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Ice From The Sun
The balance of power on a spiritual plane has just shifted. In an alternate dimension, a power-mad wizard controls both life and death in his icy world. Crafted from ice crystals harvested from the sun, Abraham toys with tortures and ultimately destroys the humans he tricks into entering his dimension. So great has his power become that all the angels in heaven and all the devils in hell are beginning to wonder whether they will be the next focus of Abraham's attention. Unable to do battle with Abraham themselves, the angels and devils enlist the aid of Allison, a young woman who has recently committed suicide. She is brought back to life for one purpose only, and that is to destroy the wizard before he kills the last of his human prisoners and sets his sights on both heaven and hell.
It's hard to believe that no "big" studio exec has tapped Eric Stanze on the shoulder and offered him the deal his skills certainly warrant. Since his 10th grade year in high school, Stanze has been "making movies". On the surface his films appear to be (and are) very low budget outings with barely enough finances to cover the costs of feeding the cast and crew.
To truly appreciate his work, you have to look beyond the set designs and indeed even beyond the actors themselves. The story is the star and Stanze pushes every limit to make that story shine in spite of its very meager production.
I'll admit I haven't seen any of his previous work, however, the sheer power and intensity of this particular story has definitely piqued my interest. So much so, I am looking forward with keen anticipation to my next screening of an Eric Stanze production!
Truly, the film's only shortcomings are both the audio and visual presentations. The film's audio is presented in a very dull 2.0 Dolby Digital channel that makes the dialogue hard to understand at times. It also tends to be a tinny and hollow track with no depth or fullness whatsoever.
Unfortunately the full-frame presentation of the film is in even worse shape than its audio segment. Shot on Super 8, 16mm and even on Videotape the images presented are very grainy and muddy. The color saturation levels and flesh tones are equally poor as well.
The extras for the disc are as follows: There are two commentary tracks provided. The first features the director and sound designer and the second features the cast. Both commentary tracks delivered great information, however, the latter of the two seemed to move a bit more freely as the cast members joked around enough to make the track lighthearted as well as informative. Lastly, two trailers for the film are included.
Ice From the Sun has a very earthy, gritty, unwashed kind of feel to it. A small part of this is due to the director's intent. The larger part however is due to an extremely low almost non-existent budget. Ice From The Sun is clearly the proverbial "Diamond in the rough". The concept, storyline and execution of the film are all very good and quite a surprise given the elements (or lack of them) used to propel this feature. Suffice it to say, I was more than surprised at the level of interest it generated in me and I can easily recommend it.