Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Terror Firmer (1999)

To judge Terror Firmer by any standard movie criteria is to do a disservice both to yourself and to the movie. Terror Firmer is just an absolutely bonkers, overly gory, hilarious celebration of all that is Troma from start to finish. When a movie has been running for mere seconds and shows someone having their leg ripped off then you know that things aren't going to be subtle and insightful. When, moments later, a woman has her unborn child ripped out of her stomach then you know that things just went way off the scale of anything that society would label as acceptable or tolerable. And, if you keep watching the whole movie, you realise that you're glad that Troma keep on keeping on with their particular brand of low budget lunacy.

The actual story revolves around a vicious killer who is causing a number of disruptions on the set of the latest Troma movie. Cast and crew members start to die and police want to find the culprit as soon as possible, obviously. Which all just means that viewers get to see one crazy death sequence after another, linked by numerous references to other Troma movies, plenty of gags (both lame and pretty good) and occasional moments in which characters discuss the merits of independent filmmaking and how spirited it is to keep breaking taboos and pushing boundaries.

To many people, this film will rank amongst the very worst that they could be forced to watch. For others, like myself, it will easily rank up there with the very best inspired insanity that Troma can provide. Lloyd Kaufman gets to sit in the director's chair and the script is based on the book that he co-wrote with James Gunn entitled "All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger". He also stars as the blind director of the film within the film. So, hopefully, you don't mind his particular style of overacting and mugging to the camera.

The rest of the cast more than makes up for any weaknesses in Kaufman's repertory. Will Keenan is especially great as a man quite obsessed with pickling, Trent Haaga is good fun (n.b. Haaga would go on to direct Keenan in the superb Chop - well worth checking out), Alyce LaTourelle is a lot of fun and also very attractive and then we get the great Debbie Rochon, the legendary Ron Jeremy, the equally legendary Lemmy and many other familiar faces dotted throughout the supporting cast.

It's an absolutely hilarious slice of distasteful entertainment. Or it could be the worst thing you ever see.




  1. Great review. I love Terror Firmer. Not one for the PC movie fans.

  2. Absolutely. And that's why, I think, my love for Troma grows in direct proportion to however PCness is doing at any given time :-)