A scene from SKI TROOP ATTACK, directed by Roger Corman for The Filmgroup.

Ski Troop Attack (1960, Roger Corman)

The best thing in Ski Troop Attack is a forty or fifty second conversation between two characters about mortality. Writer Charles B. Griffith has a few other good observations in the dialogue, but they don’t resonate. Nothing in Ski resonates except that one conversation. And the acting isn’t even good. I guess Wally Campo isn’t terrible, but Richard Sinatra’s redneck is awful.

Corman and Griffith give Sinatra a lot to do; the joke is he’s smart but he’s a redneck. It’s not funny the first time–Sinatra’s terrible–and it’s not funny the thirtieth time either.

There’s not much else good about Ski. Some of the shots are good, but only because Corman’s shooting it on a snow covered mountain. There’s bound to be some good shots. Anthony Carras’s editing ruins most of the action scenes, though it’s probably not all his fault. The budget’s probably responsible for a lot.

Not the acting though. Michael Forest plays the lieutenant, Frank Wolff plays the sergeant. From the first or second scene, there’s bickering about who knows better, regular army or the officers. The resolution to that argument’s interesting if only because it comes as a complete surprise. Corman and Griffith don’t build to it at all.

Wolff’s not terrible. He can’t hold up the picture, but he’s not awful. Forest is awful. Not as bad as Sinatra, but bad.

Wait, I was wrong–there is something else good about Ski. Fred Katz’s music.

Otherwise, Ski’s a very long, very boring hour.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Roger Corman; written by Charles B. Griffith; director of photography, Andrew M. Costikyan; edited by Anthony Carras; music by Fred Katz; released by The Filmgroup.

Starring Michael Forest (Lt. Factor), Frank Wolff (Sgt. Potter), Wally Campo (Pvt. Ed Ciccola), Richard Sinatra (Pvt. Herman Grammelsbacher), Paul Rapp (Pvt. Roost) and Sheila Noonan (Frau Heinsdorf).

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