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Combat Shock (Two-Disc Uncut 25th Anniversary Edition) (1985)

Rick Giovinazzo , Veronica Stork , Buddy Giovinazzo  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rick Giovinazzo, Veronica Stork, Mitch Maglio, Asaph Livni, Nick Nasta
  • Directors: Buddy Giovinazzo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Troma
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001V732VK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,405 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Combat Shock (Two-Disc Uncut 25th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nearly 25 years after its original release, Combat Shock returns from the cult underground to reclaim its title as perhaps the most shocking independent film of the '80s. Writer/director/producer Buddy Giovinazzo made his indelible debut with this nihilistic saga of a Vietnam vet's desperate pursuit to save his family from the horrors of poverty and urban squalor. Culminating in one of the most brutal climaxes ever committed to celluloid, this unforgiving masterwork remains as controversial and relevant as it was at the height of Reagan's America. Get ready to be blown away: Combat Shock is back like you've never seen it before.

-American Nightmares (100 mins): The Never-Before-Seen Director s Cut
-Combat Shock (90 mins): The Theatrical Cut
-Audio Commentary with Director Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik)
-Post-Traumatic, An American Nightmare All-new documentary exploring the continued impact and influence of Combat Shock, featuring:
John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), William Lustig (Maniac), Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil), Jim Van Bebber (Deadbeat at Dawn, The Manson Family), and many more
-The Early Works of Buddy Giovinazzo: 8 Never-before-released short films and music videos
-New interview with Buddy Giovinazzo on Combat Shock
-Unscarred: The first interview with Combat Shock star Rick Giovinazzo
-Buddy interviews Nekromantik Director Jorg Buttgereit at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival
-Der Combat: Buddy Giovinazzo and Lloyd Kaufman (President of Troma Entertainment and the creator of The Toxic Avenger) discuss Combat Shock at the 2006 Trominale in Berlin
-Hellscapes (10 min): A Look at the Locations from Combat Shock as they appear today
-Original Press and Photo Gallery
-Original Theatrical Trailers
-Solider of Misfortune: New Liner Notes by Steve Puchalski (Shock Cinema, Slimetime)


Uncompromising And Relentless --Dave Kehr, The New York Times

One Of 80s American Independent Cinema's Most Powerful And Uncompromising Triumphs --Film Comment

LIKE A BULLET TO TH HEAD...Giovinazzo's world is horrific and the movie's conclusion will never be forgotten. --Film Journal

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of darkness July 24, 2000
By linus
Forget Henry Winkler in HEROES, Jon Voight in COMING HOME, or Stallone in FIRST BLOOD. If any film released by the notorious schlock distributor Troma has a claim to art, this is it. I'm not kidding. This Vietnam-flashback psychodrama, probably the most savagely depressing film ever made, brings you inside the splintered mind of a 'Nam vet and never lets you out. (In the few scenes having nothing to do with him, we see guys even worse off than he is.) The film is best described as a cross between ERASERHEAD and the last two hours of THE DEER HUNTER. Frank Dunlan (Ricky Giovinazzo) has blocked out his painful memories of combat - captivity, torture, atrocity, the works - but they keep creeping up on him. Unskilled and unwashed, he can't hold a job. This annoys his wife Kathy (Veronica Stork), who must take care of their baby - which has been mutated by his exposure to Agent Orange. Frank spends his days standing on unemployment lines, avoiding loan sharks, and hanging out with heroin addicts. This is the best Harvey Keitel/Abel Ferrara movie they never made; if you appreciated BAD LIEUTENANT, you've got to see this. The last reel (if you're still with it by then) will leave you in a sickened stupor. Sometimes low-rent and amateurish, but it gets under your skin in ways that a more polished movie never could. The DVD includes often amusing commentary by director Buddy Giovinazzo, always eager to goof on his own movie; he's not one of those gasbags who go on and on about how brilliant their film is and what every scene signifies. NOT FOR EVERYONE! - but an unforgettable ride for those who feel that movies should be more than Tom Hanks acting cute.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie January 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Combat Shock is one of those movies you watch not because it's good. but because it is interesting. The story of a man's struggle with life after the Vietnam War, and what he cannot remember about what happened. When he starts remembering it changes his life. In conclusion I would like to say Combat Shock is the best movie I have seen about a man trying to cope with life after a war.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated gem! Inventive no-budget art! December 3, 2001
By Josef K
"Combat Shock" is one of those rare microbudget films that has a lasting impact on its viewers. Originally titled, "American Nightmares", "Combat Shock" plays like a really grimy, amateurish version of "Eraserhead" with a little bit of "First Blood" and "Taxi Driver" thrown in. The commentary is extremely helpful, and Buddy went on to direct "No Way Home" with Tim Roth. If you're expecting an over-the-top satire Troma style, you're in for a surprise. The last 15 minutes of the movie may very well blow your mind. Also, the plotline predates "Jacob's Ladder", which is an almost exact word-for-word descendant of this sometimes cheesy, but mostly honest film of urban decay and psychopathy in the mind of a Vietnam vet. Lloyd, you sure know how to pick 'em! Buy the dvd and see what I mean. Remember, it is pretty shocking though, with that special graphic violence that will Tromatize you forever!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent low budget shocker! May 24, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Boy, is this a downbeat movie. If you're looking for something redemptive, look elsewhere. From the opening Vietnam sequence full of gore to the sorrowful conclusion, Combat Shock is a nightmarish trip through a warren of haunting images and sounds.
Frankie came back from Vietnam and has had nothing but trouble. He has a deformed baby, a nagging woman, and no job. He is also in dutch with a loanshark. Frankie walks the desolate streets of the slums, wondering what he's going to do. He eventually explodes in a fit of despair and rage, resulting in some bloody and gory scenes.
What makes this movie so effective is the voiceovers and the flashbacks of Frankie. They are truly haunting and they give the film great atmosphere. So do the settings, especially Frankie's apartment, which is so gritty and sleazy looking that I felt like taking a shower after watching the movie. It's that sleazy!
This movie will bring you down, so don't watch it on a rainy day or if you're depressed. If you aren't exhausted at the end of the film, there might be something wrong with you. This is distributed by Troma, so look for some nifty trailers. Also, pay a little more and avoid the Extended Play tape.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Whoever Said Life Was Enjoyable?"... August 11, 2010
COMBAT SHOCK is the story of post traumatic stress combined w/ impossible living conditions, multiplied by absolute hopelessness. We are taken along w/ Frankie (Ricky Giovinazzo) as his mental disintegration is made complete. Shambling through a desolate urban wasteland (NYC), Frankie searches for a means of survival, while trying to fool himself that he has a reason to keep living. At "home" is a pregnant wife and a mutant baby (agent orange?), whose incessant, synthesized crying is both haunting and utterly annoying (think ERASERHEAD)! Frankie tries everything, finding nothing. No help. No hope. COMBAT SHOCK is not for anyone who insists on happy endings. You will not find one here! However, you will see a tremendously bleak, dire portrayal of a man taken past his breaking point, and into oblivion...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DEPRESSIVE AND DARK February 7, 2006
"Combat Shock" is one of the most depressive movies I've seen. It's so pitch-dark and hopeless you physically begin to feel sick. The main character Frankie is a Vietnam vet who lives in a small flat near a railroad with his always-nagging wife and a mutant baby - because the troops in Vietnam were exposed to some chemical weapons. Frankie has no job, every day he just idly wanders the neighbourhood. His family lives in extreme poverty, they are about to be evicted, they have nothing to eat, and the mutant baby is crying all the way. God... When I was looking at that baby I wanted to turn off the film and watch some comedy instead. My mood was rotten for the next few days. But I was truly amazed by the movie in general. Shot on a very tight budget, it impresses like nothing else I've seen. I didn't have a chance to see other works of Buddy Giovinazzo, but he demonstrated immense talent in this feature. After such films you start to value your simple ordinary life and realise you're utterly happy.

