Director – Tom Holland
Cast – Colin Cunningham, William Forsythe, Tim Henry, Ingrid Tesch, Spencer Achtymichuk, Brett Kelly, Samuel Patrick Chu, Cainan Wiebe, Lee Tergesen, Brent Sheppard, Maxwell Neck, Laura Drummond
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Tom Holland made his mark on the horror scene with fun horror flicks. He broke out with his debut film, the ever-awesome 1985 vampire flick Fright Night, and gave us one of horror’s coolest villains in Child’s Play. He stayed true to the type of horror that made his name with his entry into the “Masters of Horror” series titled We All Scream for Ice Cream. With its fun feel, vengeance theme, and a clown for an antagonist(you know I love vengeance and clowns), you can see why I enjoyed this one.
This flick stars Colin Cunningham as Virgil, a married man with living a simple life with his wife and two kids. Virgil decides to move his family back to his hometown, where he long ago buried a nasty secret. Soon after his arrival, his childhood friends he grew up with begin to die mysterious deaths, deaths that leave little behind other than sloppy ice cream-esque goop. As the murders continue Virgil can think of only one person behind these violent acts, the mentally disabled clown he and his friend’s negligently killed during a prank they pulled on him as children. The spirit of the clown, named Buster(William Forsythe), has risen from the grave to exact revenge on the group now that all of them are back in town. Using their children to seal their fate, he hypnotizes them and gives them a choice; eat the ice cream, or don’t eat the ice cream. If they eat the ice cream, the parent involved in the attack dies a horrible and gooey death. If the child chooses not to eat the ice cream, the parent lives. Of course, what child on Earth would turn down fresh delicious ice cream?
A vengeful clown getting revenge against those who killed him decades ago? Heck yeah! What made this even more awesome to me was the fact that this was not an ordinary clown, but a mentally disabled citizen that only found joy in selling his ice cream to wide-smiling kids who love their ice cream. When we see him killed the pain feels real, as he was the only character I really cared for in this film, which is what the writers obviously wanted. Maybe it is my compassion for the disabled, but this really did get to me, and it helped in my enjoyment of this flick when the carnage ensues. William Forsythe was awesome as Buster, especially during the latter scenes when Buster returns from the grave. Talk about a creepy looking/acting clown, Buster rocked! Some may find some parts of this film silly, and I can understand that a person dying by becoming a pool of melted ice cream can come off as a bit silly. But hey, this is a clown we are referring to, they can’t be serious all of the time ya know.
The character Virgil was used as well as possible for this type of film, and we feel compassion and understanding for his character as well given he was much smaller and younger than the group he used to hang with, and was seemingly pressured into going along with the prank. It is obvious the death of Buster still haunts him, much more than the rest of the group who repented much too late when they each met their demise. I also enjoyed that Buster used the children to dispose of his killers. The writers could have easily gone the route of him killing off his killers one by one, which I would not have minded AT ALL, but it was nice to see him use the children to do his dirty work. There is just something creepy about that, especially when you see the awesome on-screen atmosphere Tom Holland creates during those scenes. It is obvious the guy still has what it takes to get the job done in this genre, and I would love to see him continue his directing efforts. Sadly, this 2007 film is his last directing effort to date.
Overall, this is a cool watch if you are into vengeance themes, clowns, or both. We get some nice creepy scenes and a great performance by William Forsythe that I hope someday lands him a killer clown role. Give this one a watch if you would like to see a campy killer clown flick.
– I ranked this film #14 out of the 26 entries in my Ranking the “Masters of Horror” Entries post.