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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Iced (1988)

I’ve been doing a slasher movie marathon here at the site for the last four years. I knew that eventually I’d run out of movies to cover but hadn’t given much thought that if I was to be thorough then I’d end up sitting thru a lot of bad ones before I got there. With an opening like that I’m sure you can see where my review of Iced is headed.

Some friends are hanging out at a ski lodge doing eighties things like dancing, admiring their mullets, and of course fighting over the affections of a girl. The fellas, Corey and Jeff, end up having a ski race to determine who gets the girl. I guess she is okay with that since she doesn’t say anything about it. Though I think she is sweet on Corey and isn’t sad when he wins. This causes Jeff to ski angry, which I suppose you shouldn’t do. Things get naughty between Corey and Trina, played by Debra De Liso of Slumber Party Massacre fame, and then things jump ahead four years later.

Thru some exposition of them riding in a car and talking endlessly on their way to a free ski trip we discover that Corey and Trina are married, and that Jeff died when he went off to ski angry. Then we see other couples driving to the lodge for the free trip and they talk about their problems and stuff. There is a lot of talking in this movie… a lot of talking. They eventually all get to the cabin and well God Damn it they talk some more. There are also some scenes of one of the ladies, Jeanette, being naked in a bathtub with one of the guys. I think this is a flashback because it doesn’t fit what is happening with them sitting around talking. Did I mention they talk a lot? Oh, and since I’m talking about things that were confusing Iced is guilty of the worst thing a slasher can do. The killer is someone whom has no motive and is at best peripherally involved with our main characters. We get a thirty second flashback at the end to explain why they want to kill everyone. That is lousy storytelling.

We get one killing early on and then have to sit thru an hour of this nonsense before the killer gets back to business. I’d like to say that things pick up at this point, but it really doesn’t. The stalking and slashing are uninspired and poorly executed. There is zero tension built and not a single scare is to be had. The filmmakers even decide to show us the killer setting up a trap for one of the people he lures out of the house and into the woods. Where is the fun in that? It has been a long time since I’ve been this bored this badly by a movie. Nothing of any interest happens for the entire ninety-minutes!

It cuts away before the good stuff!
The kills are as mediocre as you can get in a slasher flick. I get that this late in the game not only had we seen it all, but the censors had neutered the sub-genre so badly that no one was pushing their luck. Even by those standards Iced has nothing to offer when it comes to kills and gore. You see a single gag with a ski pole coming out of the front of a neck and that is it. We have death by electrocution, an icicle thru the eye (off-screen), a front loader running over another victim (also off-screen), and that is about it. All of this is back loaded in the last half hour and wasn’t at all satisfying.

When poking around doing research on Iced I discovered that it has one big claim to fame. Jeanette, the girl who gets naked a lot and pretty much shows it all, is played by Lisa Loring. You might not recognize the name, but I promise most of you have seen her on television before. She was Wednesday in the old Adams Family television show. I actually found some pretty creepy advertisements trying to sell this one to video stores capitalizing on this fact. I’m happy that I didn’t make the connection until I started preparing for this review, though I do still feel a bit scummy.

Don’t waste your time on Iced. Even if you are a diehard fan of the slasher genre this is scraping the bottom of the barrel and not at all worth the effort tracking down a copy and sitting thru it. This is a terrible movie going thru the motions of what it thinks we as an audience want and doing so in the most lazy way possible. It is a total waste of time.

note: If you must watch, and I know some of you do, I've linked a copy of the movie that is currently available on YouTube to this review instead of the trailer. 

© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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