Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tromeo and Juliet (Lloyd Kaufman, 1996)

When I saw the shirtless guy (and by "shirtless," I mean he wasn't wearing a shirt) with a penis monster for a cock approach the kiddie pool where one of the titular characters from Tromeo and Juliet was wading, I thought to myself: Hey, that guy sort of looks like a brunette version of Fabio. Except, instead promoting housewife baffling margarine and being hit the face by seabirds while riding on roller-coasters–you know, like regular Fabio–this Fabio was intimidating a leggy blonde with the slimy, seemingly sentient cock with jagged teeth and a nastier than usual disposition. (Did you say the slimy, seemingly sentient cock's disposition was "nastier than usual"?) Yeah, well, you see, most slimy, seemingly sentient cocks are merely disagreeable, this slimy, seemingly sentient cock, however, was downright belligerent. I hope that clears things up. Oh, hello. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm currently wallowing in my cinematic element. And I must say, it feels pretty good. Tired of combing through the countless movies I watch on a regular basis desperately looking for the sleaze I crave, it was refreshing to come across a film that not only provided me with the images I require to survive in this cockamamie world, but did with so the proper amount of deranged gusto. What is "the proper amount," you ask? I'm no expert when it comes to weights and measures, but every scene in this film, co-written by James Gunn, directed by writer-director Lloyd Kaufman, and based on Shakespeare, is filled with the stuff I like.

(You mean to say you like scenes where women give birth to popcorn and rats, toes are sucks, heads are bashed in, arms are severed, green hairy cocks are revealed, nipples are pierced, people are peed on, and CD-Rom's are used to help foster the expulsion of seminal fluid?) That's exactly what I mean to say. And get this, that's just a mere pittance of the insanity that takes place in this movie.

(Don't forget daddy-daughter bondage scenes and heroic pedophile priests.) Oh, man. I genuinely forgot about those two things. (So, you didn't like them?) I don't know, I'm not what sure what I think of them.

The movie, after showing a dead squirrel hanging from a noose with a note attached to it that read: "Monty Q Sucks," we're introduced to some of the film's main characters. I like the idea of introducing the cast this way (each family member's name is listed along with their relation to either Tromeo or Juliet), as made it easier for me to keep track of who's who.

I'm not sure how big their roles are going to be, but I tell already that I'm going to be rooting for Ingrid Capulet (Wendy Adams), mother to Juliet, and Sammy Capulet (Sean Gunn), cousin to Juliet, as I dig their respective looks.

Narrated by Lemmy from Motörhead, though, his line readings are rendered incomprehensible by his wonky diction, the film starts with Act I: We enter a nightclub, where a throng of youthful bodies covered in tattoos and sheathed in fishnets stockings (I love it when you can see their leg tattoos through the mesh-like material) are grinding ever so slowly to the hip sounds of alternative rock. This scene brilliantly establishes that... Actually, what does this scene establish again? Besides the fact that it somehow manages to make the mid-90s seem more awesome than I remember them.

Of course, now I remember, it establishes that Sammy Capulet is my new role model. I only wish I had the guts to carry myself with such a nutty aplomb on a regular basis. Seriously, I was in awe of Sean Gunn in this movie. I mean, the way he managed to feel up her sister, Georgie Capulet (Tamara Craig Thomas), and asked her if she wanted to go smoke the crystal meth he had stuffed in his shorts at the same time was truly inspirational.

Oh, and don't get me started on his hair. It's a work of art. As is his entire look. Think Marcus Adams of Meat Beat Manifesto circa Storm the Studio combined with a malnourished raver, and you'll get a pretty good idea of Sammy's sense of style.

As Georgie is repeatedly punching Sammy in the face and stomach on the dancefloor (she doesn't like being felt up by her brother, nor does she want to smoke crystal meth with him in the club's basement), Tromeo Que (Will Keenan), son to Monty Que (Earl  McKoy), Murray Martini (Valentine Miele), friend to Tromeo, and Benny Que (Stephen Blackhart), cousin to Tromeo, are hanging out at Axis Body Piercing. In the film's first "ahhhhh" moment, we see Benny pierce the right nipple of a short-haired, and, as we'll discover in a later scene, leggy, brunette.

Even though he's not a Que, Murray fights for their cause like his was one. And what cause might this be? Bringing pain and suffering down on the heads of Capulet's whenever possible. And looks like one of these possibilities is about to come up when Sammy confronts Murray in the very nightclub he was just feeling up his sister in.

