With an all-star cast, an unbelievable true story, and a period setting, it’s remarkable that The Iceman got such a limited release and such little buzz. Directed by relative unknown Ariel Vromen, the film is based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, who not only was a contract killer who worked for various mobs over 30 plus years, but managed to hold a stable family that knew nothing of his work. Michael Shannon stars as Kuklinski with Winona Ryder playing his wife. Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and a few other well-known faces join the two as well. Originally given a limited release last May, the film did poorly, only earning back about an eighth of its 10 million budget. Now coming to DVD soon, this movie will have a second chance to reach an audience. While I have not seen the film myself, reviews have been mostly positive. Plus by the looks of the trailer, Shannon seems to be putting in one hell of a performance. This seems like something to keep your eyes out for in the coming months. Check out the trailer, and then read on if you want to know more about the true story.
The Iceman is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray on September 3. Here’s a little more background on the true story of Kuklinski for those interested. Richard Kuklinski grew up in an abusive family in Jersey City, New Jersey. Between his brother dying at the hands of his father’s abuse, his other brother going to prison for murder, and the constant beatings by his mother, Kuklinski had a tough upbringing. First going through the ranks as a loan shark, the DeCavalante crime family eventually caught wind of his ruthless, no nonsense tactics, and in the mid 1950’s hired him for his first hit. From there sprung a period of about 30 years, where he jumped across various crime families in New York City performing assassinations for money. In this period, he claimed to have committed over 100 killings, but at the same time, was in a healthy marriage with three children all while keeping his entire work private to his family. In 1986, Kuklinski was finally caught by undercover cops and was incarcerated. The oddest part of the story is the media frenzy that sprung up. During incarceration, and until his death in 2006, Kuklinski provided multiple interviews on his time as a contract killer, had two documentaries made on his life and had two biographies written about him. While clearly no saint, Kuklinski had a quite an interesting story that could make one hell of a film. Hopefully, The Iceman is just that.
In addition, here’s a test scene with Michael Shannon as Kuklinski that was shot about a year prior to production on The Iceman. If you want to get a better sense of Shannon’s dark and soft-spoken portrayal, without spoiling any of the flick, check out the clip below.