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Film / Out Cold

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Out Cold is a 2001 comedy film directed by Brendan and Emmett Malloy (credited as "The Malloys"), who are best-known for directing music videos. The film is an extended homage to the classic film Casablanca, and a parody of 1980s ski movies.

The story takes place at Bull Mountain, a down-market ski resort in Alaska, and home to a variety of colorful characters. One particular group of these characters is led by Rick Rambis, a symbol of the local culture and an accomplished amateur snowboarder. Upon the death of owner and founder Herbert "Papa" Muntz, his son Ted Muntz inherits ownership of the resort. Having neither the desire nor the wherewithal to run the resort himself, Muntz resolves to sell the business, in spite of his father's wishes for the resort to be run the way he did, with Rambis as his chosen successor.

Muntz introduces his buyer John Majors, a cut-throat businessman and owner of an international chain of ski resorts. Wanting desperately to seal the deal, Muntz agrees to numerous changes that Majors believes his investors will want to see. These include the introduction of uniforms, and an overhaul of the facilities to be more classy, modern, and trendy.

As it becomes clear that the resort Majors is building will bear little resemblance to the Bull Mountain that Rambis knows and loves, he's faced with the choice of managing the mountain the way Majors would have it managed, or quitting in order to defend Papa Muntz's vision and the lifestyle that he and his friends have forged for themselves.

Complicating matters for Rambis is the return of Anna, a French girl with whom Rambis fell in love while vacationing in Cancun, who, as it turns out, is Majors' daughter. He must choose between wooing Anna away from her fiance, and his budding romance with Jenny, a local girl who has been trying for months to get his attention.

Although the film was disliked by critics and was not a box office success, it has become something of a Cult Classic in the years since its release, with fans of the film considering it to be one of the best comedies of 2001. It is also popular in the snowboarding community.

