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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 32.35%
Average: 2.94%
Pretty Bad: 2.94%
Total Crap: 26.47%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Tromeo and Juliet
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by Brian McKay

"Tromeo! Yo, Tromeo! Where the &%$@ is you, Tromeo?"
4 stars

Troma films are usually about quantity, not quality. Why make a halfway decent movie for 2 Mil when you can make twenty crappy ones for 100 thou each? Granted, the average product churned out by Tromaville has a limited camp appeal, but occasionally they put out something that could almost be mistaken for a quality piece of cinema.

Ever seen Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet? Good. Now imagine that movie with a fraction of the budget, none of the pretty big-name teen heartthrob stars, and a plethora of nudity, sex, bondage, lesbianism, drug humor, buckets of gore, and an odd but compelling mixture of classic Shakespearean lines mixed with Bronx slang, and you have Tromeo and Juliet. Oh, and don't forget the soundtrack by Motorhead, with front-man Lemmy himself serving as the narrator. Lemmy spouting the Bard in his already unintelligible Brit accent? Come on, that's got to be worth the price of a rental!

So yes, it's crude, it's crass - and it's pretty damn funny. And most surprising of all, the acting isn't too bad. No, really. The two leads, Will Keenan (Tromeo) and Jane Jensen (Juliet), exude believeable chemistry and can actually toss out their Shakespearean lines adroitly enough that it won't make you wince. Which isn't to say that they don't have a little fun at the source material's expense (for example, when Tromeo finds Juliette imprisoned in a glass cage by her sadistic father, he cries out "Hark, what light from yonder plexiglass breaks!"). Indeed, the frequent changes between the classic language of the play and the modern dialouge are fairly seamless, serving well to heighten the comedic effect.

Set amid the New York punk scene of the early 90's, the film tells the familiar tale of two warring families, the Capulets (who appear to have mob ties), and the Ques, led by Patriarch Monty Que (Earl McKoy). "Monty Que" - get it? Of course, it's never quite explained why Monty is Black, but all his kids look distinctly Italian, but who cares? It's a Troma flick. The film starts out with the Que boys finding a dead squirrel left hanging in their living room, bearing a sign that says "Monty Que Sucks!" - which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Carnage and Carnality

-Squirrel lynching
-graphic close-up of nipple-piercing
-Juliet has a lesbian tryst with the Capulet family cook (a heavily-pierced but still hot Debbie Rochon)
-Head cracked open on fire hydrant
-spiked club embedded in forehead
-Tromeo and Juliet have sex in a glass box
-Head crushed under car tires (a Troma staple)
-Fake arm ripped from a Capulet thug's body, followed by fake head, which is played with by children while horrified parents look on.
-Running gag about a Catholic priest and his penchant for young boys.
-Juliet subjected to all manner of bondage and depravity by hairy, speedos-wearing dad.
-Capulet dispatched Grosse Point Blank style with television set smashed over head.
-Tatoo needle to eyeball - OUCH!

The liberties taken with the story will no doubt be apalling to purists of Elizabethan literature. However, anyone looking for a squeamishly good time that laughs with the source material, rather than at it, should find this an amusing rental. The closing credits, which should be read completely and in slow-motion, provide a steady stream of laughter on their own.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/02/03 08:06:08
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Boston Underground Film Festival For more in the 2006 Boston Underground Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/18/09 Bobby I love this movie! Glad to see you guys got the thing as well! 4 stars
3/16/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Not just the best Shakespear adaptation, but one of the best movies ever made 5 stars
8/29/08 jonathan art disguised as trash. loved it. only truely good troma effort 5 stars
12/03/05 Brian C0urtney The best Troma movie, way better than the rest! 5 stars
3/14/05 dok Schlock with smarts - great fun, and constantly surprising. 4 stars
7/05/04 spritely Mind-blowing, artsy, post-modern, trashy euphoria 5 stars
7/05/04 Brian C0urtney One of the Best Cult Films Ever! 5 stars
2/03/04 Richard Atmosphere....if beyond anything else you like atmosphere this film achieves it 4 stars
9/22/02 Morally Sound Troma's second best. film. 4 stars
8/02/01 KohlŽ I quote Barry (HIGH FIDELITY): It's so funny and violent, and the sndtrk kicks f---ing ass 5 stars
7/23/01 Heather Great mondo take on Shakespeare, with an extremely talented and able cast 5 stars
10/23/00 sickboy A wonderful movie - one of Troma's best. 5 stars
8/02/99 Weird Andy Hey, I liked it. One helluvalot better than the shitty Zefferelli and Dicaprio versions. 5 stars
7/19/99 Jonathan Walker A truly inspired and witty film! 5 stars
6/24/99 Ah Dooey this is not shakespeare 1 stars
1/15/99 DRMJSP Just thinking about this movie maked me want to set a burning bag of shit in Tromas studio. 1 stars
10/29/98 Jeff Hayward This is obviously the greatest movie ever made. 5 stars
9/24/98 Jeff Hayward The greatest movie ever made! 5 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee Sad that people who try so UNhard continue to make money. 2 stars
8/17/98 Johny I shut it off after a painful hour 1 stars
8/17/98 Miss Stress what can i say, it's your typical troma flik 4 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} The best version since Leo and Claire. In fact, I get the two confused. Funny in bits 3 stars
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  28-Feb-1997 (NR)
  DVD: 08-Aug-2006



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