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Film / Ice Cream Man

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"You little turds are gonna learn you can’t run from the ice cream man!"
Gregory Tudor

Ice Cream Man is a 1995 horror film starring Clint Howard.

After witnessing the local ice cream man Butch Brickle killed before his eyes in a drug-related shootout, little Gregory Tudor has to spend some time in a sanitarium. Years later he has become an ice cream man himself, only one with a streak for murder.

It was given the RiffTrax treatment in 2018.

This film has the examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Adults write off the kids' claims against Gregory as a case of Crying Wolf and in the end, it's up to them to stop him.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed but Tuna's father is cheating on his wife with someone else and shows some Jerkass behavior. Albeit he is still shown to care about his son.
    • Jacob is a mean borderline bully Jerkass thus making him a better example of this troop.
    • If you look at some of the news articles, in Gregory's ice cream building, you see that they say Brickle was killed in a drug related hit showing he was a criminal himself.
  • Bad Humor Truck: Gregory uses Brickle's old ice cream truck to do his work. It has the word "for" missing from "Watch out for children" from the back of it.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: While he's more genuinely insane than truly malicious, Gregory kills his neighbor's dog and puts it through a wood chipper.
  • Bedlam House: "Happy days" at the Wishing Well Sanitarium is anything but, as its leading doctor is crazy himself.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Gregory gives one after killing a girl with an icepick.
      That's what I call a brain freeze.
    • Small Paul delivers one himself when he finishes off Gregory by leading him to his doom.
      Who's the Pied Piper now, ice cream dick?
  • The End... Or Is It?: The ending poses the question if Small Paul can get over his time with Gregory or will he become just like him.
  • Eye Scream: Parts of eyes are one of Gregory's ingredients, and he gives an ice cream cone with some to Detective Maldwyn.
  • Fairytale Motifs: The Pied Piper of Hamelin is heavily referenced throughout the film.
  • Force Feeding: Gregory starts force-feeding Tuna when the detectives corner him in his truck.
  • Foreshadowing: Early on in the movie when the police raiding Gregory's building, a cop sees a ice cream mixer with a blade. When the cop asks what it is used for, Gregory explains how its used to slice thing up for his ice cream while also making a unsubtle threat about how it can chop up cops too. Guess how Gregory meets his end in this movie.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gregory was traumatized after seeing his idol killed in front of him, and the mental hospital he was taken to actually make things worse instead of helping him.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Gregory has a tearful visit to Brickle's grave.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: The detective eating the ice cream with an eyeball in it. The camera stays locked in on his chewing lips for an uncomfortably long shot.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Surprisingly, in a movie about a killer ice cream man, he doesn't kill any kids.
  • Ironic Echo: When Gregory asks some questions from Det. Maldwyn about their case, he tells him that is is classified. When Maldwyn moments later asks Gregory about his ice cream, he tells him that it's classified.
  • Job Title
  • Leitmotif: Gregory is frequently accompanied by that distinctive ice cream truck jingle.
  • No Name Given:
    • End credits give the name of the crazy doctor that runs the sanitarium as Crazy Doctor.
    • Likewise, the doctor with the oversized syringe is known as Happy Doctor.
  • Off with His Head!: Gregory holds an impromptu puppet show to the kids with the severed heads of the policemen that were sent to trail him in the climax.
    • Tuna's dad meets his end this way or at least is headless in the next scene after Gregory burns him.
  • Police Are Useless: Somewhat subverted. Despite not finding any evidence initially in the search, Detective Gifford and Maldwyn are still suspicious of Gregory and investigate him. However by the climax, both of them are knocked out by Gregory thus following this troop.
  • Product Placement: The film was sponsored by Converse Shoes, and there are lots of shots of characters wearing them.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: People are Gregory's secret ingredient.
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: Whenever we see inside Gregory's truck, there are white mice and Madagascar hissing cockroaches wandering placidly around the ice cream and bloody eyes.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Johnny's brother Jacob instead of going to the cops after Johnny and Heather tell him what happens, decides to go into a dark empty building to look for a derange killer and missing child by himself. All because he thinks he is a cop despite not officially being one yet. This is doubly stupid as no cop would do something that dangerous without back up.
    • In the opening scene when the hit men shoot his truck, Brickle walks out in plain view thus making him a open target instead of just hiding or staying in his truck.
  • Tragic Villain: Gregory, who had a miserable life and is genuinely insane.
  • Vigilante Man: Jacob, who insists he's basically a cop already and is only lacking the badge.
  • Villain Has a Point: While the cops were right for serving Gregory the warrant and searching his place given the situation, he makes a good point that they wrecked his place and didn't even find anything at the end, saying "Are you sorry you didn't find anything and wrecked my place, or are you just sorry you didn't find anything?"
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: The eponymous man uses the exact line: "You little turds are gonna have to realize you can't run from the ice cream man! I know where you live! If you tell anyone, I'll get your mom and dad!"