Sunday, October 30, 2016

Killer Condom (1996)

“You speak of a god who will judge all of mankind, I say god will protect all lovers. He doesn't care if it's two men or a man and a woman. He doesn't care if a man dresses like a woman and sings in a bar. It's possible that these people haven't always done the right thing, but we're all human beings.

That quote was spoken by Luigi Mackeroni in the movie Killer Condom.  It brings up the idea of equality and how people should not be prosecuted for being different.  Specifically, the movie dealt with the world of gay men, but it took other minorities into consideration during Mackeroni’s climactic speech.  Everyone is human.  Everyone should have equal chance at living a good life.  It doesn’t matter where they’re from, how old they are, what gender they are, or what their sexual orientation and gender preference.  Everyone should be treated equally, until they do something to hurt other people.

I don’t want to get too into equality with this week’s movie, though.  That is a subject that I’m not the most fit to write about.  I’ve had a fairly easy life as a straight white male.  The closest you could consider me to being a minority is that I’m Canadian, so I’m on the receiving end of American jokes in much of the media that contains Canadian characters.  That’s not tough to endure, and not even really a minority.

What this is going to be about is Killer Condom.  It’s an interesting little horror comedy from Germany about a gay New York detective investigating violent attacks at the Hotel Quickie.  Detective Mackeroni (Udo Samel) was called in by his captain to look into a man who had his penis removed in one of the hotel’s rooms.  While investigating, a love blossomed between Mackeroni and a male prostitute named Billy (Marc Richter).  Also working at the hotel was a bar singer and former fling of Mackeroni’s, Babette (Leonard Lansink).  Things got more serious when a condom bit off Mackeroni’s right testicle.  He spent time convincing his police partner Sam (Peter Lohmeyer) that condoms were attacking people, and together they worked to stop the evil creatures from hurting anyone else.

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to Killer Condom.  There are many interesting tidbits of information that bring what was already an entertaining and fun movie to a new level.  The movie is enlightened the more you read into it and it’s a formidable force in itself.  So, without any more of my fumbling over my own words, I present you a bunch more words about the movie I watched.  There will be a mixture of onscreen stuff and other bits of trivia.

Killer Condom Was Based on a Comic
People tend to immediately think about superheroes whenever the topic of comic book movies comes up.  The majority of superhero movies are based on comic books.  I’ve covered many for this blog, from the 1990 Captain America, to Batman and Robin, to Catwoman, to the 2015 Fant4stic.  Superheroes are all the rage and people tend to interchangeably use the terms “superhero movie” and “comic book movie.”

As there are superhero movies that aren’t based on comic book characters (Metal Man), there have also been comic book movies that don’t involve superheroes in any way.  The Road to Perdition always comes to mind as a movie that most people wouldn’t realize was based on a graphic novel.  The comic book and graphic novel mediums, which to me are the same, aren’t only about superheroes.  They’re about telling stories through drawn still images.  Anything could be told through comic style storytelling.

Killer Condom was based on a German Queer comic that I know very little about.  I have not read it.  I didn’t even know about it until after watching the movie.  From what I can tell, it’s even more interesting than the movie was in terms of story.  Maybe if I read it sometime, I’ll write about it too.

 The Attack that Starts Things Off
Like most horror movies made after Jaws, the movie began with an opening attack.  It is a way to bring the viewers in with a jolt before beginning the actual story.  The attack is still part of the story, but it does not involve the main character.  The real story with the characters that will be followed throughout the story happens as a result of this initial event.  It is a formula that works.  That is why it continues to happen.

Killer Condom needed to open with someone’s penis being attacked by a condom.  That’s what the movie would be about, so that is what needed to be shown.  The attack happened at the Hotel Quickie, a location frequented throughout the rest of the movie.  A man asked for a room while a woman waited.  When they got to the room, he said he was going to have sex with her.  She refused.  He then mentioned that her marks were too low to pass and he, the principal, was the only person who could get her through her classes.  She then agreed to have sex with him, crying the entire time because it was blackmail and rape.  Luckily, nothing happened to her but a horrifying visual.  As he put on the condom, it bit his penis off, and she was drenched in his blood.

The opening scene set up what the movie would be.  The name Hotel Quickie let the audience know that the movie wasn’t going to take itself seriously.  The propositioning let the audience in on the fact that the movie was going to push boundaries.  The killer condom… Well, that spells out horror comedy right there.  How could you take a movie about condoms that attack penises seriously?  The opening scene was a perfect introduction into the movie’s universe.

