HOT BLOOD SUNDAE
Director: John Dorbonne
Year of release: 2008
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 85 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: DVD only
Tagline: "Where the ice cream is to DIE for".
Also known as: Ice Cream: The Remix
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Hot Blood Sundae is a remake of an obscure low budget nineties slasher by name of Ice Scream. There seems to have been two copies of this remake released, the version I’ll be looking at here and another titled Ice scream: The Remix. I’m not sure if there is any difference between the two other than the name and cover art but it is typically the Hot Blood Sundae variation that you’ll find for sale so thus this is the version I own. My apologies for the poor quality picture. This was the only one I could find which would save properly. There isn’t a great emphasis on plot but what little story we do have follows a struggling Ice Cream parlour owner who decides to spice up the image of his shop in an attempt to drum up more business. Figuring that sex sells the entrepreneur decides to combine America’s love of ice cream with its appreciation (on the male side at least) for sexy scantily clad women. Putting his already attractive female staff in skimpy outfits and renaming all of the ice cream flavours to carry a sexual connotation business picks up and the plan to reinvigorate the once flagging store seems to be working. That is until a mysterious black clad figure begins eliminating the shops staff one by one.
Good points: The same actor who played the male police officer in the original returns here to pick up the mantle once again in an almost identical role. For those who may have seen the nineties movie it will be nice to se a familiar face.
The killer looks okay with an outfit which is both a nod to the first film but also to the hugely popular Scream which came out just a year or so prior to Ice Scream. The killer here wears black robes which to me seemed almost exactly the same as those seen in Scream along with a painted bucket type piece of headgear which serves as a mask. Initially we only see the killer in quick glimpses and the bucket is largely covered by a hood or cowl of some kind but as things progress more and more of the bucket is revealed until the hood disappears completely. I’ve not seen the original but I’m pretty sure the killer had a bucket type mask back then so for them to stay true to that here is a nice inclusion. BIG SPOILER: I also thought the killer out of costume as dorky behind the scenes worker Wesley was decent to watch. He was a very silly character which I didn’t appreciate but at the same time he had a lot of tics and made some unusual facial expressions that were interesting to watch.
I liked the setting of the ice cream parlour and the scope it offered for murders to take place in the back in the store rooms and kitchens etc. Though it wasn’t explored all that much I also liked how parts of the victims or their blood would wind up as part of the ice cream product being sold. Some of the aspects of the shop and the backstage area were silly and not very well thought out but it made for a quite original backdrop at least and it helped keep things watchable throughout.
The women who appear in the film in the form of the staff and the police assistant are really hot and certainly not shy when it comes to showing off a lot of flesh. If you enjoy a lot of titillation and nudity in your slasher films then this one could be for you. This isn’t normally something I like picking out as a positive granted but sometimes with these low budget productions you have to dig a little deeper to find praise. Unless you are a completionist collector of the genre then I guess you would mainly be watching this for a fix of bare flesh anyway and this does deliver in that area so perhaps it’s only fair I list it as a plus point.
Bad Points: The main area of the film with which I take umbrage with is how over the top, unrealistic and silly it all is. To an extent with a film like this this is all part of the fun and charm I know but this takes things to new levels of being ridiculous and is perhaps the silliest slasher I’ve seen to date.
To provide a few examples of how silly it all is the parlour doesn’t even have a glass counter with all the tubs of ice cream visible beneath as you would expect to see. They only seem to have about three flavours available at any one time and for some reason these are kept behind the counter right back against the far wall so the customers can’t even see what they would be getting. This was probably a budgetary thing as maybe they couldn’t find or afford to shoot in a real ice cream parlour but seeing that this shop front makes up such a major part of the set it makes things seem incredibly unrealistic.
Another silly thing was that the shop featured a large communal showers and a locker room area in the back similar to what you would find in a school or gym changing room. I don’t know of any shops that have such a feature, certainly not tiny struggling ice cream parlours!
Also adding to the unrealistic nature of things was how the shop continued to stay open even though the staff were clearly being targeted and bumped off on the premises. It should have been closed down for sure after the second body turned up.
