Some readers probably know of or remember Elite Entertainment. Back in the day, they were one of the definitive distributors when it came to horror, first releasing Laserdiscs of beloved horror titles, then jumping in to DVD, releasing titles like "The Evil Dead", "Re-Animator", "The House on Sorority Row", "I Spit on Your Grave", and lesser known titles like "Tower of Evil." They also had a thing for indies such as Dante Tomaselli's "Horror", the sequel to "Savage Harvest", and today's entry in TJ Nordaker and Andy Signore's "The Janitor."
Signore stars as Lionel, who works with his buddy/mentor Mr. Growbo (Bruce Cronander) as a custodian at an office building. Having such a job is tough, especially with the fact that most of the people there take to disrespecting and humiliating him-which they shouldn't do, as he's prone for violent, murderous rage. Anyways, he takes interest in working at a fraternity, but when Growbo betrays him, only bad things can follow.
Made on a budget of cashews and shot on video, "The Janitor" reminded me a lot of the kind of movies Troma put out back in the day and still release today-and I'm not just talking about the Lloyd Kaufman cameo either. Granted, that proves to be a blessing and a curse here.
As a blessing, it does sport two shockingly good performances from Signore and Cronander, who embrace their roles with glee, while Skip Pipo (yes, that's really his name) does an amusing enough job as the clueless Agent Page. There's also some shockingly funny scenes (including an inspired riff on "Rocky"), plenty of gratuitous female nudity, and lots of gore and inventive kills. In fact, the latter part is the highlight here, as the gore effects look pretty impressive for such a low budget movie. Oh, and look for a pre "American Splendor" and "30 Rock" Judah Friedlander.
As for the curse factor, I wasn't too fond of the constant barrage of gross out and toilet humor. Granted, this movie revolves around a killer janitor, but I really didn't need scenes with sperm being drank and two guys pissing and shitting all over the floor. There's also the usual faults of micro-budget horror (poor acting, bad cinematography and camerawork-though this looks better than a lot of recent no-budget movies I've seen), and some of the jokes just fall flat.
As a whole, if you are a diehard fan of movies that promise nothing but tasteless humor, gore and bouncing bosoms in the vein of Troma, this is a must. For me? Well, it's a watchable enough movie. Nothing to go crazy over, but better than it has any right to be.
As for Elite-well, they're in the midst of a bit of a comeback, with "The Deadly Spawn" soon coming to Blu-Ray, and several other newer indie titles in their belt. I feel good for them.