While watching this, (my 2nd movie of this challenge). One thing stands out really clear. LLoyd Kauffman and the rest of his Troma film buddies are big fans of the monster and horror movies that were made in the late 50’s as well as the exploitation pictures that were made in the late 70’s. Combine this with the teen sex comedy of the 80’s and you have the basic ingredients to make a good Troma Movie. There are also small elements that would suggest they want to build their own comic book universe and have their own brand of Superheroes. Having a town known as Tromaville gives them a reason to do just that. Just like Batman has Gotham city and Spider-Man has New York. Tromaville has heroes like “The Toxic Avenger“, the good mutants from “Class of Nuke ‘Em High” and now I present “Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.“
Sgt Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.
Cast: Rick Gianasi, Susan Byun, Bill Weeden
Writers: Lloyd Kaufman, Andrew Osborne, Jeffery Sass
Directors: Lloyd Kauffman, Michael Herz
Detective Harry Griswold (Rick Gianasi) is investigating a series of Kabuki actor murders. One night at a play, Harry sees a bunch of thugs come in and shoot everyone in the audience. During the gunfight he comes in contact with a dying actor who kisses him by force. This causes him to gain superhero like powers of the Kabuki. He has weird items that include deadly chopsticks and sushi that can kill. A beautiful woman named Lotus(Susan Byurn) comes along to help Harry control his powers. She also foretells a horrible prophecy that has a demon coming to earth to destroy it. Will Harry be ready in time to stop it, or will he be discarded just like Chinese takeout food.
This is a movie that easily could have been easily rated PG if they removed the over the top violence and nudity. Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing naked girls and heavy blood in movies, but for this one. It just doesn’t match. The characters have no real depth and are your usual clichés that are found in most superhero movies. None of the actors take the story seriously, and play their roles way over the top. This is fine and it’s becoming a staple of Troma movies that I usually like. It’s just that with this feature. The acting is done in the style of a live action show for kids from the ages of 8 to 12. This would be fine if it was tailored to that age group but with the sex and violence mixed in. Only grown ups can see it. I’m sure when you watch it, you may be asking yourself if this is a kid show because I sure was. One scene that needed to be removed was the sex scene. I wasn’t surprised that Harry and Lotus would eventually hook up. I just didn’t need to see what went down between them. It wasn’t funny and it sure as hell wasn’t sexy either. I heard that there was a PG-13 cut of this movie that was screened for investors, but was never released for home consumption. This is kind of sad because the concept alone is something kids would watch rather than adults. I really don’t know anyone over the age of 25 who would want to watch a movie about a cop who becomes a Japanese Kabuki actor that fights crime. Hell, I don’t know anyone under the age of 10 that would want to watch that movie either, but I bet it would be easier to sell it to that age demographic.
If it wasn’t for the heavy amounts of bad language , nudity and heavy violence this would be suitable entertainment for most kids over the age of 8. Trust me the jokes in this work much better for a younger crowd then an older one. It’s cartoonish,silly and it might inspire someone to become filmmakers themselves. They would see how cheaply everything was made and when I tell them that it was made by guys in their late 30’s. They will realize right then that they too don’t need a lot of money to make a movie. Either that or they decide to stay in school. So you see it’s a win win situation. “The Toxic Avenger” was later turned into a cartoon series and I have a feeling that “Sgt Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.” could have gone that way too. Next time I look at Toma’s version of William Shakespeare classic play. That’s right kids It’s “Tromeo and Juliet“. Stay tuned