Getting in a fight, Murray eventually overpowers Sammy, drags him into a back room, and cuts two of his fingers off using one of those gruesome-looking paper trimming doohickeys.

Unlike Sammy, it doesn't look like Wendy Adams' role as Ingrid Capulet is going to be as meaty. Then again, she does a wicked back flip (Cappy beats her up), looks foxy with grey hair, wears eye-searing pink tights around the house and shows off her scrumptious gams in a pair of black shorts at point one. So, it wasn't a total loss.

Those so-called "scrumptious gams," by the way, play an important role in explaining the animosity that develops between Cappy Capulet and Monty Que.

Anyway, we finally meet Juliet Capulet (Jane Jensen)--who has clearly inherited her mother's legs--just as she is about to be seduced in her bedroom by Ness (Debbie Rochon), the Capulet's heavily pierced/tattooed lesbian cook. While Juliet and Ness are getting it on, Tromeo is masturbating to an erotic CD-Rom.

If you thought Sammy and his sister's relationship was creepy, wait until you see the way Cappy interacts with his daughter Juliet, a.k.a. Daddy's Little Crenshaw Melon, it's beyond creepy. What's beyond creepy, you ask? Well, tying up Juliet and putting her in a glass box (located in the so-called "time out room") when she misbehaves is one of the ways one can get on the fast track to beyond creepy.

What kind of behaviour does one have to engage in to be put in the "time out room"? Having erotic dreams about brunette Fabio lookalike's with mutant genitalia is definitely one way.

Remember kids: Sidewalk safe, street dangerous.

Act II involves a lavish costume party at the Capulet's house, that, of course, Tromeo (who is dressed like a cow) and Murray crash. And quickly learn that Rosy (the sexy Jacqueline Tavarez), Tromeo's girlfriend, is cheating on him with some weirdo with a stocking fetish. However, Tromeo's heartbreak doesn't last long, as he spots Juliet for the very first time. Casting aside London Arbuckle (Steve Gibbons), Juliet's fiance with relative ease, Tromeo asks her to dance.

All you need to have is a passing knowledge of pop culture to know where this is going. As expected, the pairing of Tromeo and Juliet causes much friction to occur between the two families. Well, actually, the Que's don't seem to mind. It's Juliet's father Cappy, who is sort of dating his daughter in a way, that takes the most umbrage with their burgeoning relationship.

My favourite scene occurs at the beginning of Act III when Tromeo enters Juliet's bedroom via her window and proceeds to put one of her toes in his mouth. Working his way up her legs, Tromeo stops at her stomach, rips it open, and is pleasantly surprised to find it's filled with popcorn and rats.

It turns out that Juliet's stomach is not actually filled with popcorn and rats, she was having yet another erotic dream. And you what that means? That's right, Cappy puts Daddy's Little Crenshaw Melon in the time out room. Don't worry, though, you'll need more than a thin layer of plexiglass to stop Tromeo and Juliet from seeing each other.

Queue the romantic, Valley Girl-esque montage! His and her tattoos! Leggy make out sessions! Ain't love grand?

Culminating with cancelled trips to Swansea, Wales; helpful pedophile priests; magic potions that turn leggy blondes into leggy bovine blondes with giant, hairy sea green cocks (you can get anything in Chinatown); decapitation; severed arms; gouged eyeballs; a fifteen year-old Tiffany Shepis doing jiu jitsu; and a demented rendition of "Shall We Gather at the River," Tromeo and Juliet is as delightfully insane as Class of Nuke 'Em High; and that's high praise, as I love that flick. Almost faithful to source material, the film is an excellent showcase for the talents of James and Sean Gunn, who bring a childlike sense of wonder to the works of the Bard of Avon; who literally gets the last laugh in this film.


  1. I watched three "Toxic Avenger" films and not this? I feel kind of ashamed.

    I've ingested large amounts of uncut Shakespeare since a young age. "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" were my favorites and still are.

    Kurosawa's adaptations of Shakespeare are the best. By far. Although Orson Welles's creepy low-budget "Macbeth" is a personal favorite.

    Shakespeare is really ultra-dirty and pervy. His audience was into that kind of stuff. They'd probably love this. Will watch this one and see.

    1. Three Toxie flicks, eh? I watched four... in one week.

    2. In one week? Damn! I've seen them a few times but over the course of a many years. The first two are my favorites.