surfnazis

Review: Surf Nazis Must Die! (1987)

Best Bad Quote:

“Taste some of Mama’s home cookin’, Adolf!”

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When one thinks of bad movies, Troma Entertainment usually comes to mind. With titles like Killer Condom and Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma empire embodies everything we love about bad movies.  Troma has always been the anti-thesis of the Hollywood Studio system, making ridiculous, crass, and often times shocking movies on a shoestring budget.  Going into Surf Nazi’s Must Die, I was psyched to watch over-the-top Neo Nazis terrorizing the beaches of Los Angeles.  By the end I was left with “bad movie blue balls.”

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Sometime in the near future, Los Angeles has been leveled by an 8.6 magnitude earthquake and one gang sets out to rule the beaches, the Surf Nazis.  Lead by their leader, Adolf, the Nazis go after anyone and everyone who gets near their waves.  After the Nazis kill Leroy, an innocent oil worker, Leroy’s black and mild smoking granny vows to avenge her grandson’s death by taking out the Surf Nazis, one by one.

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Sounds promising right?  A revenge tale set in a post apocalyptic world reminiscent of The Warriors (one of my favorite movies of all time.)  I was already sold, and when I watched the trailer and saw this badass, big, black woman riding a Harley with a gun in her hand, I was in love.  Unfortunately I fell victim to my expectations being raised too high.  The biggest issue I had with this movie is its glossing over of the main conflict.  They don’t show Leroy’s death?  His death is the central focal point of the movie, and you’re not going to show that?  It was done so poorly it wasn’t even clear what happened until it abruptly cut to Leroy’s grandmamma crying over a closed coffin that we are to assume is Leroy.  I realize that Troma movies don’t have large budgets and therefore have to make certain sacrifices, but when multiple and subsequently unimportant rival gangs are shown being massacred, how do you not show Leroy die?!

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Despite the fact that Surf Nazis Must Die starts off REALLY slow, it picks up in the second half with the gratuitous gore one has come to expect from a Troma movie.  Troma’s quintessential tongue-in-cheek nature is also found with the all characters being named after famous members of the Third Reich, except for Smeg (short for smegma) and Hook (who wields a large cartoonish hook for a hand).

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While Leroy’s grandmamma’s perfectly executed one-liners while enacting her revenge seem almost worth waiting for, I still found myself unable to move past the blatant disregard of Leroy’s death.  The director chose the wrong corners to cut and cheated the maximum amount of campy fun that could’ve been had while watching, Surf Nazis Must Die.

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Rating:

2 out of 5 Enthusiastic Hitler Youths


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