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18 Movies like Out Cold: Shenanigans on the Slopes

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Jonny_Sweet_itcher_contributorSki season often involves spending all day on the slopes and all night at the bar, usually to watch a bunch of B-list actors do exactly that on the silver screen. In the spirit of the season, why not check out ‘Ski School’, ‘Hot Dog… the Movie’ or any of these other silly but hysterical movies like ‘Out Cold’. ~ Jonny Sweet

Going Off-Piste

Let’s be honest: ‘Out Cold’ is not a brilliant movie. There’s a reason why it didn’t get nominated for any Academy Awards; there’s a reason why it earned a pathetic 8% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. In culinary terms, ‘Out Cold’ is the McDonalds of the movie world. Cheap, mindless, and requiring little in terms of digestion.

That’s not to say there’s not a time and place for McDonalds. Hungover afternoons, for example, are crying out for junk food both for the body and the mind – and that’s where films like ‘Out Cold’ come into their own. Of course, the film itself was intended as a send-up of a string of 90s ski movies, though in the end, it didn’t really rise above them as intended but rather swelled their ranks.

Many of these 90s efforts were fairly terrible, even by the mindless B-movie standards they belong to. Titles such as ‘The Movie Out Here’ and ‘Snowboard Academy’ are really only worth a look if you’re a massive snowboarding fan or have a morbid fascination with charting the petering-out of Corey Haim’s once-promising career. ‘Copper Mountain’ is equally cringe-worthy as an early feature appearance that Jim Carrey would probably rather forget, while ‘Aspen Extreme’ sucks all the fun out of ski movies in its attempt to be higher-brow-than-thou.

That’s not to say ‘Out Cold’ is alone in the realm of silly ski movies with redeeming features – for more childish tomfoolery on the slopes, check out this handy little list below.

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Movies Similar to ‘Out Cold’…

‘Ski Patrol’ (Richard Correll, 1990)

A bunch of incompetents who excel at skiing and not much else? Check. Evil land developer looking to spoil their fun by sabotaging the resort they know and love? Check.

This good-natured and endearingly naïve comedy from the early 90s is a perfect precursor to ‘Out Cold’ in many ways, though not quite so self-aware in terms of its humorous content.

Similarity Match: 85%
‘Out Cold’ follows a similar plot to ‘Ski Patrol’ – but whereas the latter was made by the producers of ‘Police Academy’, the former is closer to ‘Super Troopers’.

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‘Ski School’ (Damian Lee, 1991)

If watching the early introduction of Zach Galifianakis to a mainstream audience and the various pranks played on him (the car-spin awakening was a personal favourite) was your highlight of ‘Out Cold’, you’ll surely love ‘Ski School’.

The main impetus and humour of the film is derived from watching a war on the slopes between straight-laced, well-heeled stiffs, and the irreverent drunkards who play pranks on them.

Similarity Match: 75%
As in ‘Out Cold’, ‘Ski School’ showcases what happens when a bunch of drunken louts go up against the might of the US dollar – but here the rival factions work at the same resort.

***
‘Hot Dog… The Movie’ (Peter Markle, 1984)

Considered by many to be the original ski comedy, this early 80s flick combines a powerhouse of a cheesy soundtrack with more stereotypical characters than you can shake a ski pole at, and a formulaic good vs evil story.

Here, the kid from the sticks comes to California to prove his mettle against the dastardly Austrian pro skier intent on spoiling his fun.

Similarity Match: 65%
As with pretty much all ski movies like ‘Out Cold’, alcohol, scantily-clad women and some impressive scenes on the slopes feature heavily in ‘Hot Dog… The Movie’ – but that’s where the similarities end in terms of storyline.

***
‘Better Off Dead’ (Savage Steve Holland, 1985)

John Cusack pops up here at the height of his rom-com reign, playing the jilted lover who takes up skiing in an effort to win back his girlfriend from the captain of the ski team (who stole her, obviously).

Although it’s goofier than other Cusack chick flicks of the era, it unmistakably errs on the side of romance – the only thing that’s missing is a giant boombox in the snow.

