Video Review

Into the Snow Zone (1990)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Genres: Documentary, Sports; Distributor: J2 Home Video

Few participation sports look as routinely spectacular on video as downhill skiing, although after a few minutes of watching colorfully garbed figures execute intricate maneuvers on sunlit slopes, it starts to seem stunningly ho-hum.

Into the Snow Zone aims to forestall this lethargy by taking a handful of the world's top freestyle (i.e., virtuoso) skiers to some of the world's most pristine ski areas, and letting them loose in what the movie affectedly calls the ''snow zone.'' That's ''a place where people mix with the environment to develop their own individual concept of recreation.''

The cast includes such world-class competitors as Olympian Karen Percy and World Cup stand-outs Nelson Carmichael and Trace Worthington, and the sections include moguling at Snowbird, freestyling at Calgary, downhilling at Banff, telemarking at Verbier, snowboarding at Chamonix and heli-snowboarding in British Columbia.

Sure, after a while it all looks a bit routine. But Into the Snow Zone goes a long way-further than most skiing videos — in capturing the thrill, the challenge, and the passion that drive the great crazies who live for, as one skier puts it, ''totally mutilated air.'' B

Originally posted Dec 21, 1990 Published in issue #45 Dec 21, 1990 Order article reprints