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  • Combat Shock [DVD] [1984]
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Combat Shock [DVD] [1984]

10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Rick Giovinazzo, Veronica Stork, Mitch Maglio
  • Directors: Buddy Giovinazzo
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Aug. 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007XRX9EM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,376 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Nam, a green jungle hell. A terrifying place of death, violence and bloody war where seeing your buddies die in front of you is a daily event and getting your seed corrupted by Agent Orange is an occupational hazard. Poor Ricky came home with a messed up head and scrambled DNA, now he has a mutated baby, a nagging wife and a grim collection of junkie friends to deal with. In the dilapidated tenements of Staten Island, life is harsh and sanity is transitory at best.

Combat Shock is Troma s meanest, grittiest movie. A headfirst trip into the seedy urban trough where hookers, desperate junkies and slowly unravelling Vietnam vets crawl over each other just to survive as the movie jacks up the grime flecked horror on its journey to one of no budget cinema s most shocking conclusions.

You ve witnessed the Surf Nazis on the rampage, you ve laughed at the kids of the Class of Nuke Em High... Now take a trip into Troma s dark heart in COMBAT SHOCK.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fanciful on 28 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
Combat Shock/American Nightmares 25yrs on is still as powerful as I first remembered it on an old vhs copy I owned in the late 80s. Its unparalled cinematic portrayal of grinding poverty and despair is so brutally gruelling, that after viewing it I felt like I'd just emerged from some kind of tepid sludge bath.

This film wears its influences lightly enough to make it more than simply another 'Nam or Schlock film. There is much more going on here. Its not just its honest directness that all independent films have in common or even its defiant refusal to give us final redemption. Many films before this one used that device but it didn't leave such a lasting impression.

It was even more relevant in the 80s when homelessness was a significant problem in the states because of the Reagan administration's social policies. This was a snapshot of what happens to a person when they fall through the cracks in a system with little or no safety net. Even if they had served in a war.

This is real social critique and powerful stuff.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mister joe on 21 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whats really cool about Arrow's releases of cult titles,goo flicks,cheesy horrors is how by buying one title it can introduce you to another.I first came across director Buddy Giovinazzo in an interview segment on the Street Trash dvd where he was standing by a bin.I had seen Arrows release of Combat Shock whilst i was plunging amazon for more former vhs marvels but kinda overlooked it thinking it was a Rambo knock off.
What it actually is is a gritty,cheap movie concerning an ex vietnamsoldier character based on the band Suicide's terrifying number Frankie Teardrop off their classic debut album.Released in 84 by Troma its a meandering,grubby movie.Put it this way it starts off with flashbacks to Vietnam with half exploded bodies to only get even MORE bleak.
Frankie lives in a filthy apartment with a nagging wife and screaming deformed baby,its all very kitchen sink stuff with a great big nod to Eraserhead,the place literally hums with paranoid claustrophobia.Frankie embarks on a day wondering the streets looking for a job bumping into junkies,pimps with the backdrop of a beautifully dilapidated Staten Island,i mean the screen virtually stinks.No one looks like they have seen the inside of a bathroom for a year or two.I really liked the soundtrack....the clamped out car alarm style synths.
Buddy made this movie whilst still a film student so it is very basic but what redeems the film is the potency of the story,its rather serious subtext of what traumatised soldiers come back to and where they go.Its a film that whilst there are wars can stay relevant.
Some of the narration is hamfisted but i always try to see the ideas rather then the execution.Especially in a movie with budget limitations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colonel Decker on 5 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
Look in the dictionary under sleaze and if you find Combat Shock, I wouldn't be surprised. This is a wonderful film and a great package by Arrow. However this is super grade low budget stuff and hence will not be for everyone. But if you want to take a trip to Staten Island in the 1980s, where streets decay faster than a homeless man's teeth, and where grass grows out from the never ending slabs of concrete then enter please.

Rick Giovinazzo plays a Vietnam vet hounded by nightmares who is now set up in a dingy hole in New York with his unemployed fatigued wife and his mutated baby which spends its days crying in pain. Rick goes out walking the streets, anything to get away from the shocking reality of what his life has become. The streets are filled with broken shops, broken dreams and broken people not to mention thugs and junkies.

Buddy Giovinazzo has created a monster of a movie, a commentary on Ronald Reagan's America and the state of the jobless plight- has much changed that's the question? The climax is harrowing and a scene involving sour milk may turn heads.

A shocking but very relevant movie, certainly Giovanazzo's tour de force. As for this release, Arrow have done themselves proud. This is a 2 disc editon which includes commentary, documentary etc, but the creme de la creme is the 5 short stories Giovinazzo did with his brother and friends- all included here. Bizarre for sure but gold.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. Arts on 8 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Combat shock is a movie I like but never enjoy. Grimy and nhillistic its dipiction of urban hell and it's juxtoposition of the vietnam nightmare are certainly valid but this is a film that clearly gives eraserhead a run for it's money in the depressing stakes. One scene especially pretty much sums up the films experience, Our grizzled nam vet is walking down the street when he comes across two little girls arguing, admonishing them the younger girl runs off, "wanna date" asks the older girl. Assuming this is some kind of childish game our disturbed vet shows a sweeter side talking to the young girl, until her pimp arrives and offers a savage beating! Yep this is a relentless film that refuses to show the positive side of anything!(though those of us with shady looking bootlegs already new this!)
The above review sums up the film well but does not give adequate details on the actual disc itself so here goes...

Disc 1: American Nightmares: The origional directors cut.
Combat shock: The origional theatrical version.
Audio commentary track on combat shock with director Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorge Buttgereit.

Disc 2. Post Traumatic: an american nightmare.
Full documentary on the movie with directors like john mcnaughton and scott spiegel, william lustig, jim van bebber.

Early short films.
Interviews and discussions with Director/loyd kaufman and jorge buttgereit.

overall then a packed disc! Troma have gone the criterion route with this giving it a full restoration and packed with features. Essentially then if you like the film this is THE version to own. If your not sure, then I leave you with this caveate the film is GRIM and deeply unhappy and you will not feel very good (or clean) after viewing, but is a trash masterpiece for cult cinema buffs regardless.
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