Combat Shock (1985)

A returning Vietnam Vet approaches mental collapse as he tries to readjust to a jobless post-war America. He is faced with haunting memories, squalid living conditions, a nagging wife, and extreme poverty before he is finally unable to cope any farther. Like Bob Clark's DEATHDREAM, COMBAT SHOCK is a biting critical response to the way America discarded its Veterans following the withdrawal from Vietnam. While the production values and acting may not be as polished or professional as Clark's film, the dark tone and disturbing realism have an immediate impact on the viewer. Giovinazzo's gritty filming and dilapidated cityscape are both reflective of Frankie's debilitating mental state, creating an external mirror to his inner anguish. It is impossible to avoid making comparisons to THE DEER HUNTER or TAXI DRIVER, since the film draws heavy influence from both, but it still manages to establish its own unique voice through Frankie's depressing performance. The horrors depicted in COMBAT SHOCK are inescapable. It is a brutal portrayal of one of America's darkest moments in history, and it is as shocking as the title entails.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked COMBAT SHOCK, check out:
DEATHDREAM, CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE, TAXI DRIVER.


7 comments:

  1. must admit to kinda liking a lot of the "returned vet losing the plot" flicks out there. when it comes to real horror, nothing beats the frontline of a battle field. no hollywood director's visionary "nightmare" comes close. def looks like worth hunting down.

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  2. The question is: Is it too shocking for me to enjoy it? I've gone back and forth about this film, but you think I should give it a shot?

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  3. I wouldnt say its too shocking to enjoy, however it may be too depressing. I would liken it to Abel Ferrera's DRILLER KILLER in terms of overall tone Becks

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  4. I first saw the cut version of this one and it still depressed the hell out of me. If you don't enjoy movies like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST or SALO, you may want to stay miles away from this one. Hopeless, uncompromising, infinitely depressing movie that isn't recommended viewing for anyone whose having any kind of problems in their life.

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  5. If it werent for the ironically upbeat tone (also similar to CH), this film would be damn near unbearable

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  6. ???Upbeat??? Granted, I haven't watched this in a while, but damn, Carl, upbeat? Is there an alternate happy ending I'm not aware of? lol.

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  7. Woops that was supposed to be music not tone lol..

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