THE ICE CREAM MAN IS COMING!!!
Growing up in the UK watching Hollywood movies I’ve always thought the American suburbs were a horrible place to live. The stale uniformity of the houses, the cold alien like residents, the weird draconian rules that are forced upon the teenagers that force them to rebel by arranging formal dances, or starting up pirate radio stations*. It didn’t surprise me then when things take a turn for the weird when Mary (Deanna Russo) puts up a white picket fence of her own in Megan Freels Johnston’s “Ice Cream Truck”.
Moving back to her hometown ,It doesn’t take long for the local Stepford wives to get their nicely manicured claws dug in and assimilate her into the neighbourhood. The locals seem nice enough though, overly friendly in some aspects but nothing that raises the alarm. They’ll certainly help her settle in and keep her busy until her husband and kids join her. If the parents don’t help her get comfortable in her new life the teenagers will, especially Max (John Redlinger) who takes a shine to the new arrival in town.
The story follows Mary and her apprehension about moving back to her old town, the idea that returning to the sleepy suburb she grew up in signals her life winding down. Her career as a freelance writer while at one time exciting now seems to bores her. Her husband and kids seem to be getting on without her. She doesn’t seem to fit in with the residents her age… What’s a woman going through a midlife crisis to do if she’s left alone with no one but a hot 18 year old to talk to?
Oh, and there’s also a guy going around driving a Ice cream truck stabbing people… Forgot about that. This might tip you off that this film isn’t going to be what you expected it to be. Certainly going into it my expectations were set to generic stalk and slash and it defied that entirely… was it for the best though? My general feeling is… Yes, Yes it is.
Mary’s alienation from the world she now inhabits, the caricatures that surround her and the temptations that are offered up, are good enough to make a movie about on there own. The unease she feels living alone and the awkwardness of socialising with people her own age create a feeling of unease that could well lead to a horror of another sort. If the Ice cream truck wasn’t rolling through town offing kids, it wouldn’t be missed, the addition of it and the cweepy killer it contains feels slightly tacked on at the end of the day.
Top marks go the films score, the ice cream trucks theme tune sounds like it was ripped out of someone’s nightmare and the rest of the film is covered in 80’s style synthy goodness, which helps give the film a heavy nostalgia feel…. Puts you in the mood for a straight slasher movie though. An enjoyable film but may leave some frustrated.
*“Footloose” and “Pump up the volume” the only 2 films I’ve every seen that feature the American suburbs obviously