• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Surf Nazis Must Die

TTILE: Surf Nazis Must Die

YEAR: 1987

GENRE: Science Fiction and Comedy

The 1980’s was the creative heyday for the film executives at Troma Studios. For those who do not know the studio, they are famous for making many over-the-top films such as the classic The Toxic Avenger and many other lesser known celluloid products. Lloyd Kaufman, the owner of Troma Studios, calls himself “the herpes of the film industry”, but the truth of the matter is that he is one of the most influential people in the film world right now because he has discovered and given first chances for many big names in Hollywood including Kevin Costner, Samuel L. Jackson, and directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In his production of much low brow entertainment, Kaufman has given opportunities to countless aspiring directors, producers and actors, and with the exception of Roger Corman he has discovered more working talent than probably anybody. Troma’s films are a mixed bag: some of them are absolutely brilliant (Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, Cannibal: The Musical, Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger 4) but the majority are just not very good (sounds like Corman’s products as well, right?). Although one of the coolest monikers ever, Surf Nazis Must Die is a mixed bag that had amazing potential yet falls a bit short.

Surf Nazis Must Die is set in a post-apocalyptic world (hence the sci-fi categorization) where a massive earthquake has destroyed society. The survivors on the west coast live in a not-so brave new world where Nazi gangs have taken over the beaches and bring about terror for all those who do not surf or follow their Aryan agenda. When the gang leader Adolf and his girlfriend Eva decide to kill an African-American male who works at one of the surviving oil drills on the coast (apparently all the environmentalists were killed in the earthquake), it angers his Mother: a militant, gun-toting senior citizen who is itching to kill her some Caucasian, racist butt. When preparing for her war on the Nazi gangs, she buys a gun and tells the seller that “I’m more interested in something that will take the head off a honky at twenty paces!” The end is now here for the Nazi gangs, as “Big Bad Mama” is now on a quest to rid the beaches—and world—of the racists who killed her son.

Like almost all Troma films, this film is over the top in its gore and murder scenes so that is expected. The surfing footage is all original and very well filmed considering the budget of this, so that’s another plus. Despite this, Surf Nazis Must Die has several plot holes, fairly rotten acting across the board, and one of the worst electronic movie soundtracks ever made on any level. There are quite a few opportunities to make a film that could have been a cult classic like The Toxic Avenger, but Surf Nazis Must Die misses those chances on all levels with a subpar plot and script. The film banks on its over the top nature but unfortunately does not convince the viewer to buy into its extreme storyline. This film needed to be lifted to another level of ridiculousness (although the scene with Mama on the motorcycle is a good start), but Surf Nazis Must Die just does not get to that stage in most cases.

I am a major fan of the work of Lloyd Kaufman and Roger Corman. I feel that there is an essential need in the future of film for people like these to create opportunities for the next big thing to gain experience and thrive. Surf Nazis Must Die did not bring about any new great talents who later prospered, and it is understandable when one views the film. There are just not enough good ideas in Surf Nazis Must Die to give us a classic independent film no matter how much notoriety it has achieved due to its attachment to Lloyd Kaufman. The film is inspired, just does not deliver in its execution. Too bad, because you shouldn’t miss with the premise of (my best Brad Pitt voice) “killin’ Nazis”.

* *

–Mark

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