|Index||10 reviews in total|
Once upon a time, Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman gave former Playboy
Playmate of the Year India Allen a quarter of a million dollars to make
two features shot on "crappy digital video" and starring leggy cult
queen Julie Strain. What she returned to Lloyd was unfinished and
deemed unreleasable (unreleasable by Troma must be very bad, indeed!),
lawsuits followed from both parties and finally after several years of
toying around with the material (re-shoots, comic dubbing a la WHAT'S
UP TIGER LILLY?, added framing devices
) we get the mess that is TALES
FROM THE CRAPPER. There's no doubt that this is a dire production, but
the new voice-overs poking fun at the features are at times hilarious
and Lloyd lucked out that the crappy film footage contained the
entertaining pulchritude of Strain. It took me awhile to warm up to
Julie, but thanks to her performances in this and DELTA DELTA DIE!
(also 2003) I now realize when she's in her element (and has a big
enough role) she can make even the most rancid low-budget production
worth sitting through.
The first tale is titled (or re-titled) "The Case of the Melon Heavy Alien Man Eater" and features Julie as Ivana Dance, a cop so tough that she shoves a road cone up a rapist's ass. After busting some pedestrians (and waving her gun around in the air, firing shots that hit cars, cats and people in new comic sound effects), she infiltrates a series of strip clubs like "The Shimmering Beaver" to find out who or what has been killing the dancers and patrons. The culprit turns out to be a mantis-headed alien stripper monster who does such things as ripping a guy's penis off and shoving it through his head and forcing a urinal cake down a guy's throat in the restroom. Kevin Eastman (aka the guy who created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and also aka Mr. Julie Strain) plays her murdered partner and India Allen herself plays a reporter. Julie has a weird sex scene with a blow-up sex doll that turns into a woman (Arban Ornelas) who then goes to work at the club (??) One of the other strippers is played by B movie regular Antonia Dorian (DINOSAUR ISLAND), who through new dubbing becomes a transsexual stripper with a bad case of flatulence named Larry (I bet Antonia was just thrilled when she saw this).
The second story is a very (read: very) dumb tale of a teen boy who wants to go to college, but whose financial aid has fallen through. He and two pals (including the fat guy from the TV show "Lost") then decide to throw a fundraiser party to help raise tuition. They pander on street corners handing out fliers and inviting complete strangers to their home to see three kinky strippers (I guess the proceeds from that little function MAY take care of a semester's worth of books... if they're lucky). The dancers (Julie Strain, Arban Ornelas and Masuimi Max) are actually lesbian vampires who plot to suck down as much blood as possible, and after an lengthy all-girl sex scene, they go to the party and start their feeding frenzy. Ron Jeremy works the door at the party and newly added scenes feature Trey Parker (as Juan Schwartz) telling a long bad-taste incest joke and guest victims like Ted Raimi (using the alias Bill Ferguson and getting anally raped to death), Trent Haaga, Ramzi Abed, Doug Sakmann and Eli Roth. Julie's half-sister, Lizzy Strain, also shows up at the party, as does the band New Found Glory.
The two tales are frequently interrupted by new Troma vignettes and linking footage (which aren't nearly as funny as the stuff in the two stories). Lloyd and Michael Herz (played by big guy Joe Fleishaker) tell the history of Troma studios in one segment (where Debbie Rochon pops up in a cameo as the unheard-of feminist Troma co-founder Eva Lipshitz). Also, Lloyd shows up on Hollywood Boulevard with a trash bag over his head as "The Crap Keeper," rambles on and on and on and eventually interviews James Gunn (a former Troma alum who went on to script SCOOBY DOO and the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD). There's also a long and tasteless threesome with "Kelly Powers" (Suzi Lorraine), Isabelle Stephen and tranny Jamie Greco thrown in for no apparent reason. Debbie shows up a second time as a film editor who rips her top off and gets to work re-cutting the second story.
This is one DVD release that truly takes pleasure in scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I'm not sure what to think of this movie. I did enjoy it's low-budget crudeness. I liked the over-dubbed voices. I liked the chintzy special effects. And I liked Lloyd's Crapkeeper costume. But I felt that this movie was at times a strain on the brain to watch. It was a definite step down from Citizen Toxie and Terror Firmer. Yet it was better than The Killer Condom or any of those boring Witchcraft movies Troma is re-releasing. I liked the many cameos and the insipid story lines and the non-stop rude attitude the film portrayed, but at the same time I felt it was hard to watch because of the muddy filming, crappy editing and the sloppy way the stories were brought together. When I talked to Lloyd a year ago, he was quite excited about getting this released. Sorry to say, I was expecting more. But I guess I shouldn't complain. I know I could sit through it again. Two and a half stars.
