Thursday, March 20, 2014

Troma's War (1988)

Who would have thought that a meticulously planned full-scale invasion of the United States of America would ultimately be thwarted by a woman wearing yellow flats? Sure, there were others sporting more conventional combat footwear who helped her out. But make no mistake, as far as I'm concerned, it was a practical pair of yellow flats that saved the U.S. from utter annihilation. (Whoa, be careful, man. You're using a lot of words that are considered "red flags" to some.) You mean, flats?!? (No, silly. Words like, "invasion," the "United States of America," and "annihilation," to name a few.) Jeez, you're right. Well, just to let all you paranoid reactionaries out there know, I'm writing about Troma's War, a bloated anti-war satire that envisions a hypothetical scenario that pits a small group of Tromaville residents against a gang of heavily-armed revolutionaries. (Wait, a "gang"? Judging by the sheer volume of heavily-armed revolutionaries killed in this movie, I would say they're a bit bigger than a gang. No, I would say they're an army, pure and simple.) Anyway, why I'm bothering to write about a film that pretty much looks like a nonstarter as far as fashion and titillation goes? Well, you know what they say, looks can be deceiving. Meaning, Lloyd Kaufman and co. have plenty of surprises in store for those of us who are not here to relish in what has to be the largest movie body count of all-time. And I'm not talking about thousands of people being killed off screen in some sort of natural disaster or alien attack, the producers of this film make sure every death is shown in lurid squib-popping detail. Actually, now that I think about it, this flick must feature more squibs than any other film in history.

After thinking about it even more, it's safe to say that Troma's War looks exactly like the kind of movie I would have made...when I was ten years old, as the film is basically a non-stop cavalcade of gun-based violence.

I don't know where to squeeze this thought in, and I definitely don't want to forget, so, I'll just squeeze it in here. My favourite death in Troma's War, and believe me, there are plenty to choose from, has to be the guy who buys it while wearing nothing but a nondescript pair of tighty whities. The way he went flying into that puddle after being shot sent my inner ten year-old into a giddy tailspin. As a person who used to take pride in the manner in which he died, I give this particular death a ten out of ten.

Oh, and what I mean when I say that took pride in dying has to do with the fact dying was my favourite part of playing war in the school yard. What can I say? Some people enjoy killing, I prefer dying.

A Tromaville Airlines flight crashes on the beach of tropical island in the Caribbean. Amidst the rubble and the bodies of the dead, a small group of survivors gather together to assess the situation.

Not to sound cruel, but I hope someone shoots Shelly Somers (Nora Hummel) real soon, 'cause I don't know how much more of her shrill voice I can take.

I'm no good at counting and junk, but I'd say there are at least twenty survivors. If that's so, how the hell am I supposed to keep track of all these people? (Just focus on the characters that interest you. Take, for instance, the metal band.) You mean the two blonde chicks in tight pants, the black chick in the lacy pink pantyhose, and the guy in the leather vest? (Yeah, them.) Excellent idea.

The black chick, Nancy, is played by the leggy Aleida Harris, and she gets her teeth knocked out, stuffs a grenade in a bad guy's mouth, and chops pair of conjoined twins in half with a machete (don't worry, they were totally evil).

I'm not sure which blonde is which, but I do know they were played by Mary Yorio and Susan Bachli. The one in the black tights gets AIDS and kills a guy with a crossbow, while the one in the chartreuse tights gets shot in the ass by some fat fuck. (Hold on, "some fat fuck"? Show some respect, that's Joe Fleishaker, you ingrate. Anyway, what about the guy in the leather vest?) Oh, he's Sean (Alex Cserhart), he kills the director of Redneck Zombies with a guitar string. (Nice.)

