July is coming to an end, and with it National Ice Cream Month. If you've spent the last few weeks celebrating with ice cream sliders at Reservoir and $3 milkshakes at Rowdy Red, perhaps you've noticed your summer cut-offs feel bit more snug than they did in June. Struggling to relinquish the pints of Strawberry Haagen Dazs stashed in your freezer? Try watching Paul Norman's 1995 slasher film, "Ice Cream Man."
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As a child, Gregory Trudor watched as his beloved neighborhood ice cream man, the Ice Cream King, was gunned down in a freak drive-by shooting; the trauma of the incident caused poor Gregory to have a mental breakdown. He is committed to the Wishing Well Sanitorium and subjected to years of strange psychological tests. When Gregory finally emerges from the institution as an adult, he is (presumably) rehabilitated and resolved to take over the ice cream business of his lost childhood hero, the King.
Gregory's ice cream is a huge success, but it becomes increasingly apparent that he has more than a few loose screws left: the town's children are disappearing, and people have begun to inquire about the secret to Gregory's delicious hand-packed scoops -- especially the butter brickle.
Clint Howard's performance as the ice cream man will probably incite more laughs than screams, but this cult classic is packed with enough gross stuff to make you think twice about reaching for another Drum Stick.
You can rent "Ice Cream Man" at Cinefile on Santa Monica Blvd., or at any of the city's distributors of cult films.