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Troma's war - Michael Hertz/Lloyd Kaufman - 1988

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un troma grand cru !



A small group of typical Tromaville citizens find themselves in the path of a terrorist army controlled by the power elite. The freedom of Tromaville and the world is at stake! Troma's War creates new kinds of heroes. A used car salesman, a handsome environmentalist, an obese junk-food gourmand, a seventy-year-old housewife, some sensational young women, a year old jingoistic baby and more sensational women all become deadly soldiers...



Troma Does a War Flick, September 19, 2003

Reviewer: Jeffrey Leach (Omaha, NE USA) - See all my reviews


Why I continue to plod my way through Troma's catalog of schlock movies is a question not easily answered. "The Toxic Avenger" holds a special place in my heart because that movie was my first real gore film experience. Since then, I have seen many more films from Lloyd Kaufman's warped studio, and none of them ever really matches that first Toxic Avenger picture. If you are not familiar with Troma, they are a movie production company dedicated to releasing the worst trash films in cinematic history. The people at Troma actually revel in their reputation for bad taste through massive self-promotion in all forms of media. "Troma's War" shares attributes with nearly every other Troma film I have seen: atrocious and hammy acting, cheesy but gruesome effects, lame musical scores, pedestrian pacing, and tasteless humor.


The impetus for "Troma's War" is a plane full of civilians crash landing on a seemingly deserted island. Not many passengers survive, but those who do constitute a broad cross section of American society. You have a Catholic priest (who is a great singer!), a trio of rock and roll wannabes, a slimy businessman, a blind girl, the requisite hunky guy and gal, a Vietnam vet (who really gets into the war: he wears a necklace made out of human ears and has the best death scene in the movie), a British guy with a blowgun and poison darts, a few old folks, and a woman with a baby. The surviving passengers spend the first scenes of the movie just trying to figure out what happened and to map a plan of action. When hunky guy Taylor decides to explore the island, he discovers a roving band of soldiers armed with assault weapons slogging through the forest. All the survivors generally agree that this could be a bad thing, especially when they witness a band of armed thugs gunning down one of the defenseless passengers on the beach. Our heroes rapidly head for the hills, so to speak, in order to avoid the armed gangs looking for them.


As "Troma's War" unfolds, the crash victims discover that these soldiers on the island are actually armed mercenaries and terrorists training for a clandestine offensive against the good old United States of America. After some trite soul searching, the group of survivors decides to arm themselves and fight the terrorists in their own backyard. This decision takes on special meaning when the terrorists capture several members of the group and subject them to painful torture techniques, such as exposure to AIDS and throwing a flight attendant off of a watchtower. When our armed heroes liberate the prisoners and kill all of the terrorists, they move on to the main target: a base full of Cuban soldiers and more terrorists. As the enemy soldiers die in numbers that John Rambo would appreciate, the crash survivors also suffer a few casualties in the course of the war.


That's all there is to "Troma's War": several scenes of survivors bonding followed by lengthy battle sequences where people die en masse. Kaufman states in an extra on the disc that "Troma's War" used more squibs (little packets of blood placed on the body and set off with a small charge to simulate gunshot wounds) than nearly any other movie with the possible exception of Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch." Kaufman may be right, but we don't get to see many of those squibs going off because the battle scenes are so poorly choreographed. It looks as though Kaufman directed his cast and extras to just run around and shoot, and we don't get to see much of the carnage in graphic detail because Kaufman and company didn't effectively use slow motion outside of a few "people on fire" scenes. Moreover, the squibs weren't as big as they could have been. I looked forward to blood packets the size of tennis balls, but alas, this did not happen. Overall, there is still a body count so high that it should satiate even the most rabid war movie fan.


Troma made this film in 1988 as a response to the hyperpatriotic, right wing war films like the Rambo series and "Red Dawn." At one point in the film, lead character Taylor waxes philosophic about how he found documents in the terrorist camp proving that right wing elements in America are working with the terrorists because they want to use the resulting chaos to increase their wealth and power over the common man. It's a class and control issue, laments Taylor, and it's up to them to put a stop to this terrible exploitation. Further evidence in this vein comes from the mouths of one of the terrorists, claiming that a campaign to destabilize America will cause the citizens to turn to mercenaries in order to restore the rule of law. I wish someone would one day write an article about left wing themes in Troma films.


The DVD version of "Troma's War" contains even more extras than a normal Troma release. There are interviews with nearly every person involved in the production, from the actors to the stunt people to the crew. The usual tour of Troma studios and intelligence test are here, as are four trailers for such Z grade numbers like "Sizzle Beach, U.S.A." More importantly, the movie on the disc is the unrated director's cut. "Troma's War" isn't the greatest Troma film ever made ("great" being a highly subjective term regarding Troma), but it isn't the worst one, either. Low budget movie aficionados should probably check this one out if they get a chance, as there is plenty of groan worthy material in the movie. I recommend this as a "rent, not buy" experience.






