Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A True Horror Film....

Let me preface this whole post by saying this is not a sales pitch. I am not making this post because I am affiliated with Troma and because I am trying to promote the upcoming Troma re-release of this film and help line their pockets. If I watched the movie and didn't like it, I simply would never talk about it on here. I'm making this post because i'm proud to be affiliated with the company that put this movie out and quite honestly, i've just witnessed the greatest thing i've ever seen with the Troma name attached to it. I'm writing this because, ya, I do want to promote and get the word out there on this flick, not because it's my job to but rather because my goal with this blog is to spread the good word on good horror and quite frankly, I feel it's a complete shame that a movie like this is so underground that it took me working at the company that put it out to even find out about it (and it was put out over 20 years ago, mind you!). I'm talking about .....

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Combat Shock (you must at least see this trailer) tells the story of Frankie Dunlan, a Vietnam vet who can't seem to escape what he's seen and done overseas. He's broke, he owes money to the drug boss in town, his 1 year old child is a hideously deformed product of Agent Orange who makes the most frightening sounds i've ever heard (nightmare inducing!), and he suffers from severe 'Nam flashbacks every day of his life. He roams the streets like a zombie, looking for a means to support his family. Until one day, without giving too much away, Frankie gives up hope and takes control of his situation, in seemingly the only way he can. Think Taxi Driver or Falling Down, except a lot more dark, a lot more depressing, and hell of a lot more nasty.

Talk about a totally depressing and shocking piece of cinema. It's ugly as can be and I say that in the best way possible. It's not supposed to be pleasant, it's supposed to be gritty, raw, and hard to watch, and that's precisely what it is. Its depictions of war, poverty, addiction, violence, and what all those things can do to an otherwise good man are some of the most effective i've ever seen on film. It's not the kind of movie that is pleasant to watch or the kind you'd want to watch over and over, but it's the kind of movie that I think everyone should see at least once in their life. Even if you are not a fan of Troma, you owe it to yourself to check it out as it's as pertinent and meaningful today as it was back in 1986 when it was released, if not more so. Again, without giving anything away, the utterly shocking climax of the film brings to mind dozens of real life horror stories we've all heard on the news in the past year (and helped me personally understand in some sick way why those acts are so rampant lately...if you've seen the movie, you'll know what I speak of), thanks in large part to the economic conditions of current times. This is not the usual Troma fare (no disrespect meant), so don't be fooled by the logo stamped on the cover. If you're looking for mindless gory entertainment, look elsewhere in the Troma library. This one is not for those looking for a good time....

Combat Shock is number four in the Tromasterpiece Collection, set to be released July 28th of this year in the form of a two disc packed with special features set that includes both the 90 minute previously released cut of the film as well as the 100 minute previously unreleased and unrated directors cut, titled American Nightmares. If you've seen the movie and loved it and want to check that one out, you can pre-order it over on Amazon. Otherwise, you can rent the 90 minute version or watch it instantly on Netflix right now. I don't care how you see it or what form you see it in, just make sure to see it.

Both this one and The Last Horror Film have made me really excited about The Tromasterpiece Collection and that's why i've been working so hard to get the word out there on it. It's something I totally support and i'm proud to be able to help out in increasing the exposure of such an awesome product. Thank you, Troma, for restoring these lost gems of the genre that so few have had the opportunity to see. With so many great gems in the Troma vault, this is gonna be a line to keep an eye on. And if you want to keep an eye on this line, befriend the official Tromasterpiece MySpace, which yours truly started and runs! Okay, so that part was a cheap plug. Okay, so maybe this whole post was. But I meant and 100% believed every word that I said and thus, you may not call me a whore.

Now it's off to bed while visions of Agent Orange deformed babies dance in my head....

8 comments:

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

I love this flick. Great write-up. Cool to see it get the deluxe treatment.

J. Astro said...

Yes - "COMBAT SHOCK" is a masterpiece of horror, if only for how bleak it is throughout its entire running time. Seriously, the grungy, hopeless, awful life of Frankie makes "THE DEER HUNTER" look like "NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION", hahaha ... it IS really a rare film that leaves such an impact, though, and its cool to see it getting so much appreciation.

wiec? said...

it's been about 15 years since i've last seen it, so the release of a unrated director's cut is perfect timing to re watch it again. Then wait another 15 years before looking at a third time. great write up!

Quanthor said...

So does new DVD have a quality transfer along with all the cool supplemental features?

Johnny said...

Quant, I couldn't tell ya yet. I watched the flick on Netflix as screeners aren't available yet but i'll let ya know once I check out the new release!

Phantom of Pulp said...

Much-deserved review. Good stuff.

I am with you on this. COMBAT SHOCK needs to be touted like no-one's business.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Ack dont want to read a review until I see it =D

Are we going to see some screeners coming up from Troma? Still looking forward to Last Horror Film!

Johnny said...

Combat Shock screener should be coming soon! You didn't get the Last Horror screener yet?