Probably the most silly aspect of the whole film though was the character of the female police assistant. We only ever saw her while on duty yet she would always be attired in a sexy stripper style cop outfit complete with stockings and suspenders! If they really wanted to include such an outfit then what they could have done to improve the realism is to have the store owner try to persuade the officer to work for him and seeing how much money the girls are making since the shop makeover she could be tempted and eventually agree to try it. She could then be presented with the sexy cop outfit which she could wear perhaps in a private audition for the store owner. Shortly after she could then decide it isn’t for her or maybe she does work their for a short while only to return to being a cop once the next murder occurs. She could even do it as part of a going undercover to catch the killer gimmick. Anyway this is just an idea on my part but it plays into the sleazy nature of the store owner while at the time providing a way to keep some of these fun things onboard but not at the expense of being massively unrealistic which is how it turned out the way they did it.
The blood and gore isn’t particularly impressive and again is too over the top and sometimes just looks fake and over-done. There is too much blood shown in the back of the shop to the point that it looks as if the victims have just been swimming in strawberry or tomato sauce. There are too many scattered body parts lying around as well and it isn’t clear who they belong to. They could perhaps have justified the inclusion of some of these by saying they belonged to a murdered off camera Mrs Zemrak as the way things stood her character just quietly disappeared anyway with someone simply saying she went home. Another issue related to the murders I noticed was that it wasn’t made clear exactly who the girl was that got killed at the very start away from the store. Presumably she was just meant to be another shop worker but if so her colleagues never mentioned her or wondered where she was so there was a weakness in the script here. Also one of the girls seems to be killed by just having ice cream toppings poured onto her which seems preposterous. To make matters even worse there would often be heavy rock music playing over the top of the murder scenes which I found annoying.
As you’ve probably gathered from reading this far this is a very sleazy and misogynistic film which is by no means backward about coming forward with regards to how much female flesh it puts on show. I did mention this as a positive as well and indeed it may appeal to some but by the same token it may also put plenty off and just cause them to instantly dismiss the film. I personally didn’t mind too much other than the fact that again it pushed this angle in an unrealistic way. There should have been at least one male shop worker in a revealing outfit as not only would this have balanced things out a bit but it would also make things more realistic. I say this as they would surely want to appeal to female ice cream eaters as well and not doing so would surely lock them out of half their potential market? They could have had the guy killed off really quickly if they didn’t want him to have much screen time or they could just have had the boss fire him early due to jealousy over how much attention the hunk might be receiving from his female colleagues. It would only have had to be a small bit part but it could have really helped with the realism while also making things appear a little less sexist.
Spoiler: It is never revealed why the old man character is wearing a clown costume in the black and white scenes we see near the start and also in his more prominent scene at the end. It was good that they tied his identity into the owner of the store at least but they neglected to explain why he was so strangely dressed.
Verdict: Hot Blood Sundae is an incredibly silly over the top movie that is geared more towards showing off naked flesh and providing titillation than it is to showcasing more traditional stalk and slash elements. It is also super unrealistic, far too much so for my taste. Despite the problems though I didn’t hate it and I didn’t find myself becoming bored while watching it. The killer at least has some effort made with the costume as well and if you leave your brain at the door there is some fun to be had here in small doses. You’ll probably enjoy watching the attractive female cast if nothing else but on the whole the project is largely let down by being too silly and unrealistic for its own good.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Girl in house eating cone: Stabbed in the shower with ice cream cone. Possibly there was meant to be a knife concealed inside.
2)Paula: Asphyxiated with plastic bag and body frozen.
3)Jodi?: Not 100% sure but I think she was hit on the top of the head with an axe.
4)Mindy: Weakened by being submerged in a bucket of what I think was meant to be blood. She then had sprinkles, sauce and other toppings poured over her which somehow seemed to kill her. Body later found in car.
5)Police assistant Jesse: Struck in the chest with an axe.
6)Officer Pellieter: Stabbed repeatedly in the chest and then organs pulled out.
7)Tyler: Stabbed from behind and then repeatedly stabbed many more times after he had fallen.
8)Wesley: Shot by Rick’s father.
There is a small chance that Mrs Zemrak could have been killed as well as it is the killer who says she has gone home and there are a lot of chopped up body parts on display that could be attributed to her.