When it comes to finding lost and forgotten horror films, the internet is my biggest advantage. From videos on YouTube to articles on horror webtes, finding that film you strongly remember seeing but forgot the name of it has never been eaer. So, as you can imagine, I first heard of Iced in horror reviews and on horror webtes, and most of them dismissed the film as a waste of time. Well, the concept of a skiing slasher was too intriguing to pass up, having enjoyed 2003's Shredder, so I eventually found a webte that had the film in its entirety and watched it late last night. For those expecting a negative review, watch out, because you're about to get...
Iced 1988 Review
After the wonderfully cheesy title card, we get to see a love triangle between Jeff (Dan Smith), Cory (Doug Stevenson), and Trina (Debra DeLiso, Slumber Party Massacre). Jeff challenges Cory to a ski race, and the prize is Trina. Cory and Jeff race (down the same hill over and over again, apparently), Cory "accidentally" trips Jeff, and wins. In celebration of his victory, Cory and Trina head back to their room at the ski lodge to engage in a little...arm-wrestling? Jeff gets drunk and barges in, demanding Trina back and further embarrasng himself. Jeff decides to do a little late-night skiing while the two lovers finally get it on. Jeff learns that drunk skiing is a bad idea the hard way when he plummets off a ledge and lands on a rock, killing him.
Four years later, Jeff's group of "friends" that were with him on that fateful night, including the now-married Trina and Cory, are invited to stay at a ski chalet where Jeff died years before. The group includes Jeanette (Lisa Loring, AKA Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family), Carl (Ron Kologie), Diane (Elizabeth Gorcey), John (John C. Cooke), and Eddie (Michael Picardi, who gets dispatched before he even gets to the chalet). As you can imagine, a killer dressed in Jeff's old ski suit begins killing them off one by one ung various snow-themed ways (icicle, ski pole, etc.) Will anyone survive the night before they all get ICED?
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"Patience is a virtue." That is what haters of this film seem to be forgetting. While I mostly enjoy fast-paced, no-nonsense slasher movies, this is an exception. Fifty, count 'em, FIFTY minutes of this film is soap-opera. There's a ten-minute sequence at the beginning where Jeff does his thing, and the final thirty minutes are the slasher goodness you were waiting so patiently for. This film is sure to anger many slasher fans , because of it taking so long for the killings to begin and when the bodies start piling up, the camera usually cuts away from the good stuff. Even though it cuts away, we do get to see the aftermaths, so there's a fair amount of blood.
And who can talk about Iced and neglect Lisa Loring's nude scenes? There aren't as many as I thought there would be, but this is far from kid-friendly. Loring's performance is decent, especially when compared to some of the other people in this movie. Out of all the actors and actresses in the film, the best performance (surpringly) belongs to Ron Kologie as Carl, the cokehead. While stating he's the best certainly isn't saying much, I actually felt he played a paranoid coke-addict very well. I thought the worst acting belonged to Elizabeth Gorcey and Joseph Alan Johnson (who played the real estate agent, and wrote the film as well). While DeLiso was really bad in the middle, when she started discovering dead bodies, her performance got a spark of life.
To put it frankly, I thought Iced was awesome in that really, really cheesy and bad late '80s way. Even in the soap-opera middle section, there are enough interesting characters (see above) to keep me entertained and my interest piqued. When the killer decides the time is right to start killing them off, I liked the deaths! Even though they cut away from posbly the best death in the movie (the icicle), I really did like them. I thought the killer looked very cool in his blue jacket and pants, orange ski goggles, and gray boots. There are also some cool killer POV shots through the goggles, which were cool in a fun way. The only drawback is that the killer's identity is very predictable.
Even though it solely relies on campy goodness, Iced surpringly did a lot of things right. I, for one, absolutely LOVED the score. This being a DTV (direct-to-video) slasher, I wasn't expecting much in the muc department. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when I heard that soundtrack! It's your clasc '80s synthezer, but it had all the makings of a big-budget picture. The muc was handled by Dan Milner, who sadly hasn't done much else, except for things like Return of the Killer Tomatoes or American Gladiators. This is extremely unfortunate, as I wouldn't be surprised to see if he had done the scores to multiple Hollywood productions. Yeah, it's that good. Another thing I liked was the sense of isolation. Like many other people, snow adds a whole new layer of isolation to any setting, whether it be a lush manon or, in this case, a chalet. The one thing that got me really frustrated was one goof near the end of the film. When DeLiso's character sees the car parked in front of the chalet, you can clearly see another car pass on some highway beyond. This completely took me out of the picture and ruined that sense of isolation that was so great in the previous hour. DeLiso also makes for a wonderful "final girl" in the clong moments of the picture (it's also interesting to note she runs around in the last twenty or so minutes without any pants on. Intrigued? You should be).
Iced is one of those movies that you watch really late at night when your mind is almost completely turned of as the tendrils of sleep begin to wrap around your eyelids and attempt to close them. Either that or you're completely hammered. I can wtach this movie anytime and still enjoy it. There's some decent acting, and the really miserable acting you can enjoy by laughing until your gut hurts. The editing is choppy at times, the pace is kind of slow, and it takes almost fifty minutes for the massacre to begin, and even then, the deaths will disappoint a lot of people. I also thought the standard "5 Years Later" epilogue was fun in a nonsencal and goofy way, but that part will also leave die-hard slasher fans scratching their heads. But the truth is: I LOVE THIS MOVIE! It's campy, cheesy, and a heckuva lot of trashy fun, if you can handle watching some entertaining characters talk for fifty minutes before the death toll starts.
The Verdict: Cheesetastic fun! But not for everyone. For a taste of what's in store, check out this "great" scene:
Don't trust my judgment? Here's four other opinions:
Oh The Horror
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