Silver Emulsion

Film Reviews

Mini-Review: Dark Nature (2009)

Dark Nature (2009)

Starring Imogen Toner, Niall Greig Fulton, James Bryce, Vanya Eadie, Joanna Miller, Jane Stabler, Tom Carter

Directed by Marc de Launay

Expectations: Low.


I should have listened. Before watching Dark Nature, I read numerous impressions of the film, trying to see if I should bother with it. Every single one I found was negative. I decided to watch it anyway simply on the basis that it was distributed in America by site-favorite Troma Entertainment. If they’re endorsing it, it has to have some redeeming value for their fans, right? Not the case actually, as the film is almost completely devoid of anything that would set it apart as a film that Troma should release.

The film opens with a lot of promise. A quick prologue shows a man murder his wife, then after showering, he is murdered himself by an unseen assailant. This leads to a very well-shot credits sequence featuring time-lapse and beautifully composed shots of windmills and countryside. It’s a bit slow, but it’s done so well that it gives the impression that the rest of the film will pay off for a patient viewer. Unfortunately, it never does. None of the characters demand attention, as they are all boring and too standard to be worth caring about. As you would expect they are slowly killed off, but even these scenes are boring as there’s very little gore or suspense to get excited about. Overall, the film is just so boring, even at only seventy-two minutes. I can’t imagine too many people extracting much enjoyment from this film. Definitely one to avoid. It is an unfortunate blemish on Troma’s otherwise pleasing track record.

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August 20, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, Horror, Mini-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 Star, Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Combat Shock (1986)

Combat Shock (1986)

Starring Rick Giovinazzo, Veronica Stork, Mitch Maglio, Asaph Livni, Nick Nasta, Michael Tierno, Leo Lunney

Directed By Buddy Giovinazzo


Wow. Now this is just some dismal shit. I have just made it through Buddy Giovinazzo’s low budget gritfest, Combat Shock and I feel very fortunate that I am not on Prozac or prone to manic bouts of depression. The results could be devastating. Pound for pound you will be hard pressed to find a film more unflinchingly brutal and uncompromising in its depiction of a troubled mind teetering precariously on the brink of madness than you will here. If you thought your life was bad, just wait until you walk a mile in the shoes of Frankie Dunlan. This poor man has more shit on his plate than a tapeworm-infected bulimic at Hometown Buffet.

The obvious inspiration here is Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The film doesn’t even pretend to disguise this fact. Certain situations and even wardrobe choices are lifted directly from that film. But after one viewing of this film Travis Bickle himself would have had an epiphany and realized he didn’t have it so bad. He probably would have turned himself right around and started a flower garden while huddling down with some chamomile tea and season 1 of Dora the Explorer. Not to downplay Taxi Driver, it’s one of my all-time favorite films. But if I had seen Combat Shock at the same time as Scorsese’s film there is no question which one would have had the greater lasting impact.

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August 9, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Drama, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Tromeo and Juliet (1995)

Tromeo and Juliet (1995)

Starring: Jane Jensen, Will Keenan, Valentine Miele, Maximillian Shaun, Steve Gibbons, Sean Gunn, Debbie Rochon, Lemmy

Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman


Tromeo and Juliet is the Troma vision fully realized. It may as well have been titled “Lloyd Kaufman’s Mission Statement in Five Acts”. It is a film so deviously ingenious in its execution that it manages to both subvert and pay tribute to Shakespeare’s original work while at the same time raising serious questions about what human beings choose to elevate or ridicule as art. It is hands down the best film I’ve seen in months and the only thing I could think about right now is getting this review finished so I can watch it again. Orson Welles had Citizen Kane, Frank Capra had It’s a Wonderful Life, John Ford had Stagecoach, and Lloyd Kaufman has Tromeo and Juliet. These films are all masterpieces from their respective creators… but only one of them features gigantic penis monsters and random acts of nipple piercing.

The most shocking thing about Tromeo and Juliet is just how faithful it is to the bard’s original story. I think this says a lot right off the bat. When you pop in a Troma film on DVD I’m sure most take on the lackadaisical attitude of “…well, it ain’t Shakespeare.” But wait! This time it is Shakespeare! Oh shit, what now? In concept alone the film forces you to pay attention, but the story is so screamingly accurate and fits so astonishingly well into the Troma mold that questions have to be raised about just how classy Shakespeare’s work really was, or just how lowbrow and awful a film like The Toxic Avenger should really be regarded. Never before have I seen the line between “art” and “trash” so thin and opaque. These blurred distinctions are enough to completely shatter the rigid perceptions held by elitist art snobs and make the lovers of B-grade trash feel vindicated in their pursuit for sleaze.

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July 22, 2010 Posted by | 1990s, Action, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1991)

Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1991)

Starring Rick Gianasi, Susan Byun, Bill Weeden, Thomas Crnkovich, Larry Robinson, Noble Lee Lester, Brick Bronsky, Pamela Alster, Fumio Furuya

Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz


Baby murders! Disembowelment! Cocaine! Gratuitous sex! …all within the first three minutes! You guessed it. It’s time for another classic from our friends at Troma Entertainment.

Don’t let that fool you though. Sgt. Kabukiman is actually a pretty mild shot from the Troma cannon. If you want your gore, titties, and trademark tasteless imagery, you’ll get it here. Just don’t go in expecting a stomach-churning, gender-bending workout on the scale of Poultrygeist or Terror Firmer. This is why I nominate Sgt. Kabukiman as an excellent choice for those seeking a decent entry-level Troma film. Trust me, after this one you’ll know if you want to dive deeper into this stuff.

Sgt. Kabukiman obviously derives its influence from campy, ham-fisted superhero action like the Adam West Batman series of the 1960s. There’s a lot of goofy-ass cartoon humor littered throughout, and while that’s usually the thing I look forward to least from the folks at Troma, it actually seems to serve the material a little better here. Fans shouldn’t worry too much though. You’ll still get moments of silly and disgusting over the top gore, as well as the complete lack of social consciousness you laid your hard-earned bucks down for.

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July 19, 2010 Posted by | 1990s, Action, Comedy, Good Trash, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Starring Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Rose Ghavami, Caleb Emerson, Lloyd Kaufman, Khalid Rivera

Directed By Lloyd Kaufman


Believe me, I tried. I tried really hard to mentally prepare myself to brave another Troma film. I am in love with the gaudy trash that Lloyd Kaufman spews out there to his deranged audience. But god damn, every film manages to outdo the others before it in terms of bedrock tastelessness and unadulterated offensiveness. I thought I could hang with the big guns this time around, but within the first five minutes a drooling axe murderer is caught slapping his cock around while a zombie hand shoots out of the ground and straight up his ass… That just told me instantly that I was doomed.

When a fried chicken franchise restaurant is built on top of Tromaville’s Indian burial ground, the product begins coming to life. A gang of lesbian protesters demonstrate in front of the franchise, carrying signs with sayings like “Fuck Tibet, free the chickens!” When they are tricked into eating the tainted poultry, well, I bet you can figure out what happens next…

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May 27, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Musical, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments