Tromeo & Juliet (Stomp Visual) (1996) (NTSC)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio & Animation-Animated Menus with Audio
Introduction-Director's Introduction
Audio Commentary-Director's Commentary
Deleted Scenes-Deleted Scenes
Gallery-Picture Gallery
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Truth or Dare with the Cast
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Lemmy from Motorhead
Trailer-All I Learnt About Filmmaking I Learnt From The Toxic Avenge
Featurette-Ula and Sarka, Pain-Proof Rubber Girls, take on Shakespeare
Trailer-Aroma Du Troma
Featurette-Radiation March
Featurette-Public Service Annoucement
Custom Play-Interactive Tour of Troma Studios
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 107:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lloyd Kaufman
James Gunn
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring Jane Jensen
Will Keenan
Valentine Miele
Maximillian Shaun
Steve Gibbons
Sean Gunn
Debbie Rochon
Lemmy
Stephen Blackehart
Flip Brown
Patrick Connor
Earl McKoy
Gene Terinoni
Case ?
RPI ? Music Tim Gallaher
Lemmy
Bradley Nowell


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement Unknown
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   Troma Studios taking on William Shakespeare's classic? What, you don't remember the lesbians in the original play?

   With a nod to the 1936 George Cukor film Romeo and Juliet (also ripped off by Baz Luhrmann for his 1996 effort), Tromeo and Juliet opens with a montage of all the characters subtitled with their names and relation to the central couple, before entering into the lives of the Capulets and Ques with young Sammy Capulet (Sean Gunn, Kirk from Gilmore Girls) trying to sleep with his sister. Following this is a lizard consuming a mouse, a close-up of a nipple piercing, and an unfortunate incident involving a paper guillotine and fingers, setting the scene for the most subversive and funny take on Shakespeare yet, executed in loving Troma fashion.

   Substituting every risque element from the original play with unimaginable perversity, Tromeo and Juliet is an incredible cinematic experience that pretty accurately follows the original story, with a more modern and extreme bent. Torn between their warring families are Tromeo (Will Keenan) and Juliet (Jane Jensen), star crossed lovers who threaten to end the clan rivalry that seems mostly due to Juliet's deranged, molesting father, but is carried on by angry kin whose hatred is spawned from nothing but itself. The hope of young loves leads to plans of escape, but the rage and violence can end only in tragedy. Or, you know, incest, and deformed children!

   While often crude and repellant, the film's script is actually quite intelligent, working as both a modern take on the play as well as criticism of Shakespeare's work and the moral complications facing both Elizabethan and modern eras. Fragments of the original Shakespeare script are often featured in the dialogue, as well as some amusing, if amateurish, satire, resulting in some hilarious moments (the “balcony” scene has to be seen to be believed). Genuinely romantic scenes are interrupted to reapply bondage gear; meanwhile the constant nudity and sex scenes are so gratuitous that they border on being pornography. You don’t even want to know what the hell the “Glass Box” scenes refer to. (“Father had this room soundproofed when I was 8, so the neighbours wouldn’t hear the screaming.” Can’t remember that line from the original Shakespeare!)

   This is, to my mind, Troma's opus - a multilayered, extremely funny film with no boundaries whatsoever - it crosses every line, and then some, and never fails to be funny, and subversive. With that in mind, it's for a specific audience only (particularly one with a high tolerance for violence), but those people will find a lot to offer from this excellent movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The video is presented in Pan and Scan 1.33:1 aspect ratio, NOT the original 1.85:1 source.

   The video transfer is average, on the same level as other low budget Troma releases. The film often looks grainy, with very poor black levels (a good example is at 40:15) and constantly changing light and colours. Some scenes appear extremely overexposed (24:01) whereas others appear very bland and colourless (29:06).

   Film artefacts are present across the DVD, and there are interlacing issues present due to the NTSC transfer. As mentioned prior in Troma reviews, this is the original way to view the film - interlacing issues aside, watching Tromeo and Juliet in shiny pristine HD just isn't right. In the upcoming Grindhouse, Tarantino and Rodriguez have gone out of their way to mess up the images in their movies to make them look like this, to bring out that B-grade feeling and atmosphere. Although it isn't great from the technical standpoint, it is exactly what is intended to view the film.

   No subtitles are available on this DVD.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

   The audio track is well presented with good levels of all music, dialogue and narrator, as well as the lovingly violent sound effects and decapitations and so forth. For a low budget film, it is well mixed and features no sync issues.

   The soundtrack itself is a great mix of modern rock music and more tragic, epic pieces contrasting with off-the-wall bubble gum pop motifs that play off the plot twists and incredible weirdness. You will remember the music just as you remember the film's incredibly memorable scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Animated Menus with Audio

   Musical themes from the film run over the menus, which are very true to the film with lovely art and imagery, but a little tricky to navigate - it's not initially clear how to get to the main feature, which is a tad annoying.

Director’s Introduction (0:39)

   A more subdued introduction from Lloyd than normal (i.e. he doesn’t die) in funky effects introducing the film and special features. Not up to the Troma standard!

