|Unrated (Extremely unrated)
|Copyright 1999 Troma
| Reviewed by Matt Casarino
on 29 August 2001
- Casey - Will Keenan. A straight-laced, pickle-eating, Spielberg-loving boom operator with a secret. Killed in a manner so incorrect I can't even mention it here.
- Jennifer - Our blonde hero. Dreams of becoming a director so she can care for her sad and disgusting mother. Great eyes, though.
- Jerry - A wacky PA (he calls a gay man "Tushie Pusher") who's really just a lovable teddy bear. Stabbed in the head by Casey.
- Christine - Debbie Rochon! Man-eating slut-whore-bitch, and magnificently bad actress. Develops a sore nose.
- Larry - Lloyd Kaufman! The blind director. Blown up in an act of selfless heroism.
- The Toddster - Obnoxious (but kind of hilarious) fratboy PA. Stabbed and lobotomized with his own bong.
- Jacob Gelman - The ubiquitous (in Tromaville, anyway) Joe Fleishaker. Morbidly obese producer who seems to score with a lot of chicks. Eaten (after a long, long struggle) by an escalator.
- Asshole PA - His name says it all. De-legged in a suspicious car crash.
- Naked PA - Again, the name (unfortunately) says it all. Loses his head and runs naked through the streets of New York. And then loses his head again.
- Edgar Allen - A creepy, creepy ventriloquist. Dies by...um...it's bad, people. Very, very bad.
- Popo - Edgar's dummy. Does a mean Jesus impression.
- Lemmy - Lemmy!
- Casey's Dad - Ron Jeremy! Ron Freakin' Jeremy! Um, not that I know who that is...
|Where would we be without the gonzo-exploitation masters of mayhem at Troma? Lloyd Kaufman and his merry band of pranksters have served up self-conscious pieces of cinematic crap for several years now. I guess it's only right that they release "Terror Firmer" on the heels of their first "good" movie, "Tromeo and Juliet." "Terror Firmer," which claims to be inspired by Kaufman's recent book "All I Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger," is a Troma movie about a Troma movie. As such, it is, at any given time, hilarious, mean, raunchy, disquieting, cute, grotesque, disturbing, sweet, brainless, profound, clever, incompetent, rude, and, above all, thoroughly revolting. It's exhausting. And it's bad. And quite good, in its own way.
The plot? Larry Benjamin (played by Troma prez Kaufman), the director of the fictional Troma movie (it involves all the recent Troma heroes), is trying to pull his oddball cast and crew together to finish the film. It's not an easy task, because 1) he's blind; 2) his cast and crew are sex-crazed idiots; and 3) there's a serial killer on the loose. We've already seen the killer, who appears to be a sexy brunette, bludgeon a French guy with his own leg and, in a scene designed to eliminate any Operation Rescue members from the audience, involuntary abort a pregnant woman. Now the killer is going after the cast and crew, which may not be necessary, since they're perfectly capable of dying stupid and violent deaths on their own.
But die they do. A fratboy PA is stabbed with his own bong after being forced to snort cocaine up the entirely wrong orifice (which is too bad, since he was a riot). A stuntman is killed in a scene that would be an unpleasant reminder of Brendan Lee's demise if it weren't so goofy. A nauseatingly fat guy gets attacked with an axe and fed to an escalator. A PA gets crushed between two runaway trucks. An assistant director takes a movie lamp to his head. And so on, and so forth.
There's a love triangle developing too, as seemingly straight-laced PA Casey and seemingly unbalanced PA Jerry both have eyes for blonde PA Jennifer (played nicely by Alyce LaTourelle, who looks like she'd like to strangle her agent). Casey takes the early lead, because he's a smooth talker with wicked cheekbones, and takes Jennifer home for some gratuitous nudity and fun with pickles. But it eventually becomes clear that Jerry (newcomer Trent Haaga, who looks like a somewhat handsomer Steve Buschemi) is the man for her, especially after Casey reveals that he feels Hook is Spielberg's best film, next to maybe Always. Jerry's got soul. Jerry's got taste. And after Jennifer and Jerry make sweet love on camera (long story), Casey goes crazy with jealousy, and then...
Well, then things get weird. I won't reveal the ending, except to say that I wouldn't have been surprised if the cast started doing the Time Warp. One of Kaufman's strategies is to go way too far with the gore, so we get to see all kinds of blood and vomit and internal organs. A weird result of this is that victims take far too long to die. The nauseatingly fat guy, for example, gets his organs squeezed from his chest by an escalator while getting axed in the head by the killer. You'd think that would kill him, but he just keeps screaming. I won't even mention what happens to the ventriloquist, except to say it involves involuntary enhancement surgery. Ouch. To balance things out, Kaufman goes too far with the nudity too, cheerfully displaying the frontal goods of anyone game enough to show them off. And of course everything is faker than a handshake from Hillary; body parts, internal and external, are obviously nothing more than latex, fake blood, ultraslime, and wet, red toilet paper. So what's not to like?
