Lance Reed's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, but luckily a nice stranger is willing to give him a lift. The seemingly nice man soon asks him a weird question: who he'd kill - his wife or his brother. Lance decides to play along and gives him an answer, which leads to him getting shot by a tranquilizer gun. When he wakes up he has to kill his brother, or his wife is dead. This is only the beginning of a very cruel game, by a man who wants revenge.
Trent Haaga and Will Keenan, back together again at last. These two Troma spawns are an addition to the list of great people to come out of Troma. The most important ones being Trey Park & Matt Stone and James Gunn, of course. Trent Haaga's "Chop" is quite a unique movie in how it treats the comedy and in the end, above all the violence, that's what keeps this one alive. I say this now because for the majority of this review I will struggle to find words to fully describe how entertained I was by it.
"Chop" refers to the acting of chopping of limbs, as you'd expect from a Trent Haaga movie (although he didn't write it, some themes, like torture, seems to be reoccuring in some of his stuff). This is a revenge story where the revenge is done on someone who can't remember what he has done to deserve it. Lance Reed has to lift with a stranger after his car breaks down. Soon after entering the vehicle, the stranger asks Lance who he'd rather see dead: his wife or his half brother. After laughing off such a stupid question, he plays along and picks his brother - a guy he doesn't REALLY like anyway. The stranger then shoots him with a tranquilized gun, and when he wakes up he has his brother tied in front of him. He's given an axe so that he can kill the brother, and if he doesn't then his wife will die instead. He decides to do it. He's shot with another tranquilizer, and is sent back home after having killed his brother. He has to live with what he has done and not tell anyone about it - not even his wife, who he found out has been sleeping with his brother. The man has just starting his revenge on Lance, but the problem is that Lance can't remember the guy. And he will chop off more and more of Lance's body parts until he can remember and say he's sorry.
The story isn't complex at all, but still it does take a while to describe it because it's so absurdly funny that I'd want to include everything. But I really can't. The dark and absurd, yet incredibly stupid, comedy is just so perfect for this movie. They're not handing you jokes as much as it gives you a fucked up situation and making it more fucked up before the scene ends. Watching Will Keenan as Lance Reed while he is losing more and more of his body parts, and is getting more and more paranoid, is hilarious. It gave me some of the biggest laughs of the year, no doubt.
It'd probably be a stretch calling this a torture movie, but there is plenty of torture in it. Much of the torture is done sporadically, with Lance Reed still being free to run around trying to end this madness somehow. It's not very gory or even THAT violent, and mostly features already chopped off parts/stumps. It's fine though, because unlike an actual "torture movie", this is not about getting juicy. This is about brutal, absurd laughs and a very confused lead character on his way to cuckoo-town.
I'm leaving this review shorter than I had expected too, mostly because I can't find a better way to get you to watch it than say: it's entertaining as fuck, and the comedy comes from the darkest corners of humanity. I loved "Chop". From the intense opening sequence, to the provoking solution, it continues to surprise and confuse. Overall a great success in that it's a fun movie that wanted to be fun. It knows what it is. Thanks to director Trent Haaga and actor Will Keenan, this is a movie I will not forget. A very unique movie that shouldn't remain unwatched.