Director’s Commentary

   Lloyd Kaufman is as interesting and entertaining as ever as he discusses Tromeo and Juliet at length. He drifts from extremely intellectual and engaging, discussing the themes and ideas that are in part being promoted by the film, such as liberation and freedom through technology, as well as the risqué features of Shakespeare’s plays in that era, to being plain ridiculous and funny, as he discusses being possessed by Shakespeare through a particular orifice and fulfilling the Bard's dying wish of rewriting a 3 foot p**** monster into Romeo and Juliet. He also points out plenty of tidbits along the way, and as usual, this ends up being an excellent discussion of the film and the general ideas/philosophies promoted by Troma.

What Lost Scenes From Yonder Window - Introduction (0.20), Suicide Scene (2.44), Sexual Sonnet (2:23), Stunt Gone Wrong (1:28), Brain Food (2:39), Harry Explains It All (2:21) Two Little Piggies (0:17)

   A collection of deleted scenes are prefaced with an introduction from Lloyd, then a smaller intro for each individual outtake. Informative and entertaining, Lloyd reveals that the original cut of the film was 3 hours long, so a lot had to be removed, some of which is featured here. An alternate ending suicide scene is hilariously, grotesquely violent, meanwhile the Sexual Sonnet is a nice little piece of poetry put to pornographic sex. There’s also some cannibalism, animal violence, a lizard, and some character development, something which Lloyd assures us he goes out of his way to steer clear of. My favorite here is Lloyd's description of a failed stunt, which involved a stunt double almost killing himself jumping out of a window - not a real deleted scene, but a fun little story none-the-less. Presented in particularly scratchy 4:3 video, complete with interlacing and film artefacts.

Star Crossed

   A collection of pictures from the film set, as well as some special effects and promotional stills. Nothing too fantastic here.

Truth or Dare with the Cast (5:08)

   A short interview video with several choice cast members isn’t overly entertaining or informative, though I did enjoy some short anecdotes about Lloyd and his dedication. The more I hear of Lloyd, the more he sounds like a genuinely talented and dedicated filmmaker who just happens to be disinterested in Hollywood films, and thus makes B-grade his craft. This puts him on a higher level than about 90% of Hollywood directors who simply do not care, and it shows in their consistently average, plodding films.

Lemmy from Motorhead on Tromeo and Juliet (1:31)

   The film’s narrator weighs in on the film, offering gems regarding lesbians, his p****, toe fetish, and other delights. Short but amusing, presented in the same scratchy 4:3.

All I Learnt About Filmmaking I Learnt From The Toxic Avenger (1:16)

   A short trailer for Lloyd’s book, featuring Michael Herz, Sgt Kabukiman, and a random scantilantly dressed girl.

Ula and Sarka, Pain-Proof Rubber Girls, take on Shakespeare (2:22)

   Two S&M costumed girls bloody each other up doing a variety of nasty carnie-style tricks with sledgehammers, bricks, cigarettes, and a bed of nails, while reciting Shakespeare. Kay.

Aroma Du Troma (2:00)

   An extremely violent two minute montage of Troma clips advertising their most infamous films, with all the nudity and gore you can poke a stick at. It ends with a car flying through the air into a boat and exploding.

Radiation March (0:53)

   An extremely strange, surreal dance clip that’s really a public service announcement against pollution. I have no idea what this is doing on this DVD, aside from being very clearly in the vein of Troma, it’s a bizarre though enjoyable addition to the package.

Public Service Annoucement (3:37)

   An excerpt from Troma’s Edge TV offering 90 seconds of uncut gratuitous nudity as a solution to those trapped in a hotel room unable to afford the cost of inhouse pornography.

Troma Website (0:17)

   A short clip advertising the official Tromeo and Juliet merchandise and Troma website.

Interactive Tour of Troma Studios

   The same interactive tour as seen on the Cannibal! The Musical DVD, this is great fun for Troma fans with several sections to explore. Features extreme violence and gratuitous sexual content!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   Although the US R0 DVD is basically identical to the our release – excluding only the Troma Intelligence Test and Trailers not seen on any Australia Troma DVD release, there is an R0 CE American 10th Anniversary Edition, featuring additional commentaries and extras. Even though our Stomp release is great, this is the best available release of the film. Something to note is that there's no DVD version of the film with the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio - all the DVD releases have been taken from the Pan and Scan home video master. The only digital release that has preserved the original look was the US laserdisk version, which was mastered from the actual film negatives.

Summary

   Lowbrow meets highbrow in a spectacular orgy of violence, sex, Shakespeare and hilarity - Tromeo and Juliet is an excellent movie.

   The video transfer is of average quality, which is consistent for Troma releases.

   The sound is a great stereo mix.

   The extras are plentiful and give a good look behind the scenes as well as a variety of other fun tidbits.

   To my mind, this is a masterpiece and the best film Troma has ever made, but it is definitely for those with a high tolerance for the extreme.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ryan Aston (Bioshock)
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG LH-D6230, using Component output
DisplayBenq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationLG
Speakers B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)

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