TOXIC SCHLOCK ** UK 2017 Dir: Sam Mason-Bell & Tony Newton 81 mins
A group of 3 eco-terrorists calling themselves United Lives Matter unleash a green ooze into the sea and then go on the run. They hide up in a beach house belonging to one of the groups estranged brother. Little do they know that the beach house now belongs to a cross dressing widower, his childlike adult daughter and leather clad, dog masked gimp son simply called Brother. Still they are allowed to lodge at the house for a nominal fee of course. They hear on the radio news reports that their local area is being frequented by a serial killer known as the Seaside Strangler who is currently on the loose and getting closer to their beach house. Will the police catch this naked, body painted murderer or will the green ooze catch them up making the Seaside Strangler rather irrelevant?!!!!
This is very much at the bonkers end of Troma style film making by UK based production groups Trash Arts and Vestra Pictures, so be prepared to be shocked and for absolutely nothing to make any sense what so ever. It is, of course another bizarre offering but it is very slow to get going, nothing really note worthy happens until the last 30 minutes when we finally get a bit of the toxic zombie action that has been teased throughout the rest of the movie. The first part plays out like a drawn out comedy sketch that fails to land any laughs and just has random weirdos pop up and then disappear again. Also for a Troma there is a very low boob count. Now this is normally a good thing but it does however make up for it by showing an awful lot of middle age podge with added bonus (that’s debatable) of the little chap belonging to the cross dresser. The acting is dodgy but that’s to be expected. I did find myself kind of warming up to the characters by the last 20 minutes or so. Especially Simon Berry as Peter the geeky eco-terrorist who is painfully awkward to start with but plays crazy with ease. Martin W. Payne as the cross dressing dad is, well, incredibly pedestrian with his dialogue yet obviously very comfortable in his skin as he regularly whaps it all out at any available opportunity. Suzy Weatherall as the squawking woman-child is grating to say the least. Of course Lloyd Kaufman makes his presence known by lending his vocals as the radio announcer, director Sam Mason-Bell plays lowly chained dog gimp Brother and co-director Tony Newton appears as a drunk guy (?!!?). Made on a micro budget there is very little in the way of SFX but what there is are the practical types and it looks like a lot of fun. The make up artist obviously had a blast making everyone up. It gets a bit messy in places but I wouldn’t exactly say it was flowing in gore. The soundtrack is quite fun, I like the quirky weirdness Troma like to incorporate in their soundtracks and this one has a distinctive whistly character to it. The dreary backdrop of a very boring typical British seaside town is fitting and adds to the bleakness of it all. This is a film only true Troma fans may be interested to watch but for the rest of us I would say that you wouldn’t be missing anything if you just gave it a miss.
Review by Sarah Budd