Masters of Horror: We All Scream for Ice Cream (US - DVD R1)
I scream, you scream, we all scream when we have to watch bad movies...
Twenty-some years ago, Buster the ice cream dealing clown (William Forsythe) was tragically killed in an accident involving prank playing children. Now the once benevolent vender is back from the dead, reaping sweet revenge on the now adult perpetrators of the deadly prank. When the children of his attackers take a bite from the ‘World’s Greatest Ice Cream’, their parents melt into pools of evil Neapolitan soup.
Well that was just plain bad. Really, really bad. On so many levels. We All Scream for Ice Cream pretty much dies off the starting line with its lame concept alone, which is basically A Nightmare on Elm Street with voodoo ice cream. It's a bland, gimmick driven, E.C. comic inspired revenge story. Only the most skilled comedic director could do anything of value with such a lame concept. Tom Holland just isn't that guy.
Though it’s apparently based on a John Farris story, this uninspired script was crafted by one of my favourite genre critics and writers David Schow—heartbreaking. It’s not just that the plot is stupid, the dialogue is tired and awkward, and every attempt at humour falls even flatter than the many flaccid attempts at horror.
The acting is alright, but nothing to sing, dance, and point about. Factually, I was excited at the prospect of watching William Forsythe play a nutty killer clown, but he ends up coasting through most of the role. Seeing Lee Tergesen act like an average family man was a little fun considering the marathon run of Oz I've been watching lately, but he's a pretty weak leading man, or at least he is here. The kids are half and half, some really quite good, others are really quite bad.
The only thing to recommend the episode is a decent, though somewhat uninspired look. Director Holland is most famous for two pretty average horror flicks that both feature colourful visuals, Child's Play and Fright Night. I wouldn't exactly call him a 'Master of Horror', but I was willing to give him a chance. This isn't really his failure, but I still didn't like it.
Like John Ladis' Family, We All Scream for Ice Cream spends its daylight hours in an idealistic, soft focus, candy coloured suburbia. The image is a little fuzzy, but it seems to be on purpose. The darker scenes are a bit sharper, and the blacks are pretty deep. The overall image is equal to the other season two releases - mostly clear of obtrusive noise and grain, and relatively edge enhancement free.
The box says 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (actually its misprinted as Dolby Surround 5.1), but I really didn't notice any 5.1-like effects. All tracks are clear and very well balanced (I didn't have to mess with the volume to hear any dialogue), but there are few to zero directional effects. The music is pretty blasé, not surprisingly the main theme is ice cream truck based. The LFE track isn't particularly aggressive either, but the overall bass is effective enough.
At this point I can pretty much cut and paste the extras sections from my other season two reviews because I seem to always have the exact same things to say. Here the commentators are Holland and Schow. Holland sounds a bit like a slightly younger Peter Graves, and speaks mostly in technical terms. Schow is livelier, and seems to understand how lacklustre his episode is. He compares Masters of Horror to any 'good horror anthology', and apparently you're supposed to dislike some of the episodes. Right, David.
Then we've got our two featurettes. The first, ‘Sweet Revenge’, is a short look behind the scenes. Here we discover Holland looks a bit like Peter Graves too, and learn a bit about Forsythe's input to his character. The second featurette, which is shorter and called ‘Melt Down’, is a look at the digital and make-up effects found in the episode. As per the norm, Howard Berger of KNB looks exhausted, and one feels sorry for the digital effects supervisor who tries to convince us that his digital effects aren't totally cheesy.
Then there's the photo gallery, DVD-ROM script, and a big group of trailers.
I refuse to make any ice cream related puns. Refuse. This was just a bad movie, and a real bummer considering the last episode I watched, The Black Cat, was probably the best of the season. From the looks of the trailers for episodes I haven't seen yet these DVDs have been front loaded with all the good stuff. Too bad. Only series completest need apply.
Review by Gabriel Powers
This product has not been rated
Release Date: 14th August 2007
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1English, Dolby Surround English
Extras: Director and Writer Commentary, Featurettes, Script, Trailer, Bio
Easter Egg: No
Director: Tom Holland
Cast: William Forsythe, Lee Tergensen
Length: 57 minutes
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