Set for release on Friday, “Hot Tub Time Machine” (see film trailer below) was inspired by ski movies of the 1980s such as “Hot Dog… The Movie.” Exterior scenes for the film were shot mainly at Fernie Alpine Resort in Canada. Devotees of the “old-school” interior B.C. resort might joke that the filmmakers didn’t need to change much there. However, working in May of last year after the resort’s ski season, the movie crew transformed Fernie’s base area with a few new building facades and snow brought down from the higher elevations. Last Saturday, Fernie’s locals– many of whom appear as extras in the film– celebrated the movie’s release with an ’80s-themed festival.
Starring and produced by John Cusack, the R-rated comedy follows a group of middle-aged guys back in time to their old ski-area stomping grounds from their youth. Cusack, himself, also takes a trip back to his early career. His role is sure to bring back memories of his part in the 1985 film “Better Off Dead.” The comedy concludes with a classic ski scene that sends Cusack racing down “K-12.” Movie buffs watching “Hot Tub Time Machine” can even watch for a subtle reference to a certain quotable line from “Better Off Dead.” The appearance of actor Crispin Glover– who appeared in the 1985 time-travel movie “Back to the Future”– adds a similar ironic twist to the cast.
Oscar may not be calling the movie’s producers, but film critics seem to get the joke in this movie that definitely doesn’t take itself seriously. Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review that “‘Hot Tub Time Machine,’ which wants nothing more than to be a screwball farce, succeeds beyond any expectations suggested by the title and extends John Cusack’s remarkable run.” Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote in his review: “A chlorinated, R-rated ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ accomplishes what ‘Snakes on a Plane’ did not: It offers a merrily idiotic movie to go with its willfully idiotic title.”
(Photo courtesy of Rob McEwan/MGM Studios; video courtesy of MGM)