"Combat Shock" is a one day in life of Frankie, and during this day he descends deeper and deeper morally and emotionally right before our eyes. The climax would be just insane, I nearly had a desire to take a bottle and get drunk - to forget the last hour and a half of my life. Now, looking at the movie with a fresh eye I understand it's one of those hidden gems everyone should get acquainted with - it's really different. And don't look it's a Troma team release - this is not a usual Troma presentation. I guess it's their best edition ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Too close for comfort...
This is not a polished big budget film with wonderful acting so do not expect it to be. That aside, it was like watching an extreme dramatization of my transition from the US Army... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars post-Vietnam movies
One of the strongest post-Vietnam movies I have ever seen. Like an unofficial sequel to Coppola's Apocalypse Now, the movie starts off with a nightmarish dream sequence that... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bartok Kinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is hot, Frankie!
This movie has been a cult classic for me since i owned it on VHS in the 90's. Viewed it with so many people 'till the tape wore out. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Claude Coats
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic!!
There are a few 1980's cult movies everyone has seen or knows about i.e.,Street Trash,Slime City,Basket Case and Combat Shock is at the top of the list. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Justin M.
3.0 out of 5 stars Eraserhead Meets Jacob's Ladder meets Taxi Driver
Combat Shock is the second Buddy Giovinazzo film I have watched and it reminds me alot of Eraserhead, as well as Jacob's Ladder and Taxi Driver, along with the other Buddy G film I... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scrimshaw
1.0 out of 5 stars yeah, and what we learned? nothing.
No, I am not sure why most reviews praise this flick. Mental cases are nothing new and if you connected them to war its nothing new either. Read more
Published 18 months ago by aferdman
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Top 10 GREATEST Underground Films of the 1980s!!!
The history of this film is a bit confusing and despite the fact that other reviewers have already discussed this I feel it deserves repeating. Read more
Published on May 26, 2012 by T. Kasuboski
4.0 out of 5 stars Great post vietnam psycho soldier film.
Combat Shock (Two-Disc Uncut 25th Anniversary Edition) This is a really gr8 film about a vietnam war vet that is unlike any other. Read more
Published on August 26, 2011 by specialkrp
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
amazing, was not expecting the ending....was amazed and disgusted....the images of this film will forever be burned into my brain and im glad, very good movie
Published on August 10, 2011 by Rooster
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my taste of CULT...
Not my taste of CULT...This one is disgusting, depressing and unforgettable, a shocking classic indeed, but not that impressive. Read more
Published on October 29, 2010 by HAN XIAO
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