Only one thing. Terror Firmer is so self-referential and self-congratulatory that it gets a little annoying. It's corrupt, which is fine. But what made Tromeo and Juliet so appealing was its innocence. It seemed a little stunned with the power of its own script and the cast and crew on the set responded by giving the performances of their lives. Everything's relative, of course, and Terror Firmer generally features better acting than Tromeo (Alyce LaTourelle, who looks like a young Jamie Lee Curtis, clearly has the goods), but it's obviously the work of self-conscious folks who wanted to make the "ultimate" Troma movie. Some "comic" bits are just plain stupid, like a "Seinfeld" parody that seems tacked on as an afterthought. So I'm docking it a slime, but don't let that stop you from watching Terror Firmer. It's what bad movies and Troma are all about. Just don't see it with a pregnant woman.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- A fetus, when ripped from its mother's tummy, will cry.
- Women find the smell of the male armpit exceptionally sexy.
- Chicks like fat guys.
- People poop a lot when they die.
- Bald? Wanna grow hair? Try burning your scalp with a movie lamp.
- Pickles are a very versatile food.
- Fat guys sure are hard to kill, even after their organs pop out.
- After getting smacked with a prop leg, a nose will swell to about 10 times its original size.
- Hermaphrodites are very, very disturbed people.
- 2 mins - That guy just blew his own head all over his desk! Oh, wait. It's back on. Interesting editing choice.
- 7 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 15 mins - Say, that fellow's naked! And...OWWW! I'm no drug user, but I don't think that's how you're supposed to do coke. Just say no, dude!
- 17 mins - You can stop stabbing him now. I think he's dead. Wait...no he isn't. Carry on.
- 19 mins - Now THAT is a great T-shirt!
- 20 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CANTALOUPE!
- 21 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 23 mins - RANDOM GRA... ...oh, the hell with it. They're everywhere.
- 35 mins - Hey! Jennifer's getting naked! I didn't think she...HEY, DON'T DO THAT WITH THAT PICKLE! Talk about bad hygiene...
- 37 mins - Ah, that Lloyd Kaufman. So respectful with the old folks.
- 40 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ESCALATOR!
- 43 mins - Hey! Two chicks making out! And one is covered in tattoos! Great!
- 44 mins - Hey. Two guys making out. And one is covered in tattoos. Great.
- 53 mins - Yuck! Damn you, Lloyd!!
- 63 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PORT-O-POTTY!!
- 78 mins - Yep. A fat, blindfolded, naked guy running through the streets of New York. Viva la Troma!
- 80 mins - Yuck! Damn you, Lloyd!!
- 82 mins - OWWW! Damn you to hell, Lloyd!!!
- 95 mins - Will Keenan really wants to star in The Rocky Horror Show, doesn't he?
- 107 mins - These credits are excellent! And some wonderful guest stars. Thank you, Lloyd. All is forgiven.
- "Let's make some art!"
- "I've just been pissed on by a blind independent movie director!"
- "I'm coming! I can see! I can see myself coming!"
- "It's this chaos from which the best shit emerges..."
- "Don't get any of that green shit in my hair, on my face, on my nipples, or in my p***y, okay?"
- "I'm an artist first, and then a businessman! And then a foot fetishist."
- "You're supposed to be a seductress. Can you please read this with more of that slutty whore bitch vibe?"
- "I'm the happiest father a wife could be!"
- "Dude! You just got your ass kicked by a chick with half a dick!"
- "Don't give up the fight for truly independent cinema!"
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Jerry: "Why do you look at the crack of a man's a** and think 'lunch time?'"
||Larry lays down the law.
||Larry: "This moment is the time when we are going to be taking our place in the pantheon of film history. Yes! 'Terror Firmer' is going to have more bullet hits than any movie in film history. Except, perhaps, Sam Peckinpah's 'Wild Bunch,' but we're going to have exploding breasts and that's far more historically significant."
||Woman: "Hey Jerry." |
Woman: "We need you for the projectile diarrhea and the colostomy bag decapitation scene."
Jerry: "Okay, coming, coming!"
||Casey: "I am neither, neither, either, either, not man, not woman, but a perfect third sex."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Steven had just finished giving a great pep talk when tragedy struck. Notice his sudden hair growth (Matt alluded to this in the "Things Learned" section).
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
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