JJ Abrams and the ski lift to death

As a little kid, I watched a lot of cheesy TV, and especially back in the ’70s and ’80s there were tons of silly TV movies that are hilarious to watch today. 

You can pretty much make your own network downloading one after another on YouTube, but I personally have no recollection at all of Ski Lift to Death, aka Snowblind, which played on March 3, 1978.

If the title sounds familiar, JJ Abrams has been bringing it up a lot in interviews as a funny bit of trivia, because his father, Gerald W. Abrams, produced it.

Okay, gripe all you want about JJ having family connections in the business, but let’s face it, you ever think in a meeting any Hollywood bigwig ever said, “His dad directed Ski Lift to Death?! Bring him in! Let’s put him in charge of the Star Trek franchise!”

Abrams also loves to mention that it featured Don Johnson along with Howard Duff (Knots Landing), real life ski champ Suzy Chaffee, and veteran character actor Clu Gulager. Casting on Ski Lift was by Lynn Stalmaster, who also cast Superman, and Toni Howard, who’s now a big shot talent agent at International Creative Management. (Music also by Barry DeVorzon, who also composed The Warriors soundtrack, and the theme from The Young and the Restless.)

The story? According to Moviefone: “The most surprising aspect of the made-for-TV Ski Lift to Death is that it wasn’t produced by Irwin Allen. Two ski-lift gondolas derail, hanging perilously close to destruction.” Like an Irwin Allen film, it has a bunch of characters all brought together, with the audience hopefully wondering who will survive.

I haven’t seen Ski Lift yet, but I love discovering lost cheeseball stuff from the 70s I haven’t seen yet, and you can watch it on YouTube under the name Snowblind. It’s only got a 3.8 on imdb, but in this case, the worse it is, the better it could be.