Film Review : Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

IMDB Score – 3.3
Netflix Watch Instant

Directed By – Peter George
Starring – Gail Neely, Robert Harden, Barry Brenner, Dawn Wildsmith, Michael Sonye, Joel Hile, Gene Mitchell, Tom Shell, and Bobbie Bresee

When the grandson of a gun wielding woman is murdered by neo-nazi surf punks in the post-apocalyptic future, this grandma hunts them down for some bloodthirsty revenge.

So Vern over at Video Vortex asked me to watch and review a film produced by the wonderfully disgusting and critically lauded Troma, which has been made infamous by it’s Toxic Avenger series and various other cult flicks. He suggested “Surf Nazis Must Die” which is streaming on Netflix and I accepted the challenge.

You can visit Vern’s musings on Troma HERE

Guys, I’m going to spoil the shit out of this so this is your warning.

Having only seen the first Toxic Avenger film(one of my first reviews), I could only imagine what kind of filth I was in store for. It turned out that while the film was equally as appalling in terms of story, acting, camera work, production value, moral compass, knowledge of history, and rampant sexism/racism…it wasn’t nearly as good as Toxie. The first Toxic Avenger film had a sort of ambition that, even though the film is a garbage pit, I can’t remember seeing a film that was so funny and random. I’ll take a bad 80’s film over a modern comedy any day. Perhaps this is just because I have a strange sense of humor, but I find the attempt to make interesting cinema and coming out with horrendous slop hysterical. While the premise behind Surf Nazis is certainly insane, the villains just didn’t do enough heinous acts as I would have expected from Neo-Nazis. I wasn’t kidding when I said there was no knowledge of any historical logic. There is no explanation or even a hint of why they are Nazis. They don’t practice the Nazi philosophy or engage in any acts against people they find inferior. They are simply a bunch of hooligans who occasionally surf and cause damage and physical harm…who just so happen to have swastikas plastered all over their clothes. The leader of the group is named Adolf and while he spouts the occasional German word and Nazi high sign from time to time, there really isn’t any other tie in with Nazis. It’s like they picked something evil to act like and then forgot how to act like them. The gang it turns out is just a bunch of goons.

The setting of the film is “sometime in the near future” which says a lot considering that can be pretty much anytime from now and the year 3057. There was apparently an earthquake in California which displaced everybody along the coast and killed 80,000 people. You would think that the scenery would be a little bit more destroyed but there isn’t really anything resembling a chaotic wasteland besides the fact that there is not a single police officer in sight. Apparently they all just decided to move their squads to Ohio. That however does not deter little old ladies from going to the beach, where these gangs hang out, and getting mugged by these Nazis. The whole earthquake back story doesn’t make a dicks worth of sense but that isn’t why I’m watching this film. I’m watching it because these Nazis fucking SURF.

They literally surf all day. The film is filled with about six different surfing montages that last a couple minutes and are set to 8 bit 80s music. It was like Blue Crush if Kate Bosworth was a Nazi. Then, somebody burned their surfboards and these nice and charming Nazis decided to become actual murders and end up murdering this elderly black ladies son. Black lady then decides to get revenge and fucks up the Nazis little uprising. Does that sound rushed? Well, it was rushed for me as I looked down for one second and all of a sudden there is an older black lady killing a bunch of Nazis. The story isn’t important anyway. These films are enjoyed because of the little bits of humor stuffed into the actors performances and the complete what the fuck moments in the script. For instance…

– Adolf, the leader of the Nazis, was TOTALLY the inspiration for the voice of Daniel Plainview from “There Will Be Blood”. Daniel Day Lewis owes that Oscar to Adolf.
– There is a Nazi with a hook for a hand. His name is Hook
– At one point, a rival gang member utters the brilliant line, “What’s this all about Kraut?”
– Speaking of rival gangs, they’re the highlight of the film. They include bikers, fashion surfers, sewer pipe dwellers, samurai surfers, and skateboarding kids. The meeting that they had was amazing.
– “What? Nobody wants to slamdance?”
– The black lady is shown her sons corpse for identification and during the viewing the coroner asks her is he could get her anything. YEAH! CAN I GET A ICE COLD PEPSI WHILE I LOOK AT MY DEAD SON?
– One of the younger Nazis has a mom who is fully aware of her sons activities yet treats it like he’s been caught smoking cigarettes. ARE YOU GOING TO HANG OUT WITH THAT NO GOOD ADOLF NAZI GANG LEADER AGAIN?

There were some pretty great humorous scenes but I honestly wanted a bit more gore. This is what Troma is famous for along with the cheesy dialogue and bad acting and I feel like I only got two thirds of that wonderful mixture. Would I recommend seeing this film? Yes. I would. Why? Well, because it’s batshit insane and you need to balance your movie viewings so that you don’t raise your expectations to a level that can’t be matched. If you watch a couple of shitty 80s movies, the next Michael Bay film might look a little better in your eyes. Actually, no. I take that back. Troma is WAY better than Michael Bay.

Bad Movie Rating – 3/5





Classic Film Review : The Killer (1989)

IMDB Score – 8.10
Rotten Tomato Score – 100%

Directed By – John Woo
Starring – Yun-Fat Chow, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kong Chu, Kenneth Tsang, and Fui-On Shing

A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.

Am I an asshole? Am I an asshole for not liking this film? Look at those ratings. 8.0? 100%? I’m going to just assume that I’m a horrible person for thinking this film was one of the cheesiest things I’ve ever watched. I’m a bad person and you should stop reading. Seriously John Woo? SHRIMP HEAD?

I’ll be honest off the bat, I haven’t seen many Woo films. Growing up I had a steady dosage of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, but anything related to John Woo fell by the wayside. I’ve seen his American films but this was my first dive into his films with Chow Yun Fat. It started poorly.

First let me state that the police in this film are horrible. They may possibly be the most insanely inept squad of men I’ve seen in film. They let people get assassinated easier than whoever ran the parade in Dallas. Chow Yu Fat was sitting on a boat with a gun pointed at a very important man whom the police force KNEW could be assassinated and nobody spotted him. They were at a goddamn rowing race. There was literally a thousand people watching the water and they couldn’t see Chow Yun Fat with a bad mustache and a rifle. Then when a bullet blasted through his head, they covered him up and said he fainted. I could have spread that cheese on toast.

The whole film was cheese. The WHOLE film. Woo tried to portray serious emotion but when one of the characters is screaming over the loss of his buddy Shrimp Head, yeah you lost me. The movie also suffered from cliche action movie tropes such as endless ammo, endless villains, and endless times you get shot in the chest before you die. I guess I should be appreciating the action scenes and taking an 80s film for what it’s worth but I’m not going to do that. I hope Hard Boiled is better than this or I’m not even going to touch John Woo again.

Wait, Red Cliff was fucking awesome. This must have just been a mistake. Also, I know get the John Woo dove jokes now. I have arrived to that level of movie reference.

1.5/5