Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)
By: Devon B. on March 23, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 83 minutes
The Movie
Director: Peter George
Starring: Barry Brenner, Gail Neely, Robert Harden, Dawn Wildsmith
Screenplay: Jon Ayre, Peter George Music: Jon McCallum
Tagline: The Beaches Have Become Battlefields... The Waves Are a War Zone!
Country: USA
I first saw Surf Nazis Must Die in the early 90s, and I didn't think much of it. Over the last few years, I've gotten more into the exploitation pastiche sub genre, so thought I'd give the Nazi wave another go. I needn't have bothered, really.

The DVD begins with an intro from Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma studios. I'm a bit confused, as I thought he was also creator of the Toxic Avenger, but there's no mention of it in his billing.

Anyway, Surf Nazis is set in the near future of the late 80s, which would be the near past for us now. An earthquake has turned California into an anarchistic society, and a bunch of Droog wannabes roam the beaches. One gang, the Surf Nazis, decide they want more territory, and begin muscling in on others turf. But when the Nazis kill a man who prevented one of their purse snatchings, they get more than they bargained for from his angry momma. She wants vengeance, and if she has her way, the Surf Nazis will die indeed. Unfortunately, before big, bad momma lays the hurt down, we have to watch the Nazis surf (which I guess makes sense given the gang's name) and squabble with the other gangs.

Banal films hidden behind wacky titles is one of Troma's fortes, and while this isn't as bad as their ultimate sin, the wonderfully titled yet boring as all fuck Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator, Surf Nazis ranks pretty low. The title makes the film seem like it'll be funny, but aside from one funny satire scene on parenting Nazi youth, the film just isn't amusing. I suppose elements of the plot are a bit bizarre for a straightforward exploitation piece, but not bizarre enough to be entertaining.

Surf Nazis is very low budget, and it suffers there as well. Little things, like, you know, coherency, are lost because evidently there wasn't enough money to film a few simple pick-ups. Several shots that wouldn't really be hard to get, but maybe would take a little while to set up, are missing, which hurts the flow of the film. The film needed tightening, but then to edit it down effectively, it probably wouldn't have remained feature length.

On the exploito scale, there are some boobs, and a little bit of blood, but the beasts are sadly lacking.

The end credits mention some fashion wave thing coming up after the film's over, but there wasn't anything.
Surf Nazis is presented at 1.33:1. The film has grain, specks, spots, a bit of pixelation, and the image is a little soft.
The film comes with a two-channel English track. The dialogue remains clear, but there was a distinct warble at one point, and there is background hiss. There's also a terrible 80s synth score, but I guess the transfer isn't really to blame for that.
Extra Features
Surf Nazis has quite a few of the standard Troma extras. This Australian release lacks the T.I.T. and the coming distractions, but does have the Troma tour, public service announcements one and two, a website link, an ad for All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger, and the Aroma du Troma. Oh, and I almost forgot, there's also the Radiation March. For more information on these extras, take a lookie at my review for Beware! Children at Play.

For specific extras, there's a photo gallery, a Tromaville Café intro for Surf Nazis, two interviews, and some deleted scenes. The interviews are with director Peter George and producer Robert Tinnell, and run roughly five minutes combined. The deleted scenes start with more footage from Tromaville Café, discussing the director's cut. The actual deleted scenes are shown with commentary, as the sound was lost. Well, when I say with commentary, I mean mostly with commentary, as there are gaps, despite the scenes playing for approximately one minute each. Perhaps even more amazingly, info repeats in these commentaries.
The Verdict
Surf Nazis hasn't aged well, but then it wasn't very good to begin with. There is worse to be had, but then, that's not really any reason to subject yourself to drivel.
Movie Score
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