Surf II (1983) 2021 Blu-ray re-release

Surf II (the end of the trilogy) is a product of its time. It’s a raunchy, over-the-top comedy with little plot and padded out with gags. Menlo (Eddie Deezen) is a psychotic nerd living in a fortress underneath the waves who has only one goal, and that’s to kidnap surfers, force them to drink toxic cola, and turn them into oil-guzzling, glam rock, leather-clad punk zombies!

Our “heroes” are two nearly identical surfers Chuck and Bob, their nearly identical counterparts Lindy Sue and Cindy Lou, and their wrecking ball of a friend Johnny Fat Head who mostly only says “Bow bow!” And this is where I would tell you about what they get into plot-wise, but they don’t get into much! It’s these kids getting into shenanigans like skipping school to surf, making frogs race in science class, hooking up, surfing, going to see a movie about surfing, not hooking up to go surfing, occasionally running into the previously mentioned surf punk zombies, and surfing! Eventually, they have to win a surf contest and rescue their teacher, friends, and horrible dads. But that’s all in the finale.

This uncouth little gem has never been released on any format past a VHS tape until the good people at Vinegar Syndrome put out a beautiful 35mm restoration Blu-ray this year. This is something I have wanted for thirty years. Like most ’80s movies, it looks great on a color restored print.

The director’s cut of the movie is also included and it’s drastically different from the version I was used to. This is Randall M. Badat’s only directing credit. It was his baby and when the suits got ahold of it, they added a slew of cut-away shots of bare breasts and an annoying guttural groan every time the surf-punk zombies are on screen. The director’s cut has more surfing, more Jocko (played by the late, great Tom Villard), Cindy Lou and Lindy Sue as surf zombies, a live performance by Dick Dale, better music, and fewer breasts. The topless scenes still pop up but they’re less gratuitous. There is a very long scene where Johnny Fat Head challenges the surf-punk zombies to a disgusting gross-out eating contest and I find myself dry heaving every time I see it. Couldn’t that have been cut, Mr. Badat?

It’s exciting to grow older and see lost relics like this come to the surface a thousand times better than they were originally produced. This is a movie to been seen with a group of friends who expect a ruckus. It’s extremely low brow but I’m sure if you’re like me, you can cringe and be delighted at the same time. Can you relate? –Rick V. (VinegarSyndrome.com)

Imitations of Love Poems, By Dory Williams and Dustin Pickering, 118 pgs.

If Razorcake was a place of business and Book Reviews was an event they were holding, Imitations of Love Poems would be somebody who wandered in off the street. I’ll get the back section—written by Dustin Pickering—out of the way first. His poems are so purple that I can’t make heads or tails out of them, nor am I inspired to try. But for the most part they’re inoffensive. I read them on autopilot and was relieved when it was over. Not my thing. That’s that.

Perhaps my uneducated ass could’ve tried harder to get it his portion of the book if Dory Williams’s half of the book hadn’t of left such a bad taste in my mouth. Her portion was a lot of religious garbage that’s better off reviewed in some evangelical rag than thrust upon this unsuspecting punk rocker. She’s got some real gems in here like, “I don’t see how people can say they love their bodies and still go out and be promiscuous.” (It’s because they’re horny. That’s how!) Jesus, if Razorcake were a venue and this book wandered in off the street and, I was working the door, this is the point where I’d throw my hands in the air shouting, “You see? You see what I have to deal with?” Okay, now I’m just torturing the metaphor, but, seriously, fuck this Christian horseshit! –Craven Rock (Transcendent Zero Press, 1629 El Camino Real, Apt. 7, Houston, TX 77062-5876,transcendentzeropress.org)