Scene Breakdown: Cool As Ice

The early 90s were a weird time. I’m fairly certain that if you boarded a plane to Los Angeles, took a bus to any studio lot, and screamed “I AM A RAPPER!” the top of your lungs, someone would have offered you a starring role in a TV show or movie (see Prince, Fresh, and Play, Kid ‘n). I theorize this because there’s really no other way to justify the fact that someone funded a movie starring Vanilla Ice, and Cool As Ice does, in fact, exist. While IMDB describes it as a “rap oriented re-make of Rebel Without a Cause,” at its heart Cool As Ice is more of a Dollar Tree version of Purple Rain. Like the Prince vehicle, approximately 70% of the movie features Vanilla Ice riding around on a motorcycle or delivering impromptu concerts. Unlike Purple Rain, at no point does it feature Morris Day dressed to the nines and ordering his henchman to chuck a lady into nearby dumpster. This is an unfortunate oversight.

The part of the film I’m breaking down comes from the other 30%, involving Vanilla Ice wooing and later rescuing a local, stuck-up girl named Kathy — specifically two short back-to-back scenes where he first starts to win her affection. Take note, fellas. It’s nothing if not a master class on courting. (Note: There are a few more slides than usual, but I promise we’ll make quick work of a bunch of them.)

One preliminary piece of business before we begin. This is the official poster for the movie. Two things jump out at me when I look at it. First, the tagline: “When a girl has a heart of stone, there’s only one way to melt it. Just add Ice.” I get that they’re trying to be cute, but… Ice… melts… stone? ¿Qué? This metaphor is somehow both mixed AND backwards. Second, the line at the top: “Starring In His First Motion Picture, VANILLA ICE.” … … … First.

(*deep breath*)


Okay, let’s go.

The scene opens up with Vanilla Ice and some of his biker buddies zooming down a rural road. It takes place right near the beginning of the movie, so we don’t know much beyond the following things:

1) Vanilla Ice has a bright yellow motorcycle, and a bright orange jacket. His wardrobe throughout the movie is breathtaking. Wait till we get to his pants. You guys won’t even believe it.

2) The other bikers are his posse, because they have boring black bikes and relatively nondescript clothing.

3) VANILLA ICE DOES NOT PLAY BY YOUR RULES, SOCIETY. Driving lanes are for conformists.

Ice peels off from his group when he spots a young lady riding a horse in the field next to the road. This girl has intrigued him. Then and there, he decides he must have her. To reach this goal, he embarks on what I would charitably describe as batsh-ttiest plan you’ll ever see. You know how Van Gogh cut off his ear and mailed it to a girl because he thought it would impress her? Yeah. Van Gogh ain’t got sh-t on Vanilla Ice.*

*This is almost certainly the first time anyone has said this sentence.

Also, he makes this face while hatching the plan. So help me God, it isn’t even one of the top five smuggest faces he makes in the movie. Not even close.

He circles out to the side, and starts bearing down on the fence separating the field from the road. At this point, I imagine you’re thinking something like, “Well, since there is clearly no ramp or incline in sight, he’s definitely not going to jump over the the fence on his motorcycle. Is he planning on driving through it? I bet that’s it. After all, it’s literally the only logical conclusion.”

Nope. OF COURSE he was gonna jump it. Come on.

Unfortunately, Vanilla Ice’s plan had one critical flaw, and that is that horses are idiots. Their favorite food is salt for Chrissakes. How are they supposed to know that a man leaping a fence on a loud piece of machinery and landing right in front of them while they’re at a full sprint is not something to be afraid of, but perfectly rational human mating procedure? I mean, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen it, I bet I’d have $100. (Note: I’ve watched this clip 100 times.) So, because the horse is a moron like that, it freezes up and tosses the girl on the ground.

Stupid, stupid horses.

After she wipes out off the horse, he runs up to her and asks if she’s all right. She responds by punching him in the stomach. This is a very reasonable reaction on her part, for reasons I’ll get to in a moment. But first, let’s check in with the peanut gallery.

“Haha, that lady punched our friend. Also my bike is customized to look like one half of a pair of Zubaz. Oh, life.”

After she punches him, Vanilla Ice says “Damn! What the hell’s wrong with you?”* To clarify, despite the fact that her tumble was the DIRECT RESULT of his dangerous course of action, he seems genuinely surprised both that something negative happened and that she’s upset. And why would she be? It’s not like falling off a horse is potentially hazardous or anything except for the part where it paralyzed Superman.

Since we already know they’re going to end up together, I guess the lesson we learn is this: if you really want to get the attention of a potential mate, maybe consider almost severing his or her spinal cord.

