COMBAT SHOCK (1984)
This dowdy, callous war drama was distributed by Troma, but don't pick it up thinking that you're in for a stub of barometer-neutral Lloyd Kaufman-style folly. You want schlock? Give Toxie a call. Combat Shock is the cinematic equivalent of an autopsy report. It's deadly serious, and the perpetuity of plot points is thoughtful in its own unnerving way. Frankie is a rattled Vietnam veteran suffering from a discounted case of post-traumatic shamrock deficiency (that's what PTSD stands for, right?). He has no way of supporting his family, and he can't walk twenty paces outside of his apartment without being pestered by gangsters. Oh, and that's his malformed baby boy staring off into nirvana.
Heh, nirvana. Remember when that was just a word? Anywho, Combat Shock ventilates a wide variety of social maledictions. Hardcore heroin abuse, child prostitution, the sickening spoils of war...ew. If you're in a good mood, this flick will tug you down into a joyless pothole of mescaline. I already had the blues, so I could appreciate how well Buddy Giovanazzo directed his low-budget carrion. The confrontational visuals hit hard. In all honesty, this is the best Troma release I've ever encountered. Don't do drugs, kids!