MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 20,520 this week

Combat Shock (1984)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  14 May 1986 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,772 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 61 critic

A dangerously disturbed Vietnam veteran struggles with life 15 years after his return home, and slowly falls into insanity from his gritty urban lifestyle.

Director:

Writer:

(as Buddy G)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 11 Aug 2011
 
a list of 35 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 14 Jan 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 31 Dec 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Combat Shock" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Combat Shock (1984)

Combat Shock (1984) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Combat Shock.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Troma's War (1988)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A small group of typical Tromaville citizens find themselves in the path of a terrorist army controlled by the power elite. The freedom of Tromaville and the world is at stake! Troma's War ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Stars: Carolyn Beauchamp, Sean Bowen, Rick Washburn
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Hiller, a computer expert, was bribed by group of bank robbers to obtain details of the security system at a newly-built bank. Having obtained the information, he thought he'd seen the last... See full summary »

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Bernard Hill, Derek Newark, Richard Hope
No Way Home (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ex-cons future is threatened by his brother's involvement with drugs.

Director: Buddy Giovinazzo
Stars: Tim Roth, Deborah Kara Unger, James Russo
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens' leader's girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it's Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Van Bebber
Stars: Paul Harper, Jim Van Bebber, Megan Murphy
Interrogation (1989)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Tonia goes out drinking. She wakes up in prison, not having a clue why she's there. She is tortured to encourage her to confess to a crime she is not aware of.

Director: Ryszard Bugajski
Stars: Krystyna Janda, Adam Ferency, Janusz Gajos
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Harry Griswald is a NYPD cop who is possessed with the spirit of a great Kabuki master. This has made him 'the chosen one' to do battle with 'the evil one'. He is also out to do good deeds ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Stars: Rick Gianasi, Susan Byun, Bill Weeden
Vice Squad (1982)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Los Angeles businesswoman, known only by her street name of Princess, turns to prostitution to support herself and her young daughter when she's forced by Detective Tom Walsh and his vice... See full summary »

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: Season Hubley, Gary Swanson, Wings Hauser
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

As serial killer Lothar Schramm lies dying in a pool of his own blood, choppy memories of his horrific life flash before his eyes.

Director: Jörg Buttgereit
Stars: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Monika M., Micha Brendel
Terror Firmer (1999)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A homicidal maniac is on the loose in the city and the low budget film crew on a Troma movie have the power to stop them.

Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Stars: Will Keenan, Alyce LaTourelle, Lloyd Kaufman
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The pupils at a high school next to a nuclear power plant start acting and looking strange after buying contaminated drugs from a plant worker.

Directors: Richard W. Haines, Lloyd Kaufman
Stars: Janelle Brady, Gil Brenton, Robert Prichard
The Unscarred (2000)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four exchange students meet in Berlin 20 years after graduating, but picking up where they left off doesn't turn out to be as easy as they hoped.

Director: Buddy Giovinazzo
Stars: James Russo, Heino Ferch, Ornella Muti
Self Defense (1983)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bunch of selfrighteous bullies want to set som "new rules" in town while the police in Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) are on strike. They try to scare all the gays and lesbians in a bar, ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Donovan, Maura O'Connell
Stars: Tom Nardini, Brenda Bazinet, Daryl Haney
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Giovinazzo ...
Frankie Dunlan (as Ricky Giovinazzo)
Veronica Stork ...
Cathy Dunlan
Mitch Maglio ...
Paco - Gang Leader
Asaph Livni ...
Labo - Gang Member
Nick Nasta ...
Morbe - Gang Member
...
Mike - Junkie
Arthur Saunders ...
Pimp
Lori Labar ...
Lead Prostitute / Vietnamese Woman
Jim Cooney ...
Interogating GI
Ray Pinero ...
Welfare Worker
Leo Lunney ...
Frankie's Father
...
Terry - Strung-Out Junkie (as Ed Pepitone)
Martin Blank ...
Doctor
Bob Mireau ...
Security Guard
Tom Desantis ...
Man Behind Frankie
Edit

Storyline

Frankie is a war vet whose life sucks. He has no money, a nagging wife, junkie friends, and a deformed baby. This is the story of one day in his pathetic post-war life. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fighting, killing, maiming. Agent orange and the torture cages were the easy part!...

