Ice Cream Man (1995)

Ice Cream Man (1995)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for the…

After being released from the Wishing Well Sanitorium, all Gregory wants to do is make children happy and he re-opens the old ice cream factory. Unfortunately for the local population, he is still quite insane and begins serving up eyeballs and blood as toppings!


Poor Clint Howard. He never has been able to step out of the big shadow that his brother Ron has cast. Whilst his brother is off making films and winning Oscars, Clint has been relegated to a slew of straight-to-video horror flicks. Maybe it’s the fact that he looks like an alien out of Star Trek without even putting on prosthetics that has hindered any chance of a breakthrough in mainstream. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s desperate for the money and will take any script that comes his way. Or just perhaps he actually likes making this type of film. I mean who wouldn’t want to laugh it up playing a psychotic ice cream man who serves kids dollops of vanilla fudge topped with freshly popped eyeballs?

Howard is actually the best part of the film. Apart from his deformed looks which make him look crazy and a bit of a kiddie fiddler, he actually gets into the role as the childish ice cream man. He’s really just a kid at heart, a man with a brain the age of eight. His only love is ice cream and you actually feel for him a few times, especially during the scene where the cops trash his parlour looking for clues. He’s still a psychotic murderer but you actually sympathise with him at times and just wish he’d get help.

Howard aside, Ice Cream Man is pretty dire. It was filmed in 1995 but it looks like it was dragged out of the 80s. It’s got that throwback vibe to it which reminds me of those cheese fests like Night of the Demons, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Chopping Mall. It would certainly fit in with that crowd back in the 80s but in the 90s it looks dated as hell. It doesn’t take its material seriously enough – a hint of a more dark and sinister edge to proceedings would have gone a long way to cancelling out all of that cheese. The cast is atrocious and the film makes the cardinal sin of having kids as the main heroes of the piece. I hate it when kids are made out to be the heroes in horror films, simply because there are certain ‘no go’ areas which are rarely crossed in horror and harming kids is one of them. Having said that the ice cream man does manage to off a seemingly close relative of the Milky Bar Kid in this film and his actions are observed by another kid who watches the killer drag the boy into his van. Even stalwarts like Olivia Hussey and David Warner don’t add the credibility they should to proceedings.

The film is full of bad moments. You can kind of guess what the scenes were supposed to look like in the mind of the writer but they just turn out so crap it’s actually funny. There’s a horrible chase scene inside a supermarket. It has to be said that this is arguably the smallest yet busiest supermarket I’ve ever seen with dozens of people hanging around the same section. One of the young witnesses to Gregory’s crimes is there with his mother but when he wanders off, the ice cream man chases him around the supermarket, with the boy hiding underneath shopping carts (Gregory can’t have missed that fat little kid sticking out from underneath the small cart, surely?) and underneath fruit and vegetable stalls. What did Gregory think he was going to do in such a busy supermarket? The scene has been uploaded to YouTube so it’s worth checking out. There are a few gross moments when various characters buy ice creams filled with eye balls and they do make you feel a little queasy and put you off buying ice cream from those seedy guys in their vans in future. That’s the sort of thing that the film should have been aiming to produce more of, not laughable chases or ridiculous flashbacks.


Ice Cream Man may have had a hope in hell of being entertaining if it wasn’t ten years too late. But for 1995 it looks so amateurish and plays so cheesy, it’s a wonder they didn’t rename him the Dairy Products Man. Another turkey for Clint Howard. Keep plucking away buddy (or maybe not as the majority case would surely be).





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