Terror Firmer (1999)

Let's Make Some Art!
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Terror Firmer - Let's make some art!

Terror Firmer is possibly the epitome of the Troma stereotype created by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz. This is clown like humor designed specifically to shock, disturb and repulse those that see it. The opening scene depicts a pregnant woman being relieved of her unborn at the hands of an overtly disguised mugger and the movie continues in the same vein becoming more distasteful and more inane as it progresses. The usual swarm of crazy and over-exaggerated characters are all present with your usual Troma punk-types, nerd-types, fat-people-types and very-well-endowed-lady-types with the cast consisiting of a number of Troma mainstays including Will Keenan (Tromeo and Juliet) and Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV) and Mr Kaufman himself takes the lead role. The humour is juvenile and always in bad taste with no hesitation to laugh in the face of sexism, stereotypes and disabilities and exploits crass sexual innuendo whenever possible.

A low budget movie crew portrays a low budget movie crew, led by a blind movie director, Larry Benjamin (played by visually proficient real movie director Lloyd Kaufman). The (fictional) crew is busy filming the latest Toxic Avenger motion picture but is struggling due to typical Troma hazards plus a sexually confused serial killer determined to sabotage the production.

The main thread doesn't get much more complicated than that but intertwined with this are a multitude of bizarre sub stories following the everyday trials, tribulations, romanticizations and mutilations involved in making a low budget horror action epic such as The Toxic Avenger IV. The whole movie is a fun-poker at Troma in general and self-humiliation is a brave topic for a movie maker to aspire too, imagine any Troma movie you have seen in the past and think how far things must be taken to parody it, yep, that's how far Terror Firmer goes. With lashings of self-promotion to raise awareness of other Troma products, the whole storyline is an extreme self-parody and a cynical, satirical yet overtly outrageous look at the whole low-budget industry.

It's difficult to say much more about the intricate plot but gore, tits, piss, guts, gore, tits, barf, blood, Ron Jeremy, Lemmy, gore, porta-potty, Trey Parker and Matt Stone should cover it.

Terror Firmer is Lloyd Kaufman firing on more cylinders that was previously thought humanly possible with regards to stupidity, grossness, insensitivity and boobies. For fans of his work this is a must see as it demonstrates the extremes that this formula can go to, for anyone uninitiated or unimpressed by the formula, this will either be too much to take in, a mind blowing experience or a complete waste of an "even more extended" 125 minutes. Personally I find Terror Firmer both a struggle and a pleasure to watch (in a sort of "it's uncomfortable to watch with anyone else" kind of way... like watching Japanese vomit porn with your Grandparents without continually confirming that this isn't the usual thing you watch) and is probably (apparently) simply a greatly enhanced delight to the skunk generation as it is definitely nothing for the brain and the level of comedy is far from clever. Simply put, Terror Firmer is a no-holds barred experiment into bad taste, bad humour, superfluous gore and is a movie that needs to be seen once to be believed and again to be appreciated.
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