Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hulk Hogan, Daniel Kraus, Genevieve Lutgen, William Shatner, Jeff Towne
Director: Daniel Kraus
Genres: Action & Adventure, Sports, Documentary
Meet Jeff Towne. He's a beer-drinking, porno-consuming, wrestling fanatic with Down's Syndrome. He lies, he cheats, he steals; he fondles women. In short, he's a lot like the rest of us than we care to admit. Jeff's days a... more »
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Unexpected release from troma
Sean Austin | cresskill, NJ | 12/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ok anyone who knows troma knows that they release some of the bloodiest most offensive material in the country (and oh how i love it.). well get ready for something totally out of the norm for troma. jefftowne is about a 39 year old with downs syndrome. when i bought this i expected something very troma, totally offensive with few redeeming moral qualities, which i had no problem with at all. but this movie actually turned out to be a touching (not very troma) look at someone who doesn't suffer from downs syndrome, he lives as if he didn't even have it. you meet jeff's 93 year old foster mother who is confined to a wheelchair as well as his extended family at the mall movie theater. they take just as much, if not more care of jeff than his mother. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO DISREGARD MIKE DAVIS'S REVIEW OF THIS MOVIE! jeff is not treated the way that mr davis has said he is in this movie. the people are just so friendly with jeff that they can joke around with him as much as they want to. when i first saw the first scene in this movie, i thought that the guy making farting noises and blaming it on jeff was intended to upset jeff, but after a second watch you can see that it was just friendly. im really sorry if this review sucks, its pretty late and im dozing off in front of the keyboard. the DVD also includes jefftowne 2, which is a follow-up to the movie 4 years later, which i also think is good. again im sorry if this review sucked, but please, give jefftowne a chance."
Free Independent Documentary
Jose Luis Romeu Miguel | Barcelona, Spain | 10/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very upset when I first read about Jefftowne, it seemed quite controversial, and didn't like the idea of offending the dignity of a person with Down's Syndrome. Anyway, I bought it, just to seem how far could it go... Now I've seen it... I was too way wrong...The DVD is great, with a good transfer and nice english subtitles. Also is packed with extras, a little video shoot of the actual Jeff Towne nowadays, the slamdance premiere and some extra stuff worth watching (like the 2 audio commentaries).The movie itself is just the opposite to what I expected. Jefftowne is made with something very unusual these days... it's freedom. Of course, in terms of tecnical quality, it's a very cheap docu, and crapy at sometimes. However, filmmaking isn't just about expensive material, it has also a moral. And let me tell you that the director of this movie (Daniel Kraus) treats Jefftowne with more dignity than any Hollywood production would have. Because dignity doesn't mean to explain the good things of anyone, dignity means to explain everything about Jeff, and still love him, but not because he's ill or retarded, love him because he's a person; and people have good and bad things."
The most uplifting movie about regular people I've ever seen
Lewis W. Chapman - Dayton, Ohio | Dayton, Ohio United States | 03/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jefftowne is a masterpiece. I was literally laughing and crying at the same time. No kidding. There isn't a single scene in here that tries to solicit your pity, your contempt of a disabled man, or his demented stepmother. It is a triumph of the human spirit and how we will help people that need help. The people at the cinema where Jeff works obviously get a kick out of Jeff, but they also love him. It's obvious because he brings out the best in them. Only a freako, liberal 'academic' would mistake the people in Jeff's life for not loving him. They treat him with respect and (at least on camera) never exploit him or publicly humiliate him. If Jeff did not have the people he works with, he would be 'hurtin' for certain'. They take care of his social, emotional and even his warped sexual needs. They don't have sex with him, but they allow him to type the captions in his girlie mags that lets him process it without shame. The scene where Jeff has the camera affected me physically. It was timed so wonderfully in the film that I really felt like I was looking at the world through Jeff's eyes and I laughed out loud as tears were rolling down my face. Not tears of sadness or pity, but raw emotion knowing that Jeff has a place in the world and he knows it. This is due to his friends. When you see Jefftowne2 and how far he has come, it's amazing. Each one of the people he hangs out with have a completely different view of Jeff, yet they all accept him. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at this: If you don't finish this tape and feel good (not because you're not Jeff, but because you can share in his accomplishments and the way in which these normal folks take him into their lives) then you are absolutely emotionally retarded. Well done Troma and bravo Jeff."
Plan your visit to "Jefftowne"
Joshua M. Fischer | Georgia, USA | 10/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one who prefers non-fictional, gritty and anti-Hollywood filmmaking, I think "Jefftowne" is a major accomplishment, especially in the way it develops and celebrates relationships between a man with Down's Syndrome and those he befriends at his local mall's movie theater. Did the filmmakers try to profit from Jeffy's disability? Hardly. I'm pretty sure they were film students at the University of Iowa, surviving by working at the theater with one of the film's heroes, Kim the manager. Kim is the man who accepts, appreciates and nurtures Jeffy, who otherwise would be forced to spend his life living with his invalid foster mother. This woman, Genevieve, deserves credit for adopting Jeffy, but she is hopeless, can't take care of Jeffy's hygiene and somehow believes that she will be the next Clearing House Sweepstakes winner.
I bet the movie derived from boredom at work, when director Daniel Kraus and associates realized that Jeff Townes' life was a readymade documentary that only needed to be filmed. You can tell that Kraus, and almost everyone else, loved Jeffy and wanted to give him the spotlight he always dreamed of. That Jeffy loved beer, women, Star Trek and wrestling normalizes him, and without his movie theatre friends, he would have never met William Shatner or seen Hulk Hogan live.
This is a touching story about one man's bizarre journey through life, vocalized through his dozen or so vocabulary words that end up saying it all. Credit goes to Jeffy's friends who participated in the film, and of course to the production crew, who spent only $6,000 to make it.
The only drawback is the company that released "Jefftowne," Troma, whose reputation is questionable and likely caused this movie to end up buried in the Cult section of your non-corporate video store, which is where I uncovered it. The DVD does offer much more than just the film, including a short feature, "Jefftowne 2," that revisits Jeffy's situation four years after the original film. In "Jefftowne 2" we see Jeffy making great strides toward independence, after Genevieve has gone into assisted living and Jeffy has his own apartment. His theatre friends are still there to help him, and these films document the important friendships that disabled folks must trust to help them through life. I would be very interested to see "Jefftowne 3," should there be one."