In the near future a major earthquake has devastated California’s coastline. But a more terrifying threat erupts—the rise of a wretched Reich! Beaches have become battlefields ruled by ruthless gangs… which are ruled by the Surf Nazis. Only one person is powerful enough to stop them: a brave mother.
This was the first TROMA movie I had ever seen, rewatched it several times and it somehow still bears the emblematic image about what TROMA movies are all about even though this might not be the most popular masterpiece of trash. Underneath the seemingly moronic course of action and overall sloppiness there are always some subtle political inserts and social satires that are worth giving a second thought.
1980's Gang Costume Drama that is also a Surfing Movie! Immensely watchable (if one can appreciate the 80s costumes) with excellent camerawork. This would make a great double-feature with Walter Hill's Streets of Fire. "Taste some of mama's home-cookin', Adolf!"
Despite some beautiful cinematography and an excellent synth score (much much better than what the film deserves), Surf Nazis Must Die fails to be all that satisfying. Someone on Letterboxd argued it's more The Warriors than Blaxploitation. But in trying to go for both genres, it fails at being good at either. Also, strangely bloodless until it gets crazy in the last half hour. Too late by then. That soundtrack tho.
Compared to previous Troma extravaganzas, this is a step forward but only in the domain of cinematography. It is not really the action/fight scenes or the surfing sequences that stand out but only the shots of the industrial wasteland and the earthquake disaster that promise a film of minimal aesthetic quality. Plot, ideas (?), the lines that are heard (Fame's Leroy?), are exchanged for a gratuitous orgy of violence.
Wow, this is a really stupid mess... even for TROMA. But at least Mama makes the film worth watching... And if you like you can count where the crew got their ideas from: there is a bit of Brad Fiedel's "Terminator" score in the music, a bit "Clockwork Orange" in some costumes, a bit "Mad Max" in the scenario...