The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ice Cream Man (1995)

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This is a movie that I've been trying to get up for a long time. The problem is I've never actually seen the whole thing. It's always on Sci-Fi late at night, and I always fall asleep. Or someone has it, but we only see so much of it before we do something else. I finally decided to hunker down and make it happen, so here it is.

Ice Cream Man has veteran character actor Clint Howard leading a start studded cast, where he plays a psychotic ice cream man. The kids in town have a bad feeling about him, and when one of them sees him stuff their friend in the back of the van, they know there's trouble. Slowly the town believes them, but by then the death toll's grown pretty high. Ultimately it's up to the kids to take him down.

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This is pretty hilarious. It's meant to be a campy horror film, and it is. Clint Howard is perfectly cast, as you can well imagine. There's some pretty funny ice cream deaths, but not as many as you'd imagine. If I have one complaint, it's that it wasn't creative enough. You had a guy who's decapitated and has his head planted on an ice cream cone. In another, Howard throws a kid into his Kenmore freezer, and tells him "You're ice cream!" I have no idea what that even means, which I think makes it funnier. Maybe the best was the use of an eyeball for the marshmallow in a scoop of Rocky Road. Still, more people were just stabbed, which is pretty boring.

Really what makes this good, is that it's not as funny as the people who made it think it is. It's essentially another Catalina Caper. In the MST3K episode guide, they said Catalina Caper was one of the more challenging films they did, because they were making fun of a comedy. I think if you're a veteran bad movie guy, this is the kind of film you need to go for, just to see how much you really got. Can you pick apart a film that's intentionally supposed to be funny? On another note, I never thought I'd see this, but Mike Nelson's RiffTrax has taken on my all time favorite movie, Casablanca. I'm very curious.

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Clint Howard has a huge resume. In 1998 he won the lifetime achievement award at the MTV Movie Awards. Part of me thinks "how is this his first film on the site?"; but when I look at what he's done, a lot of it is mainstream stuff. He was in Frost/Nixon. I mean, it helps having Ron Howard for a brother. You think Ted Raimi could get into the Spiderman films if his brother wasn't Sam? But also, what that does is it limits his availability for this kind of bigger role in a DTV film.

There are a whole bunch of other people in this too. If I forget one, I'm sorry. You got the chick from Conan that was the baddie in Red Sonja (do you ever annoy your friends and call it Son-jah? I love doing that.). There's a chick from One Life to Live. Jan Michael Vincent and Lee Majors II play detectives. Olivia Hussey, who you may remember showed her amazing boobs in Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Then there's the guy from An American Werewolf in London. Doug Llewelyn, court reporter from The People's Court, the old one with Judge Wapner, is in this as a grocery store manager. Finally, LA Dodgers great Steve Garvey plays one of the kids' fathers. Gotta love Steve Garvey.

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I must confess, I'm not much of an ice cream guy. I like it. My favorite flavor is Cherry Garcia. But I don't go crazy for it. Too much of it makes my stomach hurt immensely. Also, my neighborhood never had an ice cream man growing up. I guess we were too far out of the way, even though we had tons of kids around, and we were right near the highway. It's funny, because growing up my hometown, Kittery, Maine, was considered the boonies. We're like 50 miles north of Boston, right on the southern tip of the state on the New Hampshire border. When I went to college at UMaine, 15 minutes north of Bangor, and three hours north of Kittery, I learned that being within three miles as the crow flies from the nearest shopping mall was not the boonies.

This is definitely worth checking out. It's not as funny as it thinks it is, but it's funny enough. It's very gross, so if you have friends that're a little squeamish, you may want them to pass, or at least not have them eat Firecracker Sausages while you watch it.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113376/

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