This is a low-budget movie about poverty, drug addiction and war, and the story centers around a rather disturbed Vietnam veteran with a complaining wife, junkie friends and a deformed Eraserhead baby. Life sucks and he still struggles with it 15 years after his return home. He is unable to forget about ‘Nam. His Life is hell and he has trouble with both junkies and street gangs. Halfway into the movie it turns out that he has suppressed large doses of anger, and he therefore falls deep into insanity. I was just expecting a B-action movie here – you know, judging by the typical 80’s cult movie cover-art and… this being a Troma Production and all. But there’s a lot of quality to be found.
The film has a gloomy, psychological story (just when you think it can’t get any more depressing, it does) about a man’s private hell and his broken soul. Rick Giovinazzo is very good in the lead as the tormented man of violence. Combat Shock
is the only film he’s been in, and today he composes music for box office hits (including Transformers and X-Men). Combat Shock (or “Combat SHACKKKK!!!” as the guy in the fabulous trailer says) is part horror, part action and part socially critical drama. There’s some rough action in it and a couple of nasty war scenes, but the film mainly focuses on drama, dialogue and quiet scenes of character development. What I liked most about it is that it takes itself seriously despite being a so called B-movie with a low budget. It’s a gritty and timeless film, and it’s dead honest in the way it presents itself. Combat SHACKKKK!!! is one of the most disturbing and nightmarish films I’ve seen in a long time. Loved it!
Release year: 1986
Director: Buddy Giovinazzo
Style and coolness
Fighting, killing, maiming
– More action than Rambo! More terror than The Terminator!
– Fighting, killing, maiming. Agent orange and the torture cages were the easy part!