Troma Entertainment is one of the few truuuuly independent distribution houses still standing after the home video era. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz have kept the company going for over 40 years. While a lot of people know Troma for their in-house productions, such as The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo & Juliet, Poultrygeist and Class of Nuke Em High; some people forget that Troma also has an extensive distribution library.
At one time, Troma owned the distribution rights for My Neighbor Totoro (now owned by Disney of all places for it to go next) while also distributing such titles as Redneck Zombies and Bloodsucking Freaks. Troma also gave a start to the decades-spanning non-stop successful career of Trey Parker and Matt Stone by distributing their first film, Cannibal The Musical.
A lot of people look to Troma to distribute their films, thinking that they will follow a similar path as Parker and Stone. This has yet to have happened,really, but I always like to see what Troma is up to. I worked there for a brief moment when I first moved to New York, but will always feel a connection. If it wasn’t for Troma, I wouldn’t live in New York, I wouldn’t be typing this sentence. I’ll be forever grateful and this is why I chose to review the film Victor Goodview. I know that since it does have the Troma stamp of approval that it could mean anything. Troma’s films are almost always unrated, and with that comes a lion’s share of blood, guts, and other bodily fluids.
“…a loser who spends his days smoking cigarettes (and maybe possibly sometimes crack) and drinking beer while watching television and being unmeasurably angsty…”
Victor Goodview doesn’t have much blood in it, but there are definitely other…uh…fluids..and solids. The film focuses on the titular character, a loser, for lack of a better word, who spends his days smoking cigarettes (and maybe possibly sometimes crack) and drinking beer while watching television and being unmeasurably angsty in his shitty Yonkers apartment. For the first part of the movie, this angst is exacerbated by a furious unrelenting bout of constipation….hey, as I said, this is a Troma movie.
However, just like the movies that are directed by Troma’s founder Lloyd Kaufman, there are philosophical questions underneath the s**t-stained surface. While Victor Goodview is weird and not necessarily “about” much, it is simultaneously about everything. The character of Victor is jobless and hopeless. He spends a lot of time with fellow addict Rick and his neighbor across the hall, Leslie. Victor sees the inside of a lot of places that most white people never see. He sees the class divide, as he lives it. However, as his depression and addiction are what keeps him down, his fellow addicts Rick and Geri turned to drugs as an escape from the hell of poverty that keeps them down.
“…a lot of weird time spent in bathrooms, too much man-butt, but it’s still got a heart of gold…”
It’s perhaps odd that a film that seems to—seriously—just be about a guy who can’t take a s**t is actually a commentary about the gentrification of New York City and the loneliness that results from living in such a place, especially as an outcast. But that’s what I gathered from it.
Vincent Turturro did a great job on the script and could have a very interesting career ahead of him if he keeps up the good work. Winston Shaw was pretty good as Victor, but the real winners in this film are Kenny Borland and Lucy Peterson who play Rick and Geri. I would love to see all of them in other things. This film is less than 90 minutes and worth examining if you don’t mind some high-level potty humor. Victor Goodview is definitely goofy. There’s terrible ADR, a lot of weird time spent in bathrooms, too much man-butt, but it’s still got a heart of gold underneath. Which makes it fit into the Troma canon quite nicely, if you ask me.
Victor Goodview (2019) Written and Directed by Vincent Turturro. Starring Winston Shaw, Kenny Borland, Lucy Peterson, Jaime Sloan, Kathleen Margo, Colton Clause, Fairuzah Couamin.
6 out of 10 stars