• Ski School

    Released By: Olive Films
    Released On: June 23, 2015.
    Director: Damian Lee
    Cast: Dean Cameron, Tom Bresnahan, Mark Thomas Miller
    Year: 1990

    The Film:

    "Ski School...it's not about learning how to ski!" proclaims the trailer for 1990's Ski School, and though the setting of the film does indeed take place at a ski school, a more accurate tagline would be difficult to come up with. Set in the gorgeous Canadian mountain ranges of Whistler, BC, Ski School starts with the arrival of the new students, who will be split into different sections to compete with each other. On one side are the well-to-do and good-looking Section One, led by Reid Janssen, squaring off against the appropriately named Section Eight, with wacky party dude Dave Marshak at the helm. The Section Eighters waste no time at all getting down to their brand of goofy fun when they crash an upscale party hosted by Reid and his friends, breaking into the Audio Visual control room at the venue and hijacking the lights and sound system, turning the snoozefest into a boozefest. Unfortunately for the good-natured pranksters, this little gag irks the elitist Ones, triggering an ongoing battle for supremacy on the slopes.

    Supremacy on the slopes, for Section One, anyway, involves sabotaging the more proficient members of Section Eight, causing them to wipe out on the hills in any number of ways. And while far too many scenes of tactics involving subliminal messages gets Dave's crew partially back on track, focusing on retaliation by pranking Section One...sleeping with their girlfriends, setting them up for public humiliation, and using their phones to call Guam...isn't scoring them any points in terms of competition stats.

    Adding to the odds stacked against the lovable goofballs is a financial matter; the school's General Manager, Anton Bryce, has a potential buyer for the property...a proposition that will make him a major shareholder if he can help broker the deal. Realizing that Section Eight's shenanigans have the potential to sour the deal, he enlists Reid and Section One to trip up Dave and his crew and get them thrown out of school. The ongoing war results in indoor snowball fights, hot tubs full of boobs, tons of beer being consumed, and culminates in Section One's training facility getting trashed, which proves to be the last straw for the school administration. But when Dave declares that the expelled Section Oners will have their revenge by crashing the final ski competition, Reid and Bryce are forced to confront the realization that some funky dance moves, loud music, a lot of boobs and a sled full of Labatt's may ruin the chance of the sale. A final, unofficial competition between the rivals may be the only way to settle it...but have Section Eight taken enough of a break in partying to actually learn how to ski?

    To put it bluntly, Ski School is idiotic. And though the idiocy does get entertaining at times, it spends too much time in Stupidland, trying too hard to be funny. Dean Cameron basically reprises his role of Chainsaw from 1987's Summer School (minus the horror gags, the part that made him entertaining), and the other actors fall in line as the cliched characters that were made famous by films like Porkys, Just One of the Guys, Fraternity Vacation....films that came out long before, and were much more enjoyable. When not showcasing some pretty spectactular scenery and impressive stunt work, Ski School basically meanders from unfunny forced party scene to unfunny forced hot tub scene, to unfunny forced dance scene, dumping in large quantities of boobs, booze, and "You're a homo!" jokes. Again, all hallmarks of multiple 80's teen sex comedies, but as has been mentioned, all done well before it...and with greater comedic effect.


    Ski School comes to blu-ray from Olive in a 1.85:1 transfer that looks pretty good. Contrasts and colours are nicely supported, especially during the nice-looking mountain scenes, and the darker scenes...the multiple party opportunities....have decent black levels throughout. No noticeable print damage to report, and artifacting is non-existent, rendering a smooth, consistent viewing experience.

    The DTS-HD Master Audio stereo track is about what you would expect, perfectly serviceable with clear dialogue and well-balanced effects. There are no issues with the audio track, but a surround mix may have opened up the sound stage a little more, especially during the skiing and nightclub scenes.

    A Trailer for the film is also provided.

    The Final Word:

    It must have its fans out there somewhere, but as a fan of the genre, I found Ski School to be unimaginative and lacking in any real funny moments. Still, for those who like it, Olive's blu-ray provides a pleasant viewing experience.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!