Combat Shock ★★★

The grungy DIY exploitation version of the troubled Vietnam veteran movie. An hour and thirty seven minutes of total economic squalor and despair. Was Staten Island really that depressed and rundown back then? Has a similar vibe as Deadbeat at Dawn (though it was produced a few years earlier) but it's certainly not as fun or as inventive as Vanbebber's film. In fact, it's kind of a slog. But I kept watching (what can I say, I have an appetite for this kind of hopeless downward spiral cinema) just to see how low it would go...and baby it does. The ending is so bleak that it crosses into unintentional comedy, or maybe that was uncomfortable laughter on my part. The film's at its most interesting when it veers into the semi surreal and grotesque--all of the scenes involving the deformed baby (a glorious low tech puppet with a distorted cry) are pure nightmare fuel. I don't think I'll watch this again.

drew93 liked this review