Wednesday, August 24, 2016

VHS WEDNESDAY: AMERICAN NINJA 5 (1993) starring David Bradley and Pat Morita

After taking a few weeks off for a final vacation before school starts we're back with an all-new installment of VHS Wednesday and I hope you're enjoying these as much as I am. This review came about because longtime ER contributor Jonathan Plombon mentioned on Facebook that he was watching AMERICAN NINJA 5 and, honestly, I didn't know there was an AN5 (though I did grab copies of installments 3 and 4 at the Savers a few weeks back for a future installment of this column). Anyway, I suggested Jonathan write the flick up for my/your edification and, well, here you go. So, while we wait for AMERICAN NINJA APPRENTICE enjoy Jonathan's look at this overlooked stepchild of a classic 80s/90s action franchise. And if you have a VHS favorite you'd like to share with our readers, drop me a line at editor@dantenet.com!

In 1992, AMERICAN NINJA 5 continued that proud tradition forged by franchises like ZOMBIE or THE CURSE where a completely unrelated movie somehow becomes part of a series. It's like the child in an otherwise functional family that no one really wants, but that you have to accept because he's packaged with the wife. Not that AMERICAN NINJA 5 (originally named AMERICAN DRAGONS) is unwanted or worthy of stuffing in the basement NEVER to see the light of day. It deserves more than that-like seeing the light of day when he has to mow the lawn or wash the car.

AMERICAN NINJA 5 follows Joe Kastle (David Bradley, who kind of returns from the previous installments, but not really since he plays a totally different character because it's a totally different movie), who is assigned to babysitting a teenaged child named Hiro (Lee Reyes, the Junior National Karate Champion) by his Master Tetsun (Pat Morita, who shows up twice in the film, something that you wouldn't expect considering his placement on the box). As this is going down, Joe becomes involved with Lisa (Ann Dupont), the daughter of a scientist who has developed a powerful insecticide called ZB-12 that can be deadly to humans in large quantities. Of course, there's some curmudgeon who wants it to control the world, and off goes Joe and Hiro to brew up some child-endangering martial-arts mayhem.

You'll be seeing a lot of Hiro in this flick. He's a real modern '90s kid who would much rather play his Sega Game Gear (which is identified by name several times) than do anything physical (reminds me of myself), a position that he eventually changes when he sees how badass Joe is when he's kung-fu fighting.

The early '90s were a time when people loved to watch kids thrown in to dangerously violent situations (see 3 NINJAS and HOME ALONE). AMERICAN NINJA 5 is just another installment in the genre. Most of the time, the kids in these films are annoying, pompous brats whom the writers try to make "charming" by filling their dialog with smart-alecky remarks. And Hiro is as charming as they come. He never really gets his comeuppance, but he does cry in one scene, so you do have that to look forward to.

Along with the violence, there's also a weird theme of sexuality riddled throughout the film. For starters, Hiro is starting to notice girls and because of which, he constantly tells Joe about his new fuzzy feelings. Then an even weirder situation arises when Lisa invites Joe and Hiro over to her boat for dinner. Joe leaves Hiro alone so he can retire to the bottom of the boat to, I guess, have sex with Lisa, leaving Hiro up above to hear all the moaning for himself. All I could think about was how awkward this would be, both for Hiro and Joe, and probably Lisa, as well. Sadly, we never will find out how weird it could be since ninjas invade the boat. It's a miscue by the writers who probably should have kept the scene playing out just a little longer so the audience could really feel sick to their stomachs.

And this is the only time you could feel sick during the movie, because it's hardly graphic. If you're on the lookout for the traditional AMERICAN NINJA fare - flying fists and heads-a-poppin' - you won't find it here. This is strictly PG-13. One fighting sequence even teases a few severed fingers, only to reveal that Joe cut some fruit instead. Depressing.

It's not that this reviewer didn't care for the film. I did. It's just not the video that I want to be responsible for, checking its homework and buying it new school clothes. It's more like a great grandson that you see from time to time and although you never really know which grandson he is, you still give him a dollar and then move on to more important things like sleeping and trying to forget that you'll probably die before the next presidential election. – Jonathan Plombon

Jonathan Plombon is a longtime ER contributor and most recently wrote about WAVE Productions for ER 52 (see our store or buy at Amazon). Look for more from him in our upcoming Super-Sized 30th Anniversary Edition, coming in October!

