The Ice House (1969)

aka Love in Cold Blood
Article 3002 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-27-2009
Posting Date: 11-2-2009
Directed by Stuart E. McGowan
Featuring David Story, Robert Story, Jim Davis
Country: USA

An ice house worker is humiliated by a buxom blonde who hits him over the head with a beer bottle. This gives him a trauma so that he strangles any woman who raises a drink to him. Pretty soon, his twin brother, a cop, is on a case to track down disappearing women.

At first I thought this sleazy, cheap little movie was doing an amazing job in twin brother special effects, but a quick check of the credits cleared that up; instead of one actor playing two roles, we have actual twins in the leads. It’s a neat trick getting real twins to play twins a movie. It’s an even better trick if both the twins can act, but you can’t have everything. This movie is incredibly sleazy; the local dance place features lots of nude dancing to the non-hit “The Scrub”, there’s a gratuitous orgy sequence, and assorted other nude scenes. It’s also incredibly silly; from the traumatic experience that sets off the murders, the twin cop subplot, and a variety of other silly scenes (especially a freak accident where a corpse appears in an ice dispenser), the movie becomes unintentionally comic a lot of the time. But then it may not be unintentional; director Stuart McGowan went on to direct a couple of Tim Conway films. The most surprising thing about this movie is that there’s a touch of naivete in place of the mean-spiritedness I usually find in movies of this ilk; the killer is basically a big lug who can’t control what he does rather than the repellent misogynist that I’d expect from a movie like this, and it doesn’t drench itself in sadism. In short, this one is definitely bad, but far from unwatchable.

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