Winter of Frozen Dreams


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film chronicles a real-life 1977 murder case in Madison, Wisconsin. Barbara Hoffman had a genius IQ and straight A's as a biochemistry major at UW Madison when she dropped out of school to make good money as a hooker. Not long afterwards, she concocted a scheme to kill one of her clients, a lonely and likeable old fella, for his home and his insurance money. While she was under indictment for that murder, her fiancÚ died of the same causes, and Barbara was the beneficiary of a spectacularly large life insurance policy - $750,000. That was just a trifle suspicious since the fiancÚ only made $9,000 per year as an AV techie. Hoffman had been making the massive payments out of her hooking money.

As if that weren't incriminating enough, at one point she told her pimp she was going to kill her fiancÚ for the insurance money.

Doesn't sound all that much like the work of a genius, does it?

Oddly, neither of the men she allegedly killed was particularly unhappy about placing all of their assets in her name. They were lonely, unhappy men and she made their lives better. They may have found the whole deal squirrely, but if so, they didn't care.

Hoffman was convicted of one murder, acquitted of the other, and is still serving her life sentence to this day.

The actual case may sound interesting, but the film is marred by an almost total lack of suspense, and offers no insight into the events. Since Hoffman has never talked to anyone about the case and remains almost a total cipher, the screenplay was left with no meat on its bones. At the end of the film we know nothing about her at all. And the film has nothing else to offer. The other characters are uninteresting and underdeveloped, the dialogue is drab, and there is no action of any kind. The film essentially consists of 90 minutes of tedious low-budget exposition, followed by about a minute of anti-climactic resolution. Even if the screenwriter had written The Red Violin, however, the performances would still have turned the whole thing sour. Some of the actors are just plain incompetent, and all of the performances are so low-key as to be nearly comatose.

Winter of Frozen Dreams is just a dull, unrewarding misfire which really has nothing going for it, not even guilty pleasures. It's not even above-average for a made-for-cable offering. Perhaps not even average.


"Apart from that, how did you enjoy Our American Cousin, Mrs. Lincoln?"

DVD Book


No major reviews online.


4.5 IMDB summary (of 10)


No theatrical release.


This film was the subject of an internet buzz about the supposed full-frontal nudity from the beautiful and stacked Thora Birch. That turned out to be a bunch of bull spit. There is no nudity of any kind.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


I can't think of any reason why you would want to watch this.