Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Naked and the Bloody

How could I not say farewell to Troma films at Gallery 5?

As I've learned over the course of this three-month film series, there are givens: tongue-in-cheek horror, graphic violence, buckets of blood and erotica, catnip for a crowd that laps up that kind of stuff.

What I hadn't anticipated was the pre-film erotica I walked in to, namely footage of naked dancing girls from the early '70s judging by the abundant pubic hair, non-augmented breasts, long straight hair and the psychedelic pinwheels, fireworks and haze effects that filtered over and under them, with occasional cutaways to a macho man-type with a serious porn 'stache apparently dreaming of the dancers.

I figured it was just a little something to occupy us until the main event, "Father's Day" began searing our eyeballs with the antics of a serial male rapist and killer (hence the "Happy Father's Day!" as he finishes people off) and the three brave men loose cannons (a priest and two victim's sons) who set out to stop the madness.

When the priest is told that Ahab, the man he needs to find to help catch the bad guy is far away, we see him crossing beaches, bodies of water, jungles and Antarctica before winding up, clothing in tatters, at a plain old cabin in the woods.

We're talking about a movie with a "Creature Effects" screen credit, with many of the so-called "creatures" being badly brutalized victims of the crazed killer, Chris Fuchman (get it?). So, yes, campy, gory and about as socially pungent as they come.

Unlike most of the audience, there's much about a Troma film I have to close my eyes for. Like disembowelment.

Granted, we're not talking the kind of filmmakers who are going for realistic decapitations or shootings, but even so, I can live out my life without seeing a bad guy slice a child's eyeball and leave him for dead, but that's just me.

Fortunately, no Troma film would be complete without large doses of humor and "Father's Day" accommodated with insider winks (a sign outside a large building that read, "Tromaville Courthouse," the local bar, the Lowlife) and sight gags (more fat, white naked man butts than anyone needs to see) and enthusiastic incest.

There was a whole lot of laughter in the room besides my own, probably as much at the gross bits as for the intentionally hilarious parts.

We even got to see Troma founder and big cheese Lloyd Kaufman in the white-suited role as both god and the devil, but coming across more like a modern day Mel Brooks than anything else. And that's funny.

"Lock up your fathers!" the movie warns us. Since August, when I wanted absurd and unsettling, Troma delivered  the goods.

Wow, Gallery 5, those three months of neo-grindhouse just flew by. Isn't that always the way with self-mutilation and pole dancing?

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