Nirvana vs Pearl Jam
2Pac vs Biggie
Buffalo Bills vs Dallas Cowboys
Birkenstocks vs common decency
The 1990s were a time of epic rivalries. Good vs Evil showdowns that determined not just winners and losers but entire fates of being. Which side you were on was a statement not just of your tastes and preferences but of your self worth. Could a person who took Brandy over Monica still be a good person? Surely they could not.
Which brings us to perhaps the greatest of all rivalries, not just of the 1990s but all of human history, the Spartan Wars be damned…
Ski School vs Ski Patrol vs Aspen Extreme
There was really only one question on the minds of bigwig Hollywood executives during the 1990s –
“What other sports can we shamelessly turn into movies????”
The big four of baseball, football, basketball and golf had been there and done that in Hollywood for years upon years, dominating the Silver Screen Sport Scene for the first 75 years of movies. By the 1980s the success of the Rocky franchise along with movies like Up the Creek and Quicksilver proved that even second tier sports like boxing, canoeing and messenger bike racing could be big hits at the cinemaplex or the video store.
By the dawn of the 1990s studio execs were at a loss as to how to keep the Sport Movie gravy train chugging along.
Barry Silverburgstein, an Assistant VP of Production at Buena Vista in the early 90s, remembers the daily crisis meetings in his LA office. “Every morning it was the same argument. Fox had already done skateboarding with Gleaming the Cube and the boys over at Icon had rollerblading in their pocket with Airborne. What did we have? Nada. Zilch. We’re racking our noggins every damn day trying to come up with something. What sports are there left I’d ask.”
Skiing. The answer was skiing. There was a gold rush waiting to happen but the gold wasn’t in the hills, it was on the hills.
Crisp white powder. But not the kind hot shot Hollywood guys were used to putting up their noses. No this white gold was on the ground, under your skis.
Ski Patrol drew first blood in the Winter Warz arriving in 1990. Disguised as a slap stick comedy Ski Patrol belied a hidden depth with its story of class warfare in the upper echelon of society, the most holiest of One Percent dreams, the mountain vacation. The place where the richest of the rich go to isolate themselves from the rest of the poor dregs of the world.
Ski School arrived a year later in 1991. Initially mocked as a poor mans Ski Patrol, Ski School displayed charms of its own, mainly the inclusion of Hi-Top Legend Chainsaw himself, Dean Cameron.
Last on the scene but first in many hearts was Aspen Extreme, released to theaters in 1993. Aspen Extreme sprinkled in a little bit of everything that had come before it to create a finely packed powder of a cinema experience.
Class Issues. Check.
Absurd comedy. Check.
Heart string pulling bro relationship. Check.
Finola Hughes. Check. And mate.
The inclusion of Finola Hughes by Aspen Extreme into the Winter Warz just about seals the deal. The class Ms. Hughes exudes as the hellcat Ms. Bryce Kellogg raises the bar to levels Ski School and Ski Patrol simply can not reach. Elegance. Grace. Beauty. Finola Hughes has it all.
Throw in some kick as shredding of the gnar and Aspen Extreme easily takes first place in the Powder 8.
Winter Warz Winner – Aspen Extreme