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Home | Film Review: Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

Film Review: Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)


In an apocalyptic world, a group of surf punks terrorize the beaches and kill anyone who crosses them, until they kill the grandson of a gun wielding woman.


Directed by Peter George and starring Gail Neely, Barry Brenner, Dawn Wildsmith, and Michael Sonye, Surf Nazis Must Die tells the story of a gang of surf punks that rule the beaches with an iron fist. Only certain people are allowed to be on the beach and anyone not allowed is either run off or killed. The Surf Nazis are led by Adolf (Barry Brenner), Eva (Dawn Wildsmith, and Mengele (Michael Sonye).

After killing a young man on the street, Adolf angers the man’s grandmother, Eleanor ‘Mama” Washington (Gail Neely) and she seeks revenge against the Nazis.

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Oh, Troma, you crazy company you! Yes, Surf Nazis Must Die was brought to us by Troma, who also brought to life such classics as Class of Nuke’em High, Tromeo & Juliet, and The Toxic Avenger. These movies are usually filled with gratuitous amounts of violence, gore, nudity, sex and all at a micro budget that seemed to be filmed by teenagers over a weekend. That being said, Troma makes some movies that are a lot of fun to watch, like Class of Nuke’em High.

Surf Nazis Must Die…isn’t one of these movies. While not the worst of the Troma films, it’s certainly not up to par with some of the other films. This movie lacks in almost everything that Troma is known for. There’s nudity, yes, but only brief scenes and not many. There’s gore but again, it’s limited to only a few scenes and nothing is over the top. Even the violence is toned down quite a bit.

The title of the film is also a misnomer as well. Upon picking this movie up, one might expect to see battles on surf boards, but alas fine readers, there are not. In fact, it seems that the surfing you do see on screen is nothing more than stock footage. We don’t see any of the Nazis surfing at all. The director seemed to be influenced by a couple famous movies the biggest being A Clockwork Orange.


Also, it’s easy to see that the names of the Nazis are taken from actual Nazis; Adolf (Hitler), Eva (Braun), and (Joseph) Mengele which is fine, it set up the characters nicely. The music in this movie is horrible which is to be expected in a Troma film, but it seems to suffer even more so in this film. The worst part for me was the fact that it was boring. The fights were horribly uninteresting; they filled the majority of the film with a very slow plot with only minor sex/nudity scenes to fill the gaps, and for this being a revenge movie and even the revenge scenes were lackluster. I’m not real sure how they could even manage to mess up a Troma film.

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The one bright dot in this movie was the relationship between Smeg (Tom Shell) and his mother, Smeg’s Mom (Bobbie Bresee).   Smeg is a wannabe Surf Nazi and his mom is tired of his shenanigans and keeps telling him to grow up and fly right. Their banter is very funny and a nice scene to watch.


While I’m not a huge fan of Troma movies, I do like a select few, but this one I have never been a fan of, even though I have watched it a few times, it’s just never stuck out as one of the good ones. I think if they would have stuck with the tried and true Troma formula, they could have made this a truly amazing piece of sleazy trash.

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