Troma movie without any fart jokes?
"Half-breed" parolee John
Whitecloud (Gene LeBrock) gets out of prison and returns to
his small hometown in northern California, where he immediately
runs afoul of Sheriff Bodean, the racist lawman who killed his
brother in a phony case of self-defense. For unexplained reasons
the sheriff (David Crane) loathes Whitecloud so much that he
places a higher priority on rousting the quiet young ex-con
than investigating a rash of strange homicides plaguing a nearby
national park. Both tourists and townspeople are turning up
blasted with automatic weapons, blown up with grenades, or worse.
Bodean is aware that a group of "mercenaries" are rumored to
be conducting illegal "wargames" in the heavily forested park
but for the moment remains obsessed with kicking Whitecloud's
There are mercs in them thar hills... A platoon of
cammy-wearing soldiers of fortune (both male and female), funded
by a "ruthless corporate syndicate from the east," have set
up a secret base deep in the woods. They call themselves the
Fortress of Amerikkka spelled with three Ks, although the
group has a number of African-Americans among its ranks. (???)
Ostensibly dedicated to defending the ideals of freedom and
peace, these rather pathetic Rambo wannabes love nothing better
than killing innocent people who stumble onto their perimeter
and holding beer-swilling bacchanals afterwards.
Their psycho commander, Denton (William J. Kulzer), invokes
God and patriotism when not chewing out the troops for either
(a) failing to kill people with enough ruthless enthusiasm,
or (b) taunting children unnecessarily before shooting them.
(Though he himself enjoys a sadistic chuckle as an old geezer
they've captured the man's legs tied to the bumper of a car
and hands lashed to a tree begs for his life. This scene,
culminating in an amusing gore effect, is played totally straight
but ends up being one of the funniest in the film.)
To hide their activities and protect the secret location
of their camp the mercenaries kill quite a few people... though
they tend to do so in highly conspicuous ways.
(One victim has "FORTRESS OF AMERIKKKA" carved into her leg!
Not exactly a smart way to keep things on the down low, now
is it?) After a family along with their station wagon is
toasted with a grenade, Sheriff Bodean actually becomes mildly
concerned. Yet he doesn't call in the FBI or ATF, or even the
state police. He's still itching for a confrontation with John
Whitecloud, which unfortunately pads out the middle section
of the film. John, in the meantime, rekindles a romance with
ex-fiancée Jennifer (Kellee Bradley, who attempts something
resembling a performance but doesn't get naked). Eventually
the story meanders to its silly conclusion as our vacuous hero
leads a posse of heavily armed, pissed-off townsfolk in a full-scale
attack on the Fortress of Amerikkka.
Yeah, this is a reeeeally
bad movie. The plot makes no logical sense. Just
what the mercenaries are training for is never explained, nor
is the goal of their corporate sponsors beyond "absolute
and total control" over society. (With these bozos?)
The script takes all of this in deadly earnest, espousing a
Libertarian political philosophy via some distinctly Ed Woodian
narration that bookends the film. The acting is just terrible.
Kulzer, neck tendons bulging, goes ridiculously over the top
as the demented commander. Bleach-blonde Hawaiian porn actress
Kascha (Backdoor To Hollywood 6,
7 and 14)
stares zombie-like at the camera while flaunting some of the
most painfully hard-looking breast implants I've ever seen
you could bust rocks on those suckers! Pathetic action scenes
and laughable gore only add insult to injury. There's an oh-so-'80s
'hair metal' theme song to boot.
The cumulative effect
of all this unabashed awfulness? I was mildly entertained.
I realize I hold a decidedly minority opinion in making even
a tepid, lukewarm defense of this film. It's my understanding
that most Troma fans
pretty much hate it. (Not enough puking, farting or poo-flinging
for their tastes, I suppose.) Granted, the movie is too
long. It should've been trimmed by at least 15 minutes, and
no one likely to watch it is going to give a rat's ass about
the romantic subplot. Some reviews I've read lament that Fortress
of Amerikkka isn't "so bad it's good". I have to disagree.
My problem with Troma films in general is that their makers
are trying to produce So Bad They're Good movies
an exercise nearly always doomed to failure. Fortress
of Amerikkka, for the most part, actually takes itself
semi-seriously. This results in unintentional humor more
comedic than the juvenile sex and shit jokes found in your typical
Troma pic. You see, really bad actors trying to be funny are
never as funny as really bad actors trying not
to be funny. You got that? If not... drop and give me twenty!
takes about as much care with their DVD releases as they do making
their films, thus rendering it hard to discern whether any A/V
problems are inherent to a flick's production or just sloppy DVD
authoring. In the end, does it really matter which?
and murky, the fullframe transfer would barely be acceptable for
even a film of this ilk
if it weren't for the discernible picture flutter that crops up
about halfway through and lasts for almost the remainder of the
movie. Watch the blackboard on the wall of the sheriff's office
rhythmically dipping down and back up again every few seconds...
This may not bother you much if you're, say, really drunk or something,
but I find it inexcusable. (For comparison purposes I hunted for
the old videotape on which I recorded a cable TV broadcast of
the flick some 12 years ago, but couldn't find it.) A flat-sounding
Dolby 2.0 stereo audio mix at least presents the dialog clearly.
Extras include trailers
for other Tromatic "achievements" in cinema (Lust
for Freedom, Tales from the Crapper)
and a pointless punk rock video by Purple Pam that has nothing
to do with anything. Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman and friends appear
in a brief video introduction to Fortress
of Amerikkka which can't
be skipped. The 100-minute film is divided into only 6 chapter