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Scary vs. Gorey

Posted by Horror Grinder on January 8, 2013

I love scary movies and I love blood and guts and severed heads and tangled up intestines everywhere. I guess tangled-up intestines are kind of the same thing as guts, but, wow, do I love grisly gore. It seems like older horror movies often focused more on the psychology of how horrifying a situation or act was and newer horror movies put more attention into convincingly showing every stab and every spurting artery on camera. For example, especially when you factor in what audiences of the time were used to, Last House on the Left was really shocking in 1972. It’s slogan was “To avoid fainting, keep repeating it’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie.” Most of the most horrible events in the movie, you hear the suffering, but you can’t really see what is going on. By contrast, the 2009 version seems to be shot somehow higher quality, partly just due to the technology of modern cinematography. To my modern eyes, the color palette is more pleasing in the 2009 Last House on the Left. More of the gruesome parts are visible, although they could still go more extreme with that, for my taste. But the new one somehow loses some of the aura of menace, while at the same time vastly improving special effects and general overall look. Partly I suppose Aaron Paul just didn’t seem very scary to begin with and he already seemed like a tragic hero to anyone who had seen him play Jesse in Breaking Bad. You can research more about both the 1972 film version and the more recent 2009 remake at Wikipedia and you can read a bit about Last House on the Left distribution channels for horror at Blue Blood.

Horror special effects definitely have come a long way since the seventies. Now though, the special effects are, not to sound ironic, to die for. Trust me, if the quality of movies were still the same as they were a few decades ago, you can bet that I wouldn’t drop what I was doing over at http://www.partybingo.com just to watch some crappy special effects, and acting that we will just label as sub-par. Thank god though, that isn’t the case! To prove my point, just go watch one of the many (I think there are eight) movies in the Saw series, or if you are really up for some cringing, then watch Hostel.

So, in conclusion, I’ll watch the seventies movies for the acting and the newer ones for the special effects, but the special effects really have to be pretty impressive. I’m thinking about going to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. I figure, even if the acting is all Disney Channel, the special effects on that have to be worth a theater ticket.

Saw Charity Auction – Final Hours Left to Bid

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

Last week Lionsgate started a charity auction on eBay that ends TOMORROW, HALLOWEEN (10/31), AT 5PM so this is your last chance to own a piece Saw history!

Here are the details:

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary Re-Release and to help a great cause, Lionsgate is auctioning off five (5) prize packages that include the following items:

  • 1 SAW 10th Anniversary Poster signed by Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, James Wan, Mark Burg, Oren Koules, and Leigh Whannell
  • 1 SAW REBIRTH comic signed by Tobin Bell, Greg Hoffman, Mark Burg, Oren Koules, and Leigh Whannell
  • 1 SAW II DVD
  • Full Set of 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Posters (5 designs in total)
  • SAW VI Original Halloween Blood Drive Poster

All proceeds go to The American Red Cross.

Auction Links:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181567583264

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181567587104

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181567599087

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181567591282

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181567593093

Look for the film to open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.

Saw

Saw

Saw

Saw 10th Anniversary

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Get a Sneak Peek of The Originals Episode 2.05 – Red Door

Posted by Debi Moore on October 30, 2014

Nina Dobrev - The Originals Episode 2.05 - Red DoorIt’s almost time for “The Originals” episode in which Nina Dobrev from “The Vampire Diaries” guest stars, and on tap now we have a new sneak peek to share. In this look at Episode 2.05, “Red Door,” Cami tries to bring some humanity to Klaus.

As much as we love you, Cami, please leave Klaus be… it’s his INhumanity that makes him one of our favorite current TV villains!

“The Originals” Episode 2.05 – “Red Door” (airs 11/3/14)
In order to show Elijah (Daniel Gillies) that her plan is what’s best for him, Esther forces him to relive a time long ago when he loved a young woman named Tatia (guest star Nina Dobrev).

With the help of Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is determined to find Elijah, who has gone missing, but is torn when she discovers that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is also in trouble. Elsewhere, Cami (Leah Pipes) finds herself in a dangerous situation when Mikael (guest star Sebastian Roche) takes her hostage as a way to lure Klaus to him, and Davina (Danielle Campbell) makes an upsetting discovery about Kaleb’s (guest star Daniel Sharman) true identity.

Lastly, a violent confrontation ensues when Klaus comes face-to-face with Mikael. Michael Robison directed the episode written by Declan de Barra and Diane Ademu-John.

