Posted: 04/20/2004


Ice Cold in Phoenix


by Del Harvey

A man molded by a lifetime of abuse goes on a rampage of sex and violence en route to the showdown of his life.

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Ryan Kelly is a man who was abused his whole life. When he tries to move on he discovers that the more he tries to control things, the looser his grip on reality becomes. When he finally makes one last attempt to set things straight with his father, the attempt is rejected, setting him off on a psychotic downward spiral. His actions eventually lead him to the desert with a sexy woman he hardly knows and her jealous boyfriend, who arrives with a pistol and little compassion. Our anti-hero finds himself in a situation that literally brings him full circle and face-to-face with his own evil deeds.

Ice Cold In Phoenix has murder, mayhem, sex, and some nudity. It also has the thinnest plot I’ve seen in a long time. But this won’t matter to the folks who will rent this film…they’re going for action and titillation. For those of you who do care, this film is so full of mistakes it’s heart-breaking. The actors have no motivation so their performances are weak; the plot thread barely connects; logic is obviously missing throughout for characters and story.

Releasing May 11th from MTI Home Video, Ice Cold in Phoenix was directed by Lindsay Craig Shonteff, who since 1966 has been bringing us such stellar R-rated fare as Devil Doll, Harry and the Hookers, and Lipstick and Blood. I wish he’d kept the ‘scantily-clad’ formula going for this foray. Instead he seems to have gone for some perverse interpretation of “politically correct” with this film, except it isn’t working. Ice Cold In Phoenix stars Duane Espinoza (Byline), April Shepard, Cesar Reyes, and Razel Wolf (Wormwood, Shakespeare…, and In and Out).

See it if you dare!

Ice Cold In Phoenix is available at your local video store or available for purchase from MTI Home Video.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, and teaches screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago.

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