"Combat Shock/American Nightmares (25th Anniversary Edtion)" DVD Review

Review: For those who are not familiar with this film, this is the 1986 cult classic Combat Shock (aka American Nightmares) and was directed by Buddy Giovinazzo. Also for those few who are new to this film I will give you a basic run down of this films story. This film is about ex-veteran who after getting back from Vietnam has problems with post traumatic stress disorder and on top of that after being exposed to agent orange while in combat, it causes his child to be deformed.The setting of this film and look is very much like Jim VanBebber's film Deadbeat At Dawn, with a very gritty and dirty look that gives you the feeling that all hope is gone. As the film goes further and further towards the end you can feel that he is getting push to the point of no return. There was 2 big things that I can say shocked me about this film and they are, the ending and the baby in this movie. The ending blew me away because from the start of the film I thought he was going to turn into a "anti-hero/vigilante" type charetor like Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) in Taxi Driver, but without giving away the ending he turned out to be anything but what I initially thought. As far as the whole baby in the film, it was just morbid looking and it has this cry that will haunt even the most timid movie fan for awhile to come. Bottom line this is truly one of the most disturbing films I have seen in awhile that doesn't try to shock you with cheap scares, but tries to show you the dark side of life and war that most try to hide from. When it comes to this DVD re-release of Combat Shock, I think Troma did a fantastic job on this 2 DVD set like they have done with the other films from the Tromasterpiece Collection and it is very cool that you get both theatrical and director's cut versions of the film in this set, and just so you know Combat Shock is the theatrical cuts name and American Nightmares is the director's cut name. With this set you will get a very good amount of special features that have some really great interviews with various people talking about combat shock and what they thought about it and it also has interviews with the director. Overall it's a damn good set that you need to go out and buy when it is released on July 28Th!

-Daniel Damnation

Directed By: Buddy Giovinazzo Released By: Troma Year: 1986(Theatrical) 2009(DVD) Genre: Exploitation/Drama Website: Troma.com Time Length: American Nightmares 100 mins./Combat Shock 92 mins.