For more info visit “The Originals” on CWTV.com, “like” “The Originals” on Facebook, and follow “The Originals” on Twitter.

The Originals Season 2

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Another V/H/S Viral Clip Sheds Light

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

Magnet has released yet another clip from the third chapter in the V/H/S anthology franchise, and as always we have it for you right here. Check it out and look for it on VOD now!

V/H/S: Viral (review) features segments from directors Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial), Marcel Sarmiento (ABCs of Death segment “D is for Dogfight”), Gregg Bishop (The Other Side, Dance of the Dead, The Birds of Anger), Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring, Wrecked), along with Todd Lincoln (The Apparition).

Related Story: New V/H/S Viral Red Band Clip; Death Toll Infographic

Gary Binkow and Brad Miska produced for Collective Digital Studio and Bloody Disgusting, marking their third collaboration with Magnet on the V/H/S films.

Synopsis
A police chase after a deranged ice cream truck has captivated the attention of the greater Los Angeles area. Dozens of fame—obsessed teens flock to the streets with their video cameras and camera phones, hell—bent on capturing the next viral video. But there is something far more sinister occurring in the streets of L.A. than a simple police chase. A resounding effect is created onto all those obsessed with capturing salacious footage for no other purpose than to amuse or titillate. Soon the discovery becomes that they themselves are the stars of the next video, one where they face their own death.

V/H/S: Viral Exclusive Interviews

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Legendary’s Krampus Coming December 2015

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

With Trick ‘r Treat, director Michael Dougherty forever left his mark on the Halloween season by delivering what is arguably the perfect Halloween-themed anthology film. Will he do the same for Christmas? We’ll find out when Universal and Legendary release Krampus on Friday, December 4, 2015.

Based on an ancient legend about a pagan demon who punishes the wicked, Krampus will be similar in style to Dougherty’s cult hit Trick ‘r Treat. Dougherty also co-wrote X2, the second installment of the X-Men franchise, and Superman Returns. He’s also working on a sequel to Trick ‘r Treat. That is also at Legendary.

The dark ancient origins of our holidays have always fascinated me,” Dougherty said. “I’ve been drawing twisted Christmas cards for well over a decade so it only made sense to bring some of that morbid yuletide fun to the big screen, and Krampus was the perfect mythology to do that. Christmas has been invading Halloween for far too long. It’s time to return the favor.

Krampus

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – First Look at Cast

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

Entertainment Weekly scored the first ever look at some of the cast members of the long brewing book adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Check it out!

Below you’ll find your first glance at characters Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse).

Pride and prejudice and zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies also stars Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Douglas Booth, and Lena Heady. Burr Steers is directing from a screenplay by David O. Russell and Steers.

The film hails from Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver, Sierra/Affinity, and Lauren Selig. It is produced by Allison Shearmur, Sean McKittrick, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch, Marc Butan, Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson. Exec producing are Lauren Selig, Aleen Keshishian, Ted Hamm, and Sue Baden Powell.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies mixes the 1817 Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice with a legion of bloodthirsty undead. Seth Grahame-Smith’s popular novel plays with the relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England who are faced with the challenge of an army of the “sorry stricken” (i.e., zombies).

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Ghost Train Travels to the West

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

Another remake is on its way, this time of the 2006 film Otoshimono, aka Ghost Train. Read on for all the details you need. All aboard!

From the Press Release
Adding to its commitment to establish a cultural bridge between a consortium of Japan’s leading creative companies and prominent Hollywood filmmakers and studios, All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW) has partnered with the Hollywood feature film production company Depth of Field and Japan’s legendary movie studio Shochiku to develop “GHOST TRAIN.”

Based on the 2006 Japanese horror thriller “OTOSHIMONO,” “GHOST TRAIN” is a horror themed tale tracking a mysterious force that invades an underground commuter train and terrifies its passengers,

The announcement of “GHOST TRAIN” follows on the heels of previously announced ANEW projects that include “SOUL ReVIVER,” in association with Fields Corp., and filmmaker partners Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of Bedford Falls Prods. and a live action remake of TOEI Animation’s robot anime “GAIKING,” with producer Gale Ann Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, Inc.

ANEW’s vision is to develop and produce adaptations of proven creative brands from Japan for the English-speaking market, bringing together top Hollywood filmmakers and studios with Japanese content owners and creators. ANEW expects to unveil several additional Japanese IP-based projects in upcoming months.