AMERICAN NINJA 5 is available from Amazon.


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

VHS WEDNESDAY: THE DOGFIGHTERS (1996) starring Robert Davi, Alexander Godunov and Ben Gazzara

Robert Davi and Alexander Godunov first united on the big screen for 1988's smash hit action thriller DIE HARD. Eight years later they'd re-team – with ROAD HOUSE baddie Ben Gazzara in tow – for the slightly less popular THE DOGFIGHTERS. Mitch Lovell plunked down his two bits for a look in this week's installment of VHS Wednesday. 

Part of the fun of watching old VHS tapes is seeing the trailers that play before the main feature. On this tape we get previews for not one, but two classic films from 1996: THE SUBSTITUTE and THE ARRIVAL. Both trailers are, frankly, underwhelming and don't really hint at the awesomeness that either film contains. The trailer for THE ARRIVAL does feature a great tagline though: "Stop watching the skies and start watching your back!" Then the feature presentation begins:

Robert Davi stars as a top Navy pilot named Rowdy who loses his job when he strikes a superior officer. He then ekes out a living by running drugs in a little two-seater airplane. A shady CIA agent (Ben Gazzara) frames Rowdy for murder and blackmails him into pulling a job for him. It seems a Russian baddie (Alexander Godunov in his final film role) is building a nuclear reactor and it's up to Rowdy to shut him down.

I've always felt Davi made a better villain than hero, but THE DOGFIGHTERS (aka THE ZONE and ZONE 99: NUCLEAR TARGET) finds him playing one of his best hero roles. In his down-and-out phase he wears a bandana and sunglasses (which makes him resemble Little Steven Van Zandt from The E Street Band). Once he switches over to a suit and tie ensemble he pulls off the suave character effortlessly. There's one sequence where he eludes an assassin that is worthy of a James Bond movie. Once Davi is cornered, he jumps off a bridge, lands on a passing party boat, and emerges pouring a glass of champagne. He even raises his glass to his indignant pursuer as he's making his getaway!

It also helps enormously that Davi is given some priceless dialogue. Seriously, Schwarzenegger would be envious at some of the one-liners that our hero gets in this one. When he's flying he says stuff like "Hold on to your sphincter!" While drinking in a bar, a woman tells him he's going to trash his liver and he replies "My liver is long gone!" My favorite line came during a scene where Davi's being chased through a marketplace. He hits a guy in the face with a slab of raw meat and quips "Hope you like it rare!"

The other performers fare decently enough. Ben Gazzara can do this kind of role in his sleep, but even if he was sleepwalking through his performance (which he isn't) he'd still be fun to watch. Alexander Godunov gives one of his best performances as he fills his character with a touch of class and dignity. Even in the smallest scenes he seems totally invested, and when he's deep in thought, you can almost see the wheels turning as he's weighing his options.

Although the film gets off to a strong start, it eventually falls into a predictable pattern: Davi does some snooping around, gets surrounded by Godunov's men and has to find a way to slip out of danger. The action and stunt work is solid for the most part (like when Davi punches a bad guy out of a plane in mid-flight) and is comparable to some of the better Direct-to-Video films of the day, which helps somewhat. Even these sequences tend to get repetitive before the end credits roll. The final dogfight between Davi and Godunov is a bit of a (pardon the pun) washout, too.

THE DOGFIGHTERS was directed by Barry Zetlin, a name I thought sounded familiar. So I checked IMDB to learn that he has edited some of my favorite (and not-so favorite) horror and exploitation movies of the '80s and '90s. There are just too many titles in his filmography to list here, but if you have time, check out his IMDB page and get a load of some of the films Zetlin cut. As for his directing career, he only has one other film to his credit (the multi-director John Ritter flick MAN OF THE YEAR). It's a shame because while not perfect, THE DOGFIGHTERS is proof that he could've gone on to a reasonably solid directing career.