Out Cold provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Papa Muntz won Bull Mountain from its Eskimo owners in a game of poker.
  • Affably Evil: If John Majors likes you he can be a very warm, friendly, and generous person (as seen by the way he treats Rick).
  • The Alcoholic: Luke has a habit of drinking until he passes out, which usually results in him being the target of practical jokes by those still conscious.
    • This trope also applies to Stumpy, who at point in the film takes a swig of rubbing alcohol, something that will make you very sick in real life.
  • Anticipatory Breath Spray: Eric does this when Jenny enters the bar at the start of the film.
  • Arc Words: Papa Muntz's final toast: "Bull Mountain, don't go changin'!"
  • Ass Shove: In the climax, Luke does this to Eric with one of his snow boots. The irony is lampshaded by Luke, as Eric had threatened to do that to him several times.
  • Bears Are Bad News: One morning, Luke wakes up to a very nice feeling...of a polar bear licking his salt covered scrotum.
  • Between My Legs: During the hot tub scene.
  • Berserk Button: At the end of the film, Ted Muntz finally gets tired of Majors calling him a retard and attacks him. However, Ted is such a wimp that Majors is unimpressed and comments "You even fight like a retard."
  • Binge Montage: Happens during the house party, which culminates with Luke and Pig-Pen slow dancing to "All Out of Love" by Air Supply (then Luke passes out and Pig-Pen duct tapes him to the mechanical bull).
  • Book Ends: Rick snowboarding Hangman's Peak.
  • Butt-Monkey: Brothers Luke and Pig Pen take turns.
    • Anthony also qualifies. Every time he gets on a snowboard he crashes until he finally learns to ride at the end of the film.
  • California Doubling: Although set in Alaska, Out Cold was filmed in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Luke, who becomes the butt of practical jokes no less than three times during the movie because he tends to pass out drunk before everybody else.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: When a gondola containing Inga and Pig Pen having sex is unveiled in front of Majors' investors, Pig-Pen just keeps on thrusting until Majors physically pulls him off of Inga.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Stumpy
    Stumpy: "I was there! Yep, I was there. It was called the Eighties. Ford was President, Nixon was in the White House and FDR was running this country into the ground. I was bumming in a hole in the wall town in what is now called Utah, when some fellow from Colorado shows up and starts making so called 'improvements'. Before you knew it, the streets were running with lattes. It got so bad that a guy that like to smoke a little grass, drink a little ripple, crow like a rooster, maybe challenge the mayor's son to a gentleman's duel, was considered uncouth, against God."
  • Cool Car: Rick drives a classic Dodge Charger... with a snowplow on the front.
  • Cool Old Guy: Papa Muntz
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Inga agrees to have sex with Pig-pen because, in her own words, "Nothing would piss off my stepfather more."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jenny and Majors.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the King of the Mountain competition, Jenny flashes her boobs at Pig Pen to make him wipe out.
  • The Ditz: Pig-Pen.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Pig Pen to Inga near the end.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: When Anna shows up in Bull Mountain Rick goes home and drowns his sorrows in a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon, completely forgetting that he was supposed to meet Jenny for a date.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Pig Pen's real name is Pierre.
  • Erotic Dream: Pig-Pen has a dream where he's a James Bond-esque secret agent who rescues the Solid Gold Dancers from a disabled tram. He is awoken when Rick and Luke stumble upon him dry-humping a bench in his sleep.
  • Europeans Are Kinky: Played straight with Inga and subverted when she walks out on Luke before they have sex because she's sleepy.
  • Every Scar Has a Story
    Inga: "Where did you get these scars?"
    Luke: "Well, let's see... skateboard, truck accident, and a fire hydrant."
    Inga: "I bet each one has its own exciting story, no?"
    Luke: "No, not really; I skateboarded off a truck into a fire hydrant."
  • Exact Words: Eric really should have chosen his phrasing better than "Go to the bathroom in the cup" when dealing with Pig-pen.
  • Extreme Sports Plot: A comedy example rather than an action film, but even so, the plot primarily serves the snowboarding scenes and the jokes.
  • Fake Shemp: When Jenny flashes her bra at Pig-Pen during the King of the Mountain competition, it's very obvious that a body double (who has at least two cup sizes on Jenny) was used.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Majors Resorts seems to be based on Vail Resorts; they both have reputations for buying ski areas and turning them into luxury tourist destinations, much to the disappointment of the locals.
  • First Girl Wins: Chronologically, this is true neither in regards to Anna vs Jenny nor with Rick vs Barry.
  • Genius Ditz: Despite the fact that Pig-pen is extremely stupid, he's actually quite clever when it comes to playing practical jokes on Luke.
  • G.I.R.L.: Pig Pen pretends to be a lesbian as he chats with someone he believes to be a hot chick, but is, in fact Eric Montclare.
    • Of course, seeing as Pig Pen was in a lesbian chat-room, he was pulling the same thing.
  • Going Commando: Discussed by Rick and Anna when they're dancing and she's wearing a sheer evening gown.
    Rick: You're not wearing underwear.
    Anna: You can't with this dress.
    Rick: Your excuse is better than mine.
  • Handicapped Badass: Barry, a former competitive snowboarder who became a doctor and a pilot after being disabled. Shows up at the end to whisk Anna away from the resulting chaos he helped Rick and company cause when they unleashed the Humiliation Conga on John Majors.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Lance.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The film ends with a sequence of them, most notably Zach Galifianakis ad-libbing various metaphors for his testicles.
    Luke: These pants are cramping my Hardy Boys. It's no mystery.
  • Homage: Of Casablanca in the end.
  • Hot Teacher: Jenny is a snowboarding instructor for children, and at least one of her students has a crush on her.
