Comedy, Horror, Satire

Madcow (2010)

Comments Off on Madcow (2010) 22 September 2016


Studio: Troma

Theatrical Release: May 17, 2010 (Cannes Film Festival) 

DVD Release: September 8, 2015

Director: Michael Wright and Michael J. Rix

Not Rated

Review by Vidal Granandos

Troma Entertainment movies have been disrupting media for 40 years! With such movies as Sizzle Beach U.S.A., Def by Temptation, and their most famous film The Toxic Avenger, Troma is back to present How Funny Films comedy-horror film Madcow. The DVD begins with an introduction from Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman. Kaufman has been the face, along with the Toxic Avenger, for Troma films for years. Though he’s getting older in age, Kaufman can still make a kickass intro. He gives a little introduction of the world of Troma while two sexy girls are next to him. Kaufman explains that Troma Entertainment has been around for years and (supposedly) Nelson Mandela’s nickname in prison was “Tromandela.”

The actual movie itself begins in “The South African Bush.” The camera pans away from dusty bushes to our sexy female lead character Charlize played by Tanya van Graan. As Charlize cocks her pistol, she walks backwards into a mad cow-infested human! She tries to shoot the horned beast in the head only to realize her gun is out of ammunition. She then reaches into her bag to whip out a big sausage bomb. She stuffs the beefy link down the monsters throat, lights the fuse on fire then boom! His heads explodes.

We eventually find out from undercover detective Vince Chopper (Greg Viljoen) that evil German scientist Goreballs (played by Michael Wright who also wrote the screenplay and co-directed), created a Frankenstien-like cow monster and now the spotted beast is on the loose killing anyone that consumes meat. It’s up to our two heroes Vince and Charlize to try to stop the mad cow.

This is the kind of weird action-comedy fans have come to expect and admire from Troma movies. However it doesn’t mean every joke is going to be funny. Don’t get me wrong there are some hilarious moments in Madcow. The opening credits had me dying of laughter. I also enjoyed anytime the Asian news reporter showed up to stop the movie just to explain what’s going on within the scene. However, there are plenty of gags that fall short of the mark. Either they are too predictable or simply aren’t that funny. Any cliché you can think of is in this film. There is some fourth wall breaking, along with drug and fart humor, sprinkle with sexual innuendos since it does takes place in the African “Bush.” Again not all of it is bad. Its just not much of it is good. After one moment makes you laugh, too much time and punch lines pass by without any reaction. The style of comedy is similar to the late night hours of Adult Swim. Like a 15 minute short that has been extended to a full feature.

There is good use of makeup and camera work however. When both main characters, detective Vince Chopper and female interest Charlize are introduced, we get close-ups on their name tags. No real back stories just “Hey this is their names now let’s continue.” Simple but effective. The film also uses the camera to convey emotions of its characters such as shaking the lens to literally show a character is shaken up from their tragic encounter with the mad cow creature. Also there are plenty of close-ups to Charlize butt so who’s going to argue with that?

Makeup is solidly done as well. The film doesn’t mind cutting corners on graphics or blood use. When someone’s hand or head is chopped off, it looks fake as hell but that’s part of the movies charm; it doesn’t try to hide it and purposely exaggerates for comedic affect. Background music is okay and does well to add atmosphere to each scene. There’s also a heavy metal guitar riff used as the theme of the movie (It can get annoying on the menu screen since it’s a short loop playing over and over).

There’s also a good amount of bonus content included on the disc. There is a trailer and behind the scenes look at the making of Madcow. Also included is an ad presented by PETA/Troma, which is as fucked up as you expect it to be. There is also a quick montage of the 40-year history of Troma, which really makes you appreciate everything the company has done for independent films over the decades. Lastly they added a throwback short called Radiation March. It’s a vibrant street ballet that protests against pollution. It’s shorts like these that show how ahead of its time Troma Entertainment was. It’s these added features that really making this a neat DVD.

Overall, Madcow was an enjoyable experience. It has a little something for everybody: comedy, horror, romance, car chases, zombies, musical numbers etc. Name any genre of film and chances are they tried to make it fit in the film. The Adult Swim/ homemade style fits perfectly with such an absurd concept. As cheesy as it sounds, I like this movie for its heart alone. It seems like the type of movie made by a group of friends and had a good time filming it. However, not everyone is going to enjoy the humor or the pacing of the movie. But if you stick through it there are some legit moments that will make you laugh. Just be prepared to sit through five or ten minutes of jokes that don’t. This neat little DVD package is worth the purchase.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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