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  1. JimR.
    Nov 20, 2002
    7
    Ice from the Sun begins with a montage of disturbingly dreamlike images, accompanied by a throbbing hard rock soundtrack that, when combined, is an assault on the senses equivolent to having a cinderblock dropped on your head. Over and over and over.. Ice From the Sun is more of a medley of horrific images than a linear film, and that being said, one should not expect to glean much by way Ice from the Sun begins with a montage of disturbingly dreamlike images, accompanied by a throbbing hard rock soundtrack that, when combined, is an assault on the senses equivolent to having a cinderblock dropped on your head. Over and over and over.. Ice From the Sun is more of a medley of horrific images than a linear film, and that being said, one should not expect to glean much by way of a meaning from the movie as a whole; rather, sit back and let it wash over you like a fetid wave of fatalistic nightmares as seen through the hyperactive camera eye of director Eric Stanze. He wants to do more than scare you, he wants to jar you, shake you, pry you from your passive viewing existance and make you sick, sad, depressed, elated, and ultimately walk away thinking "What the fuck did I just see?!" Taking cues from Hellraiser, Jacob's Ladder, and his own body of work, Stanze patches together a string of incidents ranging from erotic to violent to a sly combination of both, and edits them into an acid trip nightmare of fast cuts, warping filters and color washes. The characters on hand are peripheral to the look and feel of the film itself, and it's actually at it's best when it eschews dialogue altogether. Ice From the Sun does have a plot (several, actually), but it seems a bit too ambitious for the budget this film had to work with (which was pretty close to zero). The character of The Presence (D.J. Vivona) serves as a sort of "Pinhead" host, tying the various bits together with his, well, presence, which I guess makes his name rather appropriate! He is the ruler of a dimension of torture, death, and pain, with his sites set on interdimensional domination. Meanwhile, Alison (Midgett) is human employed with the task of killing him before he destroys the very fabric of our being. All of the talk of wizards, inter-dimensional hitmen and threats to the balance of good and evil in the universe, while central to the plot in Stanze's head, come off as a tad over-ambitious, however, considering the film's zero-budget, and only serve as a distraction to the intoxicating imagery we are treated to as Alison jumps from one nightmarish world to the next. Stanze's camera tells the story better than the cast or screenplay could hope, and the only time you even THINK this is a low-budget film is when it incorporates these weaker elements into the mix. The DVD from Wicked Pixel has been remastered, since apparently their last duplicator botched the film's transfer horribly. I've never seen that version, but the review copy I have looks and sounds great, and is definitely one to rattle the room with reckless abandon. There are also commentary tracks by the filmmakers, a pair of trailers, and a behind the scenes stills gallery. Ice From the Sun is an extremely violent and rather disturbing flick, so this isn't one for the Scream crowd, but fans of very dark cinema will find more than enough here to merit a purchase. Expand
Metascore
21

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Has moments of real visual creativity.
  2. Every possible film student visual cliché (plus quite a few from the world of music video) gets a thorough workout.
  3. Stanze is to be congratulated on raising the bar for horror avant-garde filmmaking on a shoestring.