We All Scream for Ice Cream (Masters of Horror)

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"We All Scream for Ice Cream"
Masters of Horror episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 10
Directed by Tom Holland
Written by David Schow
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Right to Die"
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"The Black Cat"

We All Scream for Ice Cream is an episode of the series Masters of Horror directed by Tom Holland. It was based on the story "You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream" by John Farris; the title evoking the famous song "I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream.


The story starts off with a father named Kent (Brent Sheppard) pleading for his young son not to eat an ice cream cone, but to no avail--the ice cream is eaten and Kent shockingly dissolves into a puddle of melted ice cream. At Kent's funeral, one of his childhood friends Layne Banixter (Lee Tergesen), attends. While there, Layne observes a shaggy individual hiding back in the trees, smirking. While Layne is at a pub, his friend, Toot (Lyle St. Goddard), is drinking himself into a stupor. Toot argues that Kent was in a closed casket because there was nothing left of him but his clothes. He insists that Layne's moving back to town has created bad luck for everyone. Around midnight, Layne heads home and observes several children in a trance, standing outside, clutching coins with an eerie chant of "We all scream for ice cream...".

Worried, Layne goes to bed. His wife is concerned at his distanced behavior, and she urges him to tell her what's wrong. Layne tells his wife of his childhood, and the local ice-cream man named Buster (William Forsythe). He was a decent soul who drove an ice-cream truck and wore a clown suit. He was a friend to the kids. The neighborhood bully, Virgil Constance (Samuel Patrick Chu) began taunting him, pulling off his clown nose to reveal a burnt stub – Buster had no real nose. Layne ends the story there, stating that one day, Buster simply died. He gets a phone call and arrives at the scene of Toot's death – his clothes in a pile of something gooey. Layne's wife demands to know what part of the story he omitted. Distressed, Layne tells her that Virgil planned a prank on Buster that one of them would release the brake on his truck and make it roll down the hill. Virgil forced Layne to pull the brake, and the truck began rolling straight towards Buster. Too busy picking up fallen coins to notice, Buster was run over by the truck and killed.

That night, Layne goes to see the adult Virgil (Colin Cunningham) – the shaggy man he spotted at the funeral. Virgil is in a tub, spitting one insult after another at Layne, who wants to know what happened. Virgil, wearing that old smirk, relents and tells Layne about Buster: that the old clown's come back for revenge against the gang for their fatal prank. While they are talking, somewhere out on the street nearby a ghostly ice-cream truck stops in front of a little girl--the girl Virgil brags about molesting. Buster reaches out of his truck to her, and his horribly-scabbed hand gives the girl a treat. He tells her she can use it to get revenge. Upon the girl biting into it, Virgil melts away into the tub, screaming as layers of skin and flesh roll off him like ice-cream.

Layne returns home with a plan. He begs his wife to take their children away to their grandmother's house for one day while he fixes things. After they leave, he tests the garden devices with a remote, then uses ice cream from a bucket in the freezer to create a shape. He wraps the treat with one of Buster's wrappers that Layne had thrown away.

Layne hears the creepy tune and, carrying a small cooler, walks outside for a showdown. His children, lured by Buster from the car a short distance away, run to them. Buster's vengeful spirit offers an ice-cream (shaped like Layne) to Layne's kids. Layne and Buster struggle until Layne turns on the garden sprinklers, freezing the clown. Layne's son sees the ice-cream treat Layne had dropped, and it's shaped exactly like Buster. The kid bites it and the clown dies. In the next scene, everything appears normal again and the family is about to move away from that town, but suddenly Layne hears the old creepy tune again and the film ends with a flash of Buster's rotten face.

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