THE MASTERS OF HORROR
series is, in a kind word, inconsistent. Episodes range from mind-bogglingly brilliant to simply mind-boggling. Falling somewhere between those two barstools is TOM HOLLAND
's WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE SCREAM
, the tale of a victimized clown and his craving for sticky, high-calorie revenge. The likable LEE TERGESON
's Tobias Beecher) is Layne, a family man who has just returned to the town of his youth and the memories that still linger there. When Layne was a kid, he was prompted by a bully to participate in a prank that resulted in a mentally challenged clown's head being crushed under the wheel of an ice cream truck. Apparently the lingering guilt of crushing a human skull under a truck is more powerful then that of say, TP'ing your neighbors tree or egging their front door. Layne needn't punish himself because Buster, the aforementioned clown (WILLIAM FORSYTHE
, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
) has come back from the dead to do it for him. Now if Buster had just grabbed an axe and started whacking, we'd have a splendid little episode here. Unfortunately, his methods of destruction are far more convoluted than that. He visits the guilty party's children at night, feeds them ice cream shaped like their parents, and as the kids eat the treats, their parents turn to mush. This allows for at least one good melting scene but it also douses any credibility that once was earned. There really is not enough time to establish the rules of the game here, but I cried foul more than once. I especially had difficulty with Layne's eye for an eye solution to his dilemma, which involved getting ice cream from his freezer, making a Buster-looking cone and allowing his kid to eat it, thereby destroying Buster. Good on him that this plan worked but that's a pretty big leap of faith on his part. Visually this episode is as strong as hell and the cast could not be better, but the free-floating, magically convenient logic in the script had me screaming "They cheated us!" like Annie Wilkes at a cliffhanger film festival. Buster the clown is a fantastic creation; he deserves a simpler more stream-lined means of revenge.
- Warning: There is a redundant overload of supposedly scary sing-songs; migraine sufferers take note
- Buster has no nose! A great concept if only it were: A) explained; B) followed up on, in any way shape or form
- The flashbacks are the best part; HOLLAND gets the summery suburban atmosphere just right
- Evil Virgil (COLIN CUNNINGHAM) melting in the hot tub. Gloriously BLOB worthy. That's what I'm talking about!
- Layne uses remote control sprinklers to freeze the frosty Buster