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Ski Patrol (1990) [MVD Rewind Collection Blu-ray review]

Among the wacky niche comedies proliferating in the late 1980s and ‘90s direct-to-video market, “Ski Patrol” carved out a surprisingly enduring legacy. Centered on the misfit heroes who keep a resort safe, this low-budget romp blended “Police Academy”-style antics with extreme skiing stunts and lampoons of action movie tropes.

While no one will mistake “Ski Patrol” as high art, its anarchic slopeside humor and ensemble chemistry make it ripe for nostalgic revisiting. Now with its recent Blu-ray release from MVD Rewind Collection, this cult curio can be re-appraised as vintage escapist entertainment.

Ski Patrol (1990) [MVD Rewind Collection Blu-ray review] 1

Ski Patrol – An Affectionate Spoof of Genre Conventions

As the title suggests, “Ski Patrol” parodies conventions of cop thrillers, war movies and spy films, transplanting familiar tropes onto the snow-covered peaks of a struggling ski resort. When a wealthy businessman plots to sabotage operations so he can take over the mountain, it’s up to the offbeat patrol squad to save the slopes.

Director Richard Correll and writer Jim Drake craft a featherweight story riffing on various genres. The squad’s infiltration of a high-tech villian’s lair nods to Bond. Over-the-top avalanche sequences mock disaster movie cliches. Campy use of slow motion and face-offs lampoon action aesthetics.

While ensuing hilarity will not suit all tastes, a playful spirit pervades. The spoof retains an innocent appeal harkening back to goofier ‘80s comedies.

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A Charismatic Comic Ensemble

An enjoyable cast further elevates the material. As squad leader Pipsqueak, George Lopez exhibits crackerjack comic timing years before fame arrived. His sarcastic authority plays well off goofier squadmates like nice guy Rex (Tate Donovan) and wildcard Lance (Marshall Bell).

Leslie Jordan’s bxuberant performance as resort owner/madam Big Earl also stands out. His enthusiasm propels scenes, especially when paired with stuffy businessman Wild Bill portrayed by veteran character actor Ray Walston.

As Patti, girlfriend of squad rebel Buzz, Wendy Jo Sperber provides a charming love interest. While underwritten, the characters boast enough camaraderie and chemistry to carry the lightweight plot.

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Genuinely Thrilling Stunt Sequences

Beyond spoofing cliches, “Ski Patrol” also works in genuinely impressive aerial skiing and snowmobile stunts. With professional skiers featured throughout, the film captures the adrenaline of racing down fresh powder and catching big air.

Early highlight scenes follow Lance as he skis off-trail through rugged terrain, soaring off a cliff to parachute safely down. Though played for humor, the sequence displays incredible skill.

Even on a shoestring budget, Correll wisely emphasized practical effects over slapdash CGI. While crafting large-scale avalanches was likely cost-prohibitive, the action we do get remains authentic and involving.

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Ski Patrol – A Time Capsule of 90s Ski Culture

As much as the stunts, “Ski Patrol” offers nostalgic appeal through its evocation of early 1990s ski culture. The bright, puffy jackets, California surfer attitude, and scenes set in cozy lodges conjure up the era wonderfully.

The resort town itself feels plucked from the decade, with its vibrant blues, pinks, and purples amid log cabins. For millenials who grew up during the neon and nylon-clad extreme sports boom, the production design makes for an entertaining time warp.

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Now Available in HD for Nostalgic Fans

Thanks to the new Blu-ray edition from MVD Rewind Collection, “Ski Patrol” can be revisited in good-looking HD, so the vibrancy and comic energy shine through. The winter scenery dazzles, and the stunt work impresses all the more in sharper definition.

For fans that recall catching “Ski Patrol” on VHS or cable back in the day, this restored version will tickle their nostalgia sweet spot. The interview featurette with Correll also provides amusing insights on how this DIY comedy came together.

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A Cult Favorite That Still Delivers Escapist Fun on Blu-ray

While unlikely to ever be listed among cinema’s greatest comedies, “Ski Patrol” nonetheless carries goofy, irreverent appeal that plays directly to its genre parody strengths. The cast commits fully to the outlandish scripts, covering any narrative potholes with affable energy.

Sometimes all that’s needed for 90 minutes of entertainment is a resort overrun with slapstick, wacky characters, and plenty of downhll action – exactly what this slopeside romp delivers. Three decades later, its lightweight charms endure as a beloved cult oddity worth revisiting.

The Ski Patrol Blu-ray comes with the movie presented in its correct aspect ratio. Plus, you get the theatrical trailer and reversible artwork. I’m not that big of a fan of that trend, but it’s not like I was expecting a commentary with this movie. Pick it up if you’re a fan.

Ski Patrol is now available from MVD Rewind Collection

Our Summary

Ski Patrol (1990) [MVD Rewind Collection Blu-ray review]

Troy finally tackles Ski Patrol. He forgot how much the It's Always Sunny episode borrowed from it.
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About The Author

Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.

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