REVIEW: SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D.

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Rick Gianasi (Mutant Hunt)
Susan Byun (Crime Lords)
Bill Weeden (Citizen Toxie)
Thomas Crnkovich (Alive or Dead)
Larry Robinson (Time Out)
Noble Lee Lester (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Brick Bronsky (The Quest)
Pamela Alster (The Marilyn Diaries)
Joe Fleishaker (Terror Firmer)

The film follows Sergeant Detective Harry Griswold (Rick Gianasi), a clumsy N.Y.P.D. cop investigating a string of murders involving Kabuki actors. While attending an amateur Kabuki play, Harry witnesses thugs gun down the entire cast. In the ensuing gunfight, Harry is forcefully kissed by one of the dying actors, unknowingly becoming blessed with the powers of Kabuki. Before he knows it, Griswold finds out that he has the ability to transform into Kabukiman, a colorfully dressed slapstick superhero who has the ability to fly and access to such unique weapons as heat seeking chopsticks and fatal sushi.  With the assistance of the beautiful Lotus (Susan Byun), he helps clean up the crime-ridden streets of New York and try to stop maniacal businessman Reginald Stuart (Bill Weeden) and his Goons, who plan to fulfill an ancient evil prophecy that will summon The Evil One whose demonic powers can enslave the world.Sgt-Kabukiman-NYPD-images-8183c614-2903-4a4d-b86d-6bbbe18abcdSgt. Kabukiman NYPD is a very special film, which I would recommend to anyone. Cult movies have rarely been so original, entertaining and lacking in pretension. It is surely time for Lloyd to start raising funds for the sequel

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REVIEW: ALIEN BLOOD

CAST

Francesca Manning (Coronation Street)
Rebecca Stirling
Clyn Whiteside (The Car Is Fine)

This is a weird, weird film. It’s the last day of the millennium, and MIBs are chasing two women and two kids through the Lake District, only these folk are really aliens and MIBs have to catch them before the dawn of the new millennium, I think. After a few gunfights they end up at the house of James Dracula and some other vampires, who are having a millennium party. Oh, and there’s a psychic and one of the aliens is pregnant.  At first, this ultra-low budget film plays out like a crappy Matrix style alien chase film with very arty pretensions (loads of standing around looking wistful) and some pretty awful martial arts and bad acting. Once we get to the vampire’s house, the film decides to turn into some sort of sex comedy for a while, with Dracula creeping about the house having his advances rebuffed by various female vampires. Not a lick of this makes any sense but once the alien turns up and kills Dracula, the rest of the vampires gang together to take on the MIBs, who attack the house en masse (save for one vampire, who turns out to be the brother of the leader of the MIBs). If there was an explanation for any of this, I may have missed it between dozing during the arty, slow motion poignant shots of people staring at each other for minutes at a time while candles flickered in the foreground.

You’ve got bagpipe players, jugglers, lustful farmers, French speaking aliens, Dracula, references to a ‘fuel curfew’, really, truly dire CGI (nearly forgot to mention that !) and the result is a truly head scratching film that raises so many questions that you’re neighbours will think you’ve gone crazy while you’re screaming “Why?” at the television over and over again.  Is it enjoyable though? For those looking for the weird and obscure, it’s worth a shot. For sci-fi fans I wouldn’t touch this with a bargepole. I kind of enjoyed it for it’s weirdness factor, but I couldn’t make head nor tail of the quirky premises the film was throwing at me. It did have plenty of nudity and gore in it if that’s your thing. Be warned though: This is by no means a good film. Watch out during the house attack sequence for how many times they recycle footage of the MIBs running around. They use one shot about ten times!

 

REVIEW: TROMEO & JULIET

CAST

Will Keenan (Terror Firmer)
Jane Jensen (Eyes of The Prey)
Valentine Miele (Super)
Debbie Rochon (Dollface)
Lemmy (Citizen Toxie)
Sean Gunn (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Stephen Blackehart  (Passions)

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Set in modern-day Manhattan, the film begins with the narrator (Lemmy of Motörhead) introducing two families: the Capulets and the Ques. At the center of these families are Tromeo Que and Juliet Capulet. Tromeo lives in squalor with his alcoholic father Monty and works at a tattoo parlor with his cousin Benny and friend Murray. Juliet is sequestered in her family’s mansion, watched over by her abusive father Cappy, passive mother Ingrid, and overprotective cousin Tyrone, all the while being sexually satisfied by family servant Ness (Debbie Rochon). Both Tromeo and Juliet are trapped in cases of unrequited love: Tromeo lusts for the big-bosomed, promiscuous Rosie; Juliet is engaged to wealthy meat tycoon London Arbuckle as prelude to an arranged marriage.2