  • Humiliation Conga: Majors gets a BRUTAL one at the end of the film. He's last seen trapped in an outhouse that's hanging upside-down from a tree.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    Luke: Guys! A little sensitivity here. God! Can't you see this is a dejected man? Well, Rick get your dejected head out of your ass.
  • Invention Pretension: In a deleted scene, Stumpy claims to have invented snowboarding.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Anna's fiance Barry is shades of Type B, being a former X-Games competitor and now a doctor and a pilot, he's simply too nice and cool for Rick and his friends to hate, despite the relationship resulting from his presence.
  • Jerkass: John Majors and Eric Montclair, who is a brown-nosing sycophant to Majors and an anal-retentive dick to everyone else.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Rick asks everyone if they remember Papa Muntz's last toast, Luke says in a deadpan voice, "No, tell us."
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Eric gets a snowboarding boot stuck in his ass thanks to it.
    • This was after he'd threatened to put his boot up Luke's ass numerous times - the irony was lampshaded by Luke.
  • Local Hangout: The El Matador bar.
  • Love at First Sight: Happened between Rick and Anna when they were in Mexico.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Rick is too busy pining for Anna to notice Jenny, who is single, more down to earth, and much more interested in him.
  • Love Triangle: Rick is in love with Anna (who is engaged), and Jenny is interested in Rick.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: When the Big Bad prepares to take ownership of the resort in a ceremony attended by his investors, he unveils a mock-up of one of the new gondolas, wherein he finds Pig Pen having sex with his step-daughter Inga.
  • Metaphorgotten: The opening narration has Stumpy comparing Bull Mountain to a woman, then switching over to a discourse on skiing injuries that has nothing to do with women, then ending on a note that would make his soliloquy a good comparison of a woman to the mountain, but making absolutely no sense the other way around
  • Ms. Fanservice: Inga. The fact that they cast a former Playboy Playmate of the Year for the character should be a dead give away.
  • "El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño": "Carpe the diem! Seize the... carp!"
    • "Welcome to El Matador. It's Spanish for... the Matador."
  • The Obi-Wannabe: Pig-Pen.
    Rick Rambis: Pig Pen, when I want advice about a good Planet of the Apes film or maybe how to get the resin out of my bong I'll come to you ok? But I am not gonna take romantic advice from somebody who cannot spell "romantic" or "advice"... or bong.
  • The One That Got Away: Anna.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Majors, who calls Ted Muntz a "retard" nonstop, and he also refers to Barry as "Captain Cripple" at one point.
  • The Quisling: Eric.
  • Relationship Upgrade: At the end of the film, Rick and Jenny officially become a couple rather than just being friends.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Anna is torn between two men: Rick, who works as a mid-level employee at a downmarket ski resort, and Barry, who is a doctor and a pilot. Unusual for this trope, she ends up with Barry, the rich suitor.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When Rick finds out that Majors fired his friends, he quits his high-paying job as manager of Snownook and leads the effort to sabotage the sale of the mountain. Similarly, Ted Muntz decides that he's sick of Majors verbally abusing him and disrespecting Papa's legacy, so he cancels the sale of the mountain.
  • Serial Spouse: Lampshaded by Anna, who states that her stepfather is a modern day Napoleon, marrying his way across Europe (Majors' first wife was English, Anna's mom is French, and Inga is Swiss).
    Majors: And I just hired a Russian girl trainer, so watch out!
  • Shout-Out
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Or blue-collar snowboarders versus snooty, upper-class skiiers.
  • Smug Snake: Eric Montclair.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Part of Rick and Anna's Falling-in-Love Montage during the flashback scene to Cancun.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Fanservice character Inga is played by Victoria Silvstedt, who stands at 5'10" tall.
  • The Stoner: Pig-Pen.
    Pig-Pen: I don't need a test to tell you I do drugs.
  • Stuck on a Ski Lift: Pig Pen, while sleeping on the job, dreams that he's a James Bond-style action hero, charged with rescuing the Solid Gold Dancers, who are trapped in a stalled gondola. Cut to reality, where Rick and Luke are actually stuck in a gondola as they wait for Pig Pen to wake up and let them out.
  • Supporting Leader: Although Ted Muntz is the owner of Bull Mountain, Rick is the most respected employee of the ski resort and the one everybody looks to for leadership. Majors picks up on this quickly, and starts grooming Rick to become his second-in-command.
  • Talkative Loon: Stumpy, who constantly spouts off rants and anecdotes that are self-contradictory, nonsensical, or otherwise insane.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    John Majors: "That's a three hundred dollar hat, bitch!"
  • Those Two Guys: Luke and his brother, Pig-pen.
  • Token Minority: Anthony.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Majors takes over Bull Mountain and turns it into "Snownook", a snooty, Aspen-like resort.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Luke and Inga have the hot tub variant until she gets tired and goes home, much to Luke's disappointment.
  • Villainous Breakdown: "So we have a few bad apples! So my daughter's a whore! This is a heck of a deal!"
  • Villainous Gentrification: The driving motivation to stop Mr. Majors' takeover of the mountain.
  • Wild Teen Party: After being turned away from the local bar because of a private party being held inside, the locals of Bull Mountain decide to throw a rather wild house party.
  • Womanliness as Pathos: The film drew heavy inspiration from Casablanca in regards to its Love Triangle, as Rick and Anna had hit it off in Cancun, but she's engaged to Barry, who's a professional snowboarder-turned-doctor and pilot after an accident left him a Handicapped Badass. Rick, unaware of this, had spent months mooning over her departure at the start of the movie - which his friends call him out on, as he'd known her for all of a few weeks.