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Troma Entertainment has had the market cornered on low-budget, schlocky, but incredibly fun films dating back to 1974. Countless actors, writers, and directors can trace their career paths to Troma, from actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Costner, Marisa Tomei, and Vincent D'Onofrio to directors like Sean Gunn, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Oliver Stone, and more.
While Troma's most famous contribution to cinema is the cult classic The Toxic Avenger, the truth is there is a multitude of films the studio churned out over the years worth watching. Like blood? Like guts? Like some fun schlock? There remain countless Troma films worth watching, but if you're looking for a crash course on Troma, then you really ought to take a look at these five films first.
Class of Nuke'em High (1986)
A gang of school kids are turned into mutants by radioactive water in this mid-Eighties follow-up to The Toxic Avenger.
"The class of nuke 'em high is back, and this time they're in college! Tromaville's nuclear factory has been rebuilt and now includes the Tromaville institute of technology. Located inside the nuclear plant, Tromaville Tech is where Prof. Holt has perfected Sub-humanoids.... Living beings without emotions, who have been genetically programmed to perform menial tasks. When school reporter Roger Smith meets a beautiful subhumanoid named Victoria, they fall in love. It's too bad the creatures have a tendency to go into spontaneous meltdown. Roger is now determined to save Victoria from this messy fate, but first he'll have to face the giant mutant squirrel, Tromie, who attacks Tromaville tech in the explosive climax."
Combat Shock (1986)
One of the most interesting films on the Troma roster, this movie is about an Agent Orange-scarred Vietnam veteran.
"A small group of typical Tromaville citizens find themselves in the path of a terrorist army controlled by the power elite. The freedom of Tromaville and the world is at stake! Troma's War creates new kinds of heroes. A used car salesman, a handsome environmentalist, an obese junk-food gourmand, a seventy-year-old housewife, some sensational young women, a year old jingoistic baby and more sensational women all become deadly soldiers..."
Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)
After an earthquake destroys California, a bunch of Neo-Nazis take over the waves. They must be stopped!
"When the son of a gun-wielding woman is murdered by neo-Nazi surf punks in the post-apocalyptic future, his Mama hunts them down for some bloodthirsty revenge."
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1989)
Billy Bob Thornton and Martha Quinn star in this schlocker about a group of female bikers in town run by an evil scientist.
"The title should be enough to explain the plot here. Riding around on their motorbikes, a gang of tough women bikers are the only thing that stands between a crowd of Zombies, which have been accidentally let out of their secure cave, and those still alive in the town."
Cannibal: The Musical (1997)
Uncle Lloyd picked up South Park duo Trey Parker and Matt Stone's hilarious debut about famed frontier cannibal Alfred Packer.
"Alfred Packer was a mountain guide and sole survivor of a party of pioneers that got lost in the mountains in winter. Accused and convicted of murdering and eating his traveling companions, he was to be executed by hanging.The movie begins at his trial, where he pleads his innocence to an unsympathetic audience. Only reporter Polly Pry will listen to his story, which is then related to the viewers in the form of flashbacks. As Packer and his gold-prospecting clients make their way through the forests and mountains, they encounter bemused Japanese Indians, an unimpressed group of mountain men and the brutal Rocky Mountain winter, all of which inspire the travelers to break out into song and dance."