“Film projects based on, or inspired by, Japanese storytelling have been very successful internationally in recent years and the adaptation of the fresh and original ‘GHOST TRAIN’ for the English-speaking audience builds on this trend,” said Annmarie Bailey, ANEW’s Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs. “This property represents the first of several planned projects from a pool of the best Japanese-originated horror and anime properties that will benefit from Hollywood sensibilities and popular storytelling.”

Depth of Field’s Dan Balgoyen is overseeing the English language adaptation of “GHOST TRAIN,” which is being written by Josh Miller and Patrick Casey (“Golan the Insatiable” for Fox TV). “OTOSHIMONO” writer-director Takeshi Furusawa and producer Yoshitaka Ishizuka will also be involved in developing the adaptation. The producers expect to commence shooting in 2015 for a targeted 2016 release.

OTOSHIMONO (originally starring Erika Sawajiri, Shun Oguri and Chinatsu Wakatsuki) centers on the disappearances and horrific challenges a group of commuters face after finding a lost ticket at a subway station deep underground. The film explores the value of family, friendship and the power of a past curse’s influence on these peoples’ lives.

“The original inspiration for ‘OTOSHIMONO’ was numerous American horror titles, which makes this remake feel like a homecoming for the property,” Furusawa said. “I’m very excited to see how the original version evolves in the American remake version,” Ishizuka added.

“Our new relationship with ANEW to co-produce ‘GHOST TRAIN,’ marks a pivotal moment and exciting opportunity for all of us at Depth of Field to break new ground in bringing Japanese-originated properties to English-speaking audiences worldwide,” Andrew Miano said.

Ghost Train

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Deliver Us From Evil (Blu-ray / DVD)

Posted by Ted Hentschke on October 30, 2014

Deliver Us From EvilStarring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Joel McHale

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Like a narcoleptic DJ, Deliver Us from Evil is inconsistent. It feels like a man with tourettes is trying to narrate The Silence of the Lambs, so every once in a while during the tense or charactery bits, he just jumps up and screams “OOGAH BOOGAH.” One of the dumbest “thinking man’s” movies around, it still held the distinction of being one of my favorite summertime releases. The characterization is done uncharacteristically well for a horror-genre popcorn-film, and the antagonist is genuinely unsettling.

In case you are not familiar, Deliver Us from Evil is a supernatural thriller about a New York Bronx cop played by Joel McHale tragically dying an hour and a half in, leaving all the dramatic weight on Eric Bana’s shoulders. Bana plays real life Bronx cop turned demonologist Ralph Sarchie, his characterization as a violent man coming to terms with his past to better confront evil holds up pretty well. Bana’s mannerisms and accent are pure New York Bronx, and it’s apparent that a lot of care went into making this movie look and feel very Bronx on top of feeling very supernatural. It is hard to imagine this film taking place anywhere else, so kudos to them for integrating the setting so well into the film.

The plot requires some leaps of faith that aren’t satisfyingly explained, so let me just recap the plot and just take at face value that I’m not pointing out the stupidity for the same reason you don’t have to point out when an elephant has decided to sit down in your living room. While investigating crimes out of the 46th precinct of the Bronx, Sergeant Ralph Sarchie hears a domestic disturbance call that sets off his “radar.” Explained as his sixth sense for weird and violent stuff, they find that the domestic dispute is both violent and weird. Hints of possession are there for those looking for it in the audience, but there are no spinning heads or inverted crosses, so it does a good job of slowly easing the characters into the world of the supernatural. Next, they get a call about a disturbance at the Bronx zoo, and during a nighttime manhunt encounter the antagonist, later revealed to be an Iraqi war vet named Santino, painting over some writing on a wall. From here the manhunt for Santino begins, with the first big break coming from an unrelated case, where a haunted house was found to be painted by Santino and the man from the first domestic dispute. How Sarchie manages to string together a series of seemingly unrelated cases into a single thread of logic is beyond reason, but you just kind of have to accept it like you accept that the elephant is going to eat all of your fruitcake.

