Some Of My Favorite Fiction Ski Films -- Ski Rex Says...

It's turning out to be a beautiful spring day outside here at the HQ. The issue with that is that it's December 1st. Now, I know it isn't officially winter, but with snow in the hills and in other parts of the country, it would be nice to see a little bit in my part of Vermont, as well.

While a spring day of skiing or riding would be fine in the spring, it's kind of a bummer when it comes to the beginning of December. This autumn has been kind of strange, as far as the weather goes. Though the skiing and snowboarding season has begun here, one can't just look out the window and see it. That could put a small damper on the stoke level.

How would I suggest keeping that level up? Well, I would do what I've always done. A little something that has worked for me, though I came across it quite by accident when I was a kid. A tween, actually. You see, as much as some folks don't wanna hear it, there is more to me than snow sports. I do have other interests, which in this case are film and movies.

We all have our favorites, both fiction and nonfiction, that get us all antsy for getting out on the hill, even during the offseason, if you have an offseason.  Who doesn't get in the mood or the spirit of things when popping in a Warren Miller or a Level 1, or Nimbus Independent film? Though I have my favorites from those production houses, we aren't talking about that right now.

This time we're talking about the ones that not only give us the chance to salivate a little bit over snow-covered film locations and see some amazing skiing and snowboarding, but we get to see the love story, or the comedy, or even suspense, horror, or action film, too. These films cover all of the bases, from getting one hyped for winter, to making a person laugh or cry.

So, here are some of my favorites when it comes to fiction snow sports films. All of these feature skiing, snowboarding, or both and are mostly comedies. Though there is one action film that I can't get enough of for a couple of reasons, mostly because it was filmed and takes place at Killington, VT. So, let's take a look. 

Better Off Dead
A classic film that some would consider a breakout role for John Cusack, though it turns out that he actually had no love for this movie, at all. In fact, it would be fairly accurate to say that he hated it, at least, if you believe the stories that have come out about it over the years. In any case, skiing is at the core of this film, with some wonderful ski race action sequences, as well as a ski-bike scene, which I'm sure most of you remember. Now that I think about it, this film is so popular that I really don't have to get into the plot. But, with some great ski scenes, filmed in Utah, by the way, and messages about standing up to bullies and how to get the right girl, this truly is a go-to film for me when I want to see some snow and have a laugh.

Out Cold
Another film that makes me laugh is Out Cold. A comedic look at life in a ski town in Alaska that is beloved by the locals that live and work at the mountain. All heck breaks loose, however, when an elitist ski corporation comes to buy up the mountain and turn it away from the ski bum vibe and into a playground for the rich folk. Though I don't think there is really that much animosity between the elitist skiers and riders and the ski bums, this movie definitely does a great job poking fun at it. Plus, my group of friends and I made jokes about how this was just an exaggeration of the life we lived during our teens and post-adolescence working for a ski hill. Was it really? At least a little bit. I do love this movie, so why not check it out, if you haven't, that is?

Aspen Extreme
Stepping away from comedy for a moment, I bring you a second film that deals with the difference between the ski bum and the elitist skier lifestyles, or at least, the way in which they were portrayed by Hollywood and the media. Said to be "TOP GUN On The Ski Slopes" by the Seattle Times, which the film really isn't, this film looks at the differences between the ski bum locals and the ski elitist vacation folks, drugs and addiction, sex, love, and a Powder 8's competition. It even has a moment or two that could bring a tear to one's eye. I dig on this film and have for a long time. You might like it, too.

Ski Patrol
Swinging back into comedies, this one became a favorite of mine right after I learned how to ski. Though it does it in a funny way, this one really does glorify the sometimes unsung heroes of the ski areas and resorts, the ski patrol. Now, I have known a lot of patrollers in my day and not one of them has ever told stories like these as part of their IRL experience, but that's the beauty of fiction. In this film, the ski patrol has a ton of fun and still has time to be the heroes. It really is a good time.

Lastly, an action film starring two people that we rarely get to see have action roles, Sean Astin & Bruce Campbell. It isn't easy to make an action ski film, at least, I would think that's true because this one doesn't have the best execution. Though with names like Astin & Campbell starring in a movie, one would think immediate blockbuster, alas, it's hard to find anyone who has heard of this film, and those that have heard of it only did so because the guys over at RiffTrax did an episode for this movie. That's okay, a movie doesn't have to be good in order for a person to like it, and I like this one. One of the reasons that I do is because it not only was filmed at Killington here in Vermont, but it takes place there, too. They name drop the mountain a bunch of times, there's signage everywhere, and the Rutland and Vermont State Police make cameos. Check this one out if you can find it, especially if you're a local.

There you go! Not a top-five at all, because those who have been long time fans of Ski Rex Media know that I don't do those. I will, clearly, throw out some of my own personal favorites from time to time, though. When I am looking for a story to go with my skiing and snowboarding film fix, these are the ones that have become my favorites over the years. 

What do you think? Do you think this was a stupid piece to do? Are you upset that I didn't do nonfiction films? Are you thinking about sitting down and watching one or two of these tonight or over the next few nights? Do you have a few favorites of your own? Let me know the answer to any of those or any other questions that you might have. Enjoy your movie night, if you have one, or enjoy actually being out there on the slopes and creating some of your own stories and memories. 


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