In 1945, Mr. Bonejack and the P.I.A. (Paranormal Investigation Agency) landed in Nazi Germany to take out Hitler once and for all, before he has the chance to unleash his latest evil scheme on the world: genetically-engineered man-monsters! Though it costs the lives of many teammates, Bonejack (Seaver) and the barbarian Deathbone (Billy Garberina) emerge victorious! His right-hand woman Avon has been partially-blinded, the Nazis defeated and Hitler has been killed to death. Even better, they have captured the first result of this fiendish experiment, who will one day be known to all the world as that time-traveling, uber-hip misogynist, Teen Ape.
But things aren’t all puppies and blow jobs in 2009. While Bonejack and the surviving members of the P.I.A., which now includes the ever-youthful Teen Ape, have avoided the ravages of time, so too has Avon, albeit with a new badass eye-patch but no discernible change in wardrobe. Avon has retained a vial of evil Hitler DNA and decides, almost arbitrarily, that the time is right to bring about the Fourth Reich! Possibly even the Fifth! Catching the breaking wind of this foul scheme, Bonejack sets out to reassemble the team. Traveling the endless blocks between Bonejack Heights and Bangkok, Bonejack tracks down Heather, Puggly and Choach while the newly-resurrected Hitler has Bubbles and Dr. Re-Animator (“The gay one.”) on his side. (As well as some sweet moves with which to execute one of the funniest murder sprees in movie history.) Can the P.I.A. overcome the most dastardly villain of history? Does Teen Ape have what it takes to step up and be a leader? Who will wind up with Bonejack’s phat coat? Some of these questions will be answered—and many more will be left dangling open-ended—in “Teenape Vs. The Nazi Monster Apocalypse”!
For anyone unfamiliar with the oeuvre of filmmaker Chris Seaver or the Low Budget Pictures universe, this probably isn’t the best introduction. Come to think of it, considering that it’s in developmental limbo at Troma Entertainment and may never be released at all, it’s probably the worst choice for an introduction. And though it’s an appropriate ending to the 20 year LBP phenomenon, there are still half-a-dozen movies in various stages of completion still to come, so it can’t even be considered the last LBP movie. Which is what makes it all the more unique and wonderful… if you like LBP movies. And if you do, boy, will you ever love this… if you ever get the chance to see it.
Thanks to a loyal LBP fan and Troma editor, a very rough cut of “Teenape Vs. Nazis” screened for an eager audience at the Low Budget Pictures Farewell Blowout on February 12. Seaver introduced the movie being the result of “one of the worst filming experiences of [his] life,” a production fraught with scheduling hang-ups and semi-legal snafus, and the resulting rough cut lives up to its state-of-being. Film-looked and grindhouse-scratched, the anonymous Troma editor did his best to concoct a coherent story from the madness that was Seaver’s footage.
Which was his first mistake. With no offense meant to the talented gentleman behind the editing bay, the only person who can make sense of Seaver-helmed footage is Chris Seaver himself. While the grain and post-added noise gives the already-bizarre movie an additionally-surreal edge, the film’s pacing lacks that “run through the paint” breakneck speed of a Seaver-edited film. The added CGI effects, too, seem out of place because they’re too slick, even when inserted badly intentionally. It feels more like an homage to a Teenape movie, rather than an actual Teenape movie.
That being said—and again, all of the above depends on your existing tolerance for Seaver’s rock-bottom-budgeted mini-opuses—“Teenape vs. Nazis” still delivers on the gross-out gags, insane humor and weapons-grade over-acting. And it retains the one aspect of Low Budget Pictures that is arguably its greatest asset: sincerity. Among the core cast familiar to the LBP fans, there isn’t a forced performance or false note captured on screen. Everyone in the movie is giving their all and then some, never once forgetting that this is “Teenape vs. Nazis” and not “Schindler’s List,” creating a brand new live-action cartoon for the fans. Kudos emitted from dropped jaws have to go out particularly to Josh Suire who is easily the slimiest, silliest Hitler in movie history, and Debbie Rochon as Avon, clad in a rubber Nazi-dominatrix outfit and eye-patch, turning in a performance best described as “Gloria Swanson stars as Ilsa”! Together, Suire and Rochon feed off of each other like radioactive lampreys, emitting pure tasteless gold.
With Seaver closing the door on Low Budget Pictures and that chapter of his (and his cast’s/crew’s) life, “Teenape Vs. The Nazi Monster Apocalypse” should be the swan song. Not only is it an over-the-top culmination of all the insanity he’s culled over the years, but it also brings a lot of character-arcs full circle. Red-headed Heather (Meredith Host) leaves behind her street-fighting life in Bangkok to rejoin the P.I.A., while her betoothed sister Puggly (Lauren P. Seavage and Seaver’s real-life wife) opts to stay behind with her own wife and family. When one character meets his heroic death, another steps in to take his place, having avoided (and succumbed to) death on countless other occasions. It feels like an appropriate ending, and fans and foes alike should petition Troma to give “Teenape Vs. The Nazi Monster Apocalypse” a proper DVD release. After 20 years and five bazillion uniquely bizarre films, the Low Budget Pictures family and their fans earned and deserve a sense of closure.