DVD Review: Surf Nazis Must Die / Director: Peter George / Screenplay: John Ayre / Starring: Gail Neely, Robert Harden, Barry Brenner / Release Date: August 6th
Achtung! That’s the warning that any sane person should hear in their heads when they put Surf Nazis Must Die in the DVD player. It was once described by film critic Mark Kermode as “utter horse shit” (according to his book It’s Only A Movie) and frankly, he was being charitable. At least horse manure has value to some people.
DVD quality is perhaps the wrong term (although correct) to use to describe this release, as it looks so ‘80s that you could give this the best transfer and restoration treatment imaginable on the best format out there and it would still look incredibly dated. As it is, the transfer looks incredibly lazy and there’s nothing on this disc that you wouldn’t be able to put on a video (apart from perhaps the moment where Lloyd Kaufman states with full conviction in a special feature that Independence Day was partially inspired by this film). But then, Troma has never been known for high-quality productions.
The plot (yes, there is one) is that sometime in the near future after a catastrophic earthquake, gangs of unruly teens/neo-Nazis have declared war on surfers and the beach walkers of America! The atrocities of war that they commit include murder, use of the ‘N’ word and theft of an old lady’s watermelon. These neo-Nazis murder one of the main characters for getting in the way of a purse snatching, which leads to his heavy-set grandmother (called Mama, for some reason) taking revenge in the only way she knows how – with violence.
Surf Nazis is offensive (see the ‘N’ word) in places, badly acted, has poor special effects and worst of all, it is boring. Anybody who wants to buy it for the sole purpose of riffing on it with their mates is advised not to as it doesn’t even work for that purpose. Disposable characters kill other, more disposable characters and the viewer has no reason to care. The fact that the special effects are so terrible detracts from any gory thrills to be had.
The only reason it’s rated that highly is that it counts as a film and isn’t the worst one ever made (it’s not far off, though). It would be nice if this film was good so it could be called “so wrong, it’s Reich”. Alas, it was not to be. Watch this film again? Nein! Zuerst musst du mich erschießen!
Special Features: Introduction to the film by Lloyd Kaufman, two archive interviews with director Peter George and producer Robert Tinnell, six lost scenes and a three minute long trailer.