This SHITs for Reels – Chilly Edition

Mike Sargent, staff

Charles Bronson saves a loser dog from its killer owner, so the owner’s gang initiates and loses a gunfight with Bronson. Subsequently Bronson becomes the quarry in a Death Hunt (1981) through the frozen north, pursued by bounty hunters and Canadian Mounted Lee Marvin.

Three days from anywhere is a Gold Rush (1925), where Charlie Chaplin tramps slapstick through the snowy wastes of Alaska living off boiled boot. He’s hoping to strike it rich before eaten by bear, killed by wanted men, or lost in blizzards, avalanches, hallucinations, and romance.

The government, looking for reasons to kill Alaskan wolves, sends a scientist to prove wolves are killing caribou. He moves in with a wolf family and becomes a gourmet mouse chef to see if large mammals can live off them. Yes. He decides to Never Cry Wolf (1983), but everyone knows wolf fur is luxurious…

The final humans on earth LARP a board game called Quintet (1979) to the death in this interestingly-shot post-ice age. People live in multi-layered futuristic communities where dogs roam the frozen wasteland waiting for a human dinner.

The Polaris Mining Company thaws a surviving 40,000-year-old Iceman (1984), placing him in a large enclosed habitat for study. After excitedly fermenting berries, Iceman stumbles across the 20th century (and horse tranquilizer, hell yeah!), so a scientist coaxes him down from his world-shattering culture shock while crushing his prehistoric religion.

Father Frost (1964) brings snow in his magic sled and battles a witch living in a walking house, while a mushroom wizard turns an uppity vain adventurer into a manbear to learn humility and frighten lady mushroom hunters in this convoluted Russian fantasy.

I turned up the thermostat for The Day The Earth Froze (1959), a Finnish fantasy climate changing tale. A wicked witch steals light from heaven to create a powerful object. She kidnaps a princess and tasks her rescuers with plowing a field of snakes. Then she steals the sun and with her global warming-denying wizards unleashes snowy blizzards onto the world.

A dirigible expedition finds trouble in a community of Viking descendants on The Island At The Top of The World (1974). The vintage Scandinavians guard a volcanic gateway to a whale graveyard full of ambergris and hungry killer whales, all with the typical Disney flair for racism and exciting adventure.

With snappy dialog, North Pole research station personnel accidentally blow up a frozen flying saucer and find The Thing From Another World (1951), which awakens as a seed-bearing super-intelligent plant alien that feeds on human blood and attempts to harvest humans for its baby garden monsters.

The Thing (1982), also based on Who Goes There? (1939) by John W. Campbell, Jr., stays closer to the storyline while acting as a sequel to the 1951 Thing with John Carpenter-advanced special effects. The alien escapes from the original camp as a dog followed by a survivor stumbling upon a camp of half-drunk personnel who think they’re under attack, kill the shooter and happily invite a bloodthirsty alien into camp, with super intelligent shape-changing horror and a killer Ennio Morricone soundtrack.  

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