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Ice From The Sun
cast: Ramona Midgett, D.J. Vivona, Angela Zimmerly, Todd Tevlin, and Jason Christ

director: Eric Stanze

117 minutes (18) 1998
Scream House DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
Following the muddled, barely comprehensible, plot of this zero-budget movie (reportedly shot on Super-8), is almost as great a trial as the horrors endured by its long-suffering, lost-soul heroine, Alison (Ramona Midgett, the only halfway-decent actor featured here). Ice From The Sun will surely tax the stamina and try the patience of even the most stoic and dedicated watcher of trash cinema, but its rewards for such perseverance are meagre at best.

There's a nutcase kept or locked in a cellar, raving and raging at some unknown, unfathomable injustice (or perhaps he's simply bonkers?), presented for viewing displeasure as silent footage with a sickly green tint. A blonde girl is garrotted at a picnic site. A handyman, balding with King Kong sideburns, is given an old book. Schizoid individual plays chess with self. There's a kneecapping and an obligatory exploding head. Homicidal cult maniacs drink human blood. Frenzied montages of horror snapshots cut together with a bag-of-hammers heavy metal soundtrack intrude in timely fashion preventing your reviewer from sleeping, yet never quite staving off the ultimate of tragedy of causing boredom.

A few arresting sequences manage to break-up the filmmaker's monotonously obscure storytelling technique. One naked girl is dragged behind a truck along a stony path. She's then covered in salt. Perhaps, as an impressionable youngster, the director saw Hellraiser and Seven once too often? Along with The Last House On The Left, The Evil Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and other grossly inimitable genre touchstones, I'm sure.

Poor lighting, out-of-focus and/or pointlessly jittery handheld camerawork (b/w and colour switching further unbalanced by random crazy angles), and terrible sound quality with muffled dialogue scupper potentially involving moments, while the narration benefits not at all from the irritating echo and empty bathroom-reverb effects. Throw in great hideous swathes of pretentious waffle from the supposedly pivotal 'characters' and you've got a two-hour flick that feels like a dispiriting experience of life-sentence duration. Existential gloom belongs on the screen, not off it.

The 'melting man' is hardly incredible; he's just an effects' gig that completely lacks credibility. Most of this film's cast exude the charisma of last month's floor rag. My attention wandered during the house 'party' scene. When the roomful of irksomely twittering 'actors' vanish it's a relief of miraculous proportions. But, sorry, Mr Stanze... I can write nothing more about this ordeal.

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