Now that I know Zetlin's editing background, it occurs to me that maybe he should've given the flick another pass at the editing table. The episodic nature sometimes makes it feel longer than it is (particularly in the third act). Thankfully, Davi's charismatic performance helps keep you entertained through the occasional lulls. – Mitch Lovell

Mitch Lovell is a frequent contributor to the print version of Exploitation Retrospect. He is also the editor of The Video Vacuum and author of several film books including the recent Double Vision: Hollywood vs. Hollywood. This is his first piece for the ER blog.

THE DOGFIGHTERS is available at Amazon and finer thrift stores everywhere. Unfortunately, I could not locate a trailer for THE DOGFIGHTERS for you to enjoy. However, you can go to YouTube and watch countless tv appearances in which Davi extols the virtues of a Trump Presidency.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

TROMA TUESDAY: CITIZEN TOXIE – THE TOXIC AVENGER IV (2000) directed by Lloyd Kaufman

If it's Tuesday it must be time for your semi-regular dose of Troma. Evan Romero is back with a look at yet another installment of the studio's trademark franchise, The Toxic Avenger.

You know what I like? CITIZEN KANE.

You know what I like more? CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV, the movie CITIZEN KANE wishes it could be.

After dismissing the previous two installments as "rotten" – fuck you, I like those installments! – and billing itself as the REAL sequel, CITIZEN TOXIE opens on Take A Mexican to Lunch Day at the Tromaville School for the Very Special. All is peace and tacos – until members of the Diaper Mafia burst in and begin shooting up the school. Of course, Toxie arrives with his sidekick, Lardass (Joe Fleishaker), to save the day. A bomb set by the Diaper Mafia explodes and creates a dimensional tear. Toxie passes through this tear into Amortville – while his evil doppleganger, Noxie, passes through to Tromaville. Now, Toxie must get home and stop Noxie from wreaking havoc upon the good citizens of Tromaville – as well as witness the birth of his child. Will Toxie succeed and live to be an awesome dad? Or will he be trapped in Amortville forever while Noxie lays waste to Tromaville and its citizens?

Right off the bat Troma shows they're not here to fuck around: the massacre of special needs children and Toxie's destruction of the Diaper Mafia features enough violence and gore to satisfy even the most diehard Tomaniacs. Disembowelments, head shots, crushed heads, and even a dude getting his head shoved OUT his own ass are just some examples of Troma going right for the jugular. And it doesn't stop there: the entire movie is peppered with carnage of this sort.

Troma's usual offensive humor is here as well – which is perfectly fine for the un-P.C. amongst us (myself included). The special needs children are referred to as "tards," Lardass is an obese dude who uses food as a weapon, the police chief is depicted as a Nazi (complete with Hitler 'tache), and you even get a BLACK Nazi. Yes, Troma clearly wanted to offend everyone they could. Troma's standard social commentary is here as parodies of the media and politicians abound, though it's not laid on too thick. The humor is, as usual for Troma, hit-or-miss – but the misses don't detract from the film's entertainment value, unlike some of Troma's other releases.

And hell, even if you think the movie sucks at least you get to play Who's Who as the film is chock full of Troma alumni and other famous people. We get Eli Roth, Ron Jeremy, Al Goldstein, Hugh Hefner, Stan Lee (the narrator), James Gunn, Tiffany Shepis, Corey Feldmen and – best of all – Lemmy!

Oh, and you get Sgt. Kabukiman (not played by Rick Gianasi, unfortunately), now a drunken pervert who's extremely fun to watch. And, for the curious ones, yes, his pubic hair IS shaped just like his real hair. You'll have to watch the movie to find out how I know this – ya know, assuming you just gotta know.

And we can't forget an appearance by the Troma Dick Monster. A Troma flick just isn't complete without that vicious member popping up.

All in all, CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV is a welcome addition to the series and cinema in general, and will definitely please those put off by the previous installments – though they are still awesome, regardless of what anyone says – or just folks lookin' for something to watch on a lonely Friday night.

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV is available in a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. Special features include three audio commentaries, the documentary APOCALYPSE SOON: THE MAKING OF CITIZEN TOXIE, a tribute to Lemmy, and more. – Evan Romero

Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at ReelAtrocities.com or at PopHorror.com. He last wrote about GODZILLA 1985 for VHS Wednesday.

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV is available from Amazon.




