Ice Cream Man
Not as literal as I'd hoped...
This movie came heavily recommended on a thread on Reddit which made me immediately purchase the double feature DVD with Jack Frost 2 for seven dollars. What a deal! Thanks highly upvoted internet stranger! Ice Cream Man is exactly the definition of a campy slasher film with a low L.A. budget production value where saying you get taken out of the movie constantly is an understatement. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
The movie starts with the origin story of the Ice Cream Man. He is a mischievous young boy who witnesses his neighborhood ice cream man killed outside the ice cream truck. Soon after, this young boy spends his formative years in a mental institution with a maniacal doctor who makes sure to drive home the point that, “There are no bad days, only happy happy days!” Appropriately the new adult Ice Cream Man is played by Clint Howard, whose younger brother, Ron, is famous for starring in the popular 70s sitcom Happy Days, directing Willow and other stuff.
Clint Howard does his best creepy Ice Cream Man face when he pulls up to a regular suburban neighborhood, handing out lots of treats mixed with body parts to kids. He starts with a dog owned by his institution nurse/landlady (Olivia Hussey) and soon moves on to people, starting with a young boy who goes missing soon after he runs out after the ice cream truck. The police are called and detectives go straight to the Ice Cream Man to ask him questions. They then order ice cream cones, one of which has a squishy eyeball inside. Lots of close ups in that one.
The movie also stars a ragtag team of kids who call themselves the Rocketeers: Johnny, Tuna, Small Paul and their very own Beverly, Heather. These kids know something is up with the disappearance of the young boy, even if the police or their own families believe they shouldn’t be getting involved in this crime investigation. “Damn meddling kids!” -adults in movies. But once Small Paul gets abducted too they take action, and to hell with anyone who went missing before. These kids go to all lengths to save each other including launching a live rocket and using ice cream-making equipment as a weapon to bring down the Ice Cream Man!
Ice Cream Man is directed by Paul Norman who may (and should) be very proud of this movie. This was Paul’s first and only foray into mainstream filmmaking. He is more known for his pornographic films such as Intercourse with the Vampire 1 & 2, the Edward Penishands trilogy and the Bi and Beyond collection. Get them all if you’re a completist!
This movie does what others couldn’t, which is fitting a severed head into a giant ice cream cone. If you want to have as much fun as the filmmakers did, then watch this movie. There is a particular favorite scene at the mental institution where the patients parade around police detectives that will undoubtedly have you want to join them. Go crazy and get a scoop of Butter Brickle you pied piper ice cream dicks!