Monday, February 7, 2011

Tromeo and Juliet

Directed by:  Lloyd Kaufman
Written by:  Jason Green, James Gunn (who I understood wrote the vast majority of what you see on the screen) and Lloyd Kaufman.  Based on a play by William Shakespeare
Starring: Jane Jensen, Will Keenan and Vanentine Miele.
It was suggested I review something from the Troma library.  I had two on my shelf - Class of Nukem High and T&J.  I was pretty high when I watched T&J so I thought I'd give it another look.

I'd forgotten just how weird these damn movies are!  If one could watch with goggles from the time the shock and awe of them would go up exponentially.
But first thing I was struck with was how 70s it felt.  I was surprised to see it was actually put together in 96.  There was something about that I liked - something nostalgic.  The men and women in front of the camera and behind the camera feel like they've come from the Andy Warhol school of theatre - extreme camp, paired with a sincere desire to shock - the actors look real - like they were conscript straight off the streets of New York.
There is nothing that could be called horror in this film but there's some horrific things - you laugh rather than shutter though - except when they stab the nipple through with a needle.  Obviously it's real and it made my stones suck up an inch or two.  The rest of the gore is comical - but not in a bad way.  It's just fun and there's lots of it.
Some will argue that Kaufman and Hertz betrayed ol' Bill Shakes by taping on a happy ending to this adaptation of the classic but I must disagree.  This isn't an happy ending at all.  For people like Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz I suspect there is no greater tragedy than ending up in a polo shirt standing over a bbq with three kids running around the back yard.
These films are cult classics for a reason.  You're not likely to put one on and kick back with a six pack - but a group of friends looking to enjoy a mutual throw back to a better time, and Tromeo and Juliet is for you!
4 Bloody Eyes out of 5

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