In the meantime, a bloody brawl between Murray and Sammy Capulet catches the attention of Detective Ernie Scalus, who gathers the heads of the two families together and declares that they will be held personally accountable for any further breaches of peace. Almost immediately afterwards, Monty and Cappy start threatening each other with weapons. Sammy gets caught in the window of Monty’s speeding car, where he is thrown head-first into a fire hydrant and (very slowly) dies. On the insistence of Murray and Benny, Tromeo attends the Capulets’ masquerade ball in the hopes of meeting Rosie, only to find another man performing cunnilingus on her. Tromeo staggers around the party in disillusion until he locks eyes with those of Juliet. The two instantly fall for each other and share a dance until an angry Tyrone chases him out of the house.

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Tromeo and Juliet continue to be enamored by one another from afar. Cappy, disgusted at his daughter’s active libido, forcefully imprisons her in a plastic cage as punishment. Tromeo sneaks into the house of Capulet and the two meet once again. After proclaiming their love for each other both verbally and physically, they agree to be married. Juliet breaks her engagement with Arbuckle and, with the help of Father Lawrence, the two are married in secrecy the next day. Tyrone, upon discovering Juliet‘s secret affair, gathers his gang together and challenges Tromeo to a duel. Now a kinsman to the Capulets, Tromeo refuses to fight, suggesting to both sides to bring the lifelong feud to an end. Murray accepts the duel on Tromeo’s behalf and, in the ensuing brawl, is mortally wounded by Tyrone‘s club. Tromeo, enraged by his friend’s death, pursues Tyrone and slays him (through a series of car crashes which dismember him) and goes into hiding from the police.4Learning that she is involved with Tromeo, Cappy savagely beats Juliet and forces her to reconcile with Arbuckle. Arbuckle accepts her re-proposal and the marriage is set. Juliet visits Father Lawrence, who reunites her with Tromeo and enlists the help of Fu Chang, the apothecary, who sells Juliet a special potion which will aide her predicament. On the day of her wedding, Juliet swallows the apothecary’s potion, transforming her into a hideous cow monster, complete with a three-foot penis. The mere sight of her causes Arbuckle to leap out of Juliet’s window in fright, committing suicide. Enraged over the loss of his would-be son-in-law and meat inheritance, Cappy attempts to rape and murder Juliet, but Tromeo arrives just in time, knocking Cappy unconscious and bringing Juliet’s appearance back to normal by a single kiss. Cappy awakens, taking both lovers captive by crossbow-point. While he is distracted, Juliet performs one last act of defiance against her father and electrocutes him.5

As Tromeo and Juliet leave the house of Capulet, they are confronted by Ingrid and Monty, who reveal to them the real reason behind the Capulet/Que feud: Long ago, Cappy and Monty were the owners of the successful Silky Films production company. Ingrid, married to Monty at time, struck up an affair with Cappy, eventually birthing a son which Monty raised as his own. Faced with a divorce from Ingrid and the threat of having his son taken away from him, Monty was forced to sign over all the rights of Silky Films to the Capulets in exchange for his son. After the initial shock at the revelation that they are siblings, Tromeo and Juliet are determined not to let their whole ordeal be for naught; they passionately embrace and drive off into the sunset. The film picks up six years later in Tromaville, New Jersey, where Tromeo and Juliet, now married, have become suburban yuppies with a house and (birth defected/deformed) children of their own.The film ends with the narrator’s brief poem for the lovers: “And all of our hearts free to let all things base go/As taught by Juliet and her Tromeo”. A brief shot of William Shakespeare laughing uproariously is shown before the end credits.1

Tromeo and Juliet offers up a lot of the gross-out stuff and crazy, X-rated cartoonish violence. It also has James Gunn as writer and of the film, and it’s fascinating to see after Slither and Super to see that his mark is on it: the film is more disturbing than one might expect from the crude but playful Kaufman, such as the ‘black room’ with the Plexiglas Capulet has, and some of the more crazy sexual dialog.  It’s outrageous, it’s stupid, it’s childish, offensive, disgusting, maybe pornographic in its fetishizing of special effects, But it’s fun, and it knows it, and that’s what counts here.

REVIEW: PEP SQUAD

CAST

Brooke Balderson (Firecracker)
Amy Kelly (Watch Out)

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Set in and around a small town high school in Kansas, Beth is a naive senior student who asks her two new friends, the slick and outgoing Julie, and her boyfriend Scott to help her cover up the accidental killing of the hated school principal. But they are observed by Terra, a student nominated for prom queen, who blackmails them into rigging the election in her favor. Undaunted, Beth, Julie and Scott turn to the most popular/hated student Cherry to kill Terra for them. Cherry agrees to the hit, but only if she gets Terra’s nomination for prom queen and the crown as well which sets off more complications for all involved.

