Plot: What’s it about?
As a child, Layne (Lee Tergesen) and his friends were known as the West End Bunch, but the memories of his youth aren’t always pleasant. He and his friends were pressured to taunt Buster, a mentally handicapped man who dressed as a clown and sold ice cream to children, a man who was as kind as could be. But the local bully pushed Layne and his friends to pull a prank on Buster, pull the brake and let his truck roll down the hill. But a tragic turn of events followed, as Buster was run over his truck and killed, right in front of a group of children. Layne moved away, but now returns as an adult, but his re-arrival hasn’t had the best luck for him and the rest of the West End Bunch. The circle of friends has suffered several deaths in close proximity, but is this just coincidence or is there a darker force at work?
I’ve seen most of the Masters of Horror series and I was looking forward to We All Scream For Ice Cream, as the talent involved was impressive. The concept has potential and while we’ve seen killer clowns go after adults because of their childhood behavior before, this had a new spin. The Buster character is done well, a slow, but kind man who falls victim to a cruel turn of events. In truth, I think he is too likable, as I wanted to see him extract his revenge, even on Layne. Then again, none of the children or adults seemed that likable, so again, I was on Buster’s side. That kind of put a crimp on the tension, since instead of hoping to see Layne escape, I was hoping for his demise. The Buster character is quite cool and its a shame we probably won’t see him return. We All Scream For Ice Cream isn’t bad, but it isn’t as good as it should have been. Even so, fans of horror will want to give it a rental, to see some melting carnage and witness Buster’s wrath.
Video: How does it look?
We All Scream For Ice Cream is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer looks terrific, for a made for cable production or otherwise. The flaws are very minor here, with some slight pixel breakup present and edge enhancement, but in the end, these aren’t enough to hold back this superb transfer. The colors look rich and bold here, with accurate flesh tones and no signs of bleeds in the least. I found the contrast to be flawless also, as black levels were razor sharp and detail is rich throughout. I have no real problems here and as such, I am giving it high marks.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby Digital 5.1 option is solid all around, more active than I expected. The surrounds are used a lot in this one throughout, which adds a lot to the film’s atmosphere and that is vital to a picture like this one. When it needs to, this track can boom and even the bass kicks deep, but even the low key scenes pack a solid punch. The music sounds solid here also and the dialogue is sharp, never lost in this mix, even when it reaches a fevered pitch. In the end, this is a superb audio track and I think it helps the film’s effectiveness a lot. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround soundtrack.
Supplements: What are the extras?
If you want to hear a good discussion about the movie’s ups and downs, give the commentary track a listen, as director Tom Holland and writer David J. Schow. The two talk about the changes made from Schow’s teleplay, as the writer obviously thinks more could have been done with the concept. Holland doesn’t argue, but he does point out the positives, while Schow is more focused on the missed potential. A candid, worthwhile session, no doubt. A brief behind the scenes featurette is mostly an interview with star William Forsythe, while the special effects piece lacks depth, so don’t expect much.