I was thumbing through the ol’ DVD collection a few days ago, trying to find something I hadn’t watched in a while, when I came across not one, but three horror classics from the ’80s packed onto a single disc. Being the glutton for fine ’80s horror cheese that I am, I just couldn’t resist the temptation. What disc was it, you ask? None other than the Troma Triple B-Header. Let’s get one thing clear: I love Troma movies. And while none of the films on this disc are written or directed by Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman, they certainly bear the mark of twisted excellence that Troma is proudly known for. So with popcorn in hand and a case of Mountain Dew at my side, I dug into the greatness that is the Troma Triple B-Header.
What happens when you take the basic premise of Jaws and set it in a golf course? Blades, that’s what! Of course, you need to switch out the 25-foot great white shark for a killer lawn mower and the boat for a beat-up van, but otherwise, it’s the same film. Blades stars a cast of unknowns (who remained unknown after the film’s release), playing a group of rejects working the local golf course. When our heroes suspect a giant, evil lawn mower is killing golfers, they set out to kick some major grass before the big golf tournament begins, ensuring a grand bloodbath of golf clubs and khakis. The cast plays it completely straight, adding to the hilarity of the whole situation. A must see!
Directed by Jim Mallon (Gypsy from “Mystery Science Theater 3000”), Blood Hook takes place in the quiet fishing village (is there any other kind?) of Hayward, Wis., during the big “Muskie Madness” fishing tournament. Unfortunately for the contestants, somebody’s using a fishing reel to hook themselves a different type of catch: people. Seriously, somebody is casting his reel at people, hooking them and dragging them to their gruesome demise. The story also involves something about the “Devil’s Tritone,” but I really couldn’t understand what the hell it had to do with what I was watching. I loved it anyway! Call me crazy, but I would take that over another Hollywood remake of an ’80s horror flick any day of the week.
Rounding out our trifecta of terror is the ’80s snoozer Zombie Island Massacre. I don’t wanna sound like a dick, but shouldn’t a movie with the word “Zombie” in the title actually have zombies in the movie? Seriously? At any rate, a group of douchie Americans on a Caribbean vacation stop off on a small island and witness a satanic ritual. Soon after, they are hunted down one by one by a group of evil, unseen forces. This flick is easily the weakest of the three, but it managed to be reasonably entertaining nonetheless.
As usual, Troma loves to pack its DVDs with an ass-ton of extras, so you won’t be disappointed there. In all, this disc is a fine collection of ’80s B-movie badness. There’s enough to satisfy even the most jaded of film viewers. Of course, the real test is seeing if you can watch all three films in one sitting. I did, and my eyeballs are still burning. Troma might catch a lot of flack for releasing films that people feel are unwatchable; in reality, it releases movies that are highly original and refuse to follow the lame formula-driven pattern adhered to by mainstream Hollywood. And for that I will always be a fan. Make mine Troma, baby!