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

VHS WEDNESDAY: GODZILLA 1985 (1984) starring Raymond Burr, Ken Tanaka

On Friday, July 29th The Big G returns to Japanese cinemas with GODZILLA RESURGENCE. And for those of us who complained that Gareth Edwards' 2014 GODZILLA featured too much crying Bryan Cranston and not enough, you know, Godzilla, this new flick seems to solve that problem. To celebrate the return of the big guy to the big screen Evan Romero takes a trip to the VHS vault with a look at GODZILLA 1985. 

The first Godzilla flick I watched was 1998's GODZILLA. Though I often caught bits of the originals on television, I'd never been able to actually sit and watch them for whatever reason. At first, I enjoyed the 1998 version. But my cousin, who was a huge Godzilla fan, told me I needed to watch the originals and that they were far better. I asked for a suggestion; he offered GODZILLA 1985 (the Americanized version of THE RETURN OF GODZILLA). After watching it, I was hooked, and the 1998 version began fading from memory...

Godzilla is back and just as pissed off – and is making a beeline for Tokyo. His destruction of a Russian submarine makes the Russians furious and intent on using nuclear weapons against Godzilla. The Americans are here – with journalist Steve Martin (Raymond Burr) in tow – to make the film marketable in America. However, the Japanese don't need no help against Godzilla as they have a secret weapon: Super-X, an attack plane that blows shit up. Now, Godzilla must contend with this pesky metal fly while trampling Tokyo and its citizens. Will Godzilla succeed in leveling Tokyo? Or will the Japanese utilize legit science to lure Godzilla to yet another grave?

GODZILLA 1985 was billed as a direct sequel to GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, ignoring all the installments in between. Here, Godzilla returns as the villain and as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. But we don't really give a crap about the metaphorical aspects of Godzilla: we just wanna see The Big G destroy some shit. GODZILLA 1985 delivers on this. He destroys buildings, melts tanks, stomps on pesky humans, and blows shit up with his radioactive breath. The little child in each of us will be going bonkers with glee.

Watching this as an adult, I noticed just how out of place the American-made footage is and it how much it impedes the flow of the movie. Really, the American footage is here for no reason other than marketing purposes. Hell, the only productive thing they do is stop a Russian-launched nuclear missile (this subplot was slightly altered for the American release). Other than that, it's just them tossing about ideas or making lame wisecracks or spouting hammy dialogue – or all three at once! Raymond Burr is here only to shoot down the military's ideas, look intense, and wax poetically about Godzilla. Oh, and to collect a paycheck.

The Japanese footage, on the other hand, flows smoothly and feels natural. While the characters are little more than cardboard cutouts for Godzilla to stomp on, you might actually find yourself caring about one or two of them and hope they survive Godzilla's Tokyo vacation (the one I wanted to survive, sadly, doesn't).

Despite its flaws, GODZILLA 1985 provides solid entertainment guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again. Even as an adult, it still ranks as my favorite Godzilla flick and I'll cherish it forever.

And, finally, THE RETURN OF GODZILLA is making its Blu-ray debut this September thanks to the fine folks at Kraken Releasing. Sadly though, due to legal issues, GODZILLA 1985 won't be coming with it. Still, fans should be excited to finally be able to view the original in all its Big G glory. I know I am. – Evan Romero

Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at ReelAtrocities.com or at PopHorror.com. He last wrote about SGT. KABUKIMAN NYPD for Troma Tuesday.

GODZILLA 1985 is available from Amazon and THE RETURN OF GODZILLA is available for pre-order.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

#TBT: Take a Ride on Larry Cohen's THE AMBULANCE (1990) starring Eric Roberts from ER 39

If it's Thursday it must be time for another review ripped screaming from the pages of Exploitation Retrospect: The Original 43. This week's review was inspired by a recent viewing of the film in question by ER contributor Devin Kelly. The ensuing on-line chatter about Larry Cohen's THE AMBULANCE sent me digging for issue number 39 and my original thoughts on this underrated thriller from the mind behind such classics as PERFECT STRANGERS, Q and the IT'S ALIVE films.

