'The Ice Cream Truck' Clip a Sweet Tooth's Worst Nightmare (Exclusive)
Uncork'd Entertainment has acquired distribution rights to the film, said to mix the art house and horror genres. This friendly neighborhood ice cream man isn't so friendly.
The Ice Cream Truck tells the story of a woman (Deanna Russo) who moves back to her hometown when her husband is relocated for work. While she waits for her husband to join her, she lives in the home alone, and encounters a strange ice cream truck man, who in addition to selling sweets, is going around town murdering people.
Uncork'd Entertainment has acquired the distribution rights to the film and has provided a chilling clip.
This is the second film from writer director Megan Freels Johnston, who is the granddaughter of famed crime writer Elmore Leonard.
"Megan Freels Johnston has made a very scary but also very smart film," says Uncork’d President Keith Leopard. "The film also offers us a unique and refreshing take on a genre dominated largely by men."
The acquisition come ahead of European Film Market in Berlin, where in 2014, Johnston debuted her first film, Rebound. She is also known for developing the Joseph Gordon-Levitt short Sparks, based on a story from her grandfather.
The Ice Cream Truck also stars John Redlinger, Emil Johnsen, Hilary Barraford, Jeff Daniel Phillips and Lisa Ann Walter.
That tinkly earworm jingle stands for bloodshed in Megan Freels Johnston's suburban slasher pic. A young mother settling into her new home faces temptations and threats in The Ice Cream Truck, Megan Freels Johnston's suburban slasher pic. Amid the familiar observations about the creepiness of middle-class conformity and the passing of youth, the sophomore filmmaker appears to be aiming for something a bit deeper. But this truck never gets into gear, and will have a very hard time tempting moviegoers on either large or small screens.
Mary (Deanna Russo) has moved into her new tract house a week before her husband and two kids can take the cross-country trip, leaving her in the unenviable position of making nice with the usual crop of blonde busybodies (Hilary Barraford's Jessica) and self-medicating moms. Alone and attractive, she's also an irresistible target for the leering attentions of moving-truck drivers, skeezy bachelors and pot-dealing teens.
That last element gets most of the film's attention. After being coerced into attending a neighbor's graduation party for Max (John Redlinger), Mary befriends the young grad and enjoys being treated like one of the cool kids again. He starts coming around to "do some yard work," and clearly hopes that will soon mean more than taking care of her in the grass (and grass) department.
Meanwhile, the local ice cream truck is not your average Mister Softee copycat. Dressed spiffily in a bow tie and driving what appears to be a '30s or '40s-vintage truck, our unnamed scoop-seller identifies himself as "an old-fashioned guy." But he's actually Johnston's attempt at creating an archetype-exploiting boogeyman: He lures teens into his truck and slashes their throats; he follows young fornicators into their living rooms and pounds their heads in.
If the villain's deadpan good manners are less chilling than intended, that's in line with almost every other human interaction in the film. Johnston has encouraged her cast — especially those playing three local moms — to exaggerate their responses to the point of unbelievability, perhaps in pursuit of a Stepford vibe that never solidifies. Similarly, dead air left in conversations may be meant to unnerve viewers, but is more likely to bore them.
Though promising when played over the title sequence, Michael Boateng's score grows problematic as the action heats up: Johnston deploys his beedly-boop synthetic cues so heavy-handedly that they provoke laughter near the end, just as Mary gives in to temptation and becomes the killer's target. The twist that arrives after all the jimmies and sugar cones settle is such a non-sequitur it will provoke more rolled eyes than gasps.
Production company: Look at Me Films Distributor: Uncork'd Entertainment Cast: Deanna Russo, Emil Johnsen, John Redlinger, Hilary Barraford Director-screenwriter: Megan Freels Johnston Producers: Megan Freels Johnston, Yumee Jang, Omid Shamsoddini Executive producers: Hilary Barraford, Sean O. Hughes, Eric Potter Director of photography: Stephen Tringali Production designer: John Matlock Costume designer: Krista Speicher Editor: Eric Potter Composer: Michael Boateng