Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ice from the Sun|
Actors: Angela Zimmerly, Ramona Midgett, D.J. Vivona, Todd Tevlin, Jason Christ
Director: Eric Stanze
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
One of the most acclaimed independent horror films in recent years, this experimental dose of future shock from acclaimed director Eric Stanze (Scrapbook) unfolds in a nightmarish world where cities are enclosed in ice, ma... more »
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Imaginative but dirt cheap
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 07/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Ice From the Sun" is one of those movies you'll most likely find hiding out under the Sub Rosa distribution label. What does that mean and why is it important? If you like horror movies enough to watch cheap, cheesy, and often atrocious shot on video productions, you will run across this company sooner rather than later. Sub Rosa is turning into Troma's out of work brother-in-law, releasing the most sordid dreck ever seen on home entertainment systems. Most of the films sporting the Sub Rosa label would never see the light of day if it weren't for the advent of DVD technology. Even the famed grindhouses of New York City wouldn't have shown the likes of "Shatter Dead" or "Peter Rottentail," not even on a bet. The only thing that I can possibly say in defense of companies like Sub Rosa is that occasionally they distribute something like Eric Stanze's "Ice From the Sun." Don't get me wrong; "Ice From the Sun" is micro budget filmmaking on every level. The acting is downright awful, the pace uneven, but what works often overshadows what fails. I don't think I'm stretching to say that this movie is one of the best shot on video films I've ever seen. And, sad to say, I've seen quite a few.Normally, you shouldn't worry too much about plot with one of these camcorder productions. The movies exist merely as conduits through which wannabe filmmakers with a "vision" can indulge in scene after scene of catsup soaked gore. "Ice From the Sun" differs in that it spends a great amount of time-perhaps an inordinate amount of time depending on your view-setting up what is actually an intriguing idea. A young woman named Allison (Ramona Midgett) commits autocide only to discover the image of a glowing angel instructing her to return to earth in order to defeat an evil known as The Presence. Apparently, back in the Middle Ages a sorcerer and his apprentice built an alternate dimension made out of ice from the sun. Ever since, every few years the sorcerer and his assistant Abraham (DJ Vivona) bring six humans to the dimension to play a series of bloody games. Eventually, Abraham killed the sorcerer and seized power for himself as The Presence. The angels in heaven and the demons in the underworld both despise Abraham, but the ice barrier prevents the armies of above and below from launching an invasion. The last time Abraham/The Presence abducted a batch of humans, one of them escaped back to earth alive. This mistake convinces the angels and demons that The Presence is losing his grasp on power. If Allison can go to the dimension and convince Abraham to remember his life on earth, the ice wall will collapse and restore balance to the cosmos.Getting in the way of Allison's mission are six lunkheads teleported to the alternate dimension as part of the latest series of games. None of them have a chance in you know what to win anything except a horrific, painful demise. As they lurch about the dimension, which looks a lot like a forested area in New Jersey or some similar place, Abraham wipes them out. The most memorable scene involves a girl, a rope attached to a truck, and a bag of salt. There's also a grotesque medical examination bit, and a melting skull trick that actually looks better than what we saw at the end of the first "Indiana Jones" picture. A few of the games are unintentionally funny, such as the girl who ends up transmogrified into some half dog creature and the running eyeball scene. Overall, while there's more than a few situations of stomach churning gore, the movie is not a non-stop gorefest a la "Dead Alive." This, I think, is what sets the film apart from other shot on video productions. Well, that and the fact that Stanze attempts to ramp up the technical aspects of filmmaking.The imaginative use of light effects and cinematic wizardry ultimately elevates "Ice From the Sun" from the rest of the camcorder crowd. Weird camera angles, jump cut editing, the use of negative photography, and hallucinatory imagery might have you scratching your head from time to time, but it does work in an odd way. It is difficult to look at Stanze's picture and not think you're watching a particularly cheap film shot by a former music video director. Personally, I hate the heavy reliance on cinematic gimcracks currently plaguing nearly every action film, but to see someone do it effectively on such a low budget isn't as annoying as seeing it done in a summer blockbuster. Regrettably, you must take the good with the bad, bad in "Ice From the Sun" meaning the acting. The only competent actor in the entire production is DJ Vivona as The Presence. Everyone else falls as flat as a pancake, especially Ramona Midgett. This gal delivers every piece of dialogue like she's letting marbles fall out of her mouth. You can't have everything work, I guess. "Ice From the Sun" is worth a watch for those stalwart souls, like me, who must on occasion foray into the dark depths of shot on video filmmaking. Extras on the DVD version of the film include two commentary tracks-one from Stanze and one from a few of the actors-and two trailers for the movie. You also get a few stills. The soundtrack for the movie, which I do believe is available on compact disc, is your typical thrash/death metal/industrial (whatever they call it these days) tunes. Occasionally disturbing, often eye catching, and acted with all the aplomb of a lead statue, "Ice From the Sun" is a fun way to pass a couple of hours."
