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Film / Surf Nazis Must Die

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Mengele's an asshole, remember that.

"Who rules the beaches?"
"Surfers rule!"
"Who rules the surfers?"
"Surf Nazis! Surf Nazis!"
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An action-comedy film released and distributed by Troma in 1987. It has amassed a cult following over the years.

After an earthquake mangles the California coastline, variety of gangs take control of the beaches. One of these gangs are the eponymous Surf Nazis, who during one of their exploits kill a man named Leroy Washington who interferes with a purse-snatching perpetrated by them. This turns out to be a bad move, for Leroy's Mama doesn't take this lightly and decides to take them down.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Adolf Hitlarious: Let's just say that Surf Nazi leader "Adolf" wouldn't win any intimidation contests on looks alone, especially with his weird combination of aviator ascot, wetsuit, sleeveless shirt and skinny-man build, and the mustache that looks painted on.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Delivered by Adolf after discovering that he and his gang's surfboards are on fire.
  • Badass Biker: Pissed-off elderly Mama Bear Eleanor Washington moves around on a bike during the second and third acts, with big sunglasses and constantly chomping down on a cigar.
  • Big Bad: Adolf, ruler of the Surf Nazis and the self-proclaimed "Fuhrer of the Beach".
  • Bleak Abyss Retirement Home: The old folks home that Eleanor Washington goes to after her house is demolished by an earthquake. The personnel hate her because she plays card games with the other old folks and cuts a tree blocking her room's view and constantly try to slip sedatives in her food.
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  • Blithe Spirit: Eleanor Washington absolutely refuses to be a meek old woman like the rest of the folks at her home, refusing to eat any of the home's meals (which have sedatives added by the orderlies), playing gambling games with the other old folks (which is forbidden), smoking and chainsawing down a tree in the yard that was getting in the way of her window's view.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Up to Eleven. Mama Washington gets rid of Adolf by shoving the barrel of her gun inside of his mouth and blowing his brains out.
    Mama: Taste some of Mama's home cooking, Adolf!
  • The Brute: Brutus is the muscle of the Surf Nazis.
  • Car Fu: Boat Fu variation. Mama Washington runs over Eva with a boat (ripping her head off) at the climax.
  • Chainsaw Good: On the chainsaw-surfboard contraption that appears on the poster, and only on the poster.
  • Cigar Chomper: Mama is constantly chomping down on a cigarette-thin cigar during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Done by the leader of the Pipeliners when he is climbing a ladder.
  • Cool Car: The Surf Nazis' van, painted in a World War II camouflage scheme with a large shark fin on the roof. It was the directors' own van and all he did after production was over was remove the swastikas from the paint job before continuing to drive the van like that.
  • Covers Always Lie: The chainsaw surfboard is actually one with a concealed Sinister Switchblade edge in the film, and the surfer gangs prefer to use knives, harpoon guns or their bare hands on their fights (which is why Eleanor has the advantage on the climactic raid-slash-Curb-Stomp Battle, with her grenade and pistol). The "Switchblade" also gets destroyed very early on in the film (it's one of the first casualties of Mama's Roaring Rampage of Revenge, even, and never gets used to hurt anybody) and Hook doesn't has a bionic pincer but a regular (if massive) hook that he also exchanges for a more manageable one (size-wise) at the mid-point of the film.
  • Dastardly Dapper Derby: Worn by Hook when he's not surfing.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Leroy Washington has a lot going for him in terms of hero material, including the fact that he loves his elderly mother very much... which is why when the Surf Nazis kill kim early on in retaliation for him getting in the way of some purse-snatching, his mother Eleanor goes on the warpath.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The waitress at the bar that Wheels is visiting tries to do this to him to snatch the money in his possession. Unfortunately to her, Wheels' lady didn't stay with the kids.
  • Enemy Mine: The other rival surfer gangs decide to band together and take out the Surf Nazis once and for all on the second act... unfortunately, even with this alliance in place, they continue to attack one at the time, allowing the Surf Nazis to kill them all.
  • The Evil Genius: Mengele, the weapons crafter (genius may be stretching it but he seems to be the only one smart enough to question Adolf's decisions).
  • Evil Laugh: Eva is fond of it, and she usually displays it around fire.
  • Fanservice:
    • When Wheels, the drug dealing biker, goes to a bar, he is greeted by a waitress who sits on his lap and lifts her top.
    • There's also Adolf's and Eva's sex scene during the Surf Nazis' brief fight against the Samurai Surfers.
    • There are plenty of swimsuit-clad beachgoers on multiple scenes, including the people that almost get robbed by the Surf Nazis but Leroy stops them and two bikini-clad women that Smeg is talking to before Mama Washington grabs him for some Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Early on Adolf mentions he graduated as an economics major as he's strong-arming the man this gang fences the stuff they steal into doing changes to his selling methods to increase revenue.