If you’re reading this Sunday “Bad” Movies post, you likely already know about Troma.  I’ve covered some of their movies in the past.  It’s a company run by Lloyd Kaufman that both produces and distributes some of the most insane movies.  They released Chopper Chicks in Zombietown about a gang of women bikers who run into a zombie outbreak.  The company made The Toxic Avenger and its sequels.  The movies aren’t masterpieces in any way, but they tend to be creative and/or interesting.

Killer Condom was distributed by Troma in 1999 to North American markets.  Everything about it seems perfect for a Troma release.  The story being told didn’t seem like something that the average studio would want to have in their filmography.  Condoms that kill people?  No way.  But Troma loves that kind of humour.  The gay side of the story also seems like something Troma would want to put forward.  As much as their movies might be seen as silly, low-budget horror garbage, the company has an eye for movies with messages.  Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, a movie they produced, had some scathing material about the fast food industry.  Likewise, the Troma distributed Honky Holocaust dealt with racial issues in an entertaining way that isn’t seen in most movies.  Killer Condom was not only an entertaining horror comedy, but as I said at the top of the post, it was also about equality.  The story dealt with gay people being taken as equals to straight people, instead of the persecution they tended to get in mainstream culture.  Troma was the perfect place for someone to give that message in an insane method.

It is German
There are many American produced movies set in other countries where the characters from those countries speak English.  This happens so that audiences with be more likely to see the movies.  Many people do not like subtitles because they don’t want to read when they’re watching something.  Others don’t like dubbing because it doesn’t feel right to see lips moving to words while the sound is that of different words  The best workaround is to have characters speak English.  Schindler’s List did it.  So did Valkyrie.  North American audiences would rather hear Germans speak English than they would listen to the German language and read English.

The same thing was done with Killer Condom, but in the opposite direction.  The movie was German produced.  It was set in New York City.  The characters didn’t speak English.  They spoke German.  That’s because it was produced for German audiences.  Much like English speaking audiences, they’d probably rather hear and see their own language spoken than hear a foreign language and read their own.  It makes sense.  When Troma released it three years after its European release, they kept the German in there and added the subtitles.  That is better than dubbing over what is there, since not hearing Samel’s vocal performance would take away from the movie.

That is going to bring this week’s post to a close.  It’s not because there isn’t more that I could write.  I could go on about the scene where Detective Mackaroni tricked his straight detective partner into getting urinated on at a gay bar.  There could be a section about what the condoms were (synthetic living creatures created in a laboratory).  I could have spent a moment discussing the whole speech that I took a quote from for the beginning of this post.  Or I could make note of how the title is singular, but there are multiple killer condoms in the movie.  The problem is that I’m running out of time.  It’s 11:25pm on the Saturday night before this post goes up.  I was having trouble beginning it, though when I began writing it was fairly easy to bang this whole thing out in a couple hours.  There was also the added factor of school assignments beginning to build up.  They made it tough for me to focus on this.

Anyway, with the few points that I was able to elaborate on, you can see that Killer Condom was a crazy, yet entertaining movie.  It took a serious issue in equality and slathered it in B-level movie cheese.  It took a gritty cop story and set it in a world where condoms were biting off penises.  Everything about it seemed like a bad idea going in, but it ended up being the best movie I watched for the blog in October.  It was a great way to end another month of horror movies.  Check it out, if you’re into this kind of thing.  It’s worth the watch.
Now for some notes:

  • I mentioned a bunch of movies in this post.  Here are links to the posts for Captain America, Batman and Robin, Catwoman, Fant4stic, Metal Man, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, The Toxic Avenger, and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.
  • Have you seen Killer Condom?  What did you think of it?  Did you enjoy it as much as I did?  You can discuss anything related to this movie or post in the comments below.
  • I’m always looking for suggestions about what to watch for the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  You can leave any suggestions in the comments or find me on Twitter and let me know there.
  • I have a snapchat account that I sometimes use to share clips of the bad movies I watch.  Find me: jurassicgriffin.
  • Next week’s movie is going to be a little something called Hell Comes to Frogtown.  That’s right.  Roddy Piper will be joining the Sunday “Bad” Movies list of actors.  It’s been a long time coming.  I haven’t seen it before, but I’m excited to finally sit down and watch the thing.  I’ll see you next week with my thoughts on the movie or some subject related to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment