Part travelogue through the byroads of movies, part guide to the dustier offerings found in the bargain bins throughout the land. The Raggedyman uses his experience of watching practically anything that crosses his path to sieve through the old, the obscure, and the just plain odd so you don’t have to. Take his hand as he leads you through cult classics, underground favourites, forgotten wonders, and new discoveries to let you know if it’s a precious relic still able to grab the eye of the modern viewer or a bit of detritus that it needs to be dumped on the garbage heap of times gone by.
I discovered this film because someone asked me if there were any King Kong Vs Nazi films. I couldn’t find any such a thing, but I did find this 78-minute Z-movie masterpiece. Produced in the halcyon days of 2012, when having Nazis in a film wasn’t a political statement but an excuse to be brutally violent towards the obviously-bad guys, it’s a near perfect, no-budget bit of film making that just does its own thing. Its own thing is brutally stupid violence and a plot that feels like Hellboy on some very bad drugs. So, please be warned; this is not for the faint hearted or easily offended.
The movie starts at the “Nazi Douchebag Lair” at the end of the war, and has a bunch of misfits from the Paranormal Investigation Agency kick the shit out of a bunch of Nazi Douchebags. Lead by Mr Bonejack, a Don King clone, and Deathbone, a warrior from beyond the dawn of time, they do horrible things to horrible people in ways that will make you laugh. Then they find Hitler, and do just absolutely horrible things to him whilst laughing about it (as you would).
So far, so surprisingly funny. It’s like someone took the best bits of a tabletop roleplaying campaign (including the acting levels) and turned them into a college film project. But then, things get even more crazy when they find a Nazi science experiment (the titular Teen Ape) that is just some guy wearing a half-face ape mask. Everything then fast-forwards 60 years to now, and everyone compliments each other on how they still look the same. Teenape is now the world’s foremost rap star (and talks like he’s from Da Hood, N-Bombs and potential offence included) and the PIA is about to be disbanded because there are no Nazis left to kill.
But wait! Evonushka, Hitler’s tight-PVC-wearing girlfriend (and evil science genius) has just resurrected Hitler by forming a Fourth Reich of evil bastards having a summoning ritual over a blood-swastika. Hitler’s back, alright – and the bad guys are so happy they dance around to ska music, then commit vile atrocities in a small pub. They laugh, they love, they act like total uncaring bastards, because they’re *Nazis*.
Now, all that has to happen is BoneJack and Teenape need to get the PIA back together and fight the Fourth Reich in the pub, and then in a disused warehouse. Will the good guys win? Yes! Will the good guys communally piss on Hitler? Yes! And that’s both funnier and worse than you could imagine. Will you see someone get their head shoved up someone else’s butt and then watch them fight their way out from the inside? Yes! And you can’t stop it. Will someone get their arm pulled off, be beaten around the head with it, and then have it shoved into their stomach until it comes out their mouth? Re-read this paragraph, you know the score!
As has hopefully been made clear: this film is very silly. Whilst it’s clearly for an adult audience (I don’t know if it’s been released in the UK, but I’d give it a hard 18) it’s for one that’s incredibly childish. The swearing is non-stop, the violence is extreme and ridiculous, the attitudes and concepts are unrelentingly profane by normal standards. But it’s got its own set of rules and logic that it consistently follows, so you can get into that mindset with ease. It’s also got well rounded and developed characters on both sides, so whilst there is a lot of background hinted at, you never feel left out of the joke. On top of that, it’s got a very progressive and positive heart to it, so you’ll feel warmed when someone yells “this is for the Holocaust, you Nazi fuck bag” and does something best described as “disturbingly unhygienic”.
Amazingly, it’s also got some decent production values, or at least much better ones than you would expect. The people behind it knew exactly what they could achieve and how to do it with their limited resources, so nothing looks out of place. Yeah, there are people walking across in the background through a number of scenes. But somehow, that adds to it all. Yeah, the gore effects look fake on numerous occasions, but you are grateful for that because the real thing would not be as funny. And, yes, many of the characters are wearing bad makeup, but that just adds to the surreal nature of it all as everyone acts like that’s just how people look.
If you want something refined, culturally sensitive, or of any regular artistic merit then avoid it. This is a film happy and confident to be vulgar and childish for its own amusement, so it revels in it. What it isn’t, is mean spirited – except towards the very-obviously-bad-bad guys, and that sense of fun gives it a hell of a lot of charm and leeway for its more gratuitous moments. It probably also merited from being presented to me with zero hype or expectations, so had nothing to prove.
My advice would be to get your mates and watch it when you are all in a very silly mood, and then consider having a go making something like it yourself. I’d also advise you to start hunting for the film ideas you want to exist, because it can help you find gold like this!
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