  • Gang of Hats: The surfer gangs each have their own distinct looks. The Surf Nazis are... well... Nazis, for example, one other gang supposedly are samurai and one other gang is made of pirates.
  • Groin Attack: One member of Designer Waves tries to deliver a martial arts kick at Hook, who counters it with by grabbing the guy's leg and striking his groin with his hook hand.
  • Hand Cannon: Discussed In-Universe. The man that Mama Washington purchases her gun from (which is a Walther P-38 9mm pistol) praises the gun as such. At the very least, it's got more stopping power than the .38 purse gun he was gonna sell her at first, but the only time Mama shoots somebody with it, it's Adolf and considering it's after shoving the barrel in his mouth it doesn't really matter how powerful the round is.
  • Harpoon Gun: Brutus' weapon of choice. Mengele suggests that he is Compensating for Something with it.
  • Hook Hand: Hook, who lost his hand to a shark in the past. He has various hooks to choose from, all made by Mengele.
  • Knife Fight: Between Mengele and the Pipeliners leader.
  • Large Ham: An awful lot of the main characters.
    Leader of the Pipeliners (when Adolf offers an alliance... with him as leader): Adolf, NO! (shaking, Giving The Pointer Finger to Adolf) You can't handle so much power!
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Mama Washington sets ablaze the Surf Nazis' boards, which pushes their Berserk Button and makes them go after the people they believe are responsible, which are the remaining enemy surfer gangs. This manages to wipe out said other gangs and gets Nazi member Brutus killed.
  • Licking the Blade: Mengele does this with his knife after killing the Pipeliners leader.
  • Mama Bear: Eleanor Washington. Bonus points for her nickname being "Mama."
    Mama: I wanna buy a gun. One that'll shoot the head off a honky at 20 paces.
  • Meaningful Name: "Surf Nazis" is surfer lingo for surfers that get hostile when other surfers enter their territory. The film just makes the meaning literal and Up to Eleven, with them even doing heil salutes after going through a wave.
  • Momma's Boy: Smeg, who ends up being kept away from warning the Surf Nazis about the vengeful Mrs. Washington due to his demanding mother.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Adolf, Eva and Mengele. Though those are not their real names (Smeg's mom at one point says Adolf's real name: Ricky Johnson) .
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mama Washington pulls off a pretty awesome vigilante justice rampage, starting with making the Surf Nazis and other surfer gangs fight each other (which leads to the Surf Nazis killing them all, although not without casualties) before taking out the rest herself.
  • Off with His Head!: Eva is decapitated when a boat commandeered by Mrs. Washington drives over her.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Just to make sure that we don't care about what happens to Smeg and even laugh at his beloved smother antics, when he talks about what the Surf Nazis did to Leroy he describes him by dropping the "N"-word.
  • Pre Mortem Oneliner: Given by Mama Washington when she finally gets to put her gun into Adolf's mouth.
    Mrs. Washington: Taste some of the Mama's home cooking, Adolf!
  • Red Right Hand: Hook has a hook for a hand.
  • Retired Badass: Leroy, a man that would be the hero in a normal action movie, is murdered by the Surf Nazis. Cue his aged mother to leaving the retirement home and curb stomping the bastards.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mama starts hunting the Surf Nazis after her son dies at their hands.
  • Sassy Black Woman: "Mama" Eleanor Washington.
    Mrs. Washington, when looking for a gun for her revenge: I wanna buy a gun. One that'll shoot the head off a honky at 20 paces.
  • Slashed Throat: Eva slices the throat of one of the Samurai Surfers who tries to assassinate her and Adolf.
  • Serious Business: Surfing for the beach gangs, as they are willing to fight each other for the best locations.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Eleanor Washington is on-screen for only four minutes or so of film, but most of it is a supreme example of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that is single-handedly responsible for all the surfer gangs in Los Angeles biting the dust.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Mrs. Eleanor Washington's Establishing Character Moment is Leroy taking her to a retirement home because their home has been destroyed by an earthquake and a nurse calling her "Eleanor" trying to be nice...
    Mrs. Washington: It's "Mrs. Washington" to you!. And I ain't deaf!
  • Those Wacky Nazis: It's all in the name of the film.
  • Totally Radical: This being a surfer film in the 80's, there is plenty of surfer lingo like "gnarly".
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: After a great earthquake devastates a large chunk of Los Angeles (two of the people affected being the Washingtons), surfer gangs take over the coast.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Between Adolf and his girlfriend Eva.
  • Visible Boom Mic: Can be seen after Mrs. Washington ambushes the sleeping Surf Nazis with a grenade, and Mengele stumbles out of the resulting explosion.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Brutus never wears a shirt. There are a couple of scenes in which he has No Shirt, Long Jacket.
  • When Elders Attack: With pistols, hand grenades, and running over people with boats.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Brutus' face is splashed with acid and he is blinded, Adolf finishes him off relying on this. Unusually to this trope, he is actually remorseful about it later.
    Adolf: You're useless to me now, Brutus.


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