Only the second narrative snowboarding film to play the big screen arrives in theaters November 21st, and it’s courtesy of Disney. Out Cold, written by Jon Zack and directed by the Malloy brothers¿Emmett and Brendan¿put a crew through a 52-day shoot in British Columbia last season, employing Rob “Sluggo” Boyce as stunt co-ordinator; Devun Walsh, Sean Johnson, Javas Lehn, and untold B.C. kids as riders; and in a non-snowboarding acting turn, Todd Richards.
“We thought the snowboarders would have fun seeing someone doing something besides what they’re always doing. It’s the same with our surf movies,” Emmett Malloy says. As the action-comedy was being cast, Tara Dakides read for the female lead, and even took acting lessons, but wasn’t able to commit to the schedule. Then Richards came in and read for a character who is in a wheelchair after getting hurt at the X-Games. As Malloy says, “Everybody dug it¿he kinda laughed and thought we were full of shit. We asked him to take a couple acting lessons. He did, came up to the shoot, and never even got on a snowboard.”
According to Malloy, riders were asked what they wanted to build at Apex resort, where a “King Of The Mountain” race takes place¿the person with the most beer still in their glass after riding through the park wins. Riders responded with a series of berms, hits, and rainbow rails that were lit up with stadium lighting and sessioned heavily. Malloy says riders were sent through grueling take after take¿necessary for getting the coverage the crew needed to make it interesting for theater audiences.
Devun Walsh was stunt double for lead character Rick (Jason London, who starred in Dazed And Confused), which made him the go-to rider. “I didn’t get to do as hard as tricks as I liked, ’cause I had to do something I could land,” Walsh says. “If you screw up and look bad, they’ll still use it if it’s the right angle. Their Hollywood editors aren’t snowboarders but they have so much control over what you look like¿it’s kinda weird because you edit your own part when you make a snowboard movie.”
Still, Walsh adds, “The directors were amazing. They wanted to get it right.”
The Malloy brothers started making surf movies and promotional material, then built a resume of music videos for bands like the Foo Fighters, Blink 182, and Lit, before being approached by Spyglass Entertainment with Jon Zack’s feature snowboarding script. “It had some elements of Ski Patrol, even Hot Dog” Malloy says. “We wanted to breathe some reality into it and still have it be funny. Caddyshack, Meatballs, Stripes¿we wanted to stay true to some of those movies with characters you could get behind.”
Out Cold has Lee Majors (The Six-Million-Dollar Man) but no Bill Murray. And those who saw the last snowboarding-themed feature Snowboard Academy, can pat themselves on the back that they saw Ernest’s last movie. Not withstanding, the Malloys are confident that snowboarders and non-snowboarders alike are ready for the mountain to come to the multiplex.
Their story centers around the carefree, cavorting locs of Alaska’s Bull Mountain, Rick, Luke, Anthony, and Pig Pen. When patriarch Papa Muntz dies, the resort gets sold to slick capitalist John Majors (Lee Majors). When Majors threatens to change the character of their beloved stomping grounds, it puts him at odds with the bros, who fight to preserve Bull Mountain.
Along for the ride is Rick’s love interest, actress Caroline Dhavernas, as well as an appearance by Playmate of the Year Victoria Silvstedt. The film also contains a few well-known ski movie conventions, albeit with a twist.
“We do have a hot tub scene,” Malloy confesses, “But it’s got a much different ending than any you’ve seen. It’s a lonely experience.”
For his part, Walsh wasn’t sure if the huge time commitment out of the season will do much for his pro career. “I’d have to think really hard before doing it next time,” Walshh says. “I think the movie will be cool, but Hollywood’s Hollywood. The money’s good, but not that good for how much effort goes into it.”
Disney declined to comment on the production’s budget. Malloy added that he didn’t even know what the final tally was¿that the studio didn’t say anything as long as they were under the proposed budget of some 20 million dollars.
“Three helis out filming at once, snowboarding, actors, you start putting all that together and it’s a lot to take on,” Malloy says, but he knows that’s par for the course of their first Hollywood production. “Big screen, big sound, this is a real movie experience,” he concludes. “But the funny moments are what people are going to remember. I mean, we have a polar bear sucking a guy off for God’s sake.”