Similarity Match: 60%
Both ‘Better Off Dead’ and ‘Out Cold’ are hare-brained ski capers involving the protagonist’s feelings for a girl, but the former falls more into rom-com territory than the latter.

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If You Like ‘Out Cold’, You Will Like…

Of course, as quite a niche sport, silly comedies about skiing only make up an infinitesimal fraction of the vast quantities of B-movie fodder out there.

To enumerate the entire list of puerile films of this ilk would take all week, so I’ve limited my next choices to four more movies that deal with lesser-practiced sports and bring them into the realm of toilet humour and lowest-common-denominator cinema. Enjoy!

‘Blades of Glory’ (Will Speck & Josh Gordon, 2007)

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder are sworn enemies since they ruined each other’s ice skating careers after an escalating squabble during the World Winter Sport Games. But they soon find that the only way they can continue to practice the sport they love is by teaming up. Yikes!

Substitute the snow-bound mischief of ‘Out Cold’ for antics on the ice and you’ve got ‘Blades of Glory’.

***
‘Talladega Nights’ (Adam McKay, 2006)

As with any Will Ferrell film (including the relatively straight ‘Stranger than Fiction’, you can kiss goodbye to realism and check your disbelief at the door. Here, a rookie NASCAR driver quickly rises up the ranks to stardom before losing it all in acrimony with his best friend… and then winning some of it back again.

Though ‘Out Cold’ can get fairly ridiculous at times, it looks positively level-headed in its plotlines when compared with the outrageousness of fellow sports comedy ‘Talladega Nights’.

***
‘Kingpin’ (Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly, 1996)

Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray – need I say more? This comedic dream team star as rival bowlers, with Murray costing Harrelson his hand in a hustle that went awry 15 years ago. In the present day, Harrelson takes advantage of an Amish bowling prodigy to try and gain revenge on his old nemesis.

As in ‘Out Cold’, the protagonist in ‘Kingpin’ has his sporting scruples compromised and his head turned by the promise of big bucks… before predictably seeing the light and mending his ways in the end.

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‘Old School’ (Todd Phillips, 2003)

Okay, this hysterical romp about a group of aging friends go back to college (but without the inconvenience of actually studying anything) in order to keep their houses, isn’t centred on an obscure or lesser-known sport, unless you count frat antics as a legitimate pastime. Either way, it makes for side-splitting cinema.

Though not really a sports film like ‘Out Cold’, ‘Old School’ combines many similar elements of camaraderie, drunkenness and sticking-it-to-the-man in its outlandish and hilarious plot.

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More Fast Food Film Fodder

Of course, this collection of inane comedies is a drop in the ocean when compared to the vast amounts of juvenile humour out there – one only needs to look at Adam Sandler’s entire career to recognise that. Aside from the movies named above, some other stupid but funny films which spring to mind when considering ‘Out Cold’ include:

  • ‘National Lampoon’s Van Wilder’ (Walt Becker, 2002)
  • ‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo’ (Mike Mitchell, 1999)
  • ‘Road Trip’ (Todd Phillips, 2000)
  • ‘Corky Romano’ (Rob Pritts, 2001)
  • ‘Orange County’ (Jake Kasdan, 2002)
  • ‘Sex Drive’ (Sean Anders, 2008)
  • ‘Pineapple Express’ (David Gordon Green, 2008)
  • ‘Dumb and Dumber’ (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly, 1994)
  • ‘There’s Something About Mary’ (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly, 1998)
  • ‘Meet the Parents’ (Jay Roach, 2000)

As mentioned, even this extended list barely scratches the surface of the slurry of shit-but-still-quite-a-guilty-pleasure type of movies out there – they’re just a mere condensed catalogue of some of my favourites.

What are yours?
 
Drop them in the comments section below.
I′m Jonny, an English Literature graduate who decided careers and mortgages were too mundane, and travelling, film, music and books were much more enticing. I have recently made a very comfortable nest for myself in Santiago de Chile, and on itcher Mag where I regularly contribute eloquent waffle on all manner of media.
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