Director – Stuart Simpson (Dragon Force X, ABCs of Death 2.5)
Starring – Glenn Maynard (Fags in the Fast Lane, Neighbours), Kyrie Nunan-Jackson (The Wizards of Aus, Timeless), and Aston Elliot (Killervision, Under the Kaleidoscope)
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “The ice cream man is coming”
I’ve spent the better part of a week indulging in horror and exploitation flicks from the 70s and 80s. After working my way through my stack of Severin Films for review I decided to check out something newer. I went to my Wild Eye collection and decided to go with the 2014 Australian black comedy Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla.
I received this one sometime ago but never could get it worked into my schedule but I had to fix that. Once again, thank you Wild Eye for allowing myself and Horror Society the opportunity to check out this strange film!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Warren (Maynard) who runs an ice cream truck. He is a lonely man who adores his pet that he accidentally kills. His only flash of light in his bleak life is his ice cream truck is his favorite daytime soap. His humdrum life is tested when a drug dealer moves into his favorite spot to sell and starts to bully him. When he has almost had enough he meets the star of his favorite soap and begins to fall in love with her. She frequently visits him after taping the show and he gets the courage to ask her out and she accepts.
He prepares for the date and goes to the studio to pick her up only for her to act confused and state she had never seen him before. Was Warren daydreaming or was she toying with him? This sends Warren over the edge and he kills the drug dealer that has been harassing him before walking away from the crime while undressing. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one expecting a bloody Australian horror flick and was given a solid dark drama that does not reflect anything horror related until the last 10 minutes of the film’s run time. That doesn’t make this a bad film. In fact, it’s far from it but it was not the horror experience I was expecting.
The acting in this one is top notch. The supporting cast is awesome but this movie really is a one man show. Glenn Maynard is absolutely outstanding is the backwards Warren. He does a phenomenal job at bringing this character to life and this is one film in which I won’t be forgetting the main character any time soon. He went above and beyond and it shows.
The story for this one is solid for what it’s worth but it’s not the horror film many of you may expect. The film is mostly a drama as we follow the life of Warren. We follow his ups and mostly downs. The movie feels like a rather entertaining dark drama with a few chuckles tossed in here and there. The horror, as I stated earlier, is only in the film the final moments but the movie is still well worth your time.
Finally, there is one death scene but the filmmakers milk it. The kill is fucking brutal and it has some of the best practical effects I’ve seen in an indie production. The kill looks fantastic and we get plenty of screen time with it. Overall, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla is a fantastic film. Sure, it lacks horror but it deserves your undivided attention. Check it out now on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.