Ice Cream Man (1995)
Back of the box...
“The happy jingle of the neighborhood ice cream truck turns into hell’s bells as Gregory Tudor (Clint Howard) delivers torture, murder and mayhem with every scoop of rocky road. After witnessing the murder of his friend ‘The Ice Cream King,’ Gregory grows up to become a demented ice cream man with mysterious frozen treats. No one is safe from the ice cream man in this pulse-pounding nightmare that sure to leave you chilled to the bone.”
Director: Paul Norman (as Norman Apstein)
Starring: Clint Howard, Justin Isfeld, Anndi McAfee
Watch the Trailer
Famed director of the Edward Penishands trilogy, Paul Norman, makes his first and only attempt to break out of porn and into mainstream cinema with 1995’s Ice Cream Man, starring Clint Howard. The film starts off on a bad foot as the embarrassingly home-video-esque opening credits prompted us to pick up our phones and investigate whether it’s even a real movie. This was when we learned that the director’s last film was titled Sperm Bitches. With its piss-poor acting, after-school-special cinematography, and go-nowhere story, you might wonder what’s the point in watching? Simply put, Clint Howard is the point. He’s completely creepy in all the most over-the-top and hilarious ways, catapulting Ice Cream Man from complete shit to so-bad-it’s-good camp.
After witnessing his local ice cream man’s violent death, Gregory Tudor (Howard) was institutionalized and forced to eat ice cream in some kind of sick, ironic form of aversion therapy. Now, as an adult, it’s painfully clear that the therapy did not work. Tudor has taken over as the neighborhood ice cream man where he preys on the local kids, serving ice cream mixed with bugs and the bloody remains of his victims. His morbid business model is threatened when one of the local kids witnesses his friend’s abduction, spurring detectives to investigate.
Early 90’s fashion is center stage in Ice Cream Man, as our heroes are a group of kids wearing long denim shorts, baggy t-shirts, sleeveless flannels, and have their hair parted down the middle. Remember that look? We do, it was awesome! The token fat kid in the group, nicknamed Tuna, is an obvious attempt to rip off Chunk from The Goonies but is actually an average sized kid wearing big clothes stuffed with padding. The kids dialogue, as well as everyone else in the film, is always hilarious in its stupidity. The kind of stupid that has someone ask a friend standing right in front of them eating an ice cream, “you guys got ice cream, huh?” What gave it away, Small Paul? Was it the ice cream in his hand, you fucking idiot!
Ice Cream Man has a little bit of a cult following, which we assume is for being so ridiculous and terrible. In addition to its unintentional camp value, the movie also has some bizarre appearances to look out for, including David Warner (The Omen, TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze), Olivia Hussey (Black Christmas), and David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London). Whether its cult status has you curious or you’re looking for a fun, terrible movie to mock with friends, Ice Cream Man may be what you’re looking for.