Kids, remember that period of time before Nirvana and post The Clash? Well that period was a dark time we like to call "The Ice Age" and Vanilla Ice, the mind-child of men in ties, led the charge against good art. This film is a horrifying reminder of those awful days.
It should be noted that we are not going to pick on Robert Van Winkle (Ice's real name). Any reference to how dumb Vanilla Ice is, will be reference to how stupid the men behind the image of Vanilla Ice were (record producers, MTV execs, publicists, etc.).
During this film, we are told that Vanilla Ice is a street tough, ripped with muscles, knows what we call "Ice-Qwon-Do", and the ladies love him. In reality, he might weight 150lbs, has a farmer's tan, is a misogynist, doesn't know martial arts and he likes to hump people while rapping, man OR woman. You know, I don't think I can buy into this guy.
While being a horrible pile of corporate garbage attempting to sell Vanilla Ice as a serious tough guy, Cool as Ice is just so dumb and hokey that it makes for a pretty enjoyable time. There are periods of hard to viewing, but they are few and far between. Even hard to view spots are deadly reminders of the historical mistakes humankind has made and therefore are required viewing.
This is the film that must be preserved for history, lest we doom ourselves to repeat it.
The plot is confusing, the misogyny is offensive but pretty unbelievable, the "Ice-Qwon-Do" is bonkers and the film-making is laughable. It's a pretty great time and shouldn't be missed by any fan of bad movies. It truly belongs in the IMDB Bottom 100.
Over the top action:
Good Movie Quality:
Bad Movie Quality:
Cool As Ice is a rare breed of film able to lose money with only a $6 million budget. The return was apparently $1.2 million which would cover only the salary of Vanilla Ice and possibly Kraft Services. The poster would make you feel that you are watching Vanilla Ice the movie as his moniker is much larger and at the top, whereas the movie title is sort of buried in the bottom corner. The recipe was apparently for famed talent whisperer Shep Gordon to enlist a solid crew to produce the picture on a disposable budget so that in a worst case scenario, which is what happened, the soundtrack would be able to return any losses. I don’t know if that happened either.
David Kellogg would be enlisted to direct and would later disown the film although his only other feature to date is Inspector Gadget. Kellogg is, however, rather prolific as a director. He has made some of the most memorable music videos in history as well as commercials we have all seen. Credits would include the Michael Jackson video Jam as well as the C&C Music Factory video that wouldn’t go away. A couple of his commercials were the Jason Alexander Rolled Gold series and my personal favorite, Make 7-Up Yours. Kellogg also maintained a long and most likely super profitable relationship with Playboy as one of the chief Playboy Films Directors. David Stenn would have writing duties, after success with several episodes of Hill Street Blues, he was fresh of a run on 90210. Legendary jazz musician and composer Stanley Clarke was brought on for the music and a little known cinematographer named Janusz Kaminski would be brought on to shoot. Later Kaminski would of course win the academy award twice for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.
So how did this thing fail? Well it has got Vanilla Ice in it and it is a very shitty remake of The Wild One. So I guess we can KAEOF whether or not Rob Van Winkle carries the torch lit by Brando and whether or not this situation is heavily dramatic. The cast is rounded out by Kristin Minter and everyone’s favorite dad and graboid killer Michael Gross. Also it should be noted that Robby never gave up on his dreams and to date has 7 studio albums, a TV show that spanned 6 seasons and a highly coveted appearance on Dancing With The Stars – Get ‘em Robby. I guess I should also mention that, to probably the genre’s dismay, Ice Ice Baby was the first rap/hip hop song to ever attain Billboard #1.