Tromeo and Juliet: Wikis

  
  

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Tromeo & Juliet

Theatrical Poster
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman
James Gunn
(uncredited)
Produced by Lloyd Kaufman
Michael Herz
Written by James Gunn
Lloyd Kaufman
Starring Jane Jensen
Will Keenan
Valentine Miele
Maximillian Shaun
Steve Gibbons
Sean Gunn
Debbie Rochon
Lemmy
Stephen Blackehart
Tiffany Shepis
Music by Willie Wisely
Cinematography Brendan Flynt
Editing by Frank Reynolds
Studio Troma Entertainment
Distributed by Troma Entertainment
Release date(s) February 28, 1997
Running time R-Rated Cut:
107 minutes
Unrated Cut:
137 minutes
Language English
Budget $350,000

Tromeo and Juliet is a 1996 independent transgressive comedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet from Troma Entertainment. The film was directed by Lloyd Kaufman and co-directed by James Gunn, who also wrote the film's screenplay.

The film is more or less a faithful adaptation of the play except with the addition of extreme amounts of Troma-esque sexuality and violence, used in a way the filmmakers believed actors would have done in Shakespeare's time (with proper adjustments to content to suit the times, updating the fashion and setting to contemporary needs, also in Shakespeare's tradition). The title of the film is a portmanteau of "Troma" and "Romeo & Juliet".

Tagline:

  • Body piercing. Kinky sex. Dismemberment. The things that made Shakespeare great.

Contents

Plot

Set in modern-day Manhattan, the film begins with the narrator introducing two families: the Capulets and the Ques.

At the center of these families is Tromeo Que and Juliet Capulet. Tromeo lives in squalor with his alcoholic father Monty and works at a tattoo parlor with his cousin Benny and friend Murray. Juliet is sequestered in her family’s mansion, watched over by her abusive father Cappy, passive mother Ingrid, and overprotective cousin Tyrone.

Juliet (Jane Jensen) and Tromeo (Will Keenan)

Both Tromeo and Juliet are trapped in cases of unrequited love: Tromeo lusts for the big-bosomed promiscuous Rosie; Juliet is engaged to wealthy meat tycoon London Arbuckle as prelude to an arranged marriage.

In the meantime, a bloody brawl between Murray and Sammy Capulet catches the attention of Detective Ernie Scalus, who gathers the heads of the two families together and declares that they will be held personally accountable for any further breaches of peace. Almost immediately afterwards, Monty and Cappy start threatening each other with weapons. Sammy gets caught in the window of Monty’s speeding car, where he is thrown head-first into a fire hydrant and (very slowly) dies.

On Murray and Benny’s insistence, Tromeo attends the Capulet’s masquerade ball in the hopes of meeting Rosie, only to find another man performing cunnilingus on her. Tromeo staggers around the party in disillusion until he locks eyes with those of Juliet. The two instantly fall for each other and share a dance until an angry Tyrone chases him out of the house.

Tromeo and Juliet continue to be enamored by one another from afar. Cappy, disgusted at his daughter’s active libido, forcefully imprisons her in a plastic cage as punishment. Tromeo sneaks into the house of Capulet and the two meet once again. After proclaiming their love for each other both verbally and physically, they agree to be married. Juliet breaks her engagement with Arbuckle and, with the help of Father Lawrence, the two are married in secrecy the next day.

Tyrone, upon discovering Juliet‘s secret affair, gathers his gang together and challenges Tromeo to a duel. Now a kinsman to the Capulets, Tromeo refuses to fight, suggesting to both sides to bring the life-long feud to an end. Murray accepts the duel on Tromeo’s behalf and, in the ensuing brawl, is mortally wounded by Tyrone‘s club. Tromeo, enraged by his friend’s death, pursues Tyrone and slays him (through a series of car crashes which dismembers him) and goes into hiding from the police.

Learning that she is involved with Tromeo, Cappy savagely beats Juliet and forces her to reconcile with Arbuckle. Arbuckle accepts her re-proposal and the marriage is set. Juliet visits Father Lawrence, who reunites her with Tromeo and enlists the help of Fu Chang, the apothecary, who sells Juliet a special potion which will aide her predicament.

Juliet, after her transformation

On the day of her wedding, Juliet swallows the apothecary’s potion, transforming her into a hideous cow monster, complete with a three-foot penis. The mere sight of her causes Arbuckle to leap out of Juliet’s window in fright, committing suicide. Enraged over the loss of his would-be son-in-law and meat inheritance, Cappy attempts to rape and murder Juliet, but Tromeo arrives just in time, knocking Cappy unconscious and bringing Juliet’s appearance back to normal by a single kiss. Cappy awakens, taking both lovers captive by crossbow-point. While distracted, Juliet performs one last act of defiance against her father and electrocutes him, killing him for good.

As Tromeo and Juliet leave the house of Capulet, they are confronted by Ingrid and Monty, who reveal to them the real reason behind the Capulet/Que feud: long ago, Cappy and Monty were the owners of the successful Silky Films production company. Ingrid, married to Monty at time, struck up an affair with Cappy, eventually birthing a son which Monty raised as his own. Faced with a divorce from Ingrid and the threat of having his son taken away from him, Monty was forced to sign over all the rights of Silky Films to the Capulets in exchange for his son. After the initial shock at the revelation that they’re siblings, Tromeo and Juliet are determined not to let their whole ordeal be all for naught; they passionately embrace and drive off into the sunset.

The film picks up six years later in Tromaville, New Jersey, where Tromeo and Juliet, now married, have become suburban yuppies with a house and (deformed) children of their own.

