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



Film Review : Return of the Dragon (1972)

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IMDB Score – 7.3
Rotten Tomato Score – 100%
Netflix Watch Instant

Directed By – Bruce Lee
Starring – Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao, Ping Ou Wei, Chung-Hsin Huang, Tony Liu, and Jon T. Benn

A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.

Okay, I’m going to have to admit something here. This is the first time, in my life, that I watched a Bruce Lee film from start to finish. You can now take the time to yell at me through your screen because I most certainly deserve it. The thing is, I haven’t really been into film my entire life. I first started getting into movies in high school and by then the television was so flooded by MTV crap that reruns of old Kung Fu movies just wasn’t readily available. I’ve known about the story behind the man and the events surrounding his death, as well as his sons death, but just haven’t been able to sit in front of the tube and watch his films. Hopefully now that most of them are available on Netflix, I’ll be able to view most of them. However, I must say, this movie was really bad.

Hear me out.

Did I enjoy the film? Hell yeah. Was it horribly dubbed, acted, written, and shot? Hell fucking yes it was. Oh my god was it bad. I didn’t expect Scorcese but my god it was like ever single film that ever parodied any Kung Fu movie. I guess that’s why the parodies exist. I just didn’t expect them to be so spot on. The dub over was so comically bad that I had trouble holding in my laughter throughout the course of the film. Have you ever seen “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist”? That’s one of my childhood movies that I know every line to. I remember thinking that they must have found the worst Kung Fu movie to parody cause there is no way films like that actually existed but I think this may be worse. Every line from any character was dubbed over like they were trying to make it sound horrible

I FUCKING LOVED IT.

Seriously. It was like a bad bad movie mixed with amazing Kung Fu from the legend himself. I wish I had gotten drunk while watching it because it would have made it that much better. By the way, watching a whole film amazed me more than watching a few youtube clips of Bruce Lee. The man was just a lightning bolt and seemed to have super human physical ability. The nun chuck scene and the final fight with actual Chuck, Chuck Norris, were both amazing and it was great to see them in the actual film rather than on the internet. I could have watched those two fight all day and the way Bruce Lee kicked the living shit out of the most inept henchmen every assembled left me in stitches. It was a blast.

This is going to be hard to rate because the movie from a film nerds point of view was a piece of shit, but from an entertainments point of view was amazing. Just watch it if you haven’t already because it’s a lot of fun.

1/5 Film rating
5/5 Fun rating



Film Review : The Counselor (2013)

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IMDB Score – 5.5
Rotten Tomato Score – 34%

Starring – Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Bruno Ganz, Rosie Perez, and Edgar Martinez
Directed By – Ridley Scott

A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

Earlier last year I wrote about how excited I was that this film was even happening. The cast, aside from Cameron Diaz, was fantastic. I am a Ridley Scott apologist. I thought “Prometheus” was a gorgeous film and although it was written by a man who should have no business in science fiction, I thought the film did space horror justice. The film boasted one of my favorite authors at the helm of the screenplay. I have enjoyed everything Cormac McCarthy has ever written and was excited for his first work written directly for the screen. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG GUYS?

Everything. Everything went wrong.

This was one of the most pretentious pieces of hot garbage I have ever seen. It was like Ridley Scott found a pile of shit in the middle of the room, found out who made it, denied it was a pile of shit, and threw glitter on it. How is that image doing for you? I’m actually proud of that analogy. It is fitting to what this film ended up being. So we have a lawyer played by Michael fucking Fassbender. This lawyer decides to get into the drug trade and then I honestly don’t understand what the hell happens next. Actually, if I had not read the synopsis before watching the film I would have had no idea what was happening during the entire two hour run length. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy films that make no sense. Those films however know what they’re aiming for and try to present it in a unique and experimental fashion. This films plays like McCarthy watched a Tarantino film and decided he was going to write one and use much bigger words. I love the mans writing but this was just a huge failure in trying to be profound and philosophical. NOBODY TALKS THE WAY ANYBODY IN THIS FILM TALKS. The last line was spoken by Cameron Diaz and she used the word “famished”. She wasn’t even being ironic. It was like a high school drama student was trying to sound cool on facebook. I’m just completely surprised by how bad the entire film was.

That isn’t to say there weren’t a few stylish elements I enjoyed. For one, Ridley Scott is just a natural behind teh camera and I enjoyed the colors portrayed in the film. There are also two very entertaining scenes that involve wire and Cameron Diaz fucking a car.

Yes. I just said that. I’m sorry if I ruined it for you but there is no way in hell I’m not talking about this. Cameron Diaz fucked an automobile. The term “catfish” was used in the film to describe what such an experience would be like. I vomited in my bed. Cameron Diaz owes me new sheets.

Let’s elaborate on Cameron Diaz for a moment. Why was she cast in this film. Her character is supposed to be ARGENTINIAN. Does she look Argentinian? Does she sound even remotely Argentinian? That must have been one hell of a blow job she gave to the casting director because that’s the only way that untalented woman got this job. Actually, that could probably be said for most of her career. I’m so glad that she didn’t end up doing what she always ends up doing, ruining good films. Her involvement in this was just an extra piece of lunacy added on to a debacle of a movie. Penelope Cruz was underused and had horrible lines given to her which she delivered with a subtle hint of “am I really saying this?” Javier Bardem decided to do this just so he could have his hair styled like that. I have know idea what he said in the film because of his outrageous blow out haircut. Brad Pitt played the same character he always plays, in the same voice, with the same everything.