Side-plots include Sarchie’s family somehow slowly becoming haunted by demons as well, and the dark history of Mendoza, the priest that brings Sarchie into the whole supernatural business. Over the course of the movie, Sarchie becomes more disturbed and agitated by the stuff he is seeing, and character arcs his way from skepticism all the way to becoming an exorcist himself. If it sounds like I’m not explaining something, its because a lot of the plot doesn’t really go anywhere. While things certainly happen in the movie, it is never really clear what the greater threat or endgame is. For example, the demons are given this sense of devious intent by painting over all of the demonic scratchings they leave on the walls. However, of the three demons, one ends its plotline by throwing itself off a building for the sole purpose of startling Sarchie, and the other just turns itself in to be exorcised. Not exactly masters of evil level planning there, demon hordes.

If it sounds like I am being harsh on Deliver Us from Evil, know that everything I didn’t like only stuck out because it was sandwiched in something I did like very much. Joel McHale’s performance is fantastic, but they have to cock it up by only letting him be in like 10% of the movie. There is a great scene where they watch security footage of Santino suspiciously talking to a lion, and then a bloody face just jumps on screen for a few seconds. It is one of a few asinine jump scares in the movie, and they fit in like the dicks from Fight Club, not really shocking you or adding anything. They just make you scratch your head and wonder “did they just stick their dicks in my supernatural thriller?”

Anyways, if I keep pointing at the elephants they will start feeling self-conscious. The shot design and sound design are great, and there are a lot of little flairs that add to the movie. Sarchie’s descent into anger and eventual redemption at the hands of God through confessing to Mendoza are done with adequate weight to be believable. The family drama and dark histories add a human weight to the characters, and are integrated well into the main plot. The acting is good all around, and the antagonist does a good job at being genuinely terrifying. Theres some good philosophical debate, that allows the movie to be watched intelligently if you ignore all the jump scares. Overall, the movie is enjoyable, but is dragged down by some questionable additions. It’s like someone on the staff was afraid that if something didn’t make me jump every 5 minutes, I’d fall asleep.

Oh, and Sarchie is also being haunted by The Doors. Yes, the band. But at this point you might as well just let the elephants have their own little tea party and enjoy the ride.

There are two sets of special features, one for general DVD release and one for Blu-Ray exclusively. In the general category, we have a Director’s Commentary track and a featurette on the making of the movie titled “Illuminating Evil: Making Deliver Us from Evil.” Clocking in at about 13 minutes, “Illuminating Evil” plays like an abridged version of all the other special features. You will get the key points from most of the Blu-Ray content, and whatever the marketing department decided was key from Derrickson’s commentary. It plays like a big pat on the back, but you get some sense of what they were trying to do.

The director’s commentary is unintentionally hilarious. I was first exposed to Derrickson’s work from his foray into the Hellraiser series. The fifth installment of the now totally shit series, I watched Hellraiser: Inferno as part of a marathon of the whole series with my girlfriend of the time. After Hellraiser 3: Shit Goes Bananas and Hellraiser 4: Hellraiser in Space, my girlfriend and I were weirded out that the fifth installment was actually not total shit. Along with Saw VI, it stands as an actually kind of good later installment to a series that has long lost any license to be anything but cash-grab screen-vomit. I liked Derrickson’s work on Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but by God if it wasn’t proving that there could be a decent Hellraiser sequel that made me respect the man.

Which is why the commentary being such a rambling mess is hilarious. It would be just sad if he went up and talked about his kids the whole time, but Derrickson gives just enough little short bursts of insight that his 10 minute rants about how science is wrong because spirits exist, followed by a subsequent 5 minutes of hard backpedaling, come off as tremendously out of place. He seriously goes from talking about the interesting uphill battle he fought to get Joel McHale cast in the part he wrote for him, to telling anecdotes about McHale’s struggling theater career and slightly psychotic knife collection. If this commentary were done in more than one take and in any setting other than Derrickson sitting alone with a voice recorder and bottle of Gin, taking a shot every time he had to change the subject, I will eat my own foot.

As for the 3 Blu-Ray exclusive featurettes, they all focus on a specific aspect of the movie and are worth watching. “Deliver Us From Demons” is about the makeup and characterization of Santino, and it is genuinely cool to see him go from normal guy to total batshit demon. Nothing truly revelatory, but worth a watch. “The Two Sergeants” is about Bana learning from the real life Ralph Sarchie how to play Ralph Sarchie, and if anything gives you some respect for Bana’s commitment and process. It was cool to see how much of the real life person went into the performance of the sensationalized fictional character. It is worth a watch, especially for people familiar with Sarchie’s work.

