The Ice Cream Truck (2017)

I understand that David Lynch is a gateway to many aspiring filmmakers.  I also understand the need to be "clever" as there is a need to set one apart early in a career.  The problem is that every other young filmmaker who has an idea also knows the same thing.  Surrealism often helps to keep the critics at bay, and twist endings are often used to make up for lack of substance throughout the rest of the story.

Mary (Deanna Russo) moves back to the suburb where she grew up as her husband has been transferred for job reasons.  She arrives a few days before her husband and kids with little furniture but a lot of time on her hands.  The furniture soon arrives courtesy of a disquieting delivery man (Jeff Daniel Phillips), but Mary is more concerned about a creepy ice cream man (Emil Johnsen) she sees delivering treats in the neighborhood.

She soon meets her neighbors, as well as one of her neighbor's 18-year-old son Max (John Redlinger).  In a home without a husband or kids for the first time in years she starts thinking about where her youth is gone.  At first having Max perform some yardwork as well as deliver some weed, she soon begins to find him hard to resist as he starts coming onto her.  Meanwhile, the ice cream man starts claiming victims in the neighborhood. 

Megan Freels Johnston is trying everything to impress.  Weird pauses in the dialogue in order to set the viewer off-balance, strange behavior from the neighbors and the random killings of the ice cream man which don't seem to fit anywhere in the actual plot.  Her cinematography isn't bad, but sometimes it is quite bland and there is too much exposition.  It often feels like a horror movie was tagged onto an age-inappropriate romance.

Turns out there is a reason for that, and not only is it not clever but it's a cheat.  I could have forgiven much of what happens, but the ending fails to shock or leave the viewer anything but disappointed and angry.  There is one aspect that almost worked, which Johnston has threatened to make a sequel based on, but the whole surprise just fizzles.

In the end this is neither a romance film nor a horror film, but a lot of time wasted for a conclusion that doesn't impress.  Johnston has some talent as a director, but she has to start thinking seriously about the craft, and not about gimmicks.  

The Ice Cream Truck (2017)
Time: 96 minutes
Starring: Deanna Russo, Emil Johnsen, John Redlinger
Director: Mary Freels Johnson



  1. But is it better than Ice Cream Man?

    1. Not by a long shot. "Ice Cream Man" is at least fun in a weird way.


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