In underground NYC director Buddy Giovinazzo?s disturbing, horrifying Combat Shock, a vet trades in the jungles of the Nam for an entirely different concrete jungle- The mean streets of New York! Exposure to torture cages ... more »destroyed his will. Agent Orange left him with a deformed child. With debts owed to vicious loan sharks, no job and no money, Frankie (Ricky Giovinazzo) wanders streets and alleyways filled with junkies, hoods, teenage prostitutes and brutality that makes war seem like recess. Combat Shock has been hailed as one of the top thirteen most disturbing movies by horror writer Stanley Waiter and this exclusive digitally mastered uncut DVD release will show you why. Nothing you have seen will prepare you for the terrifying desperation of Combat Shock. Features include an interview and commentary track by director Buddy Giovinazzo and outlaw German director Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Der Todesking).« less
A very dark (vetsploitation?) drama (listed as horror on Netflix?) about a down-on-his-luck Viet Nam vet which takes place over the course of two days. His slow decent into madness is due to atrocities he witnessed (caused?) and then the atrocities he suffered caused by the Viet Cong (or maybe his own people?). He has a retard baby at home. Troma symbol scared me, but I read they had nothing to do with the producing, directing, casting, scripting, etc - just distribution - so that is allowable.
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An underrated gem! Inventive no-budget art!
Josef K | LA, CA | 12/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Combat Shock" is one of those rare microbudget films that has a lasting impact on its viewers. Originally titled, "American Nightmares", "Combat Shock" plays like a really grimy, amateurish version of "Eraserhead" with a little bit of "First Blood" and "Taxi Driver" thrown in. The commentary is extremely helpful, and Buddy went on to direct "No Way Home" with Tim Roth. If you're expecting an over-the-top satire Troma style, you're in for a surprise. The last 15 minutes of the movie may very well blow your mind. Also, the plotline predates "Jacob's Ladder", which is an almost exact word-for-word descendant of this sometimes cheesy, but mostly honest film of urban decay and psychopathy in the mind of a Vietnam vet. Lloyd, you sure know how to pick 'em! Buy the dvd and see what I mean. Remember, it is pretty shocking though, with that special graphic violence that will Tromatize you forever!"
An excellent low budget shocker!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 05/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boy, is this a downbeat movie. If you're looking for something redemptive, look elsewhere. From the opening Vietnam sequence full of gore to the sorrowful conclusion, Combat Shock is a nightmarish trip through a warren of haunting images and sounds.Frankie came back from Vietnam and has had nothing but trouble. He has a deformed baby, a nagging woman, and no job. He is also in dutch with a loanshark. Frankie walks the desolate streets of the slums, wondering what he's going to do. He eventually explodes in a fit of despair and rage, resulting in some bloody and gory scenes.What makes this movie so effective is the voiceovers and the flashbacks of Frankie. They are truly haunting and they give the film great atmosphere. So do the settings, especially Frankie's apartment, which is so gritty and sleazy looking that I felt like taking a shower after watching the movie. It's that sleazy!This movie will bring you down, so don't watch it on a rainy day or if you're depressed. If you aren't exhausted at the end of the film, there might be something wrong with you. This is distributed by Troma, so look for some nifty trailers. Also, pay a little more and avoid the Extended Play tape."
The heart of darkness
linus | the land of wind and ghosts | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget Henry Winkler in HEROES, Jon Voight in COMING HOME, or Stallone in FIRST BLOOD. If any film released by the notorious schlock distributor Troma has a claim to art, this is it. I'm not kidding. This Vietnam-flashback psychodrama, probably the most savagely depressing film ever made, brings you inside the splintered mind of a 'Nam vet and never lets you out. (In the few scenes having nothing to do with him, we see guys even worse off than he is.) The film is best described as a cross between ERASERHEAD and the last two hours of THE DEER HUNTER. Frank Dunlan (Ricky Giovinazzo) has blocked out his painful memories of combat - captivity, torture, atrocity, the works - but they keep creeping up on him. Unskilled and unwashed, he can't hold a job. This annoys his wife Kathy (Veronica Stork), who must take care of their baby - which has been mutated by his exposure to Agent Orange. Frank spends his days standing on unemployment lines, avoiding loan sharks, and hanging out with heroin addicts. This is the best Harvey Keitel/Abel Ferrara movie they never made; if you appreciated BAD LIEUTENANT, you've got to see this. The last reel (if you're still with it by then) will leave you in a sickened stupor. Sometimes low-rent and amateurish, but it gets under your skin in ways that a more polished movie never could. The DVD includes often amusing commentary by director Buddy Giovinazzo, always eager to goof on his own movie; he's not one of those gasbags who go on and on about how brilliant their film is and what every scene signifies. NOT FOR EVERYONE! - but an unforgettable ride for those who feel that movies should be more than Tom Hanks acting cute."
Marc Black | USA | 01/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Combat Shock is one of those movies you watch not because it's good. but because it is interesting. The story of a man's struggle with life after the Vietnam War, and what he cannot remember about what happened. When he starts remembering it changes his life. In conclusion I would like to say Combat Shock is the best movie I have seen about a man trying to cope with life after a war."
I need a shower
Raoul Duke | Gunnison, Colorado United States | 12/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"so, right after watching this, I said to myself 'wow, that movie really sucked.' however, i spent the next 2 days replaying parts of it over and over in my head. the fact that the budget was so non existent and that it has had such a profoundly disturbing and lasting effect on my brain make me highly recommend it. If you like challenging cinema and you're a weirdo, pick this up. So unbeleivably horrid its beautiful"