Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 21st, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Writers: Lloyd Kaufman, Mitchell Dana, Eric Hattler, Tom Martinek, Rick Washburn
Cast: Carolyn Beauchamp, Sean Bowen, Rick Washburn, Patrick Weathers, Jessica Dublin, Joe Fleishaker
BluRay released: August 18th, 2015
Approximate running times: 104 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Troma Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Content wise, this film is Troma’s attempt to cash in on the action movie boom that ruled throughout most of the 1980’s. And though it features many of the clichés that have since become synonymous with these aforementioned films. With that being said, this film also has all the ingredients one would expect from a Troma film, blood and guts, T & A and sophomoric humor. After all the villains of this film are named the “A.I.D.S. brigade” and their mission to take over the United States by infecting it citizens the with A.I.D.S. virus.
From a production stand point the acting can be best summed up as over the top caricatures that are overflowing with enthusiasm. And when it comes to pacing things are slow moving as the opening act establishes who everyone are and what their motivations are? Fortunately once the survivors get more proactive and start taking out the terrorists that is when this film hits its stride. And from there everything culminates in grandiose action set piece where the terrorists are finally exterminated. Also visually this film is a notch about what one has come to expect from Troma and when it comes to the action sequences they are surprisingly well executed.
Troma Wars comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details generally look crisp and black levels fare well. And though the source used is in very good shape, there are some minor compression related issues and DNR varies in degree throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sound clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include an intro to the film with Lloyd Kaufman, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 31 seconds), an interview with actor / weapons coordinator Rick Washburn (3 minutes 29 seconds), a interview with actor Joe Fleishaker titled ‘Veterans Day: A Post Traumatic Reunion’ (9 minutes 36 seconds), a segment for the film’s 10th anniversary titled ‘Post War Reflections’ (4 minutes 54 seconds), an interview with cinematographer James A. Lebovitz aka James London titled ‘London Wars’ (1 minute 13 seconds), an interview with directors Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman titled ‘War Memories’ (19 minutes 56 seconds) and an insightful audio commentary with Lloyd Kaufman.
Topics discussed in the interview with Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman include, why they wanted to this film, the film’s budget, MPAA and cuts that they enforced on the film, how censorship hurt the film theatrically, it’s resurgence via home video in its uncut version, controversial themes explored in Troma Wars include HIV and terrorism, shooting on location, they discuss the dynamics of their forty plus years working together, how the film was originally fours long and took four years to finish.
Rounding out the extras are trailers for other titles also available from Troma.
Overall Troma Wars gets a it’s best home video release to date.