Like much of the work in his checkered cinematic career, Larry Cohen's THE AMBULANCE played to few (if any) theatrical audiences before making its way to video shelves. And again, like much of his recent output (THE STUFF, RETURN TO SALEM'S LOT, ISLAND OF THE ALIVE), the inattention seems unwarranted. Not that THE AMBULANCE belongs in the upper strata of Cohen flicks occupied by BLACK CAESAR, Q and IT'S ALIVE!, but it does show the same spirited junky fun that marks all of the writer / director / producer's eclectic work.

Eric Roberts – fast becoming an ER fav – stars as a Marvel Comics cartoonist who has a chance meeting with a young woman on her way to a doctor's appointment (Jeanine Turner in a chubby-faced, pre- NORTHERN EXPOSURE role). When she collapses on the street and is whisked away by a vintage ambulance, the cartoonist goes on a mission to find her. With only her first name at his disposal, Roberts continually runs into roadblocks thrown up by hospital staff, the NYPD, and his own employer (woodenly portrayed by real-life Marvel honcho Stan Lee).

Despite initial thoughts to the contrary, the story has something to do with a nefarious scheme involving the use of diabetics as guinea pigs for a scientific/white slavery ring... but it isn't really that important. In fact, the sinister plot is visibly lacking in creepiness, one of the few knocks I can make against THE AMBULANCE. Like all of Cohen's work, the flick's strength lies in the characterization, set-ups and scenes... he continually places characters that we've grown to like to seemingly inescapable, life-ending situations.

With a strong lead turn from Roberts (also great in the dreadful FINAL ANALYSIS and the loud, brilliant BEST OF THE BEST 2) and clever supporting bits from James Earl Jones and Red Buttons, THE AMBULANCE is more fun that it has any right to be. A great beer and Macanudo fick. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and a contributor to the recently published book, KLAUS KINSKI, BEAST OF CINEMA: Critical Essays and Fellow Filmmaker Interviews (McFarland). He last wrote about MARTIAL OUTLAW for VHS Wednesday.

THE AMBULANCE is available from Amazon.




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

VHS WEDNESDAY: Sibling Rivalry and Spin Kicks in MARTIAL OUTLAW (1993) starring Jeff Wincott

A week ago a fellow thrifter sent me photos of a local store packed to the brim with men's action novels featuring The Executioner, The Death Merchant, The Destroyer, Able Team, Phoenix Force and more. When I got there the next day I scooped up a few dozen titles but not before almost passing out at the sheer volume of low-budget VHS action that had also been dropped on the shelves. After breaking out in a cold sweat and initially filling my cart with about 30 tapes I collected myself and whittled the pile down to a half-dozen. Surviving the cut was this week's VHS Wednesday outing, the Kung-Fu Kane and Abel tale MARTIAL OUTLAW from director Kurt Anderson. Oh, by the way, that Troegs Nimble Giant pictured at right with the counter card that came with the VHS tape is awesome.

"We're not ever gonna be even!"

Do you have a brother? Does he bust your chops about your job? Your clothes? The gifts you buy his wife? Do you ever feel like sucker punching him in the nuts and/or doing a spinning kick that lands on his stupid face?

Then 1993's MARTIAL OUTLAW is the movie for you!

Jeff Wincott (the superb DEADLY BET, WHEN THE BULLET HITS THE BONE) stars as DEA agent Kevin White, an ass-kicking, by-the-book Fed who is set to crack a drug ring run by Rachenko (Vladimir Skomarovsky), a former KGB agent hiding his operations behind an import/export business. White plants an informant on the inside by offering him his own grocery store (!) and follows the trail down to Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, his trek to the City of Angels brings about an awkward family reunion with his older brother Jack (Gary Hudson), his alcoholic father (Richard Jaeckel), and Jack's wife Lori (Krista Errickson) who may or may not be harboring a flame for her brother-in-law.

Complicating matters is Jack's preponderance for operating on both sides of the law and it isn't long before he sees a payday from the Russians as his ticket out of town. (Yes, Jack is a complete dick who can't wait to leave his boozy pop and perky wife behind, screwing up his brother's big case in the process.)

It might come as a bit of a surprise that it required five writers to come up with MARTIAL OUTLAW'S story, especially since the last half of the flick can basically be summarized as "battling brothers kick Russian mob ass". Wincott is perfectly serviceable as the spin-kicking good guy while Hudson's smarmy bad boy demeanor (also on display in the great ROAD HOUSE) makes you simultaneously root for him and against him.

