Surf Nazis Must Die: Director's Cut (Gryphon) (1987) (NTSC)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 21-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Introduction-Troma President Lloyd Kaufman
More…-Troma Interactivity - Tour of Troma and TIT
Interviews-Crew-Peter George (Director) / Robert Tinnell (Producer)
Featurette- 6 Troma type featurettes
Deleted Scenes
Trailer-Troma Trailers x 9
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 82:14
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter George
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Gail Neely
Robert Harden
Barry Brenner
Dawn Wildsmith
Michael Sonye
Joel Hile
Gene Mitchell
Tom Shell
Bobbie Bresee
Tom Demenkoff
John Williamette
Rand Hogen
Daniel Kong
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $14.95 Music Jon McCallum

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     After a massive earthquake near Los Angeles killed tens of thousands of people, law and order has broken down and different gangs vie for control of the Californian beaches. The most vicious and violent are the Surf Nazis. Adolf (Barry Brenner), Eva (Dawn Wildsmith) and their henchmen including Mengele (Michael Sonye) and Hook (Joel Hile) are not above a bit of murder and mutilation to gain supremacy. But when they murder Leroy (Robert Harden) for standing up to them, his pistol packing “Mama” (Gail Neely) leaves her room at the retirement home and comes a’ hunting.

     Fans of Troma know that classy production values, good acting, decent plots and pristine DVD prints are not to be expected. Indeed, some of the charm of the better Troma releases, such as The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet or Class of Nuke ‘em High lies in their exotic mixture of sex, gore and violence, blended with tongue in cheek humour, that can be very entertaining. Sadly, Surf Nazis Must Die is not in the so bad its fun category; it is just plain bad. There is minimal sex, the violence is poorly executed, the gore is uninspired and the plot was written on a postage stamp, with the revenge aspect starting only after 60 minutes of little action or interest. And while poor acting is a Troma trait, the acting in Surf Nazis Must Die throughout the cast is so excruciatingly poor that, added to the puerile dialogue, it makes the movie feel far longer than its 82 minutes. Perhaps the only thing worth watching in Surf Nazis Must Die is some of the surfing footage which, shot in Hawaii, is quite good. But I don’t suppose that people pick up a Troma release for the surfing – and this is not The Endless Summer!

     Surf Nazis Must Die is a poor film, poorly executed. Even Troma fans will struggle with this one.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     The cover of Surf Nazis Must Die promises a “digitally remastered feature presentation”. One can only wonder what it looked like before being “remastered”. The film is presented in NTSC format in an aspect ratio of 1.33.1 and is not16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical ratio is not listed but I think that the DVD is cropped given that in some scenes dialogue is delivered by characters 2/3 out of frame. But that may be poor execution rather than cropping and in the scheme of things it really doesn’t matter.

     This is a standard Troma print. There are frequent artefacts, scratches, grain and a couple of horizontal bars that run up the screen around the 66:35 mark. The entire picture is soft and lacking detail. Colours were flat and washed out, blacks had a green tinge and shadow detail was often indistinct. However, this probably makes it sound worse than it was as the print was by no means unwatchable; these things are what makes a Troma DVD anyway.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 384 Kbps that was quite good. The audio comes from the centre front speaker but my surrounds were quite effective. Dialogue was mostly OK, although some lines were hard to follow. Effects, such as the truck engine, had a nice solid sound, and the music was clean in the mix. I did not hear any hiss or distortion. There was no sub woofer use.

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

     The electronic score, composed and performed by Jon McCallum, sounds a lot like a John Carpenter score for one of his films such as Escape from New York or Big Trouble in Little China. It was sometimes obtrusive but mostly worked fine in the context of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Lloyd Kaufman Intro (0:54)

     Kaufman introduces the “remastered” director’s cut and mentions the film being taken to Cannes.

Surf Interactivity

     Unlike some other Troma re-releases in Region 4, the Tour of Troma and the TIT (Troma Intelligence Test) with violence, gore and gratuitous sexual content can be accessed from the menu. Both are good fun if you have not seen them before on other Troma releases.

The Waves are a War Zone

     Short interviews with director Peter George (3:36) and producer Robert Tinnell (1:93). Peter George talks about the genesis of the film, locations, the cast and his own cameo. Producer Robert Tinnell talks about the director’s cameo and tensions on set.

The Troma Beach Bag

     A range of the extras that appear on most Troma titles:

Lost Surf Scenes

     Lloyd and director Peter George (0:55) talk about the director’s cut of Surf Nazis Must Die and introduce six deleted scenes (7:08 in total) with the director’s commentary and music only as the original audio was lost. They are:


The Beaches Have Become Battlegrounds

     16 movie and behind the scenes stills. Silent, use the remote to advance to the next still.

Coming Distractions

     Trailers for Troma titles: Bloodsucking Freaks (1:58), Surf Nazis Must Die (2:49), The Toxic Avenger (3:10), Cannibal the Musical (2:36), The Toxic Avenger II (2:19), Tromeo and Juliet (2:12), Def By Temptation (1:45), Class of Nuke’em High (2:55) and Sgt Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (3:35).


     2 pages of DVD credits.

R4 vs R1

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

     This NTSC release is “all region” coded and seems to be identical to the US version.


     Surf Nazis Must Die has been released previously in Region 4 by Stomp Visual and was reviewed on this site here. That review concluded that “Surf Nazis Must Die is . . .terrible and should be avoided”. I can only agree. If you have the previous release, there is no need to upgrade as the specifications and extras on this version are identical to the previous release.

     The video and audio are what one expects of Troma. The extras are mostly the same as found on other Troma releases with only a couple of short interviews and deleted scenes that relate to this film. In brief: Surf Nazis Must Die is a poor film, poorly executed. Even Troma fans will struggle with this one.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE