6.4/10
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54 user 69 critic

Combat Shock (1984)

A dangerously disturbed Vietnam veteran struggles with life 15 years after his return home, and slowly falls into insanity from his gritty urban lifestyle.

Director:

Buddy Giovinazzo

Writer:

Buddy Giovinazzo (as Buddy G)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Giovinazzo ... Frankie Dunlan (as Ricky Giovinazzo)
Veronica Stork Veronica Stork ... Cathy Dunlan
Mitch Maglio ... Paco - Gang Leader
Asaph Livni Asaph Livni ... Labo - Gang Member
Nick Nasta Nick Nasta ... Morbe - Gang Member
Michael Tierno ... Mike - Junkie
Arthur Saunders Arthur Saunders ... Pimp
Lori Labar Lori Labar ... Lead Prostitute / Vietnamese Woman
Jim Cooney Jim Cooney ... Interogating GI
Ray Pinero Ray Pinero ... Welfare Worker
Leo Lunney Leo Lunney ... Frankie's Father
Eddie Pepitone ... Terry - Strung-Out Junkie (as Ed Pepitone)
Martin Blank Martin Blank ... Doctor
Bob Mireau Bob Mireau ... Security Guard
Tom Desantis Tom Desantis ... Man Behind Frankie
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Storyline

Frankie is a war vet whose life sucks. He has no money, a nagging wife, junkie friends, and a deformed baby. This is the story of one day in his pathetic post-war life. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fighting, killing, maiming. Agent Orange and the torture cages were the easy part!...

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Nightmare See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buddy Giovinazzo cast various friends, family members, and film school students in small roles. See more »

Goofs

When Frankie inspects the revolver drum magazine after loading it, some of the cartridges have a dent in the primer made by a firing pin, meaning that they've already been fired. See more »

Quotes

Frankie Dunlan: I see it all so clearly now.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original theatrical version was called "American Nightmares" and is 100 minutes long. See more »

Connections

Featured in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fictional soldier-in-poverty film is strong and powerful on fact.
24 December 1998 | by emmSee all my reviews

What another guilty pleasure this is! And a truly incredible one! COMBAT SHOCK is not what you'd expect from Troma, but it doesn't matter anyway. This is a strong and powerful account of Frankie, a former American P.O.W. in Saigon facing a harsh dilemma of society and family matters back home following the war. It's all based on true experiences with very disturbing levels of detail, and does become nerve-shattering. There possibly has never been a film that could deliver a high amount of intensifying power like this before, even outweighing its minimal plot and graphic violence. While some will find the infant looking like a stupid clone of E.T., others will worry about its povertic and dying state, but the character becomes a victim in its notorious shocking ending. This was the first "Tromatized" movie I've seen, and it sure ain't like the rest of 'em! A rock solid independent outing from Buddy G, whose brother plays the leading role as Frankie. Low budget, but delivers powerful meaning. Asks the all-important question of the hour: "Where will you be tomorrow?". Highly recommended!


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