Killer Condom (Kondom des Grauens) (Stomp Visual) (1996) (NTSC)
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Martin Walz (Director) , Jorg Bettgereit
Featurette-Tour Of Troma Studios
|Year Of Production||1996|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Martin Walz|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||?|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Hotel Quickie in New York has become a place of pain rather than pleasure when a number of clients start losing their manhood during the throes of passion. Homosexual detective Luigi Mackeroni (Udo Samel) picks up a hunky young lover, Billy (Marc Richter), and takes him to a room at the Hotel. But just after he exposes his 32-centimetres of man-love to the delighted toy-boy, a high-pitched jabbering condom slithers to life and bites off the detective’s testicle.
Following a short stint in hospital, Mackeroni vows to solve the case of the rubber genital biters and returns to the hotel to investigate. He not only has to contend with Babette, a hulking transvestite who looks like a footballer in drag and mimes to the Fugee’s Killing Me Softly while pining away and expressing her undying love for him, but a ravenous condom that has tasted his forbidden fruit and wants another bite.
Part film noir, but imbued with the wit and quirkiness of Jeunet and Caro, Killer Condom is a clever collision of subcultural gay divides and black humour. The script is as sharp as the fangs of the condoms themselves and the characterisations are wonderfully subversive. Although the lead characters are nearly all homosexual they are played straight, without the usual over-the-top stereotypical campiness. Udo Samel is patently cool as the lonely, cynical New York cop, while his pining love interest Babette (played by Leonard Lansink) is a dowdy, lumbering hairy-chested ex-cop who has found himself as a (badly) performing transvestite and prostitute.
Adding to the film’s offbeat appeal is the fact that it takes place in New York but everyone speaks German. The Times Square backdrop, cop shop interiors, yellow cabs and familiar New York cityscape seem oddly out of place.
The voracious creatures, designed by H.R. Giger of Alien fame and created by Jorg Buttgereit, whose Nekromantik sickened, yet delighted thrill-seeking necrophiles across the globe, are ingeniously simple. Like those cute little Gremlins that turn nasty if you expose them to water, the innocuous looking condoms are aroused by the scent of human sexual contact. They twitter away in a language of their own, scuttle across floors and are endowed with a deceptive mischievousness that belies their castrating intent.
Killer Condom is presented letterboxed in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.50:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio is listed as 1.66:1. The slight cropping does not appear to have cut off any important information.
Troma releases are notorious for their shoddy transfers and unfortunately Killer Condom is no exception. Print darkness and medium to heavy grain are major concerns. Shadow detail clarity can at times be quite murky and indistinct due to background noise. Notable examples include the cop’s uniform melting into the background (7:02), the sequence in the dark corridor with Billy, Babette and Luigi (15:32) and at 28:40, where Luigi’s body ‘disappears’ when he sits on a black leather lounge chair. Black levels are consistently deep with only minor low level noise detected.
Analogue tape tracking errors are a problem throughout the film. Starting at 5:23 the bottom of the screen regularly flickers, suggesting the DVD was mastered from an inferior analogue video tape source.
Colours are generally vivid and well-saturated, but sometimes tend to be too bright or, at the other end of the spectrum, washed out. Red is frequently used, but fortunately the problems with chroma noise and colour bleed inherent during VHS tape playback is not an issue here.
The subtitles are white, unstable and not sharply defined. The lettering is fuzzy and often the subtitles appear over a very light or detailed background making them hard to read.
The German-language Dolby Digital 2.0 dual mono mix is adequate. Being a mainly dialogue driven film, the soundtrack only springs to life with a few musical meanderings to add comedic or dramatic effect to certain scenes.
The techno-theme song by Lucilectric is highly infectious and will stick in your brain and drive you insane. In the commentary Director Martin Walz explains that he approached a few hip-hop bands to record the track, but all of them turned it down when they found out about the film’s homosexual theme.
Special effects noises, including the high-pitched chattering of the condoms, and ambient street sounds come through the front channels loud and clear.
Being a mono mix the surrounds as well as the subwoofer are silent.
|Surround Channel Use|
A static menu screen with the main theme tune looped over it.
In this highly entertaining and funny commentary Walz and Buttgereit have a great time reminiscing about the production and the problems they had shooting a German language film on the streets of New York. They offer a wealth of background information about the cast and crew and leave no stone unturned when discussing their intentions.
They talk regretfully about how a few scenes were cut by German censors to secure a 12 rating. One particular scene included a condom regurgitating a p****. A number of the gory SFX were also toned down. See notes in the Censorship section.
Walz discusses in detail a number of fascinating deleted scenes that the producers removed out of the final cut of the film. Evidently they still exist but were not included as a bonus feature on this or the Region 1 DVD.
A terrific collection of 34 on-set photos, publicity photos, sketches and behind-the-scenes production stills with captions.
This standard bonus feature appears on most of the Troma releases. Lloyd Kaufmann takes us on a tour of the Troma Studios. Includes sex dept., executive washroom, violence dept., wardrobe, boardroom, special fx, theatrical releasing, soundstage, script dept., gateway to Troma and Commissary. Pointless and juvenile.
An overwrought montage of the most goriest and bizarre scenes from other Troma releases.
Presented like an after midnight sex line, a topless babe by the name of Asphyxia tells you how to order Troma videos and DVDs.
Greetings from the virtual city of Tromaville… link to the website.
Sgt. Kabukiman, Michael Herz and Dementia talk about how YOU can make your own independent film. This is a blatant marketing piece for Lloyd Kaufman’s book, All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger.
In this mind-numbingly immature piece, Sgt. Kabukiman talks about the effects of compulsive masturbation.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 Troma video and audio presentations are identical to our own Region 4.
In comparison to the Region 1 we miss out on:
• New Troma Intelligence Test II
• Bonus trailers for Terror Firmer and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV
• Theatrical Trailer
Due to the Troma Intelligence Test being on the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification hit list and the fact that you may have the Region 1 copy seized by customs officials, by default the Region 4 is the version of choice.
Killer Condom has understandably developed quite a sizeable cult following over the years. Its lurid inventive wit and subtext promoting sexual tolerance are assets which make it one of the few gay themed horror films that can be appreciated by a wider adult audience.
|DVD||Yamaha DVR-S200 (it came free with the plasma), using S-Video output|
|Display||Yamaha 106cm Plasma. Calibrated with Sound & Home Theater Tune Up. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||get a marshall stack, and crank it up.|
|Speakers||2 x Bose Speakers and 4 NX-S200 Yamaha mini-speakers.|