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Nightmare  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The torture hut scenes were filmed in Buddy Giovinazzo's mother's backyard. See more »

Goofs

When Frankie inspects the revolver drum magazine after loading it, some of the cartridges have a dent in the primer made by a firing pin, meaning that they've already been fired. See more »

Quotes

Cathy Dunlan: Taste it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half Past Midnight (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

When I saw this, I said it's the greatest film of all time! Well, not THE greatest, but it's sure one of 'em!
12 December 2003 | by (Ft. Worth, TX, USA) – See all my reviews

Where do I begin in a review of a film as powerful as "Combat Shock"? Here is the film that shoots holes in every patriotic belief. It is an art film with subtle moments throughout that don't even feel subtle, for even its calmest, most non-violent scenes get under the skin of the viewer. In it, Ricky Giovinazzo (writer/director Buddy Giovinazzo's brother) gives an excellent performance as a haunted 'Nam vet named Frankie. With his pregnant wife and severely disabled one-year-old son (totally mutated because of his father's exposure to Agent Orange), he struggles to survive in a ghetto filled with poverty and rot. Desperate to find a way out of his hopeless situation for his family and himself, he wanders the streets, having hellish flashbacks, being beaten by drug dealers, and searching for a job that doesn't require killing, robbing, or technical experience. Frankie's only friend is a quivering, bitter junkie who steals just to nurse his drug habit, and Frankie also encounters unfortunate people such as two young children being pimped on the street. As he wonders how this could happen in the country he had gone off to fight for, his sanity continuously crumbles before cold, graffiti-sprayed, industrial backgrounds. Adding more to the cold, relentless intensity is a droning mass of white noise that fills the soundtrack from the machines when the score isn't going. Soon Frankie sees that the very nation he has called home is a battleground all its own. There is not an uplifting moment in the entire film, not so much as even an iota of dark humor. "Combat Shock" offers strong insight into just how human even the most inhumane of killers are. Not once do the filmmakers glorify the violence seen in the movie, instead using the horrific and gory elements in the ugliest, most depressing way possible. Believe you me, this is no complaint, because this is what makes "Combat Shock" a powerful and unforgettable experience. It is raw, gritty, and very deep, as it is made for those who prefer films that force them to think. The score (by Ricky Giovinazzo as well) is one of the best I have ever heard, and fits the film like an uncomfortably tight glove, conveying a horror-movie feel while combining it with more melancholy and dramatic sounds (as well as some dirty, seedy, bored, punked-out-sounding death disco sensibilities) to help give this movie a feel of a study of reality as a horror movie. The gore FX and the mutant baby are very well-done, but this is not a movie for people who just want to see blood and guts. As I said, where most splatter films dehumanize their characters, "Combat Shock" makes you feel for the characters. It's so much more disturbing and moving that way, and I must say that this is more horrific than any of the full-on horror films that I've seen. The director was obviously a fan of "Taxi Driver" and "Eraserhead", but this film is not derivative and not only stands up well on its own, but stands up so well that it is much better than both of those films, gaining intensity and momentum until the shocking and heart-wrenching climax. I've watched this movie several times and still come away laughing at the end every time, not because it's funny (which it's not), but because it's a feeling of relief and release I get when the catharsis finally occurs in the brutal, climactic scenes. Don't think this is some cheezy, goofy movie just because it took Troma to release it. After all, nobody else would. It's been a long while since I have seen a movie that I would be ready and willing to crown as my favorite above all others, but this amazing masterpiece of independent cinema definitely deserves the title. (It's not its fault that it shares the title with many others, but that's beside the point!) And, by all means, see the unrated version!!!


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
No wonder Rudy Giuliani cleaned up 42nd St. forry-777
Eraserhead anyone? budha_69
Coincidence? yourcoughiskiller
Unexplainable? cptmorrow
Soundtrack noahbbrown
Is that possible? axedoff
Discuss Combat Shock (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?