We All Scream For Ice Cream (2007)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
Genres / Traits: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Clowns, Food
Years ago, they pulled a disastrous childhood prank on the neighborhood ice cream delivery man that got him killed, but now as they've become adults with families of their own, the last thing anyone expected was for that man to come back in the form of a vengeful, bloodthirsty spirit. --IMDb
Tom Holland Tom Holland
Brent Sheppard Brent Sheppard
Maxwell Neck Maxwell Neck
Tim Henry Tim Henry
Lee Tergesen Lee Tergesen
Laura Drummond Laura Drummond
Movie Connections:
Masters Of Horror: Season 2
> The Damned Thing (2006)
> Family (2006)
> The V Word (2006)
> Pro-Life (2006)
> Sounds Like (2006)
> Pelts (2006)
> The Screwfly Solution (2006)
> Valerie On The Stairs (2006)
> Right To Die (2007)
> We All Scream For Ice Cream (2007)
> The Black Cat (2007)
> The Washingtonians (2007)
> Dream Cruise (2007)

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 14, 2009
Tom Holland is not a "master of horror", in my ever so humble opinion. Sure, I enjoyed Child's Play as much as the next guy, but to call him a master just seems a little far-fetched. However, I was interested in checking out We All Scream for Ice Cream, his entry into Showtime's hit-or-miss Masters of Horror series, based on the fact that the guy can transform absurd situations into halfway decent movies (see the aforementioned movie about a killer doll). It did take me a while to finally get around to watching it, but now that I have seen it, I can safely say that... well, you're either going to dig it or absolutely hate it.

The story for this one begins back in the mid-seventies, where a group of kids known as the West End Bunch decides to play a little prank on Buster (William Forsythe), the friendly neighborhood clown / ice cream man. Buster, as it turns out, has a stuttering problem and is also a little on the slow side, so naturally, these kids decide to torment him for being different. Unfortunately, their prank goes horribly awry, leaving Buster dead in the middle of the street with a handful of quarters. Poor guy - I've never felt this sorry for a clown.

Moving ahead to the present day, we discover that Layne (Lee Tergesen), one of those hooligans responsible for Buster's death, has done quite well for himself over the years. He moved away from his hometown, found himself a wife, had a couple of kids, and even landed a dream job. When he comes back to his roots to settle down with his family in a new home, it doesn't take long before he meets up with the old gang, but the circumstances could have been better. It seems that two of them have mysteriously vanished, leaving behind nothing more than their clothes and what would appear to be melted ice cream. That can't be good given their history.

It seems as though Buster has come back from the dead and is getting back at those who wronged him through their children. He shows up in the middle of the night driving his creepy ice cream truck, does some magic to put the parents to sleep, and forces the children to sleepwalk out to his truck to buy a Popsicle with their hard-earned quarters. When the kids chomp down into that icy goodness, their fathers will melt into a puddle of blood and ice cream. When Layne discovers that he's the last member of the childhood gang to still be walking amongst the living, he realizes that he must find a way to put an end to Buster once and for all.

If you read that plot outline and thought that it sounded similar to what would happen if Pennywise took a trip to Elm Street, then congratulations: you nailed it. Tom Holland's latest feels like the bastard child of those two films mixed together with a heaping helping of humor, and again, this movie is going to divide audiences down the middle. Let me explain that statement while also detailing the style of humor found within.

Buster is not a wisecracking character, and with the exception of his days as a living clown who makes the kids laugh, he never delivers a single one-liner or tells joke number one. The film that houses him is not a comedy in the literal sense, in that there are no parody elements or comic relief characters: the humor comes from the absurdity of the entire situation. There's no laugh track when Buster turns his victims into bloody ice cream, but... he's turning people into bloody ice cream. The idea that Layne comes up with for defeating Buster is played out in all seriousness, but... well, wait until you see what it entails. Viewers will find themselves laughing on numerous occasions, but it's never quite clear if they're supposed to be laughing at what is going on in the film.

That is the problem that some will have with the film: it's not quite funny enough to be classified as a horror comedy hybrid, but it's too humorous to be taken as a legitimate genre entry. Personally, I felt that straddling that line worked out decently enough and made for an interesting if not overly memorable film, but I can certainly see why some would be put off by it. If you read the above plot synopsis and thought that it sounded downright stupid, then you will not like the film - bottom line. If, however, you read it and thought that it sounded silly enough to provide an hour of entertainment, then you just might enjoy this release.

William Forsythe is great as Buster in both his living and undead forms, and this is probably one of the biggest reasons why I enjoyed the film as much as I did. As a stuttering man who is simply trying to peddle his wares while putting smiles on the faces of the neighborhood kids, one can't help but start to love this character, and we actually feel a little saddened when he meets his untimely demise. Forsythe made this unlikely hero work far better than it should have, and when he turns to the dark side, we get a character who is just as good. If you have a touch of coulrophobia or if Pennywise gave you nightmares, you will "love" this particular clown: he's not quite as good as King's creation, but he's not far behind it either. Also, it's always nice to see Lee Tergesen getting solid roles, and the man did not disappoint here as he once again proved that he should be doing bigger things in Hollywood.

Overall, We All Scream for Ice Cream was a fairly decent movie if you don't go in expecting a serious horror flick, but some of you will despise it - I can say that with the utmost certainty as it's not for everyone. I doubt that many of you will be blown away or label this a new classic, but those of you who enjoy a little silliness with your horror may get a kick out of the newest clown to terrorize kids and adults alike. 7/10.
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