The last feature, “The Demon Detective,” is easily the most interesting special feature. A small biopic on Sarchie, it gives the real life Ralph Sarchie a chance to color himself. A normal, hardworking, American guy, Sarchie comes off in that likeable and respectable way that most honorable working class people do. You get a real sense of pride in what he is saying, and most importantly never get a shred of him being disingenuous. He really believes in what he is doing, and regardless of if you believe in God and the Devil or exorcisms, his earnest candor is enough to make you understand where he is coming from. He’s no movie star, and certainly gets more comfortable as the interview goes on, but is the kind of no-nonsense guy that can cut through the glamour of being on screen and just tell his story. It is a genuinely enjoyable bit, even with all the God stuff.

Overall, the special features are worth a watch, as they do give you insight into how they shot the movie and what they were going for that was not already apparent. A bit of a back patting session for sure, but not enough to get in the way. If you can spring for the Blu-ray, do so, as the extra features bring in enough detail to be worth watching.

Special Features:

  • Director’s Commentary
  • Illuminating Evil” Making Deliver Us from Evil
  • Deliver Us from Demons (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • The Two Sergeants (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • The Demon Detective (Blu-ray Exclusive)

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Annabelle Makeup Tutorial

Posted by Steve Barton on October 30, 2014

The Annabelle movie may not have delivered on the shivers, but one thing’s for sure… she remains creepy looking as hell. Looking for a Halloween get up? This video tutorial will help you get all evil-dolled up!

Check out the video below courtesy of Hannah Leigh. Even cooler? When you’re done you can message  your picture here using the hashtag #AnnabelleHalloween for a chance to be included in an official Annabelle fan gallery!

What are ya waiting for? Get your gruesome on!

Annabelle

 

 

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See a Livestream with the Saw Cast and Crew TONIGHT

Posted by Debi Moore on October 30, 2014

If you live near one of Arclight Cinemas’ Southern California theaters and are planning to see Saw when it’s re-released for Halloween, you might want to grab your friends and do so TONIGHT, when a livestream with the filmmakers and cast is taking place.

Here are the details:

To kick off the return of the original Saw in theaters this Halloween weekend, Arclight Cinemas is hosting a special Q&A with the original filmmakers and cast of the most successful horror franchise of all time. In attendance will be: director/writer James Wan, writer/star Leigh Whannell, producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules, DP David Armstrong, and cast members Cary Elwes, Shawnee Smith, and Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell.

You have three options:

  • If you’re in the LA area, join moderator Evan Dickson from Bloody Disgusting at the Arclight Hollywood and reminisce with the cast about this iconic franchise.
  • The Q&A will also be live streamed into four other Arclight locations: Beach Cities, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, and La Jolla.
  • For those of you not in the LA area, you can livestream the Q&A on your own computer via the video below.

It begins at 9:45 pm PT/12:45 am ET, TONIGHT, Thursday, October 30th. You can purchase your tickets here. Get more info from Saw on Facebook.

Directed by James Wan from a script penned by Leigh Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.

Saw

Saw

Saw

Saw 10th Anniversary

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Moment of Silence, Please: Ice Cream Man 2 Officially Dead in the Water

Posted by John Squires on October 30, 2014

We recently were excited to let you guys know that a sequel to 1995’s Ice Cream Man was in the works, a fundraising campaign for it spearheaded by director Norman Apstein and star Clint Howard. We’re sad to report today, just a couple weeks later, that the project is no more.

With eight days to go in Ice Cream Man 2‘s Kickstarter campaign, a mere 70 fans have pooled together and donated just over $4,000, barely even chipping away at the $300,000 goal amount. It was more or less clear right off the bat that the project wasn’t going to reach the goal, and today the plug has officially been pulled.

We will be taking down the project in the next couple of days and wanted to thank you for your support,” wrote Apstein today in a Kickstarter update. “Both your comments and connecting with the fans of the first Ice Cream Man has been a real treat.  We’ll be looking at a different sort of structure for future crowd funding (with a larger PR budget to get the message out there) as well as other alternative financing for the film.  You haven’t heard the last from the Ice Cream Man!”

There’s no way to know when or even if Ice Cream Man 2 will ever rise from the dead, but here’s hoping. The film was to be more of a genuine horror movie than its predecessor, focusing on ice cream man Gregory Tudor’s revenge on the kids from the first film, who are now all grown up.

Ice Cream Man 2

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