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Last Call Blog | Retro Review: Troma Unleashes ‘Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.’

Uncle Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz added to the pantheon of Troma Studios heroes with "Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.," which was reviewed by Joe Bob back in 1995. Check it out.

Back in the 1990s, The Toxic Avenger got some competition as the most Tromatic hero of all from the Far East

Editor’s Note: This review was originally syndicated on Oct. 23, 1995. Some stuff has changed since then.

“Did you have a good flight?”

Why do people say this? I HATE IT when people say this to me. What’s a “good flight”? You get on the airplane, the airplane doesn’t crash — that’s a good flight.

Does somebody REALLY wanna hear about the frozen Three Musketeers ice cream bar they served for dessert on my plastic cafeteria tray? What do you want me to report on here — whether the flight attendant was ugly or not?

It’s even more ridiculous when they say “Have a good flight!”

HOW THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THAT?

I’m strapped in here. Excuse me, but were you under the impression that I’m travelling alone in a LEAR JET?

Whether I have a “good flight” or not is NOT MY GOLDURN RESPONSIBILITY!

Here’s another one you hear at the gym:

“Did you have a good workout?”

No, I did NOT have a good workout. What’s a good workout? When my body only hurts ninety-FOUR percent of the time? Has anybody ever been asked this question and said, “No, it was a TERRIBLE workout. I sat on my butt for two hours and read the instructions on the Nautilus equipment. Then I ate some Twinkies and went home.”

And, of course, even more obnoxious is the big slap on the back as you put on your gym shorts, and “Have a great workout!”

I don’t think this is something that you can MESS UP, is it?

I mean, how bad could it get? I could do abs and pecs in REVERSE order. I could lose count after the eighth repetition and do two extra ones. I might have to wait two minutes because somebody is already using the bench press. But what exactly is it that you think is gonna go wrong here and threaten peace in Bosnia, you know what I mean?

I mean, what are people thinking?

Thanks for letting me get this off my upper body. You’ve been warned. Don’t make me drop a barbell on your face.

And speaking of nervy performances, Rick Gianasi finally arrives this week after five YEARS of hype. You know the flick I’m talking about. I’m talking Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D., the sensitive story of a New York cop who goes to the kabuki theatre on the wrong night and ends up being inhabited by the soul of a samurai warrior in kabuki makeup and a kimono while automatic weapons fire erupts on the stage.

When the smoke clears, there’s only one thing he can do — clean up the parks and streets of New York City with his amazing array of weapons, including projectile sushi rolls, projectile chopsticks that fly through the air like porcupine quills, projectile flaming parasol, and projectile Japanese sandals. Meanwhile, he flies through the air, does goofy kung-fu somersaults, and falls in love with a mysterious woman and her pet monkey, who are leading him to his final confrontation with “the evil one,” who might be a corporation president who uses black churches to hide his illegal drug operations.

Sure we’ve seen it before, but have we seen it as interpreted by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, the geniuses who run Troma, the lowest-budget film company in the world? I think not. These are the same guys who brought us The Toxic Avenger, which I once called the cheesiest special effects sci-fi flick ever made.

Uh-uh.

They’ve done it again.

Twenty-eight dead bodies. No breasts. Skyscraper death plunge. Off-screen baby-piercing. Offscreen samurai disemboweling. Ritual worm-eating. Raw mackerel-eating. Nubile babe eaten by a tiger. Two motor vehicle chases, with crash-and-burn. Two fireballs. Two gunbattles. Gratuitous Robin Leach impersonator. Gratuitous haiku. Five Kung Fu scenes. Morphine Fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for the beautiful Susan Byun, as the love interest who seeks to avenge her kabuki grandpa’s sinister death, for saying “Remove yourself from my body, you filthy oaf!”; Joy Palevsky, as the TV reporter who shows up at the mass murder scene and says “How did you feel when you saw rivulets of blood flowing down his beautiful kabuki costume?”; Pamela Alster, as the sexy kung-fu beat cop who jogs in Spandex shorts; Bill Weeden, as the glopola-spitting corporate raider who is the evil Kabuki spirit in disguise, for saying “It has begun! My time has come!”; Rick Gianasi, in the title role, for looking great in a bathrobe as he sings Puccini arias while turning somersaults, for flying over the city and throwing up on two lawyers, and for saying “I was depressed, I was confused, and I was turning Japanese”; and, of course, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, the producers, directors and writers, for lines like “Do you know what it’s like to be violated by a 300-pound Filipino skinhead named Gunther? It ain’t no picnic!”

Two and a half stars.  Joe Bob says check it out.

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