Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hot Sauce Montage

Because what better way to spend an evening than watching blood, babes and bagels?

Because after seeing the impressive film stores of Universal, Columbia and the like on our road trip today, it's just as important to appreciate a film made by a company that produces and distributes disturbing small, independent films that mix a B film aesthetic with campy sex and violence.

Because it's Monday night, I'd never seen a Troma film and Gallery 5 is only four blocks away.

And, honestly, because no one complains when you eat chocolate pate with sterling silver forks out of a Tupperware sandwich box while waiting for the movie to begin.

Taking seats in the second row, a guy in the third comments that he sees me at Gallery 5 every time he comes. I explain the reasons for my frequency - proximity, variety of programming, going out 7 nights a week - and he gets it. Says all that applies to him.

"But why don't I see you at other venues?" he muses. We do the local list and sure, enough, we show up at the same venues, just apparently not on the same nights.

When I tell them that Mac agreed to come only after I explained that Troma was founded on the notion that anybody can make a movie, he and his friend agree that was the kicker for them as well.

But the bottom line is, we're all there to see "Hectic Knife," which is being introduced by both its director and star, the latter wearing the cheesy waist-length blond wig he'd worn in the 2013 flick.

They prepare us by saying that if we like the movie, we should go their merch table afterward, where they have DVDs, CDs and hot sauce, but not "gimmicky hot sauce," which makes me feel a whole lot better. If we hate it, we'll be allowed to use a knife to stab at a boxed DVD of the film.

No one could say that they weren't being given options.

The film opened with a dedication - "For Jammy. We miss you." - and a picture of a lizard. Actually, we saw that multiple times since the film didn't exactly fire off the first couple of times so bad jokes ensued.

But finally it did start in earnest and we were treated to an appealingly shot black and white film about a long-suffering, knife-spinning vigilante named Hectic Knife, who's tired of having to save the world.

Only problem is, the world won't let him sit it out.

I know you're not surprised that there's a bad guy - Piggly Doctor (looking a lot like a fresh-faced Andy Warhol and carrying a business card that labeled him "professional baddy") - who says things like, "I'm going to inject you with the drugs!" and then does it as a way of creating customers for his growing drug business.

Shooting up aside, mocking dated film tropes provided a lot of the B-movie appeal.

When our boy Hectic decides he needs a roommate, he begins putting up "Roommate wanted" signs all over town, including one that reads, "Roommate montage," for those paying attention.

When our hero travels, we see a globe on a stand spinning, with America (Hectic's embarkation point) and India (destination) both clearly labeled with signs taped to the globe.

When the locals get upset that Hectic isn't killing people for their safety, a series of spinning newspapers stop long enough to show us headlines about the situation.

Yea, we laughed out loud a lot.

Ditto when our superhero showed his soft side. "You are my friend, Harry," Hectic says with a whine. "I only have two of those."

Whereas his long-lost father tells a diner waitress to "F*ck off" when she asks if he wants a coffee refill, Hectic allows her to do her job. "Sometimes," he explains patiently to his Dad, "You just gotta let the bitch fill the cup."

I'm telling you, guys, there's a life lesson there.

And in a perfectly-timed tie-in to current events, Hectic's so-called girlfriend tells his roommate, "You room is a pussy magnet!"

Characters don't hesitate to bleed profusely and say things such as, "Great! I got stabbed to death with a knife!" creating next-level corny death scenes.

But we also see shades of Woody Allen - or maybe Seinfeld - minutiae when two old man characters fighting with bagels and arguing in a hallway get distracted by the fact that they both have on t-shirts with identical $4.99 price tags still on them.

How can grown men get lost in talk of t-shirts and shopping when they're supposed to be wiping the good guy off the face of the planet, you ask?

Because the goal with a Troma film is to make the film you want to make and if that includes mocking and/or paying homage to whatever pop culture caught your eye, so be it.

It may also be about going through as much fake blood as possible, but I don't have confirmation on that yet.

Still, I think Jammy would be proud.


  1. you're the best!!!! we love that you 'got' our stupid film. thank you for writing this

  2. Sometimes you just gotta let the bitch ramble about why she had a blast watching your "stupid" film!