Killer Condom (Kondom des Grauens) (Gryphon Ent) (1996) (NTSC)

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Released 21-Sep-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Trailer
Quiz
Featurette-Troma Studio Tour
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 107:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Martin Walz
Studio
Distributor
Troma Studios
Gryphon Entertainment
Starring Udo Samel
Peter Lohmeyer
Marc Richter
Leonard Lansink
Iris Berben
Henning Schlüter
Ron Williams
Ralf Wolter
Adriana Altaras
Evelyn Künneke
Gerd Wameling
Meret Becker
Otto Sander
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $9.95 Music Emil Viklicky


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement Unknown
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Killer Condom is a German film from the mid 1990s that was picked up for international distribution by Troma studios.

     Based on the cult comic of the same name, the film follows the exploits of a hard boiled, trench coat wearing detective Luigi Mackeroni (Udo Samel) as he investigates a spate of castrations at a red light district hotel in New York. Hysterical witnesses claim that the goods in question ran off of their own accord. Whilst in the neighbourhood, Mackeroni decides to visit a rent boy and he himself becomes a victim of the Killer Condom (though thankfully only loses a nut to the beast). With the case now a personal vendetta, Mackeroni is willing to break all the rules as he encounters all manner of mad scientists and transvestites in his quest for justice.

     Between the involvement of H.R. Giger with its creature design, its noir style, comic book roots, sci-fi and homosexual themes, Killer Condom is about as cultish as a movie can get. The film does a good job of working around its limited means. The film harks back to the noir and sci-fi flicks of the 1940s and 1950s, and the sleaze of the 1970s. This film is an oddity worth seeking out.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Yikes. The video on this one is awful - about VHS standard for old fogeys that remember that far back. In fact, I'd be surprised if this wasn't simply the VHS tape master dumped directly to DVD, particularly given that tape tracking artefacts are occasionally noticeable and the whole frame skips (from tape stretch) at a number of points (e.g. at 20:15).

     The film is presented in a mixture of 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratios, in NTSC and is not 16x9 enhanced. The image is very soft and fuzzy. The colour is drab and pale. The shadow detail is fair, however blacks are washed out. The colours, most notably the reds, bleed in many scenes, particularly in the hotel scenes thanks to the set's heavy use of red walls and neon. There are numerous film artefacts visible throughout the film, some of considerable size. Pixilation is frequently noticeable in the background.

     The film features hardcoded English subtitles, which seem reasonably translated but are occasionally difficult to read as they are fuzzy and surrounded with mosquito noise.

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

Audio

     The film features a single German (not English, as described on the box) mono Dolby Digital soundtrack (1.0). The audio is muddy and features a persistent background hiss, although it doesn't sound as bad as it could. The levels are pretty flat, but at least they are consistent throughout. Dialogue is certainly clear enough to make out, although the sync is a little bit iffy.

     The film features a fitting, though fairly simple, orchestral score which is frequently buried in the mix.

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

Extras

Audio Commentary

     The only extra that has anything to do with the film (save for its trailer) is a reasonably amusing commentary with the director Martin Walz and special effects guy Jurgen Buttgereit. The two native German speakers provide a well-spoken English language commentary, which does not seem hampered by not being in their native language. Worth a listen for fans.

Tour of Troma Studios Featurette

     An interactive featurette that provides a largely tongue-in-cheek "tour" of Troma's studios. From a simple menu shaped like a building you essentially can play a bit of video for each department you wish to visit. Plenty of boobs and blood to be seen here.

Troma Intelligence Test II

     The original Troma Intelligence Test, a simple multiple choice quiz that plays back a scene of nudity for correct answers and a gruesome death scene for wrong answers, resulted in every title in the original wave of Troma titles to be banned Refused Classification in Australia. The titles were subsequently re-released without the featurette. This new version of the TIT is essentially the same as the original (I certainly couldn't tell the difference between the two save for the questions), only this time around it mustn't have offended our delicate censors.

Trailers and ads

     Several Troma trailers and ads for Troma stuff, including one for this film.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 and 4 editions of this film are identical (which is somewhat unusual for a Troma release).

    There are a couple of European releases available, although we have not seen those discs for comparison.

Summary

     An oddity worth seeking out, on a disc of such poor quality that you'll wish you hadn't (or perhaps had looked a bit harder for a better version).

     Video and audio are VHS quality. The extras are relatively trivial (bad double entendre fully intended).

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
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