A Halloween Tribute to Troma

Do you like your Halloween coffee with plenty of cream and sugar. I certainly do. I’m not big on inviting scary, horror-riffic stuff into my life, so I tend to take most anything around this spookiest time of year with many grains of salt. And that goes doubly for scary movies, which, for many, are a must every October. Last year round this time I talked about my favorite “non-horror scary” movies, my made-up and preferential film genre for this time of year. While I don’t mind your typical blood ‘n’ guts/ghostly/mindf*** horror movies, I much prefer the lighter, funnier, and unnecessarily silly movies that highlight all things frightful and eerie.

Speaking of “frightful” and “unnecessarily silly,” nothing more appropriate comes to mind than the movies of Troma. Delightful, hilarious, shocking, completely non-PC (yet often in tune with current events), and scary only in the sense of contemplating the going-ons in the minds of the talented sickos who came up with the ideas, Troma movies are some of the best (and worst) B-movies around. Troma, which is made up of a team of true believers and founder Lloyd Kaufman, shun big-budget Hollywood values in favor of making the films they want to make. Sometimes schlocky, sexy, and sinful, Troma movies take all sorts of pleasure in rubbing people the wrong (and right) ways. Personally, I still have a long way to go in viewing the studio’s entire catalog, but here are a few of my favorites that ably force their mischievous tendrils through the fog of any mad, spooky Halloween celebrations.

NOTE: I’m going to keep my ramblings below to a minimum because the videos, should you dare to click, kind of speak for themselves. Also, NSFW. Adults Only. M-Rated. All if it. Any of it. This whole conversation, in fact. Take your kids to see Frozen or some s***. BE RESPONSIBLE F****** ADULTS!

Ahem.

*****

Cannibal: The Musical! (1993)
Though not a Troma movie, but rather a Troma-distributed movie, this gem from the creators of South Park is sure to please fans of musicals and fans of stories about survival and cannibalism in the 1870s. It’s a win-win if you ask me! (Mildly NSFW.)

 *****

Tromeo and Juliet (1996)
What do you get when you take the tragic story of two famous star-crossed lovers and combine it with cow innards, Lemmy from Motörhead, and unbridled…uh…passion? (Yeah, let’s stick with “passion.”) You could only get one thing: Tromeo and Juliet! (NSFW, for sure.)

 ****

Terror Firmer (1999)
So this movie starts out with a woman attacking a guy, ripping off his own leg, and then beating him with it. And then things get better, worse, even worse, slightly better, and then downright terrifying. A true Troma classic. (Super duper NSFW video!)

*****

Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie (2000)
I’m guessing you’ve at least heard of the Toxic Avenger? Skinny guy from New Jersey gets dumped into toxic waste, becomes a famous superhero? Well, in the fourth iteration of Toxie’s story, he takes on his doppelganger, the Noxious Offender, and all things either grossly offensive or offensively gross take place.  A true sight to behold. (So NSFW you probably don’t even want to click it.)

 *****

Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD (1990)
Another silly superhero romp and one of Troma’s better outings (all things relative), Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD places on display the dystopic life of detective Harry Grsiwold and his alter ego Sgt. Kabukiman. It’s a heartfelt tale of good versus evil peppered with plenty of WTF moments. Kabukiman-San Jo! (Actually, this one’s SFW, unless you’re highly offended by the site of flying chopsticks.)

*****

Got any favorite fun “non-scary horror” movies? Or, if you’re a Troma fan, what are some of your favorites? All suggestions are welcome in the comments!


Like what you’ve just read? Cary posts to Geek Force Network every Friday; and you can also find more words that she put together in paragraphs at Recollections of Play, United We Game, and 8bit Kitchen.

 

7 thoughts on “A Halloween Tribute to Troma”

  1. I certainly was afraid to click it… I didn’t click any of the videos. I only like the supernatural like ghosts, etc…. but not gross movies like Texas Chainsaw massacre.

    1. Then you’re one of the smart ones! 🙂 These movies definitely tend towards gross-out horror, but I’d rather have my horror be silly and over-the-top rather than creepy. Still, I get the appeal of the supernatural. That kind of horror has a pretty devout following.

  2. I just can’t. Anytime I get near a Troma film, I have to run the other way. It’s sort of like avoiding a cousin you don’t like. You know you are related – SOMEHOW – but you don’t want to pretend like you have all that much in common, even if you kind of/sort of do.

    1. Troma is very much an acquired taste, and there’s still lots that I find distasteful. However, some of the Troma-distributed movies, like Cannibal: The Musical!, aren’t too bad. But again, I guess that’s a matter of taste too.

  3. Class of Nuke’em High and Surf Nazis Must Die have a bizarre sort of charm. I think it is Nuke’em High that has a “gratuitous breast shot” where the girl walks into a dance and for no apparent reason her top flies off. It’s poking fun at the gratuitous breast shot, with a completely gratuitous breast shot. Most everything else and especially later ones like Prehistoric Bimbo, or whatever, I think are just crap.

    As to non-scary horror movies, how about The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini? (1966) oh and Army of Darkness. Stuck in time, surrounded by evil, low on gas.

    I like scary movies Cary, not slasher films, although a Suspiria and Phantasm (both with a fair amount of blood) top the list.

    1. I’ve seen Phantasm (classic horror that’s really well-done), but have only heard of Suspiria. (Italian, yes?) And Army of Darkness is one of my favorite movies generally — it never really read to me as “horror” since it’s so campy and hilarious.

      I have to agree that at certain points, some of what Troma was putting out was bad, even for them. (*ahem* the 2nd and 3rd Toxic Avenger movies *ahem*), They do well when their movies resonate with real-world happenings, even if it’s just making fun of hackneyed tropes.

      Thanks for the tip about The Ghost and the Invisible Bikini. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

      1. IMO, Phantasm is maybe tied with or a close second behind Suspiria as the “greatest of all time.” The makers of Phantasm even wanted the (awesome) theme music to sound like Suspiria’s done btw by a band named Goblin…. Suspiria is worth checking out; if you liked Phantasm. About the same amount of blood, but the atmosphere and mood are set right at the beginning. Yes, it’s Italian — Dario Argento.

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