Oh dear…who would have believed it…a couple of low budget filmmakers have managed to do the impossible…outdo Troma at what Troma do best!! Yes, upcoming schlock filmmakers Andy Signore and T J Nordaker with their grimy gory opus 'The Janitor' have snatched the (bloody) sword from the erstwhile grue kings Troma and have made a very (dis)respectable climb to the throne of their own!
The film follows the gut chuckling bloody misadventures of uber violent brainless office janitor (sorry, custodian) Lionel as he goes about his business of killing, maiming and generally 'cleaning up' what he sees as the miscreants of his day-to-day dealings. The body count piles up whilst the even more witless FBI agents haplessly go round in circles blindly unaware (and incapable) of pinpointing the person behind the killings.
Events soon start to feel as though they might just become tiresome and stagnant when our (anti) hero Lionel, sickened by his current employment, manages to snare a job as 'custodian' in a nearby all girl Sorority House! Being a grade Z Tromaesque schlocker of course all is not going to pan out easy for poor Lionel and blood, boobs and heartbreak are the inevitable order of the day in this trashily entertaining opus.
After a slightly rocky start, 'The Janitor' (most welcomingly) manages to deliver exactly what fans of this sort of movie want…splatty gore, belly laughs, big bouncing boobies and a great sense of the absurd. Over the years I've seen a lot of low budget attempts at doing Troma type flicks and often they fall flat on their face in some way or another (unfunny attempts at humor, cringe worthy acting that's not even feeble or hapless attempts at gore) - the problem often being that if one element fails then generally the film will falter on every level. Thankfully with 'The Janitor' Signore and Nordaker have managed to tick all the boxes and deliver a film that Troma would surely have bitten their hands off to have made. The inevitable similarities are hilariously endorsed by the cameo appearances within the film by Troma head honcho Uncle Lloyd (Kaufman) himself as a foul mouthed street tramp who (as ever in these roles) gets violently assaulted (stop sniggering at the back there!)
Fans of Troma will know exactly what to expect with 'The Janitor' and assuredly they wont be disappointed. The direction is solid throughout and the cast (none of whom understandably are Oscar material) do fine with the trashy fun dialogue they have to deliver and the blood and gore comes thick and fast throughout the movie (with even a stunning gory 'head' scene that outdoes the similar moment from straight shocker Haute Tension). The film also has the finest and most hilarious use of the woeful Chris De Burgh song 'Lady in Red' that will make anyone laugh out loud I'm sure!
For their first feature together Signore and Nordaker have laid out the perfect calling card to fans and industry alike and this genre fan for one hopes this signals the start of a blood soaked beautiful career together. Amazingly, for a film produced a year ago this still hasn't been picked up for distribution and so the review copy seen here is a promotional DVDR release made by the filmmakers themselves. Whilst the film itself is perfectly presented (well the filmmakers will have utilised the best possible elements created from their digital master no doubt) sadly the only extra feature is a promo trailer for the main feature. Whilst it would have been nice to have kicked back with say a 'making of' feature (the hardships of no budget filmmaking is always fascinating) it's no great loss at the end of the day as the important thing is always essentially the main feature…and here fans of Grade Z trash fun will be positively delighted with the tasteless gory fun on offer.
By no means a classic, 'The Janitor' is still a lot better than anything Troma is producing of late…until someone picks this up for general release on the home video front this home produced DVDR release is the only way splat fans and muties can check this oddball gem out. Recommended!
For more info visit the films production website by clicking here.
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by Signore and Nordaker|
|Not Rated - Region All (NTSC)|