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DVD review: 'Tromeo and Juliet'

'Tromeo and Juliet'


Troma entertainment has proudly given us some of the “best” B-movies of the last few decades. For a “shining” example of their work, look no further than 'The Toxic Avenger'.

'Tromeo and Juliet'
'Tromeo and Juliet'

One of the studio's biggest releases of the '90s was 'Tromeo and Juliet.'

The Ques and the Capulets are two families that have been at odds for quite some time.

When Tromeo Que (Will Keenan) finds out that his love with Rosie (Jacqueline Tavarez) isn't meant to be, he quickly sees and falls madly in love with Juliet Capulet (Jane Jensen). A relationship between the two blossoms even though their families, friends and peers disapprove. Juliet is promised, against her will, to London Arbuckle (Steve Gibbons), a wealthy meat tycoon. Her father, Cappy (Maximillian Shaun) is also rather abusive.

A few fights later, some peripheral characters are dead and Tromeo and Juliet's love comes to light, causing real drama between the families.

Will their love survive?

To start things off, this examiner generally equates modernized Shakespeare with a pile of hot garbage. What saves this film is that it takes some tremendous liberties with the story. It's not a direct translation with some modern updates, but a reimagined story that merely takes inspiration from the source material.

This wildly differs from the original story by the climax. There are some interesting choices made by the story, here. It's certainly less poetic but it gleefully sidesteps your expectations.

In typical Troma fashion, the humor here is low-brow and tasteless. It is punctuated by plenty of gore, cheap special effects, incest and plenty of nudity. Content-wise, it will be tough for a lot of people to swallow. Where it succeeds is that director and Troma leader Lloyd Kaufman has a sense of humor. It's twisted, sophomoric and a little unwieldy, but it's there. The popcorn and rat scene is going to stick in your memory for a long time.

The acting is all over the place, as Troma films are often written broadly and the acting follows suit. It varies from a little over-the-top to barely acting. Utilizing Lemmy from the band Motorhead as the narrator was an inspired choice, though. James Gunn (who went on to make 'Slither' and 'Super' years later) had a hand in writing this.

Special features include: a message from Lemmy, behind the scenes stills, truth or dare with the cast, lost scenes and a PSA.

Most normal viewers won't be interested in 'Tromeo and Juliet.' It is far too out there, offensive, silly, perverted and surreal.

If you are already on board with what Troma represents, though, you should enjoy this for what it is.

Rated R 107 minutes 1996