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: