Dir. Joe Cash (2021)
A group of girls find people who have been tortured, suddenly finding themselves possibly being victims of the same.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
What do you think of when I say the words “low budget indie films?” How much money do you think is usually spent on these projects? A hundred grand? Fifty grand? You gonna be a dick and insist that it has to be under $25k? Well Joe Cash, who might possibly be the master of low budget films, put this one onto celluloid for five hundred bucks. Partnered up with Troma for a release, this film was once the most-watched film on Troma Now, where you can stream Troma’s entire goretastic catalog. It’s easy to see why, though, because it is chock full of tits and gore with a crazy retro feel. It also has a cameo from Mr. Troma himself, Lloyd Kaufman.
It’s a cleverly made movie, utilizing archival and stock footage for the scenes that didn’t fit within its budget. The grainy footage helps hide a lot of sins while still allowing for the full display of naked women that basically runs through the entire film. The sound needs a little work, though, as some of the dialogue can be hard to hear and what is heard can be a bit jumbled, and the script could have used some punching up as well. All in all though, for a film with a budget this low, it’s amazing that they were able to pull off everything that they did. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how they even paid the actors involved in the film, because $500 isn’t a lot of money at all for a short, much less a feature film.
This is a film that isn’t going to be a hit with everyone, but to be honest you can say that about most of the films in Troma’s repertoire. The movie is often focused more on nudity than it is on plot, often presented in as sleazy a way as possible. However, if you’re familiar with a lot of the films produced by Troma, this shouldn’t come as a surprise and should be viewed as practically a filmmaking technique at this point. It’s never boring because there’s always something to look at, and the heavy metal soundtrack will keep you awake if the storyline doesn’t. The locations used during the film are fantastic, really helping to add to the post-apocalyptic feel that the film intends to portray. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a compliment to wherever they shot the film, but it works really well for its intended purpose. It also uses humor very well, with some scenes being downright funny and others using the humor to help transition from scene to scene.
It’s entertaining, which is more than you can even ask from a film with a tiny budget. It’s well-made, utilizing some great tricks to camouflage its shortcomings. The acting is Troma-level entertaining, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective as the viewer, but it absolutely fits the kind of film that Carnal Monsters intends to be. If you’re a fan of the rest of Troma’s films, odds are you’re going to enjoy this one just as much.
Who this movie is for: Indie film lovers, Troma fans, Sexy kittens
Bottom line: Dirt-cheap film that doesn’t often feel like it, this one fits firmly into the Troma oeuvre. With cameos by Lloyd Kaufman, Ari Lehman, and Stan Lee, you’ll find some fun surprises that pop up from time to time. While it’s not my favorite film under the Troma banner, it is entertaining throughout and has some pops of legitimately funny humor. As I always say when reviewing these indie films, lack of budget is not a fair criticism, especially when it’s $500. Give this one a watch if you’re a fan of Troma films, you just might be pleasantly surprised.