Monday, May 4, 2009

TV Review: Troma's Edge TV Vol.1 (2000)

Troma's Edge TV: Volume 1
TROMA'S EDGE TV: VOLUME 1 - TV from Tromaville - DVD Image

Troma's Edge TV was a 30 minute television series from Lloyd Kaufman's Troma Studios that unfortunately ran very late on Friday nights and only on the United Kingdom's popular Channel 4 and later on Australia's Comedy Channel. Hosted primarily by Lloyd Kaufman himself, horror hipster Trent Haaga and the nicely naughty “Super-Tromette” Bullimia, it wasn't quite reality programming and wasn't quite sketch comedy. Using Troma's patented blend of simulated sex, real nudity and over-the-top gore, we were treated to slightly twisted but genuine social commentary. Each episode had a designated theme with pieces that revolved around that topic and regular features such as “Tromette of the Week” and “The Weekly TIT (Troma Intelligence Test.)”

Being as how the show was only broadcast overseas, the rest of us never had the opportunity to see it—not that it would ever be considered suitable for American television anyway. Many fans hoped that the complete run of 20 episodes would find a fresh home on DVD, but as of yet only 10 episodes have been released on two different single disc editions entitled, Too Hot For Troma's Edge TV.

If you're a Troma-hater, don't expect to enjoy this show simply because it touches on social issues that might interest you. It is still Troma, so it is all dealt with in an entirely silly and decidedly low-brow approach. Half the time they don't truly seem to have a point to make regarding either side of the issue but rather just aim for a chuckle. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Fans will be thrilled with the show and should be happy to know that the Toxic Avenger and Sergeant Kabukiman make a few scattered appearances throughout. Enjoy!

As always, the standout episodes are marked with an asterisk.

Episode 9: The Sex Episode*
The Troma Team takes a stab at prostitution, safe sex, STD's, masturbation, multiple orgasms and more. Clips from 1983's The First Turn On are shown as well as a “Dial-A-Snatch” television commercial.

Episode 11: The Family Episode
Family values, Father-Son and Mother-Daughter relationships, orphans, and the importance of a good support system are all covered here, as well as another type of family: the mafia. Clips from 1980's Mother's Day and 1999's Terror Firmer are shown.

Episode 12: The Drug Episode*
The link between drug use and other forms of violent crime is explored and the government's multi-million dollar “War On Drugs” is poked fun at. We visit a crack den of sorts and see a fight between rival opium dealers in Chinatown. Scenes from 1998's Buttcrack are shown.

Episode 19: The Horror Episode*
Don't make the same mistake that Trent Haaga did: It's horror, not whore. Regardless, this was probably the most enjoyable episode on the disc. We're given a tour of both the famous Forrest J. Ackerman's “Ackermuseum” and “The Death Museum.” There are Tromatic spoofs of Psycho and Scream, commentary on the state of horror films today and whether or not violence in the media has detrimental effects on the world's youth.

Episode 20: The War Episode
The art of war is poked and prodded in this episode, touching on America's obsession with military action, registering for the draft, a salute to vets, and the Gulf War Syndrome. Scenes from 1988's Troma's War and 1999's Terror Firmer are shown, as well as a cult recruitment commercial. Probably the most controversial of all the episodes covered here and, in my eyes, definitely the least enjoyable (for unrelated reasons.)

The DVD does have a small smattering of extra features, the most important being the titular Too Hot For TV scenes that were cut, including a truly brutal beating administered to one of the Troma kids by a psychotic S&M mistress.

30 minutes
Channel 4
United States (For the United Kingdom)


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