Who else is there? (How 'bout the guys responsible for the nearly three hundred or so deaths that occur in this film?) Fuck yeah, I loved those guys. There's Parker (Rick Washburn), a Vietnam vet (Airbourne!) turned used car salesmen, Taylor (Sean Bowen), a no-nonsense kind of guy who digs chicks who wear flats, and Kirkland (Patrick Weathers), a not-so mild-mannered Englishmen who has a blow gun taped to his leg (it's never explained why he has a blow gun taped to his leg, but he turns out to be quite the asset to the Tromaville team).

I didn't think Jessica Dublin could ever top her milf-tastic performance in Island of Death (she gets peed on and decapitated by a bulldozer in that film), but here she is, as Dottie, wielding an M-60 like she was Rambo.

Anyone else turned on by the sight of Jessica Dublin stretching during that pre-battle training montage? Anyone?

It's not a Troma film unless there's a hot blind woman. And Troma's War does not disappoint in that regard. Blinded as a result of the plane crash, Jennifer (Lisa Petruno) might not be able to see, but she can still fire a Tubbs-style shotgun in anger and fill out a pair of white shorts like nobody's business. (Wait, they give her gun?) As she says in the movie, just point her in the right direction.

In a surprise twist, Jennifer falls for Cooney (Ara Romanoff), a tubby coward turned bona fide hero. Speaking of cowards, the less said about Wall St. weasel Hardwick (Charles Kay-Hune), the better; he's such a dick.

Am I forgetting anyone? Oh, yeah, the woman with the baby (Brenda Brock) and the old guy (Steven Crossley) with the artificial arm. Yeah, yeah, there's them. But I think I'm forgetting someone more important. The Latino chick (Lorayn Lane Deluca) in the torn red dress? Loved her attitude, but no.

I know, the tough blonde gal in the yellow flats. Yeah, Sweet Cheeks, a.k.a. Lydia (Carolyn Beauchamp), the woman with the film's highest kill count. You gotta love a woman who can operate a machine gun while wearing flats.

It's also not a Troma film unless we get a shot of some quirky-looking extras, and this criteria is met when we meet the group who are in charge with spreading AIDS across America.

As far as villains without AIDS go, I have to say, I've got a bit of a soft spot Alexis Grey as Maj. Ramirez. Sure, they never show her firing a gun, but in terms of being sexy, Alexis had it going on. Sporting a gigantic mane of teased blonde hair, black leather gloves that went all the way to her elbows, high heel leather knee-high boots, a long charcoal trench coat, and a demented grin/sneer, Alexis chews up as much scenery as Lloyd Kaufman will allow her.

Oh, and you might have noticed that I failed to mention what Alexis was wearing on her thighs (i.e. the area just north of her high heel leather knee-high boots). The reason for this has to do with the fact there are no clear shots of Alexis' body in the early going.

(In the "early going"? Does this mean there are some full body shots in the late going?) You're way ahead of me, my perverted friend. As the revolutionaries are preparing to send a group of "regular-looking" folks to the U.S. (infiltrate American society and cause chaos within), we see Maj. Ramirez organizing this event. Carrying an uzi and barking orders to her subordinates, Maj. Ramirez parades back and forth with an air of authority.

And since parading involves walking, her trench coat opens briefly with every step, giving us an unstructured view of her thighs, which were being strangled by a pair of black, lacy pantyhose.

Essentially, there are three main action scenes in Troma's War. The first being the one where Parker takes on an entire platoon by himself. The second involves Parker, Taylor, Kirkland (wielding a Steyr AUG), Lydia, and Maria rescuing the members of their group after they were captured. And the third is the survivor's valiant attempt to prevent the baddies from launching their invasion of the U.S.A. If I was forced, at gun point, of course, to choose a favourite action sequence, it would have to be the second one, as it features most of my favourite kills. And not to mention, my favourite death. Yo, guy in the tighty whities who back flips into a puddle after being shot, this review of Troma's War is dedicated to you. Airborne!!!!


  1. > Anyone else turned on by the sight of Jessica Dublin stretching during that pre-battle training montage? Anyone?

    *raises hand*