Blu-ray Review: The Chill Factor (1993)

July 10, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

The Chill Factor kicks off as every great horror film should; with about eight hours of voice over exposition from an old lady (Barbara Claman doing her best Eileen Brennan) followed by people assing around on snowmobiles.

Speaking of those sleds, they are piloted by our heroes; a gaggle of friends looking for some new snowmobile adventures…as are we all, amirite? At the local watering hole they learn of a nearby frozen lake they can try their hand at…this of course goes all fucky, and one of the goofs suffers a horrendous accident, forcing the group to seek shelter at a nearby abandoned camp.

Once there they pass the time by using an insanely evil looking spirit board (it has an eyeball glued right onto the mother fucker…why would you even mess with that nasty shit?), having sex sessions that last exhausting seconds in length, and discovering the dark history of that demonic domicile…a history that’s about to intrude into their reality with deadly consequences!

The Chill Factor absolutely should not work; the story is nothing new, the acting is iffy at best (and not helped by ultra-fart ADR), the dialog is pure fondue, the narration is clunky as all-piss…but as is the way with many of our most beloved B-pics in the ol’ horror biz some arcane spell was cast, and what would hinder many a film instead becomes primo entertainment value here. Why is that? Because of that lil’ thing I always bring up…heart!

The folks that made this film didn’t sweat every little detail…or most details…perhaps no details…but they definitely had a love for spookshow fun, and they put whatever they could into it one hundred percent, and that comes across on the screen for sure.

Now don’t get me wrong; this fright flick does have some strong elements going for it including; great snowy vistas, some gorgeous lighting here and there, impressive snowmobile sequences, and rad gore and make-up…so in the end it has it where it counts!

I do have to point out one solid gold moment in this thing; the sequence when some hapless boob runs over a dude in a trail groomer (slowly); this fucker’s face is priceless as he does the deed…look for it and enjoy the splitting of your sides to the nth degree!

As for extras on this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video, there are some solid features including: a brand new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley (this is a really fun listen and sheds a ton of light on how this insanity came to be…and continues the tales of Wisconsin’s Windsor Lake Studios from Arrow’s previous release of Trapped Alive), interviews with production manager Alexandra Reed, stunt coordinator Gary Paul, special make-up effects artist Jeffrey Lyle Segal, Carlson, a VHS-sourced workprint of the film, a still gallery, and the film’s trailer from it’s home video release (which used the picture’s alternate title Demon Possessed…and literally shows you every plot point of the film and spoils everything).

Ridiculous, gory, and full of all the cheese in Wisconsin; The Chill Factor will surely satisfy your craving for low-budget fright flick insanity…plus snowmobile assfoolery!



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