Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

This highly entertaining chunk of trash lunacy shoves us an apocalyptic story of Surf Nazis – a gang of ruthless surfers, who step up to power when the great earthquake buries Los Angeles under thick pile of rubble and causes general havoc! A script looks kind of "The Golden Breed" meets "The Warriors" with pre-FSOL type of electronica, so if you're tense, keep reading. 80's kids watch out, this is something you might have missed during your salad rental days 25 years ago – a genuine VHS classic, well grasping a fever of the time as far as costumes and fighting sequences are concerned. Easily takes you back to those days, when you were going through a heap of freshly rented 20 kung-fu movies and still didn't know what "Mad Max" was about. Although acting is shit and budget limitations corner director on every step, bending him for very low-budget solutions, "Surf Nazis Must Die" throws you at least handful of absurd and ridiculous scenes.

As law doesn't exist anymore, these thugs are now ready to kill all the competition, till this point blocking them from absolute power over sunny beaches and the surf spots of California. Surf is up and Surf Nazis customize their surboards, mounting nose switchblades to kill other surfers while the waves roll high. Those ones, who get to the shore, will be executed on the beach with brutal krav maga (or hap-ki-do, or ju-jitsu) techniques, strangled or slaughtered with knife.... but hard comers were sending the message before to all these beach brutes and they didn't listen – surf or die, motherfucker! This movie watches like made between surf workshop and the nearest pile of beach rocks – that's Troma, they say! It features all these cheesy dialogue lines as well, like: "Hey, we're the hottest gang on the beach!" and family scenes, but what can you do? I loved it anyway.

After all, when you're 20 minutes through this inane flick, you suddenly start to rediscover what the 80's were about. Yuppie hair cuts, speedboats, Roland synthesizers, cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic B-movies all come back to you in a flash. This movie is soaked in this sauce with particularly interesting soundtrack of John McCallum, which lifts many sloppy scenes – they wouldn't probably make it without this little help at all... and there's the wreckage of the civilization with few fishermen still trying their luck around Santa Monica pier (or wherever it is) and the only remaining pawn shop. When camera rolls over these sunny beaches and palms again and again while surfers jump around with swastikas, you just cannot stop giggling. However droll this movie seems and that includes surfing sequences frequently cutting into the action – they basically turn the story into a surf TV – you just cannot miss on these cheap thrills.

Surf Nazis are not gonna survive long anyway. When during one of their beach frenzies, they kill a poor chap – Leroy, his big, black mama is gonna pick up a gun and eventually clean the mess herself. This makes the picture another absurd take on "Death Wish" storyline and delivers few over the top crumbles. Tough lady has what it takes, she'll toss a bunch of granades and then chase the last living suckers down the beach boulevard, even switching for a speedboat in the end. They say it's hard to make a dark picture under California sun and maybe that's not far from the truth, but these guys weren't really trying and delivered a Z-grade pot boiler instead. Plenty of fun and occasional nudity though, carrying a spirit of classic Corman's formula. I have to admit, there were these flaky minutes, which could have been polished, but the effect will be definitely enjoyed by lame obscenity witnesses.

1 comment: