Director – Peter George (Young Goodman Brown, Acapulco H.E.A.T.)
Starring – Gail Neely (The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, Earth Girls are Easy), Robert Harden (Overkill, Perfect Profile)Barry Brenner (Maniac Cop, Hit List)
Release Date – 1987
Rating – 3.5/5
A few weekends back I was talking with West Virginia filmmaker Danny Boyd who some of you may know as the director of the Troma released filmsChillers and Invasion of the Space Preachers. I first met Boyd several years ago during West Virginia’s first horror and sci-fi con Shockacon. Due to its increase in Walking Dead extras and lack of horror icons I have since stopped attending this annual events but the first few years I was really impressed by what this local con brought to the community.
Boyd was extremely nice both times I spoke with him but this last encounter with him he spoke about producer Robert Tinnell and how he was from within the state. That name sounded familiar so I asked Danny who that was and he stated that he was the producer of the Troma released Surf Nazis Must Die. I floored to learn this. I also hated to admit that I had owned the film for years on VHS and DVD but never actually seen it. With Tromatic Thursday approaching I decided it was time to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a small beach town that has a gang problem. Surf gangs are taking over the town fighting control of the best waves. Leading the war is the Surf Nazis lead by Adolf. Adolf tries to force the other gangs to join his to completely take over the town but they are reluctant to do so due to Adolf’s erratic behavior. When they fail to join his cause Adolf starts taking over their turf resulting in an all out gang war. Adolf then kills a black man on the beach and inadvertently signs his own death certificate. The young man’s mother has revenge on her mind and goes for the throat of Adolf and all the Surf Nazis. **Spoiler Alert**
I had watched trailers for Surf Nazisfor years so I knew I would like it but I never expected to love it as much as I did. The film combines so many of my favorite things into one Tromapiece.
The acting in this one isn’t the best I’ve seen but does fit in the Tromaverse very well. The characters are very flamboyant and over stylized but the cast seems to hold back with their performances instead of going all in. I love Troma and how almost every movie has unforgettable characters and Surf Nazis is no different but the cast just doesn’t have fun with the roles like so many classics.
The story for this one is everything I love about Troma and exploitation movies. The movie takes a little dip into gang films like The Warriors, 1990: Bronx Warriors, and a few others that I love but with unconventional characters like the ones people tend to associate with Troma. The film does have a few scenes that have very little to the story but most of the film is written with solid pacing and a lot of action or humor. Fans of exploitation will love this story.
Finally, I was expecting some blood but we didn’t get that much. There is some decent practical effects but the deaths and gags was a bit of a let down. Overall, Surf Nazis Must Die has several areas for improvement but still delivered on the entertainment. This is one of the better known Troma flicks and for damn good reason. Check it out.