These were two video shot movies that Troama decided were horrible so
in a desperate move turned into this one movie. Perhaps the bitterness
on Troama's side helped spark the comedy, but for whatever reason this
is very funny stuff with an inspired bit with "Oliver Stone" doing
commentary during the movie. Lots of cameos, lots of use of the Lesbian
Cannibal HoeDown song add to the fun. Trey Parker, Ted Raimi, Julie
Strain etc etc....
One of the best of recent Troama releases. Yes it's all over the place, know that going in, the production quality, or lack of, becomes one of the many running jokes. Go with it and you'll be in for a good time.
The behind the scenes, frequently the best things about Troama releases are also above average this time around. I really think the anger they felt over these two lousy films helped drive them to, well not greatness, but drove them to "fix" this film in a way that's better than either of the films would have been as they were originally planned.
As a fan of Troma, I thought this would be better. However, like Billy Bob Thorton's character in Bad Santa says, "They can't all be winners". The first film in this two film anthology series is unwatchable and stupid, even by the standards of Troma. The second film is better. It definitely is campy garbage, but amusing campy garbage that has cool cameos and makes fun of Hollywood's pretentiousness. Both of these films are short and the rest of the movie has Troma's Grand Poobah Lloyd Kaufman chewing up the scenery, making bad jokes and acting like an imbecile. Which would have been fine, but he does it for way too long and wears out his welcome quick. Tales From The Crapper does have plenty of boobage, gore, as well as an overdose of camp and super lowbrow humor. Most of what is contained here is not funny, or entertaining like a good bad film should be. It is just bad. There are plenty of other titles from Troma that are much better viewing choices. For example, in their own way films like The Toxic Avenger and Redneck Zombies are brilliant. I can only recommend this pile of crap to Troma's most die-hard of fans, who probably watched this 12 times already.
While the writing was terrible, the acting was atrocious, the only thing that saved this "turd" was the breast count, but that wasn't enough to make me watch this again. All said and done I'm actually dumber from watching this movie. This was a new low for Troma. Lloyd Kaufman starting the movie wearing a garbage bag and making fart noises should have made me realize what I was getting into. This was by far one of the worst ever put out by the Troma team. The best place to show this movie would be to invalids, sense they can't get up to change the channel. To conclude this is not a swift recommendation to watch this movie just for the breasts.
I understand that this was Llyod Kaufman's attempt to save a movie that was the pits. The whole movie is voiced over since the audio reel was junk. The voice overs were SO bad and terrible quality. As much as I love Troma, they tend to be a little heavy on the voice over work. The acting was terrible. One thing I did enjoy from this movie was the quick cameo of Trey Parker doing the aristocrats joke with a goofy wig on. There are a lot of big director dudes in this movie like James Gunn and Eli Roth (friends of Lloyd Kaufman). Again I think this was Llyods attempt of saving a crappy movie and trying not to lose 1000s of dollars. I won't go on and on but this movie was a mess. Check out other Troma titles.
"Tales from the Crapper" is gory, disgusting, tasteless, offensive,
lowbrow and scatological. But that's OK, I was prepared for all that
from my previous Troma experiences. What I WASN'T prepared for is that
it's also witless, unfunny and boring. Very little of the genuine
anarchic spirit of films like "Class of Nuke'em High" has remained
intact; in its place, we get ENDLESS fart jokes (to the point where you
start wondering if Lloyd Kaufman is going senile, thinking that adults
find loud farting so darn hilarious!) and a cynical, shameless
exploitation of the viewer, who is essentially investing time and money
to see a "film" that even Kaufman himself seems to know should never
have been released in the first place. Oh yes, there is plenty of
female nudity on display, but let's face it: the average porn film
probably offers a better storyline, higher production values, funnier
humor, and above all more RESPECT for its intended viewer than this
P.S: Kelly Powers AKA Suzi Lorraine (the blonde lesbian student in the "How to make your own movie" segment) is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.
