Terror Firmer

2000, Movie, NR, 114 mins

Review

TERROR FIRMER
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Is there anything more irritating than an exploitation filmmaker with self-referentiality on the brain? Only if the filmmaker is Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder and in-house director (and we use that term loosely) of bottom-of-the-barrel junk-movie factory Troma, Inc. Kaufman stars as Larry Benjamin, a blind movie director shooting a blood-and-boobs picture called Terror Firmer, featuring Troma stalwart the Toxic Avenger. His cast and crew include nympho starlet Christine (poverty-row scream queen Debbie Rochon); straight-laced PA Jennifer (Alyce LaTourelle), who's caring for her ailing mother and wants to direct; blood-mad effects artist Jerry (Trent Haaga, who at certain angles resembles Steve Buscemi) and handsome boom operator Casey (Will Keenan, also one of the film's producers). Jerry, who's not as weird as he seems, is smitten with Jennifer. Jennifer has eyes for Casey, who's not as normal as he appears. But their problems don't amount to a hill of beans next to the fact that a serial killer is cutting a bloody swath through the filmmakers' ranks. Not that Larry would think of halting production, of course. A rewrite here, a last-minute casting shuffles there, and Terror Firmer is one day closer to completion. The self-referential plot allows characters to chatter endlessly about independent filmmaking and reiterate the argument that Troma's stable of down and dirty filmmakers are better than artsy-fartsy poseurs like Samuel Fuller because hey, they know they're making crap. Right. The debates are punctuated by gross-out gags involving blood, excrement, vomit, guts, urine, boobs, drool and "clever" allusions to other Troma movies. The movie features cameos by Joe Franklin, South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker (who owe Troma for distributing their Cannibal: The Movie), Motorhead's Lemmy and porn star Ron Jeremy. Oh, the inhumanity! leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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