Press Release: Troma Presents 2 Disc SE Director’s Cut of COMBAT SHOCK.

Posted by Peter Hall - April 9th 2009 @ 10:19 pm

I’m not going to lie to you, my knowledge of Troma is, frankly. unsatisfactory.  I’ve never heard of COMBAT SHOCK, but my eyebrows peak when I read a press release quoting HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER director John McNaughton saying, “[COMBAT SHOCK] makes you want to slit your wrists.”

I’m not sure if that is an endorsement or a condemnation, but it is certainly an attention getter.   Well played, Troma.

Full press release below.


Street Date: 7.28.2009 – List Price: $19.95

“Raw, nightmarish and absolutely devastating. Ranks among the most uncompromising and
powerful indie films of the ’80s.”
MITCH DAVIS (Director, Fantasia Film Festival)

“Combines the New York City angst of Taxi Driver, the gritty nihilism of Fassbinder and the
unfiltered dementia of Eraserhead… one of the great cult films of the 1980’s.”

“Makes you want to slit your wrists.”
JOHN MCNAUGHTON (Director, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer)

Troma Team Video is proud to present the 2-Disc Never-Before-Seen Director’s Cut of Buddy Giovinazzo’s dark, nihilistic masterwork ‘Combat Shock’. Combat Shock has remained hidden in the underground video universe for more than 25 years, and has now fully ripened to disgust, revolt and depress a new generation of indie filmviewers. Released theatrically in 1986, the film was dismissed mostly by mainstream critics, but scarred the retinas of the indie cult/horror counterculture and is now regarded as one of the supreme classics of 1980s underground cinema. Inspired by true ghastly headlines about tormented war veterans, Giovinazzo centers his story on Frankie Dunlan, a Vietnam veteran whose life is a festering sewer of poverty, hopelessness and violence.

His wife is pregnant and hungry. His one year old son is sick and horribly deformed from exposure to Agent Orange. His family is being evicted from their rundown apartment. He roams the streets looking for work. His childhood friend is a strung-out junkie. He sees underage prostitutes working the streets. Yet he doesn’t give up hope. Maybe there’s a job at the unemployment office. Maybe his father will help. As Frankie returns home, he finds a way out of the horror –desperate times call for desperate measures.

‘Combat Shock’ culminates into one of the most lurid and yet melancholic endings ever committed to celluloid.

“An angry, grueling, brutal, and uncompromisingly pitch-black work.”

Included in this fully comprehensive package will be the heavily sought-after, never-before-seen original cut of the film entitled American Nightmares, which is viciously more repulsive and grim than any other available version. Giovinazzo enthusiasts and cult film fanatics alike will celebrate this highly anticipated set, which also features ‘Post-Traumatic, an American Nightmare’, a new featurette which contains interviews with Giovinazzo contemporaries lending their praise and critical analyzes of Combat Shock. Present in the featurette is John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), William Lustig (Maniac), Jorg Buttgereit (Necromantik), Jim Van Bebber (Deadbeat at Dawn, The Manson Family), Roy Frumkes (Street Trash), Mitch Davis (Fantasia Film Festival), Joe Kane (The Phantom at the Movies), Rick Sullivan (The Gore Gazette – his  first interview in 20 years!), David Gregory (Severin Films), and the star of Combat Shock, in his first interview ever, Rick Giovinazzo. The set will also include, an audio commentary with Giovinazzo and Buttgereit, an all new interview with Giovinazzo conducted by Lloyd Kaufman, three never-before-seen short films, a look at the locations from Combat Shock as they appear today, original press and photo galleries, new liner notes written by Steve Puchalski of Shock Cinema, and other highly anticipated material which we have yet to announce.

“Explict ugliness and revolting realism.”

Combat Shock’s underground success and Buddy Giovinazzo’s unflinching artistic vision eventually led to his remarkable 1996 sophomore feature, No Way Home,  starring Tim Roth, James Russo and Deborah Kara Unger. Giovinazzo is also an accomplished novelist, whose literary works have been championed as the 90s answer to Herbert Selby Jr. (Last Exit to Brooklyn, Requiem for a Dream). Currently, Giovinazzo lives and works in Berlin where he is continually directing and producing films for the German market which has embraced his unique output. Life is Hot in Cracktown, based on his own powerful, disturbing novel of the same name, is currently playing the festival circuit and is distributed by Lightning Media.


  • American Nightmares (100 min): The Never-Before-Seen Director’s Cut
  • Combat Shock (90 min): The Troma Theatrical Cut
  • Audio Commentary with Director Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorg Buttgereit
  • Optional Spanish Language Track
  • Post-Traumatic, An American Nightmare (40 min): A look at Combat Shock’s Everlasting
  • Underground Following and an Examination of ‘Nihilistic Cinema’ featuring all-new interviews
    with: Rick Giovinazzo, John McNaughton, William Lustig, Jorg Buttgereit, Jim Van Bebber, Roy
    Frumkes, Mitch Davis, Joe Kane, Rick Sullivan, David Gregory and more!
  • All-New Interview with Director Buddy G Conducted by Lloyd Kaufman
  • Never-Before-Seen Short Works by Buddy Giovinazzo: Mr. Robbie, starring Joe Spinell (Maniac)
    More to be announced!
  • Hellscapes (10 min): A Look at the Locations from Combat Shock as they appear today
  • Original Press and Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailers

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comments are closed
  1. John LaTour
    April 10th, 2009 | 8:59 am | #1

    FYI, this is available for viewing on Netflix Watch Instantly. Seeing as how this doesn’t street until the end of July, you’ll have plenty of time to deem it worthy of purchase or not.

  2. April 11th, 2009 | 8:32 am | #2

    Ooh, good eye. I’ll have to watch it next time I’m on a super happy fun cloud because it looks like it was made of rainbows.

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