Another BRILLIANT film from Troma. I'd goes as far as to say it's going to be the most unique film put out this year. The purpose of this film is hilarious in itself. According to the narrator THE CRAP KEEPER (played by Lloyd Kaufman, he better get an oscar nod for costume design) this movie was designed from the remains of two awful films they had made. As awesome as Troma is rather than putting out 2 boring BAD films they decided to make it one kicka** double feature. A double feature like no other, the adr work, narration, editing, and BONER-VISION make this one of Troma's finest gems. Lots of people will probably disagree, but these people have been cinematically brain washed. I enjoyed it more than Citizen Toxie, it was more from the hip, looser, as though it was pure creative freedom. Lloyd is the king of this stuff, he hasn't hung up his hat like Waters and so many others, he keeps exploring far away from the realms of safety.
Therefore it is important to talk about the DVD release instead of just
the film. Tales from the Crapper is a film that only one studio in the
world could deliver. The one that has brought us innovative and
original REAL independent films for 30 plus years now: Troma. This is
truly a very special film because it manages to be certainly not my
favorite of the Troma-productions, but released on a disc that because
of what I just said is one of my most valued and favorite DVD's. Not
only counting the countless Troma discs I own, but counting my entire
collection of films. The film itself is the result of an ill fated plan
to produce a television series to be directed by a director who was
trusted with a substantial amount of money (especially for Troma) to
make something wonderful and delivered a lot of unfinished and
incomprehensible material before quitting (or being fired, I am not
sure which at this moment). In order to prevent having to shove a vast
investment down the toilet Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz decided to
get together a team of directors and actors and use the material as the
backbone of one movie. One movie that really consists of two, in the
nice old Tales From The Crypt anthology fashion, hosted by the
Crapkeeper played by Mr Kaufman himself. But, as I said, not quite my
own favorite of all their movies. That is greatly due to a weird sense
of discipline at the various sets, forgetting about the hard Troma rule
of "no booze on the set" which was discovered by a furious Lloyd and
other less respectable employees that Troma had at the time of the
filming of the added scenes. All this made it all but impossible for Mr
Kaufman to make a worthwhile product in the editing room. But Lloyd
Kaufman is a genius, and with the troubled added scenes to an already
misshapen start-product he crafted not much less of a masterpiece. The
film itself is as good as circumstances would allow the most brilliant
filmmaker to slice together and it is certainly highly entertaining,
totally confusing, loaded with those elements that made Troma great and
certainly unique and one of a kind. As a film itself, though, not as
brilliant as many other Troma productions. The genius of Independent
Cinema however made the DVD of this film so much more than a release of
a film with some extra's. The film is, when push comes to shove,
actually only a part of the entire DVD that in its whole is a document
of the difficult situation serious filmmakers find themselves in having
to survive in a world that is monopolized by the few Very Big Ones who
don't really allow any other players on their market turf. A document
of the problems one has when trusting people to be on the level, only
to find out that freedom sometimes is something that is hard to live up
to and realization that access to a Movie Budget when the Boss is not
around can corrupt even those who should really know better. The
brilliance of this DVD is that the film is not perfect, and that Lloyd
KNOWS it, and doesn't want to make anyone think he believes it is. The
full-length commentary is a show in itself (as is often the case with
Mr. Kaufan's audio commentaries), mixing humor, sneers at those who
deserve it and highly interesting information for anyone interested in
Independent Film-making in such a fashion that watching the film again
with this commentary straight after viewing it on its own merits is so
interesting it is hard to stop. The feature-length documentary THE
THICK BROWN LINE takes us behind the scenes at the various locations
where Lloyd visits the sets only to sometimes take over and make the
most of what he finds there. We see him somewhat disillusioned
sometimes, different from his appearances in other Making Of Documents
such as Fart of Darkness and Apocalypse Soon, both to be found in the
must-own MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE box set.
The added scenes with James Gunn (who started his career at Troma only to find success as a writer an now a director in Hollywood) and Trey Parker (again someone to start out with a Troma-released work, to later be a national hero with his South Park series) are entertaining and probably (as is much else on this release) a reason for obtaining this disc alone for anyone remotely interested in the work of these two characters. Loaded with much more than I could mention here (including a SECOND audio-commentary) this is one of the best Troma-DVD-releases.
Troma founder, Lloyd Kaufman is The Crapkeeper in this anthology film
made up of two films that were such celluloid feces that Llyod tried to
salvage them by combining the two into one anthology film and throwing
in copious amounts of nudity whenever possible. Does it work? nope,
it's still crap that I'd have to scrape off my boots if I stepped in
it.Will anyone like this mess? Sure, Young teen aged mongoloids with
the combined IQs of a Vienna sausage have to laugh at something, I
guess. For those who have brains that are even semi-functioning steer
clear though and watch something less insulting to your intelligence,
even "Dude, Where's my car" would do.
My Grade: F
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