol. A classic from my childhood. I watched this ALL THE TIME in the early 90s before going skiing. Scratch that, I watched this ALL THE TIME in the 90s and early 00s before going skiing (or just when I was bored). This movie has a bunch of plots that all interact and weave together to make the main story. You have Pops vs Maris, Kramer trying to bed Ellen, Stanley trying to make the Patrol, and Taste Death Live Life. Each story is entertaining on its own, but together they make the best ski comedy ever.
The cast in this movie is fantastic aside from maybe Tess as the Austrian Ski Patrol Exchange person. I give her a break for being foreign, but man her acting is bad. I know, she’s supposed to be the “hot” item to look at but she’s not really. Pops is the highlight of this movie. This guy was 75 during filming and though he definitely looked 75, he had a spring in his step and a believability to his acting that really made you feel for him (again, this is a comedy so it’s not high drama). Kramer was also great as the lead ski patrol. I appreciate the little pranks he plays on Murray (ski director) and that he really cares about his fellow ski patrol folks. But I also appreciate the way he and Lance play off each other. Maris is great as the sleazy millionaire trying to take over the mountain. Plus you get a young George Lopez (who they make fun of throughout). Suicide is really good as the quirky multiple personality snowboarder who causes havoc all around the mountain.
There’s nothing special about this plot. You’ve heard basically the same one for decades: bad man wants to take over a business, but the owner doesn’t want to sell. So they sabotage things and weasel their way into a sale. BUT WAIT! Something saves it at the end! I do like the way this one unfolds. Rather than some goofy race for the mountain, the ski patrol figures it out and needs to get Maris to confess. Kramer does get Ellen, their sexual tension is obvious the whole time. Stanley makes patrol after some clever life-saving tactics! And Suicide gets to ride his rocket skis!
This is a slapsticky kind of movie, but it does have good action and skiing scenes. There are some really good sequences between Kramer and Lance, but also following Suicide on his various treks down the mountain. Shoot, there’s even a snowmobile chase that’s done pretty well. The soundtrack behind these scenes is a rockin’ late 80s, early 90s hard rock that fits the energy of the scenes really well. They hired great ski doubles for this stuff. There are the occasional clear fast-forwarded footage that’s a bit jerky and clunky, but it’s short enough that it doesn’t make much of a difference.
So uh, yeah, this movie is awesome. I love it and will always watch it when it’s on (or when I think of it). I’ll always recommend this to people. It’s corny and slap sticky, the plot is silly, but it’s great.