Let’s be real – they don’t make ski flicks like they used to. Need help remembering your roots? You’re in luck – we’ve put together the Oldies (but goodies) of films that helped shape the culture of skiing. These films are chalked up with goofy characters and bums to get you in the right state of mind for the upcoming season! If you haven’t seen these classics, sit down, grab a brewski and relive the Golden Age of skiing! And remember – it ain’t easy being cheesy.
“We got a renegade going OB!”
Every skier should start off their season with a refresher of this classic! In this flick, two best friends quit their jobs in Michigan and head blindly to Aspen in their van/home to become ski instructors. TJ and Dexter quickly become engulfed in the ski town culture of partying, chasing snow bunnies and “going OB”! After these two best friends follow different paths, they link up to compete in the Powder 8 Competition!
“Can you get an STD from a Polar Bear?”
Zach Galifiankis playing an injury-ridden snowboard bum? Count me in. This 2001 film is full of laughs and cringes as a group of locals try to save their beloved Bull Mountain. The founder of the mountain “Papa Muntz” died doing what he loved – skiing and drinking. His son, Ted, tries selling the mountain to a Colorado ski resort tycoon but has to get through the locals first!
The Blizzard of AAHHH’s
“We’re not a posh place for people to come and buy fur coats and dilly dally in fancy restaurants. This is a skier’s mountain and a skier’s town you know and that’s what we’re all about.”
Greg Stump’s legendary 1988 film, ‘The Blizzard of AAHHH’s” is a rockumentary style flick with a loaded cast of extreme skier pioneers: Glen Plake, Scott Schmidt, and Mike Hattrup. They take their punk-rock attitude from Telluride, Colorado to Chamonix, France in the search for the best powder in the world. This classic is still the known as the benchmark film that trail-blazed the path for freestyle skiing.
Hot Dog…The Movie
Rudy: “You people. How many times must I tell you? You may ski on zat side of ze hill *or* on zat side of ze hill, but stay out of ze meedle here!”
Dan O’Callahan: “Hey, Rudy! You can kiss my a**! Not on zis side and not on zat side, but right in ze meedle!”
In this 1984 flick, Harkin Banks leaves the farms of Idaho to train for the Freestyle Ski Championship in Squaw Valley, California. He meets his nemesis, Rudy, who is a self-righteous European looking to take the crown. This film made the Chinese Downhill famous with it’s wild free-for-all ending scene. Beware – the movie is rated R….for RADICAL.
“Taste death, live life”
In this 1990 ski film, a group of faithful ski patrollers band together to try to save their home resort, Snowy Peaks. They must battle a shifty squad of ski patrollers that were hired by the cutthroat business man, Martin Mull.
“How fast must a man go to get from where he’s at?”
When you hear the names Robert Redford and Gene Hackman the last thing you would assume is that you’re about to see a ski movie but downhill racer is just that. If you ever wanted to see two of the greatest actors in American History wearing onesies and over dramatizing the stakes of a ski race then this is the movie for you. Plenty of cliché ski action with classic Redford and Hackman performances. This has flown under the radar to most skiers but an classic for sure.
Better Off Dead
“I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy. I know high school girls.”
Of all the “ski” movies on our list, “Better off Dead” is definitely the most loosely classified as so. Although skiing is a recurring theme and major part of the plot line the story still follows a very “80s movie” equation. Nerdy guy loves popular girl, challenges her popular boyfriend to a ski race, falls in love with nerdy girl who had his back the whole time. This classic scenario is complimented by a hilariously grungy best friend, an over the top neighbor family and most importantly a drag racing rivalry with two brothers who learned to speak English from sports announcers. This movies climax features snorting snow (yep that’s what I said) and some seriously impressive one foot skiing from leading man John Cusack. If you’re a ski movie fan or an 80s movie fan this is the flick for you.
“Skiing is partying, partying is skiing.”
Dave Marshak and the “Section 8” are all about two things – partying and skiing. In this 1990 film, they take on a group of ski school snobs in the annual downhill competition. They have more than just their reputation on the line – if they lose they are fired.