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"I go back there every night, without fail."
Frankie
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Combat Shock is a 1986 action war drama released by Troma Entertainment.

The film follows a disturbed Vietnam veteran named Frankie Dunlan, whose sanity begins to slip from his life in the New York slums with depraved junkies, his naggy wife, and a baby that's severely deformed from his exposure to Agent Orange during the war; all while struggling to find work to support him and his family.

The movie was released in 1986 to very mixed reviews, but has since gotten a bit of a cult status. Both the theatrical and director's cut can be watched on Troma's official YouTube account for free.


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This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • B-Movie: It's a Troma film after all.
  • Body Horror: The baby, who has birth defects from Agent Orange due to Frankie being exposed to it.
  • Creator Cameo: The voice of Frankie's deformed baby is provided by director Buddy Giovinazzo.
  • Darker and Edgier: Quite possibly Troma's darkest production ever made, with virtually none of the humour that characterizes the company's other productions.
  • Downer Ending: Frank decides to kill his family and then himself after failing to obtain money or food
  • From Bad to Worse: Frankie calls his dad up for money, turns out even he's broke and has a heart condition
  • Henpecked Husband: One of the many torments Frankie must endure is his shrewish wife, with whom he frequently argues over his unemployment and their son's health.
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  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Frankie has flashbacks of being ambushed by an NVA squad and being tortured as a POW.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: At times, the soundtrack has the feel of a jaunty 1980s synth-pop number, in jarring contrast to the grim subject matter.
  • War Is Hell: Though what comes afterwards is arguably much, much worse for Frankie.

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