‘Honky Holocaust’ DVD Review
Honky Holocaust is the latest offering from Troma Entertainment. If you aren’t familiar with Troma, they are an independent production company that specializes in extreme gore, humor, and violence. You might recognize some of their more popular entries like The Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist, and Cannibal! The Musical.
The company prides itself on its low budget gore-fests that occasionally include some social commentary. Honky Holocaust definitely falls into this category. It draws from both past and present racial tensions and presents the themes within a truly unique story.
Honky Holocaust is an alternate reality tale in which Charles Manson succeeded in igniting a race war back in 1969. He then fled to an underground bunker with his followers where they continued to grow in their hatred of minorities. He foretold of a time when they would emerge from the bunker and whites would be the only race left to rule the world.
A short time after going into the bunker, Manson dies, but not before fathering a daughter named Kendra. She grows up in the bunker knowing only hate and the teachings of her father, passed down by other leaders in the group.
One night, one of these leaders has a vision of Manson telling them it is time to return above ground and reclaim whatever is left. When they emerge, they find a world run by minorities where the whites are forced into servitude or left to fend for themselves in sanctioned areas.
Most of the survivors hold on to their hatred of minorities, but Kendra is forced out on her own and experiences life as a white person in present day. She interacts with some of the other races, meeting both good and bad representations of each. Ultimately, she must decide whether to defend her father’s teachings or condemn them and help try to improve the world that exists to salvage it for everyone.
The movie is similar in plot to the John Travolta and Harry Belafonte film White Man’s Burden, but Honky Holocaust is not quite as heavy with the social commentary. It also is much more graphic. If you are easily disturbed or disgusted, this isn’t the movie for you. However, if you enjoy that sort of thing, Honky Holocaust does have higher ratings across the boards than White Man’s Burden.
The movie is pretty entertaining. It starts off strong and has enough laughs and action to carry you well into the second act but it does bog down a bit at that point. It ends with a lot of action, but that wasn’t quite enough to regain my full attention. I think some trimming toward the end of the second act would have helped the pacing a bit. That said, when the movie is at its best it is one of the better Troma movies that I’ve seen.
I met Lloyd Kaufman, the founder of Troma Entertainment, at a convention last year. I bought a few DVDs and he joked that I was funding their next picture. While the budget for this film was a little greater than what I spent, the charm of this company is in their low budget entertainment. Their movies are truly fun and even if Honky Holocaust doesn’t sound up your alley, I would strongly encourage you to pick up one of their other titles. They’re gory, scary, and funny all at once while offering young filmmakers a chance to make their movies without studio interference. We wouldn’t have movies like Guardians of the Galaxy if Troma hadn’t given creators like James Gunn the room to grow, and that is definitely worth supporting.