Sid Stirling | Detroit, MI USA | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just got this newly released two-disk set of Ice From the Sun and it is GREAT! The Wicked Pixel Cinema team seems to be on the right track and really knows how to pack in the features. I have been a fan of this experimental punk movie for quite some time and was really looking forward to this new Image Entertainment release and I wasn't disappointed at all. The sound quality is a great improvement over the previous releases. This movie holds up to many viewings. The story is dangerously interesting. The characters are fun and exciting. I especially like the chase scene. All the death scenes are unique and gore-filled. Pick this movie up and I guarentee you will not be disappointed. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!"
Crazy, punk rock slaughter acid trp!!!
Alissa Bordeaux | Knoxville, TN | 10/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. What a crazy ass flick! I've read a lot of good reviews about this one (and some bad ones as well). I'm really into films that aren't afraid to take a few chances and so I thought I'd get this one a shot! This flick was insane! Yeah, it's low budget, but it was way more creative than most of the flicks I see coming out of Hollyweird these days.
I dug the story (even though it was a little talky in the beginning), the visuals and the editing were great and it had some awesome gore effects. What I really loved was the music. It features a great collection of songs from the St. Louis music scene (like the Ded Bugs and Johnny Magnet). I got to pick up a copy of the soundtrack. To top it all off, the movie had a great performance from DJ Vivona as The Presence. I think most of the acting was pretty solid overall (I've seen a lot of low/no budget flicks and compared to them, the acting in this is pretty impressive), but I thought the character of The Presence was very interesting and unique and Vivona did a lot to make the character memorable.
Like I said, this movie was made on a low-budget, so imagine my surprise when I get this tricked out 2-disc edition. How awesome is this? You don't see too many movies made at this budget level get such a nice persentation on DVD. Well, I loved the film and the DVD with all its extras was money well spent. If you're looking for something different and unusual, you should do yourself a favor and check this flick out!"
Joesph Perrish | Providence, RI | 10/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a fan of Eric Stanze's ICE FROM THE SUN. It has a very unusual visual style, a cool storyline, great music, good performances (especially DJ Vivona, who I thought was good in CHINA WHITE SERPENTINE) and some awesome gore! Still, I wasn't all that thrilled with the original DVD release. It had a few extras, but it kinda felt a little barebones for my taste.
This new release from Image Entertainment kicks ass! This 2-disc edition has a ton of exrtas! ON THIN ICE, a feature length documentary about the making of ICE FROM THE SUN that was released on VHS is included on this edition. It was fascinating to see the whole process on how the movie was made. Besides the new commentary tracks (nice), the improved picture and sound (very nice), and all the other extras, it has the trailer for the new Wicked Pixel flick DEADWOOD PARK, which looks amazing. Can't wait to check that one out.
If you love the flick like I do, you gotta pick this baby up. You won't regret it!"