Note: I wanna keep this as spoiler free as possible so I will only be providing some surface level information. You gotta see this movie without too much information going in because it is a surprising and hilarious time. The only thing I’d suggest is to look up a little synopsis of The Tempest before diving into the latest Tromatic feature from iconic and legendary director Lloyd Kaufman. He really put his all into this and you can tell. Also if you’re easily triggered by any of the subjects mentioned here this film may not be for you. It’s a worthwhile piece of art which I believe should be seen by those who can take a little ribbing at their own beliefs and take a moment to reflect afterwards because there are some very worthwhile messages within the shit. Now, ON TO THE REVIEW!
Lloyd Kaufman and Troma have unleashed a version of The Bard’s The Tempest to make a very Tromatized audience guaranteed. It is a wonderful subversion of what one would expect of an adaptation of The Tempest. It’s called #ShakespearesShitstorm and the title delivers what you’d expect on every single level. The Bard’s version has a storm striking a ship with a group of people who are then stranded upon an island in which one, Prospero admits to purposefully sinking the ship and regales us with a tale of his past. It is a play about betrayal, love, magic, and forgiveness. This movie takes that and twists it around to add that distinct Troma flavor. Even with all the elements one would come to expect from a Troma film such as social commentary, purposefully wonderful bad taste, and more bodily fluids than you can shake a stick at, it hits the story beats of The Tempest pretty faithfully. If you look, all of The Bard’s story is in there, even among the musical numbers! I absolutely loved this flick.
Troma and Lloyd take aim at Big Pharma, social justice mobs, sex, addiction, and intolerance. Instead of the Prospero with magical powers to control lighting and the like, this version of Prospero is a scientist and a previous pharma executive ousted from his own company by his own greedy sister, so his revenge begins with a shitstorm instead of a lightning storm that destroys the boat. I mean that literally, not figuratively, it’s a literal storm of shit. A group of Orca’s swarm a ship full of big pharma execs unleashing a storm of shit which has never been seen before on film. Using both practical and CGI Effects the storm that begins it all pervades throughout the film. It is a scene that will be completely unforgettable, living rent free in my head. Will it ever leave? #Tromatized Never have I seen something so disgusting and awe inspiring in my life. I just cannot believe the amount of shit that went everywhere AND I MEAN EVERYWHERE! The group that was on the ship is covered in it the entire film, giving it a certain scent and idea where we’re gonna go with this.
Guaranteed like with any Troma flick this will be very, very divisive. The portrayal of every single group is so over the top it’s hard to be offended for me, but will definitely offend others. Lloyd took special care to make it so over the top (as per usual) that it has taken everything with every group involved to their most extreme conclusion. It’s offensive at times yet hilarious and definitely worth your time. Also I wanna point out that the fourth wall breaking throughout is wonderful and hilarious especially near the beginning with a version of Shakespeare talking directly to you about what you are about to see, utterly fantastic.
I was lucky enough to have Lloyd Kaufman on my podcast Aly After Dark (You can find it on any service that you listen to podcasts with; Spotify, Apple, etc.) Now this isn’t a direct quote, if you wanna hear the whole conversation please listen to the first episode of the podcast in which he talks about it there! I was lucky, and I mean LUCKY that he came on for the first episode and one of my questions to him was about his decision to go back to The Bard and why he decided to do The Tempest. He told me he wanted to get a bit older before tackling it so he could get into Prospero’s head a bit easier. This definitely paid off. His version of Prospero is the right mix of chaotic good that is needed for the role. His revenge is so elaborate and fantastic that the ending left me with a sense of catharsis.
There’s not just references to The Tempest in this movie either, there are references to The Bard’s other work in quotes throughout the movie. It has a lot of great easter eggs for those familiar with Shakespeare’s work. To be honest, it’s a beautiful and literally shitty love letter to Shakespeare that will be hard to top with subsequent adaptations of the work. I can’t forget the shit, there’s so much shit. Holy shit.
Some of the easter eggs I really enjoyed such as one of Prospero’s experiments being Rack-It Raccoon referencing Troma alum James Gunn’s adaptation of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon. Another favorite of mine was the recreation of the elevator blood wave from the Shining in this flick. There’s just so much to enjoy and take in with this movie.
I was left with a very warm and fuzzy happy feeling since I grew up watching Troma and it was very, very much a Troma film. It has that feel that I can’t really put into words, if you’ve seen a Troma movie you know what I’m talking about. It couldn’t have been made by anyone but Uncle Lloydie. The social commentary is very pointed, the comedy also on point, and the shit plentiful. It’s pure insanity in the best way. Check it out when you’re able, you won’t regret it…or maybe you will. Like Lloyd says, even if you don’t like a Troma film it’s something you will never ever be able to forget.