You know with how popular the now legendary "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is, you'd think there would be more imitators trying to emulate their favorite show. I heard once of a show that I think was from Russia called "Project Popcorn" that was basically that but aside from a very short clip that surfaced on YouTube for a time, I know nothing else about it.
"Tromasterpiece Theatre" is MST3K for Troma fans. And if you don't know what that means, then this post doesn't really concern your interests at all. Troma has a huge library of films, but they're mainly known for a handful of really over the top movies, boobs, and gore. CEO of Troma, Lloyd Kaufman, has been making films since his college days and his first official film was called "The Battle of Love's Return". This movie was about a guy named Abercrombie who sucks so much at existing that he can't do a single thing right. He can't even do wrong things right. He's really quite pathetic and lives in a storage closet in a basement of a random New York City building where to exit and enter he has to crawl through a window.
I actually like the movie. I first watched it in the 1990's when it was released on VHS. I rented it at Tower Video I believe. Or Kim's Video. I can't recall. The movie pokes fun at beatnik and hippie culture, perceptions of cool and uncool, and the trappings of social circumstances. It's pretty funny how right Lloyd was and still is about this sort of thing. Hipsters, that is, folks who just follow endless trends, don't change too much. They're the same every generation, and I feel like that aspect of "The Battle of Love's Return" is timeless.
The commentary and riffing of the film comes courtesy of Addis the Usher, Corny the Bag of Popcorn, and Reely the Film Reel. Has Addis finally from working at some 2-bit theatre that he thinks a bag of popcorn and a film reel have somehow magically come to life? Or are Corny and Reely really, really real!This mystery is never solved because honestly who cares, they're just great and that's all that matters.
The humor is a lot more risque than MST3k, and they make some jokes that are so lowbrow I'm not sure if I was laughing because it was funny, or how awkward it made me feel. I guess any sort of reaction is fine so long as a view can remain invested. And I definitely was. It was nice to have funny commentary over a movie that was trying so hard to be engaging on an intellectual level.
Not much else happens though. The three characters watch the movie and make fun of it, some jokes are genuinely clever while other jokes feel forced, the movie plays on unedited as far as I can tell, and there are two cut away segments. My favorite one is where they read from "The History of Oriental Orgies". Just knowing they purchased a copy of that book as a result of "Love's Return" and just for a gag makes me laugh. I might buy my own copy for uh... educational purposes.
All in all I'd give this a solid "A for effort". I dug their style and I hope they do more of these. Maybe they'll watch "Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell". "Frostbiter". "Time Barbarians", or maybe the infamous "Big Gus what's the Fuss!?".
Only time will tell!
Oh and Oliver Stone walks by in a scene.
To watch "Tromasterpiece Theatre" please click the video below. And enjoy yourself.