6.4/10
2,650
60 user 71 critic

Combat Shock (1984)

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:

Buddy Giovinazzo

Writer:

Buddy Giovinazzo (as Buddy G)
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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buddy Giovinazzo borrowed lights and camera equipment from his job teaching at a film school in order to make this movie. 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

Frankie Dunlan: I see it all so clearly now.
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Alternate Versions

The original DVD version released by Troma is missing several scenes, most notably the scene where Frankie drinks sour milk toward the beginning and several trims throughout the film, especially noticeable during the film's climax. These scenes were intact for the unrated Troma VHS release in the late 1990s, which is currently the only way to see the uncut version of the Troma theatrical edit. Buddy Giovinazzo confirmed that he did not sanction any of these edits in an interview with Troma fan webmaster Justin Channell in January 2004, though Troma president Lloyd Kaufman adamantly claimed there was no missing footage in an interview later that year. The same version of the "theatrical cut" is present on the 2-disc DVD edition released in 2009 (which also includes the full-length original "American Nightmares" cut), likely to allow the inclusion of the initial release's commentary track. See more »

User Reviews

 
one of the darkest films ever put on screen
14 July 2002 | by hellraiser40See all my reviews

where "Requiem for a Dream" was the best movie in the category "drug movies", i think that this one certainly can competitor with other movies for best "post-war drama".

not that this is a perfect movie. it is still a low budget movie, a very low budget movie in fact, but that gives this movie just that specific feel and gritty look. really nothing is uplifting here. it's a story about a man who has experienced Vietnam, where he was tortured and went berserk. now, back home, where he lives with his wife and his deformed son, thanks to the fact that he has been in touch with Agent Orange, he just cannot get his life back on the rails and this movie portrays one day where everything seems to get as worse as it can be. we follow him from the morning, where he has again a terrible nightmare about Vietnam (he has hallucinations and flashbacks throughout the day) until the evening, where the film ends in a shocking way.

the acting is maybe not always top notch, but every character in this movie feels totally believable. the special effects and gore are low budget, but again believable and effective. maybe that's why the Troma people decided to pick this movie up and started to sell this movie as a Troma movie. or maybe they were looking for at least 1 movie so that they could say "hey, we are also producing serious flicks!!" you can say what you want, but i think it was great to give this movie a chance, it deserves it.

not a commercial movie, no, a very dark, convincing story about a man who lives a life we all want to avoid. this is not going to appeal to every person, but please, give it a shot. when you do so, you're in for a movie experience you will remember.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Nightmare See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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