Troma's War, July 8, 2004

Reviewer: Alex (Wivenhoe, Colchester, England) - See all my reviews

After a Tromatic plane crash on an island somewhere off the face of Cuba, a few spirited Tromaville Citizens are about to find out the harsh reality of guerilla warfare. It is only a short period of time before the battle for life and death begins in one of Troma's ultimate masterpieces. If you like Troma, an interesting plot, or just a plain bloodbath, then Troma's war has it all. Though not the best Troma film, it is still worth getting. Unfortunately, it doesn't measure up to the wonderfully black standards of Terror Firmer, but then again, what could? It is still an amazing film, and a good storyline.










Revolutionary propaganda never smelled so good!, June 19, 2003

Reviewer: "yukinerd" (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews

This film turns the tables on the Bush/Reagan-approved "military chic" of the eighties, taking the Ubermerikkkan propaganda that was GI JOE and Rambos II and III and turning it around into a call to arms for the common man against the elites that opress us. As "out-there" as the bad guys (and good guys) seem in this film, you must keep in mind that they are all charicatures to show us how wall street will stab you in the back to protect his neck and pocketbook, how the church has had its tongue ripped out by the powers that be (though it sings on through the blood), and how the true American spirit (not to mention our children's free will) can only be saved when we seperate Military and Monetary powers. Even through the (once-again) EXTREMELY GI JOE-esque visuals, storytelling and soundtrack, this film uses powerful symbolism in the manner of Dali's "Le Sangre D'un Poete" and Orwell's "Animal Farm" to push us over the edge and into seeing what our (barely) free minds are up against. All great art is shocking at the time of release, dated as expired within three weeks, and (seeing how everything in this film is coming true) we will all be studying Troma's War in art school in fifty years tops! If you don't believe that, then you probably think our president was elected legally. Welcome to the Infiltration, I hope you brought a condom!


Steer clear of the R-rated version, as it has had not only its tongue, but also it's heart severed by the MPAA. Not a film for normal Tromites just looking for cheap thrills - THIS IS A THINK PIECE!*


* brains not included.















Pretty boring for Troma, March 30, 2002

Reviewer: A viewer

I still don't understand people liking this pretty dull movie. It made me angry the first, second, and last time I saw it. I kept trying to give it another chance. Even though it has Aids jokes, tons of dead bodies, and even a woman's thingies blowing up it just wasn't good. Mr.Kaufman didn't know if he was making a gory Troma film or a semi-serious action movie. The main characters are lame, they are way too serious, they kill all the fun. The guy who cuts off ears, the punk band, and the British agent rule! But the "serious" characters seem to bash the movie to death and suck all the life out of it in a lame TV sitcom kind of way. This is Troma at its worst, conforming.


Fortunately this film went more unnoticed than most Troma flicks, and despite Kaufman saying its a masterpiece I still think its [not good]. They soon realized that this wasn't the direction to go and went back hardcore. Seeing their newest film Terror Firmer brings me relief they have long forgot about a seriously dull mistake they made a long time ago. This isn't even worth renting, there's and R rated and unrated version, they both [stink].














the best war movie ever, March 26, 2002

Reviewer: sk8boy82 (USA) - See all my reviews

troma's war was a [kicking] movie.it had the usual humor that you would expect from a troma movie,but it also had some serious parts and good war/shooting scenes.this is probably one of my favorite troma movies and i dont really like war movies,but this one was an exception.This movie has a lot of extra features like every troma dvd so overall it is a very solid disc.Don't bother renting it,just go out and buy the best ... war movie ever

Rated R for strong violence/gore,language,and nudity















Fun film for what it is...not Troma's best, January 1, 2002

Reviewer: Mark A. Kintzley (Phoenix, AZ) - See all my reviews


You must remove your trained cinematic eyes and replace them with a pair specially designed for Troma viewing. The opening scene just killed me. I thought it was so funny and that may be reason enough for therapy, but either way the music, the girl crying, dead bodies everywhere and the black preacher's speach made for one helluvan opening scene. The film is ok for the next 1/2 hour or so, but really takes off during the war scenes. Lotsa killing and cool characters.


It is a really bad film, but as I said before there's quite a bit of redeemable humor scattered throughout. I recommend renting before buying.

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C'est en tout cas l'un des pires réalisé par Lloyd Kaufman. D'ailleurs, je n'ai jamais compris pourquoi ce film lui tient tant à ceur: il ne lui ressemble pas du tout. Il pue le patriotisme et prône une glorification de l'Amérique qui sont l'inverse de sa personnalité.

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