Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)

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Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny: Directed by Richard Winer. With Jay Ripley, Shay Garner, Pat Morrell, Bob O’Connell. When Santa’s sleigh gets stuck in Florida, he tells a group of kids the story of Thumbelina.

“Believe it or not, I found a copy of this thing. I just watched it. Wow. Thatu0026#39;s all I can say. I have to comment on it further now that Iu0026#39;ve seen it again. This has got to be one of the worst movies Iu0026#39;ve seen, and Iu0026#39;ve seen a lot of bad ones. Iu0026#39;ve seen Herschell Gordon Lewisu0026#39; u0026quot;Jimmy the Boy Wonderu0026quot;. Iu0026#39;ve seen u0026quot;Nukieu0026quot;, u0026quot;Indian Supermanu0026quot;, u0026quot;Devil Monsteru0026quot;, u0026quot;Return to Boggy creeku0026quot;, and many more. But u0026quot;Santa and the Ice Cream Bunnyu0026quot; is really a wonder of bad, bad cinema. I canu0026#39;t say that enough. I can just see the producer telling everybody who questioned him during production, u0026quot;But itu0026#39;s a KIDu0026#39;s movie. It doesnu0026#39;t MATTER.u0026quot; Like thatu0026#39;s an excuse for this sort of thing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs I said in my previous comment, I saw this in the theater when I was ten. I think it came out in the spring, which caused some confusion about the Ice Cream Bunny. I mean, is that supposed to be the Easter Bunny or what? And why is Santa Claus in it? I didnu0026#39;t understand then, and 30 years later I still donu0026#39;t understand. Anyway, hereu0026#39;s the story.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eA skinny dimestore Santa with a large sweat stain on his butt is stuck in the sand on a Florida beach. Thatu0026#39;s a very surreal image for a kid from Minnesota whou0026#39;s used to seeing Santa in snow. His reindeer (shown in stock footage) got too hot and flew home without him. Santa falls asleep and sends a telepathic message to kids living in a nearby housing development. The message stops time until they respond to it. They all come help him with their pet animals – a horse, a cow, a sheep, a pig, a donkey, and a guy in a gorilla suit. Must be a pretty lax housing development to allow those kind of animals. Nothing works, so Santa tries to cheer the kids up by telling them the story of Thumbelina. The poor audience (us) doesnu0026#39;t just hear it; we see it, too. Itu0026#39;s a movie within a movie! When it rolls, we see the credits and everything. Thatu0026#39;s pretty darn confusing to a kid who thought the movie already started twenty minutes ago. Soon we learn that itu0026#39;s also a movie within a movie, so weu0026#39;re seeing a movie within a movie within a movie! AHH!!!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhew. The movie within a movie is narrated by a tinny loudspeaker at a cheap amusement park called Pirates World. When the speaker talks, we see a closeup of it. This happens way too many times to count. The young lady who plays Thumbelina is an excellent singer, and I canu0026#39;t help but like her. Trouble is, her story goes on forever and ever and ever. The sets look like something from a high school play. They make Santa on the beach look pretty good!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThen just when you think the movie has turned into Thumbelina and youu0026#39;ve given up all hope of seeing Santa again, it ends. It even says u0026quot;The Endu0026quot; on the screen. So youu0026#39;re getting up ready to run out of the theater and thereu0026#39;s Santa on the beach again! After an hour plus of this business we finally get to see the Ice Cream Bunny. Heu0026#39;s driving an antique fire engine through the woods to the beach. Heu0026#39;s so close now. Please hurry, Mr. Bunny. Save Santa and end the movie NOW! No, wait – now heu0026#39;s taking a long shortcut through Pirates World! HOWu0026#39;D THAT HAPPEN???u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOK, now heu0026#39;s back on the beach. It still takes several minutes to cross those last few hundred feet. Turns out he and Santa are old friends. He gives Santa a ride on his truck, and when youu0026#39;re wondering why they left the sleigh behind it blinks out of sight and magically returns to the North Pole. The kids point at the sky as if they can see it flying. The end.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWow. Did I mention the really bad singing in the Santa part of the movie? Did I mention the endless kazoos, and the talk-singing into the kazoos? I watched much of this standing up, pacing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIf youu0026#39;re brave – if youu0026#39;re really brave – thereu0026#39;s another copy for sale on I havenu0026#39;t seen it on ebay or in Amazon Z Shops, and Iu0026#39;ve been looking for a while. Hereu0026#39;s your chance.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMy head hurts. Me go now.”


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