Director – Pail Norman (Sperm Bitches)
Starring – Clint Howard (Casket County Massacre), Justin Isfeld (American Pie), and Anndi McAfee (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
Release Date – 1995
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “I scream, you scream, we all scream for the..”
We are in a remarkable day and age for technology. Films are readily available in so many different formats making it easy to find any movie you want to play on any device you want. You can grab a movie on DVD and Bluray or you can stream it through Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and Youtube. It was not always that way.
When I was younger the only way to grab a movie was to visit the local video store and rent it on VHS. It was here that I found most of the movies I now love. The horror section of my local video store had a slew of posters for films I never had a desire to see…except for one. I’m sure most of you know where this is going already. That one particular film I wanted to see was Ice Cream Man. I looked hilarious but I was always too late and someone had beat me to it. Over the years I completely forgot about it until the day I ordered My Mom’s a Werewolf. I found this one for 6 dollars in a 12 film pack on amazon.com and grabbed it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film opens with a black and white flash back scene. An ice cream man is gunned down in a drive by as a young child witnesses the entire ordeal. It is because of this that the young boy, Gregory (Howard), is committed to a sanitarium. Now after years of being locked away, Gregory has been released. Gregory looks up to the deceased ice cream man and wants to spread joy to the children of the local community just like he did before his demise. Gregory has to kill a few people, and a dog, in order to be the best. After Gregory abducts (but does not kill) a young boy the local youths suspect it is the ice cream man behind the recent murders and abductions.
The kids try to catch him but are unable to do so. They then turn to the police. The police chalk it up to their imaginations and go about their normal police work…that is until they actually meet the ice cream man. The detective finds him to be a bit odd and tries to run a background check on him. When he fails to find anything he starts to dig a little deeper and discovers that he was locked away at the sanitarium. The detective and his partner pay the sanitarium a visit to dig around and discover that it has been overrun by the patients. The two flee the the building and head straight for the ice cream man’s store. Here they find the abducted boy and the ice cream man but can they take him in alive?…**Spoiler Alert**
The poster for this film was something I saw on a regular basis as a child and finding this one amazon.com brought back all those memories from a simpler time. I will always be a fan of the 80’s and I often find myself watching films from the 90’s and realizing most are not on the same level. Shitty films from the 80’s still offer entertainment with their campy fun and unintentional humor while films from the 90’s took themselves way too seriously and failed.
Cue in Ice Cream Man. This is one of the few films from the 90’s that I have seen that still offers that campy, unintentional fun that I love about 80’s films. This one offers some great actors and actresses and not so-great actors and actresses. Usually a movie is consistent with it’s casting, however, this one is not. Some of the cast do a great job at developing and portraying their characters while others do not. My biggest gripe with the cast is the children. I have seen a lot of great films that star kids so I know kids can be great actors. Films like The Monster Squad, Goonies, The Little Rascals, and The Gate are all prime examples of this, however, in this one I am not convinced of the child actors.
This film is also another rarity because it is a 90’s film that relied on practical effects instead of the “cutting edge” CGI that began to spill forth from Hollywood. I don’t mind CGI when it is done right but that is something even more rare than a great 90’s movie. Though the film uses practical effects, they are not that impressive and mostly consists of severed body parts and fake blood. Finally, the story is lacking, in fact, it is almost non-existent. Young man witnesses his hero gunned down, goes crazy, becomes crazy ice cream man. Through that last sentence you just watched the entire plot of the film.
Now your wondering why this got a 3 out of 5 when all I’ve done was talk shit about it. Well, it received a 3 because it was entertaining and it was entertaining because it was so damn bad. The film is unintentionally funny creating an entertaining film. Overall, this is a bad movie that is definitely worth a watch at least one time.