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Tromeo and Juliet (1996)



Y'know, I only discovered Troma a short while ago, with The Toxic Avenger, and now I think I have a serious addiction. It would be easy to kick it if they didn't keep getting better at what they do. With Tromeo and Juliet, they combine their patented outrageousness with the Bard and a little arthouse style. Actually, it's a bit of a stretch to call this film "horror," but it's a stretch I'm willing to make.

Tromeo Que's family and Juliet Capulet's are at odds. The violence has been escalating in recent days. When Tromeo crashes a Capulet costume party, he sees Juliet and falls in love. It doesn't take a Cliff's Notes Guide to Shakespeare to figure out what happens next. Using the basic framework of the source play, writer/director Lloyd Kaufman spins a story of star-crossed lovers in a way only Troma can, replete with sexual perversion, body piercing, decapitation, and car crashes.

The Politically Correct can go see something else (can't think of what, off the top of my head), because this is going to offend you. What if you're desensitized to any sort of cruel and unusual cinema? Ha...you ain't seen nothin' yet. Those who are not offended are either comatose or too interested in their date (first warning sign: Troma fans can't get dates) to really be watching.

What puts Tromeo and Juliet above most other Troma products is that it actually has an inherent intelligence to it. It's much more focused on the plot than usual, and it's trying very hard to make the Bard, well, hip. A good portion of the jokes will have surface humor for everyone, but be really hilarious side-splitters for those who have read and understood the play.

As usual, I'm going to recommend this for Troma fans, but also throw in that Shakespeare groupies could get into it, and it's really an extremely entertaining flick. Just prepared to be a little grossed-out/offended...but that's part of the fun.