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The plot is supposed to be insane and it certainly delivers on its mission of weirdness. Yes, the performance of the lead female is a bit stale, although it’s possible she was meant to be that way, given the apathy of her character. If not, then she is the only real drawback to the film. The rest of the cast are decent enough for newcomers and the cinematography is gripping. Kansas never looked so good. The movie has an early John Waters feel to it with a twist of David Lynch. While not very gory or as disturbed, fans of the first Evil Dead or Troma films would still enjoy this movie.

REVIEW: TOXIC CRUSADERS: THE MOVIE

CAST (VOICES)

Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Susan Blu (Curious George)
Rodger Bumpass (Monsters, Inc.)
Paul Eiding (Wall-E)
Susan silo (James Bond Jr)
Kath Soucie (Futurama)
Michael J. Pollard (Scrooged)

The cartoon follows roughly the same plot as the films The Toxic Avenger and it’s two succeeding sequels. A complete and hopeless nerd, Melvin, falls into toxic waste and becomes Toxie, a hideously deformed mutant of superhuman size and strength. Teaming with other mutants, No-Zone (whose power comes from radioactive sneezes), Major Disaster (he can control plants), Head-banger (Fender, a singing telegram delivery surfer-type, and Dr. Bender, a stereotype mad scientist, fused together – a hybrid character based on the Siamese twins in “Troma’s War”) and Junkyard, a dog/hobo hybrid, to become The Toxic Crusaders! Together they fight crime in every sense of the word and finally turn their attention on the Apolalypse Inc. of the movies Toxic Avenger Parts II & III, although in the series the chairman is an alien as opposed to Satan. The series follows the attempts of the crusaders to fight crime and be environmentally safe.Image result for TOXIC CRUSADERSThe movie is merely 3 episodes of the short lived cartoon series loosely based on the cult horror movie “The Toxic Avenger” and it’s sequels. Chalk it up to what the hell were they thinking? Of course after seeing this cartoon series about a nerd being turned into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength, who then teams up with a gang of other mutants to make the world ecologically friendly by doing battle with an alien and his minions, and afterwords buying the endless toy tie ins, kids would want to see the movies that it was based on. But even disregarding that warped notion, the cartoon was ludicrously bad and had an unpalatable ‘save the environment’ scenario that was only topped by the simply repulsive indoctrinating garbage that was “Captain Planet”.

REVIEW: TALES FROM THE CRAPPER

CAST

Julie Strain (Repossessed)
Lloyd Kaufman (Super)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Trey Parker (South Park)
James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
India Allen (Round Numbers)
Debbie Rochon (Slime City)
Eli Roth (Scream 4)
Trent Haaga (Terror Firmer)

Tales from the Crapper is a film that only one studio in the world could deliver. The one that has brought us innovative and original real independent films for 30 plus years now: Troma. This is truly a very special film because it manages to be certainly not my favorite of the Troma-productions, but released on a disc that because of what I just said is one of my most valued and favorite DVD’s. Not only counting the countless Troma discs I own, but counting my entire collection of films. The film itself is the result of an ill fated plan to produce a television series to be directed by a director who was trusted with a substantial amount of money (especially for Troma) to make something wonderful and delivered a lot of unfinished and incomphrehensible material before quitting (or being fired, I am not sure which at this moment). In order to prevent having to shove a vast investment down the toilet Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz decided to get together a team of directors and actors and use the material as the backbone of one movie.

