Troma's War
U.S.A. / 1988
Directors: Michael Hertz, Lloyd Kaufman
Carolyn Beauchamp
Sean Bowen
Jessica Dublin
Color / 105 Minutes / Not Rated
Format: DVD (R0 - NTSC)
Troma Team Video
Hold your mouse pointer over an image for a pop-up caption
"Congratulations. You are now
an honorary member of the Luftwaffe."
Schweinhart, pushing the gay guy
from a tower
"Tromasterpiece Edition" (Jan. 2010)
Review by
Brian Lindsey
    4   10 = Highest Rating  
I've never been fans of Troma movies. They're vulgar and moronic, jam-packed with the most lowbrow toilet humor imaginable. Even worse, they're intentionally bad — as opposed to filmmakers like Ed Wood or Coleman Francis, who give it their darndest and still come a cropper with often hilarious results. Even so, I found muself enjoying Troma's War... in spite of wanting to take a hot shower afterwards.
   A disparate group of passengers aboard Troma Airlines Flight 777 find themselves stranded on a tropical isle (which looks like New Jersey), the only survivors of a plane crash in the Caribbean. Immediate rescue seems unlikely. If that weren't bad enough, the group soon discovers that the island is a secret training base for an army of international terrorists poised to infiltrate America. The terrorists kill and capture a few of the passengers while the others scurry into the woods and hide. Three of these — a redneck army veteran, a British spy, and an all-American college type— start knocking off terrorists and grabbing weapons.
    In a long, crass sequence that dominates the middle of the film the captured survivors are brutally interrogated and tortured at one of the terrorist camps. A gay airline steward is thrown off a tower to his death. A black priest has his tongue torn out when he refuses to stop singing hymns; when he defiantly
persists — gargling blood instead of singing — the Aryan terrorist officer Schweinhart (Tod Johnson, doing positively the worst fake German accent ever heard) shoots him in the head. An attractive blonde rock band bimbo is gang-raped by AIDS-infected thugs led by "Seρor Sida", a charming caballero who fastidiously pops a huge pus-filled boil on his face during a close-up. (Supposedly the first AIDS "humor" ever in the movies, it's the moment when Troma's War truly goes lower than the gutter — if that's possible.) Before the remaining captives can be killed, the other passengers attack the camp to rescue them.
    The remainder of the flick is just one continuous firefight, with occasional pauses for dirty diaper jokes and the requisite flashing of titties. A gazillion rounds of ammo are expended and nearly as many squib packs. The movie really gets to be fun during these NRA wet dreams... The hilariously inept combat sequences come off like The A-Team on acid — with blood. (My favorite scene involves an ambushing terrorist who inadvertently gives away his hiding place by loudly farting.) Amidst the mindless mayhem I found myself actually rooting for two of the characters: Parker, the redneck Vietnam vet (Rick Washburn, a poor man's Warren Oates if ever there was one), and Marshall, the blowgun-toting Brit who thinks he's James Bond. (Marshall is played by Steven Crossley, who, in stark contrast to everyone else in the cast, actually attempts to act for some reason).
    I could've done without the pig-snouted terrorist colonel (simply retarded) or the heroic M-60 machinegun-toting Jewish grandmother. (Gott im Himmel! This is a Troma flick, ya know.) Still, it's a surprisingly enjoyable piece of dung with which to down a couple of six packs or two — or three. It's probably the only Troma movie I'd ever watch more than once besides maybe Fortress of Amerikkka. (Maybe.) And for Troma, that's saying a lot.

The DVD "Director's Cut" of Troma's War is presented fullframe. Trust me, you're not missing anything. (No sweeping vistas or artfully staged shots in this one, folks.) Picture and sound quality are okay. Unfortunately, the extras consist of even more annoying "Troma Team" garbage than is typically found on other Troma DVDs. If I were guaranteed never to have to see Lloyd Kaufman's smirking mug, I might — just might — give more Troma stuff a chance. 5/15/01
UPDATE In January 2010 Troma Team Video is releasing the "Tromasterpiece Edition" of Troma's War, which offers improved image quality and a slate of new bonus features.