Most of the fights (courtesy of choreographer Jeff Pruitt) are nothing you haven't seen before, though the "Russian Circle" segment in which Kevin beats the shit out of about 30 guys using barbells, free weights, sticks and more is certainly the flick's action highlight.

Bonus points for Al (Endo) Leong, giant cell phones, a beefy Russian henchman who looks like Martin Kove, car wash subterfuge, Kevin's ugly shooting range sweater and lines like "Who am I? I'm the guy that's gonna nail your ass!" delivered with stone-faced sincerity.

The Republic video VHS includes trailers for INFESTED (aka TICKS) with Seth Green and Clint Howard and the jaw-dropping TERMINATOR rip-off APEX which immediately went on my radar. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and has a healthy relationship with his two older brothers. He last wrote about the excruciating NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET for Throwback Thursday.

MARTIAL OUTLAW is available at Amazon and finer thrift stores everywhere.






Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TROMA TUESDAY: SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. (1990) directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman

We're back with another installment of Troma Tuesday here at the ER blog! And lest anybody think that Evan Romero has a thing about murdering Troma flicks with his reviews, here's his take on – gasp! – a PG-13 Troma flick that works? Yeah, I don't believe it either but since the flick in question is currently free with my Amazon Prime membership I might just take a look.

A PG-13 Troma flick. Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, I'm certain your mind is filled with visions of the apocalypse, of civilizations falling, of the sun going supernova and eviscerating our galaxy. Well, calm your tits 'cause it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Come now, let us go fight some crime (and shitty movies) with SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D.

Detective Harry Griswold (Rick Gianiasi) is investigating the murder of two kabuki performers by a goon employed by Reginald Stuart (Bill Weedon). While watching the show the murdered performers were supposed to star in, a shoot-out occurs – during which Griswold is selected to become Kabukiman, the man who will harness the spirit of kabuki and defend the world against evil. Griswold must now learn to harness his new powers while bringing Stuart and his goons to justice - as well as preparing for a battle with The Evil One, who is set to return to Earth! Will justice prevail? Or will evil reign throughout the land?

Okay, so you're probably wondering just how funny a PG-13 Troma flick can be. The answer: pretty damn funny. Unlike some Troma movies where the comedy – comedy that's usually anarchic and not funny – overshadows the plot, SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. achieves a perfect balance: the slapstick/goofy humor is here, but not at the expense of plot / story. You can actually get invested in it.

About the only thing the PG-13 rating affects is the level of gore. Sure, it's here, but it is toned down drastically in comparison to Troma's usual unhinged and over-the-top fare. But the fact that a Troma film can be enjoyed without the characteristic gore is a testament to how much attention the filmmakers put into other aspects of the production. And it pays off.

What helps the production achieve the level it does is in large part due the performances of the actors and actresses. Sure, we're not gonna get award-winning material here, but the characters are interesting and fleshed out enough and the performers invest their roles with energy and charm. Much of the comedy would have fallen flat were it not for them. The standout performances come from Rick Gianiasi and Nobel Lee Lester, who plays "Capt. Bender." Those two have great chemistry and generate many laughs when they appear on screen together. The scene when Bender confronts Griswold, who is dressed in full clown regalia, about his behavior is pure comedic gold.

Oh, and for those fans wondering where the footage of Troma's famous "car crash" came from, SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. is the answer.

Overall, SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. ranks as one of Troma's best productions. It's too bad the Kabukiman character couldn't have gotten his own series like Toxie because seeing his further adventures would have been a treat. Regardless, we'll always have this one movie to throw in anytime we wanna see a man in kabuki dress fighting crime with heat-seeking chopsticks, fatal sushi, and pyro parasols. Go watch it now before The Evil One returns...

SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. is available on Blu-ray and DVD. Features include an interview with Rick Gianiasi, a full episode of KABUKIMAN'S COCKTAIL CORNER, audio commentary and much more. – Evan Romero

Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally-questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at ReelAtrocities.com or at PopHorror.com. He last wrote about THE BIBLE BELT SLASHER PT. II: THE HOLY TERROR for Slasher Friday.

SGT. KABUKIMAN NYPD is available from Amazon.