Surf Nazis Must Die

December 10, 2014 at 1:52 am (9 Heads, Surf Nazis Must Die) (, , , , , , )

Surf Nazis Must Die – 1987 – United States

In the “near future”, California is decimated by a massive earthquake. In the ensuing anarchy, the bloodthirsty Surf Nazis rumble other gangs of surfers for control of Power Beach. After the Surf Nazis kill an African American man, his elderly mother, Mama Washington, escapes her nursing home to exact revenge. With a pistol and grenades, she kills all the Surf Nazis and rides off on her motorcycle laughing.

Surf Nazis Must Die’s vision of the future is engrossingly bleak and weird. In a graffiti-covered industrial wasteland live gangs such as the martial artist Samurai Surfers, the pretty boy Designer Wave, and the skateboarding Earth Surfers (“riders of the hard wave”). Most absurd are the Surf Nazis (named Adolf, Eva, Mengele, and Smeg) who wear face paint and wield impractical weapons such as the “switchboard” (a surfboard with a spring-loaded spike in its nose). Then there is Mama Washington, who smokes cigars, gambles, and reads the Bible. Cramming her pistol in a Nazi’s mouth, she says “Taste some of Mama’s home cooking!” and blows his head off.

Surf Nazis Must Die is distributed by Troma. It is marketed as a comedy, but the film’s intent is ambiguous. The outrageous and foul-mouthed dialogue is occasionally funny, and there are some amusing scenes, like when a Nazi’s mom grounds him from hanging with the gang. However, Surf Nazis Must Die is mostly grim, with its deranged characters and desolate locations. The throbbing synthesized score is dominating, and even the excellent surfing scenes are intense rather than beautiful.

Surf Nazis Must Die is hard to categorize, which is why it is unique. Many of its critics and fans define it as an exercise in deliberate camp, but that is probably inaccurate. My best description is A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Warriors (1979), and Escape from New York (1981) mashed together and filtered through the mind of a Californian surfer.

Rating: 9/10 Shrunken Heads. I cannot think of any better movie for this historic 200th review.

Below is Surf Nazis Must Die’s powerful trailer.


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