Halloween Endurance Test: Killer Condom (1996)

You have to love Troma studios.  They find (release) the most amazingly honest films out there.  Films that can only be described using their own terms.  

Troma did it first with Surf Nazis Must Die.  A movie so perfect that I can’t even describe it.  It’s beauty/truth is just too pure.  It’s everything you’d think a movie titled Surf Nazis Must Die could be, should be, and ultimately must be.  All together at once.

An all defining singular experience.

Akin to making a pilgrimage to Mecca through your DVD player.

That’s just how Killer Condom hits you; everything all at once.

Killer Condom caused a stir when it was released.  It turns out the horror crowd doesn’t appreciate their tough, macho detective characters to also be homosexual.  From what I remember, most of the negative feedback centered on that facet.

Perhaps the fans were angered by this supposed ‘poisoning’ of such fine ingredients.  Placing the underlining homosexual storyline aside what you’re left with is a Fangoria reader’s wet dream.  Alien designer H.R. Giger as the creative consultant, and gore hound favorite Jorg Buttgereit (director of Nekromantik) doing the special effects.  Which, right there, should have clued these fans off that something was amiss.  

His movie about fucking corpses was classic!  But two men doing it?  That’s just plain gross!

It’s shocking to realize just which taboos are stronger than others.  Maybe it was the preponderance of penises coupled with the castrating agent of the titular condom.  Which, according to my logic at least, doesn’t really kill.  I mean, it castrates, which could surely lead to death if the bleeding is left unchecked.  But who’s going to let their stump bleed?

The detective just loses a nut if my memory serves correct.  Or his on-again, off-again boyfriend loses one.  Frankly it doesn’t really matter who loses it; that it’s lost is important.

Surprisingly not complained about when Killer Condom was released is its German origins.  The film is actually a German film production shot in New York City.  Everyone was so hung up on the homosexuals that they ignored the not inconsiderable fact that all the native New Yorkers are speaking a different language.  Such is homophobia’s power in the U.S.: capable of making the populace forget their (other) passionate hatred for subtitles!  That’s some powerful(ly bad) mojo!

This domesticated foreignness works beautifully as a counter example to the standard Hollywood fare.  In Hollywood often the foreigners are shown appearing exasperatingly foreign, in a foreign land, driving foreign (i.e. older, out-of-date) cars while speaking English!  I guess forcing domestic audiences to accept that there are other languages in the world is too much for the public to stomach.  Next thing you know Hollywood will expect us to believe that those people have rights like we do!

New York’s Teutonic conversion isn’t the only distancing apparatus used by the filmmakers.  They also chose to film in as close an approximation of old New York City as possible.  This isn’t the Disney-fied Guilliani/Bloomberg metropolis.  This is the hellhole we all remember growing up fearing.  Where, to grossly (mis)paraphrase Homer Simpson, if the gangs don’t get you, the C.H.U.D.‘s surely will. 

The final move of the filmmakers, forever distancing Killer Condom from its modern brethren is using actual film!  When was the last time you saw a modern film shot on film?  This might be the last independent horror picture to use bona-fide film stock to capture its graphic images.  Film stock provides that depth to the shadows that digital cameras (still) fail to convey.  It provides that dirty, nastiness a movie starring a emasculating prophylactic cries for.


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