The film ends with the narrator’s brief poem for the lovers: "And all of our hearts free to let all things base go/As taught by Juliet and her Tromeo".

A brief shot of William Shakespeare laughing uproariously is shown before the end credits.

Cast

Actor Character in Tromeo and Juliet Character in Romeo and Juliet
Will Keenan Tromeo Que Romeo Montague
Jane Jensen Juliet Capulet Juliet Capulet
Maximillian Shaun Cappy Capulet Lord Capulet
Valentine Miele Murray Martini Mercutio
Stephen Blackehart Benny Que Benvolio
Patrick Connor Tyrone Capulet Tybalt
Wendy Adams Ingrid Capulet Lady Capulet
Steve Gibbons London Arbuckle Count Paris
Debbie Rochon Ness Nurse
Tiffany Shepis Peter Capulet Servant
Flip Brown Father Lawrence Friar Lawrence
Gene Terinoni Detective Ernie Scalus Prince Escalus
Jacqueline Tavarez Rosy Rosaline
Garon Peterson Fu Chang The Apothecary
Sean Gunn Sammy Capulet N/A
Joe Fleishaker 1-900-HOT-HUNK N/A
James Gunn The "Found a Peanut" Father N/A
Brian Fox Bill Shakespeare N/A
Lemmy Narrator N/A

Lloyd Kaufman, Merle Allin and Ami James have non-speaking cameos in the film. A scene featuring Ron Jeremy as a homeless man was filmed but ultimately deleted from the final cut of the movie.

Production

The first draft of Tromeo and Juliet surfaced in 1992, written by Kaufman and Troma employees Andy Deemer and Phil Rivo, written entirely in Shakespearean verse and supposedly featuring The Toxic Avenger as a side character. The feedback from other Troma employees and Michael Herz was unanimously negative, so the idea was scrapped.

In 1995, another shot was taken at the concept, this time by newbie screenwriter James Gunn. Gunn completely rewrote the script, again in Shakespearean verse, making it darker and far more obscene; the original version had Juliet as a stripper and Tromeo as a crack dealer. Another revision, with additional material by Kaufman, was crafted into what the film eventually became: the verse was trimmed down a bit and more comical elements were added.

Tromeo and Juliet was shot in the summer of 1995 for $350,000, one of the least expensive films in Troma history.

Reception

Tromeo and Juliet opened to generally positive reviews. Among the most notable, The New York Times called the film "exhilarating", Variety Magazine described it as a "no-holds Bard" and USA Today noted the film was "not just for Troma junkies...Tromeo and Juliet is sexy, silly, sweet and surreal!". Tromeo also played in art house theatres in Los Angeles and New York for months, and reportedly played at a San Francisco theatre for over a year.

In addition, Tromeo was selected to play at the Cannes Film Festival, the Fantasporto festival, the Mar del Plata Film Festival and the Italian Fantafestival, where it won the award for Best Film of 1997.

Daniel Rosenthal describes Tromeo and Juliet as "the nadir of screen Shakespeare...[it] takes every major character and incident from Romeo and Juliet and systematically drains them of humanity in a tedious, appallingly acted feast of mutilation and softcore sex."[1] Tony Howard summarizes it as a film "in which Juliet and the Nurse have lesbian sex, Romeo masturbates, various body parts are removed, the feud is between rival porn czars and incest rules".[2]

After the success of Tromeo, Troma had plans to develop a spiritual sequel entitled Schlock and Schlockability (a play on Sense and Sensibility), in which Jane Austen is reincarnated as a well-endowed female who takes revenge on all of the Hollywood movie producers who have bastardized her novels. At one point, Troma announced that the film would head into production, but as of 2008, there are no plans to follow up on the film.

Soundtrack

Untitled
Soundtrack by Various artists
Released May 6th, 1997
Label Oglio Records

Tromeo and Juliet is also notable for its soundtrack, composed of alternative rock, pop punk and heavy metal music, which helped get the film some recognition on MTV. Most bands were willing to contribute their tracks for little to no money out of respect for Troma. In return for their song "Mr. Superlove", The Ass Ponys' lead singer requested only a check from the company for $9.95, for the purpose of framing it on his wall.

The CD soundtrack was released on Oglio Records on May 6th, 1997 and included the following tracks:

  1. "Tromeo and Juliet Theme" by Willie Wisely
  2. "Sacrifice" by Motörhead
  3. "Pope on a Rope" by The Meatmen
  4. "Sunday" by The Icons
  5. "The Capulet Song (My Name Is Capulet)" by Stephen Blackehart & Valentine Miele
  6. "Drink That Whiskey" by The Wesley Willis Fiasco
  7. "Hyper Enough" by Superchunk
  8. "La Migra (Cruza La Frontera II)" by Brujeria
  9. "Gizzards, Scrapple and Tripe" by The New Duncan Imperials
  10. "Mr. Superlove" by Ass Ponys
  11. "Math" by Supernova
  12. "I Am a Romeo" by Sublime
  13. "TV Show Theme" by Willie Wisely
  14. "Monster Island" by Booterella w/ Jane Jensen
  15. "Yes, We'll Gather at the River" by Willie Wisely, Sean Gunn, Valentine Miele, Patrick Connor
  16. "Alleged" by Unsane

References

  1. ^ Rosenthal, Daniel "BFI Screen Guides: 100 Shakespeare Films" (British Film Institute, London, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84457-170-3) p.221
  2. ^ Howard, Tony "Shakespeare's Cinematic Offshoots" in Shaughnessy, Robert (ed.) "The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Popular Culture" (Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-60580-9), p.298

External links

Troma Entertainment: Tromeo & Juliet








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