*She responds by asking Ice what the hell is wrong with him, to which Ice replies, “Nothin’… till now.” Well-deserved punches in the gut really cramp his style.

Anyway, she gets back on her horse and rides off, but not before Vanilla Ice tells her she punches like a girl. The man is like douche Casanova.

Hey, wait a second…

(*writes “Douche Casanova” on a cocktail napkin, shows it to Channing Tatum’s management, collects six-figure sum in exchange for film rights*)

[Note: We’re now on the second clip, which begins after a brief intermission where Vanilla Ice’s bike breaks down.]

Later that day, Ice is hanging out in front of this… garage? I’ll say garage. It’s barely a couch cushion fort from a construction standpoint, but whatever. While there, he spots Kathy rolling by in her boyfriend’s fancy sports car. But I don’t give a single sh-t about that because Omigod. You guys. Look. At. His. Clothes. A brief rundown:

– Backwards hat, obvs.
– What appear to be mismatched shoes.
– Bright orange windbreaker with more gold chains (1) underneath it than shirts (0).
– The best pants ever. Ever. Hammer pants have been remembered more by historians, but seriously… I wish I knew more words. I just hope to God someone put them in a time capsule somewhere so future generations don’t mistakenly think this screencap was Photoshopped or CGI’d or something.

Also, and I think this is extremely important, he is doing this dance.

Kathy and her preppy, blazerface boyfriend get out of the car and start arguing in front of her house. Something about long distance relationships or whatever. It’s pretty much irrelevant, because they are interrupted by Ice, who waltzes right up and starts hitting on Kathy.

Seeing as their previous interaction that day consisted of him almost killing her and her horse with his dipsh-t motorcycle stunt, Ice knows he has to turn on the charm. And hoo boy, does he ever. First of all, in the previous paragraph, where I said he “waltzes up”… this is an understatement. Behold:

That GIF makes me want to change everything about my life effective immediately. But once he gets up to them, he really turns it on. To show he’s not that bad a guy, he asks how she and the horse are doing. During this part of the conversation, he makes some of the most seductive faces in cinema history. I’ve included two of them on the next slides, but please, be incredibly careful looking at them without some form of protection.



As he wraps up his smooth display, Kathy and her boyfriend start to head into the house. She tries to blow him off with a “Come on, we’re wasting his time,” to which Vanilla Ice replies VanillaIcily, “Oh no, you’re not wastin’ my time. I’m just coolin‘.” She brushes him off again and turns to leave, but Ice grabs her arm to stop her, and says “If you need me, I’ll be right over there,” while motioning to his garage.

Where he will continue doing this, presumably.

Ok, time for the money shot. As he’s walking away, Ice turns and looks back over his right should to deliver one of the most iconic lines in cinema history. Seated amongst greats like “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” “You can’t handle the truth!”, and “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” is this little American treasure:

“Words of wisdom: Drop that zero, and get with a hero.” Dear Lord, it’s perfect. I mean, look at Vanilla Ice’s face when he delivers it. He’s practically giddy. He knew that line was going to make waves. More importantly, what woman could POSSIBLY resist such a smooth line?

Not this one, that’s for sure.

So fellas, let’s recap the Vanila Ice guide to picking up women.

Step 1: Wake up and immediately dress like an asshole.
Step 2: Almost maim her and her beloved horse with your reckless motorcycle shenanigans.
Step 2a: Maybe consider starting a band called “Reckless Motorcycle Shenanigans.” I’m just spitballing here.
Step 3: Act like she’s a bitch for getting angry about Step 2.
Step 4: Dance like a doof on the side of the road
Step 5: Strut.
Step 6: Seductive looks.
Step 7: Rhyming insult/brags.
Step 8: Score.

What I’m getting at is this: you know that Mystery boob who does those shows about how to pick up women? He pretty much just ripped off Vanilla Ice in this movie. He’s really good at Step 1.

Usually when I close out these Scene Breakdown posts, I’ll implore you to go watch the whole movie. Films like Cobra or Showdown in Little Tokyo are so over the top that I can’t do them justice in under 2000 words. That’s not the case with Cool As Ice. Don’t get me wrong, you should certainly check it out on cable if you’re incredibly bored one day and stumble across it. The clothes, the dancing, and the numerous scenes where Vanilla Ice beats up 4-5 guys at once will definitely get you through a lazy afternoon. But I wouldn’t actively seek it out. No, I feel pretty confident that we’ve used up just about all the important stuff here, and can just consider the remaining 87 minutes of runtime disposable.

Well, maybe not totally disposable. Take us home, Ice.