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This is the story of a low budget film crew, led by their blind film director, Larry Benjamin (Lloyd Kaufman/co-founder of Troma Inc.), trying to make some art. In addition to the typical trials and travails of a Troma set, the crew finds themselves set upon by a sexually conflicted, bomb bearing serial killer. Production assistant Jennifer (enchanting Alyce LaTourelle) struggles to succeed on set and to decide between the two men in her life - straitlaced Casey (Will Keenan) and over the edge Jerry (Trent Haaga). This threesome heats up as the killer draws even nearer. As the insanity increases and the bodies amass, the crew bands together (both physically and sexually) against the threat in their midst. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Indy directors schooled in shock had two options when Hollywood stepped in and stole their thunder with bad taste comedy hits like THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and American PIE.
1. Become like John Waters, lose your edge and deliver much tamer (and much more bland) stabs at the establishment or...
2. Up the ante in terms of nihilistic gore, nudity, amorality, cruelty and cheap toilet gags.
Lloyd Kaufman has, with this film, undoubtedly established himself as the poster boy for the latter. So possessed is this man to disgust, offend, shock and give viewers an alternative to good, decent, Speilbergian entertainment, he has whipped out a film that includes, but it certainly not limited to, dismemberment, decapitation, impalement, castration, breast mutilation, urination, scat, puking, incest, rape, child molestation, drug use, cheesy sound effects, flatulence, deformed sex organs, full nudity (male and female), a fetus ripped from a womb, soft core sex and gore-dripping overkill in any and every other possible department. I must say, that it's a hectic, erratic, messy film, but I was never once bored while watching it.
Since the story takes place around the set of an independent movie (invaded by a hermaphroditic serial killer who hacks his/her way through the cast and crew in an effort to shut down the production) we also get some commentary on how the film industry works (and how it doesn't) and on the comedic virtues found in the lowest of low human behavior.
All four of the leads (Will Keenan, Alyce LaTourelle, Trent Haaga and Debbie Rochon) are great. Kaufman himself also shows considerable on-screen appeal as Larry Benjamin, the aloof director of the film in question, who also happens to be blind, an idea copied by Woody Allen for his acclaimed (but apparently not all that original) film Hollywood ENDING in 2001!
Fair enough to say that not everyone will be able to endure TERROR FIRMER, but be grateful someone has the audacity to slap Tinseltown in the face by beating them at their own game. The video and DVD both contain deleted scenes and outtakes and are available in uncut or R-rated versions. Watch for a cameo by SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Motorhead's Lemmy during an amusing end credit sequence.
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