Why did this have to happen. It was like the entire production company set us up for something brilliant and then delivered us a failure pile with a party hat on it and a note saying “Suck it population!”. I feel bad for people who paid to see this.

Let me summarize this who thing before I write Netflix a letter asking them why they didn’t email saying “NO PLEASE DON’T” when they saw I had this movie in my queue. The film was a mechanical pretentious slob of pseudo philosophical drivel. That sentence was brought to you by the Thesaurus. The same thesaurus that Cormac McCarthy used to construct 90% of the dialogue in this film. It had a few entertaining scenes. I believe a mentioned a car being slobbered on by an old untalented vagina. It was not entertaining enough though to hold even the slightest of my attention and I would like my two hours back. Oh, an there were Cheetahs in this films that were treated like both horses and house cats. I feel violated.

0.5/5

Recommended ViewingBaby Geniuses




Film Review : RoboCop (2014)

IMDB Score – 6.7
Rotten Tomato Score – 48%

Directed By – José Padilha
Starring – Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and Samuel L. Jackson

In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.

I’m going to start off this review a little differently. The following quote was pulled from the trivia section of IMDB for this film…

During production of the film, director José Padilha phoned friend and fellow Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles to confide in him his frustration in the lack of creative control he was allowed by the studio for the project. Padilha estimated that for every ten ideas he brought to the project, the studio refused nine, and went on to the describe the making of the film as “The worst experience of [his] life”. When word of this conversation became public, in an effort to appease the studio Padilha released counter statements expressing satisfaction with the film.

The reason I quote this is because I’m about to rip this film a new asshole. It was a piece of garbage and anybody involved in making it should be ashamed. It’s not that I just didn’t like it. It was so poorly constructed, acted, edited, and written that it seemed like the entire production team made this on the weekends when they were occupied with something else. The fact that they put this remake in the hands of a first time screenwriter shows how much effort they were willing to put into this. José Padilha is a director I admire. His Elite Squad films and documentary Bus 174 are fantastic gritty stories that up the realism and don’t hold anything back. I feel bad for the man who came to Hollywood hoping to hit a mainstream audience and he’s going to look like a fool now because of inept studio interference getting in the way of his creativity. What a waste of talent. Shame on those studios. This is why I give José Padilha a pass on this one. He should keep making excellent Brazilian films where he has complete control. There are going to be a lot of people who will seek out his films. He doesn’t need Hollywood bullshit.

That being said, the movie was atrocious. I don’t even know where to start. I guess the first order of business is the one thing we knew would hold the film back, the PG-13 rating. I know that direct adaptions are kinda lame. The original “RoboCop” was violent as hell and why the story was still a basic Frankenstein re-imagining, it was fun as hell. This remake wasn’t fun. This remake wasn’t even a little bit fun. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t think any of the effects were cool. I didn’t find a single thing enjoyable except for the wonderful Gary Oldman who tried his best to make anything in this film work. I think that may be a biased statement, but he didn’t do anything wrong with this role. Another slight positive was just the notion that it’s nice to see Michael Keatons face on the big screen again. He wasn’t very impressive but it was still great to see. The rest of the cast were horrid. Abbie Cornish shouldn’t act. Her attempts at being an anxiety filled house wife were laughable. Joel Kinnaman should stick to television. He just doesn’t have the face, voice, or presence to command a film. He’s a supporting actor at best. It was nice seeing Michael K. Williams in a role that isn’t Omar from “The Wire” but the lines his character was given were so corny that it was like a ten year old in the back room of a studio came up with them while playing cops and robbers with his imaginary friend Steve. The whole cast besides Oldman failed on a major level.

I couldn’t stand the writing. They spent almost two thirds of the film setting up the development of RoboCop only to realize that they haven’t developed any conflict yet and just shoved a villain in at the last second. Again, it is a remake so I’m not spoiling anything but if you’ve never seen the original film you would be very confused as to why Michael Keaton all of a sudden became a villain. It was that sudden. The film also revealed all these different plot twists with corrupt cops and completely forgot about closing that part of the story. A major character is revealed to be an asshole and then the scene ends and we hear nothing of it, or see that character again for the entire rest of the film. You could land a space shuttle through these holes. It was laughable.

Oh, I nearly forgot about Samuel L. Jackson. His character was one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever seen in a film. He acted like a segmented narrator throughout the film giving comments on what we just saw while doing so in a fashion that was abrasive and obnoxious. They also just HAD to throw in him saying “motherf*cker”. They had to do it. It was entirely distracting and stupid.

The action was also just poorly done. There was no sense of danger or intensity. It was bland, quick cutting PG-13 video game slop. I actually almost fell asleep during the big set piece at the end. That’s how boring it was.

Don’t waste you time seeing this film. It’s a mistake that should never have happened and was sabotaged from the beginning. If you want to see good work from José Padilha then check out his previous films. This is something he will be forgetting and I will be too.

0.5/5