Image result for tales from the crapperOne movie that really consists of two, in the nice old Tales From The Crypt anthology fashion, hosted by the Crapkeeper played by Mr Kaufman himself. But, as I said, not quite my own favorite of all their movies. That is greatly due to a weird sense of discipline at the various sets, forgetting about the hard Troma rule of “no booze on the set” which was discovered by a furious Lloyd and other less respectable emplyees that Troma had at the time of the filming of the added scenes. All this made it all but impossible for Mr Kaufman to make a worthwile product in the editing room. But Lloyd Kaufman is a genius, and with the troubled added scenes to an already misshapen startproduct he crafted not much less of a masterpiece.
Image result for tales from the crapperThe film itself is as good as circumstances would allow the most brilliant filmmaker to slice together and it is certainly highly entertaining, totally confusing, loaded with those elements that made Troma great and certainly unique and one of a kind. As a film itslef, though, not as brilliant as many other Troma productions. The genius of Independent Cinema however made the DVD of this film so much more than a release of a film with some extra’s. The film is, when push comes to shove, actually only a part of the entire dvd that in its whole is a document of the difficult situation serious filmmakers find themselves in having to survive in a world that is monopolized by the few Very Big Ones who don’t really allow any other players on their market turf. A document of the problems one has when trusting people to be on the level, only to find out that freedom sometimes is something that is hard to live up to and realisation that access to a Movie Budget when the Boss is not around can corrupt even those who should really know better.
Image result for tales from the crapperThe brilliance of this DVD is that the film is not perfect, and that Lloyd knows it, and doesn’t want to make anyone think he believes it is. The full-length commentary is a show in itself , mixing humor, sneers at those who deserve it and highly interesting information for anyone interested in Independent Filmmaking in such a fashion that watching the film again with this commentary straight after viewing it on its own merits is so interesting it is hard to stop. The feature-length documentary THE THICK BROWN LINE takes us behind the scenes at the various locations where Lloyd visits the sets only to sometimes take over and make the most of what he finds there. We see him somewhat disillusioned sometimes, different from his appearances in other Making Of Documents such as Fart of Darkness and Apocalypse Soon, both to be found in the must-own MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE box set.

Image result for tales from the crapperThe added scenes with James Gunn (who started his carreer at Troma only to find success as a writer an now a director in Hollywood) and Trey Parker (again someone to start out with a Troma-released work, to later be a national hero with his South Park series) are entertaining and probably (as is much else on this release) a reason for obtaining this disc alone for anyone remotely interested in the work of these two characters. this is one of the best Troma-dvd-releases.

REVIEW: CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV

 

CAST

David Mattey (Hanock)
Clyde Lewis (Nightfall)
Heidi Sjursen (Spell Out)
Paul Kyrmse (Terror Firmer)
Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys)
Trent Haaga (Killjoy Goes To Hell)
Mark Torgl (Beast)
Rick Collins (SGT. Kabukiman NYPD)
Lisa Gaye (Terror Firmer)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Eli Roth (Inglorious Basterds)
Hugh M. Hefner (The House Bunny)

Image result for CITIZEN TOXIEThis is an excellent sequel, that goes incredibly way over the line, and you know what?, I absolutely loved it!. All the characters are excellent, and the story while juvenile and incredibly bizarre was awesome, plus the performances are all highly amusing!. It was often very bizarre but in a good way, and it has to be one of the goriest films I have ever seen, plus it’s very well made and written for it’s low budget. This is even better then the awesome original Toxic Avenger, and it had some bizarre characters (Like The Vibrator, Dolphin man etc,etc) but they all were really cool, plus I loved the final showdown between Good Toxie and Evil Toxie!. The diaper mafia at the beginning were just hilarious, and while I did feel ashamed for laughing at some things because they went way over the line, I couldn’t help it! plus it’s extremely creative as well. It also may be the best Troma movie I have ever seen, and the gore effects were very good for it’s low budget, plus I also loved it’s sleaziness.LE-FEU-SOUS-LA-PEAU-SUBURBAN-MAYHEMThis is definitely one of the goriest films I have ever seen. We get Ripped out tongues, tons of very bloody impaling’s an old lady gets her face squished by car, a very gory baby fight in someone’s belly, tons and tons of severed limbs all over the place, cut off arms, cut off hands,someone’s dick blows up (you heard me), people sh*t themselves,ripped of b*alls,cross out the moth in back of head,2 buckets full of intestines and other goodies, so many people get there intestines ripped out in graphic detail,someone is cut in half, severed head, tons of extremely bloody gunshot wounds,buckets and buckets of blood and so incredibly much more I can’t even remember!.
Image result for CITIZEN TOXIEThe Acting is a lot of fun!. David Mattey is brilliant as both the Toxie’s he was funny, charming, was tons of fun to watch, and he seemed to have a ball as Evil Toxie, he truly is The Toxic Avenger and I hope to see him playing Toxie once more if they do an Toxic Avenger 5!. Heidi Sjursen is great fun as both Sarah and Claire, she played it straight, and I had fun watching her, I really dug her. Paul Kyrmse is a lot of fun as Kabukiman especially when ever he got drunk, he was also fun as the evil one too. Joe Fleishaker is hilarious as the sidekick Lard Ass/Chester, and boy can he ever eat!. Michael Budinger is funny as the handicapped Junkie I loved him!. Lisa Terezakis is hilarious as Sweetie Honey and was extremely convincing. Rest of the cast are fine. Overall a must see for everyone!.