Movie night round 2 is in the books and it was a doozy. T'was a rainy night in Columbus, Ohio but we had a great crowd and two movies that couldn't have been more different.
The first theme of the night was Snack Time and the choices were revealed to be:
Movie #1: Popcorn IMDB
Movie #2: The Peanut Butter Solution IMDB
Movie #3: Ice Cream Man IMDB
Popcorn got no reaction from the crowd (just like Double Impact). First movie curse perhaps? Sorry, I'm always on the lookout for curses. This could also just be a result of my poor hosting abilities in getting the crowd's attention. I'll go with the curse though. The Peanut Butter Solution got a solid response, and people found out too late that Celine Dion did the score for it which probably would have swayed them away from the eventual winner, The Ice Cream Man.
This is one that I have seen multiple times and still consider one of my favorite bad horror movies so I already knew it would go over pretty well if it was chosen. As entertaining as it is, I think it is even more interesting how it was put together. Apart from Clint Howard who is a national treasure, this was directed by porn director Paul Norman under the pseudonym Norman Apstein. Oh, did I mention that this is the only non-porno that he has ever directed? Go to his IMDB page and check out how the children-centric Ice Cream Man is sandwiched (tugs collar) between such titles as "Bimbo Boys", "Bitches in Heat: Pt. 1 Locked in the Basement" and "Bi and Beyond 6: Authentic".
That is only the beginning. Somehow this guy was able to wrangle not only Clint Howard, which isn't that much of a stretch, but also David Warner, Sandahl Bergman, David Naughton, and Jan Michael Vincent. Now granted, this isn't the A-list we're talking about but that isn't bad for a guy with Bimbo Boys on his resume. There are also some really strange cameos like Steve Garvey from the San Diego Padres and also Doug Llewelyn who was the host of the People's Court for years. How did this all come together?!
Back to the movie - Howard plays Gregory Tudor, a kid who saw his hero, the Ice Cream King, shot to death in the street. First of all, what kind of shady shit was the Ice Cream King into to where a group of guys with machine guns would assassinate him in a suburb in full view of children and their parents? This trauma lead Gregory to a mental institution where got green goop shot into his brain. It isn't made clear how he got out of the institution but I assume it was because he was deemed rehabilitated by his nurse who is like 35 years old but acts 70. I think they got the actress for the flashback scenes and didn't have the budget to get good old age makeup so they just tossed a shawl and glasses on her and called it a day.
Gregory has become the Ice Cream Prince and sells his ice cream to the neighborhood kids, who include our main kid characters Johnny, Heather, Small Paul, and TUUUUUNA. Tuna is the fat kid because the other kids call him the fat kid and he acts all fat. In reality, the actor playing Tuna is not fat and they just stuck a pillow under his shirt and called it a day again. The Ice Cream Man doesn't seem overly aggressive towards them at first, it's only after they keep changing their goddamn ice cream orders that he starts to plan their murders, and rightfully so. From then on it is more murder of family, friends, and guardians as the kids try to escape his wrath.
There is so much more to get into (like how almost everyone in the movie wears Chuck Taylors, or the incredible scenes in the grocery store and the mental institution) but needless to say, this is a hugely entertaining terrible movie and the crowd liked it a lot.
Kurt Russell would give this film 9/10
The second theme of the night was White Ninjas Named Richard and the choices were revealed to be:
Movie #1: Deathfight starring Richard Norton IMDB
Movie #2: Warrior of Justice starring Richard Lynch IMDB
Movie #3: Ninja Kill starring Richard Harrison IMDB
This one turned out to be pretty hilarious because I'm pretty sure the crowd couldn't tell the difference between the movies. They all had a white ninja on the cover so I guess people thought that would be the idea for most of them, which you would think would be true but not exactly. Deathfight and Warrior of Justice both got a decent reaction but Ninja Kill was the winner, most likely due to it's great name (though, to be fair, all of these movies have pretty incredible names). And wouldn't ya know it, I'm willing to bet my life savings (haha) that this was the movie with by far the least amount of screen time for white ninjas, named Richard or not.
Out of the three options I had only seen Warrior of Justice so I was excited to check this one out and...well...it was a goddamn trainwreck. It was farted out by Godfrey Ho in a year when he "directed" about forty movies. I say "directed" because this is two separate movies edited together. Who knows what to expect? It starts out promisingly enough with a short, terribly-dubbed conversation immediately followed by a ninja fight. Possibly my second favorite thing in the movie (we'll get to the real favorite later) was the ninjas' ability to change into their ninja gear by simply waving their hands frantically in front of their face like one of the three stooges. That and all of the ninja headbands that said "Nin Ja" on them.
Now on to the plot, okay, I'm not sure how to proceed here because I have no idea what happened in this movie and I watched it pretty intently all the way through. I will handle this by giving a short description of what I thought the movie was about and then go to and find a synopsis and copy and paste it and then compare the two.
Ok, there is a ninja that dresses in yellow and purple and I thought he was the bad guy ninja the whole movie but I think he actually turned out to be good. He fights this group of ninjas that dress in yellow and blue and have a master who wants purple guy dead. Meanwhile in a completely different movie but not, in Thailand (?) there are two or three groups of people who all have guns and want each other dead for some reason. There is a main guy with an Australian accent who is looking for a guy named Cuba I think and they have a dumb car chase and Cuba dies (I think). The End.
"In this actioner, a good ninja master must stop a group of evil ninjas from performing their evil deeds."
That's it. That's all I could find. I think my shitty description of the movie is now the best synopsis of this movie that can be found online and I have no idea if any of it is actually what happened in the movie.
While this movie was impossible to follow, that doesn't mean that it wasn't a pretty fun ride for most of it's runtime. There are enough goofy fight scenes, terrible acting, and costumes to counteract the lack of plot. I will say that this has probably been the weakest of the movies shown so far, about an hour into it I could feel people getting a little antsy. This wasn't helped by the fact that the last quarter of the movie seemed to be a car chase that wouldn't end.
Oh! My favorite part of the movie was that there were no end credits. It says "Ninja Kill" and just ends. When it was over I put my head in my hands and tried to make it all make sense and I still can't.
Kurt Russell would give this film 6/10