"I'm a fifteen-year-old Troma fan, and Lloyd Kaufman is a hero of mine. He was coming to Cleveland to show Terror Firmer at the Cinematheque and have a short discussion beforehand. I was extremely disappointed that the theatre said that under absolutely no circumstances will anyone under 18 will anyone be admitted into this movie. Disappointed, I wrote a letter to Lloyd and attatched a copy of an essay I wrote about how he was my hero. To my surprise, someone from Troma's offices called and arranged for me to meet Lloyd one-on-one at the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame. To make a long story short, Lloyd spent the afternoon with me, and he was by far THE nicest, kindest person I've ever met, and he encouraged me to persue my passion for film. He gave me one strong word of advice: Don't see Terror Firmer. Now that I own it on dvd (*hah*) I know exactally what me meant. I cannot believe that the same gentelman made this movie, and was the one cursing througout the documentary. The whole point of this story is: This movie has no stops. It's even sicker than the conversations that highschoolers have at lunch. I love it. And if you're interested in filmmaking, the commentary tracks and documentary are an absolute must, as they've given me more insight to the filmmaking process than any other dvd or book. It's a must-have."
The Usual Troma Fare
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 03/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Terror Firmer" is yet another seedy contribution to the world of cinema by the gang at Troma films. Lloyd Kaufman, the founder of Troma, continues to offer up films loaded with soft-core sex, sickening gore, and acting so bad that it makes a home movie look like a Shakespeare production. Kaufman's best known film is "The Toxic Avenger," a 1985 release that, despite the bizarre premise, succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations. Troma took the modest success of "Avenger" and promptly ran it into the ground with a series of stupid sequels and shameless self-promotion. To a great extent, "Terror Firmer" is itself a means of promoting Troma and its no budget films.
"Terror Firmer" is a film about making a film, namely a behind the scenes look at the making of "The Toxic Avenger Part 4." In the process of creating yet another sequel in the Toxic Avenger franchise, we learn that a serial killer is hunting down members of the cast and crew. Kaufman himself stars as the blind (yes, blind) director of the film, interacting with cast and crew members played by Debbie Rochon, Alyce LaTourelle, Will Keenan, Kaufman's real life daughter, adult film star Ron Jeremy, Lemmy from the thrash band Motorhead, and Troma co-founder Michael Herz. Many of these people appeared in other Troma films, so "Terror Firmer" seems to be a sort of reunion/chef-d'oeuvre for Kaufman and company.
The idea behind "Terror Firmer" is to show how difficult it is to make a low budget film. We constantly see the trials and tribulations that actors and crew face during a shooting schedule. Apparently, romances always blossom on a film set, as does professional jealousy. Throw in a pain-in-the-you-know-what prima donna leading lady and you have a typical day in the movie business. In the warped world of Troma, however, there must also be mutilations, interesting uses of a pickle, body parts that stretch like plastic, and a serial killer who looks like a poor man's Tim Curry from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Kaufman relies on tons of sight gags, multiple storylines, gratuitous nudity, and disgusting gore to entertain and sicken his audience. Many of the scenes in "Terror Firmer" take place behind the cameras, where dozens of people mill around during the course of the film shoot. It pays to watch closely what people in the background are doing, or else you may miss many of the gags. Also present throughout the film are constant references to Troma: film posters, spoken panegyrics, and other assorted advertising gimcracks. The shameless promotion for all things Troma tends to grate very quickly.
The gore in "Terror Firmer" is well done for any movie, let alone a Troma film. Herz's unfortunate encounter with an escalator may be one of the sickest scenes ever witnessed by this viewer, rivaling anything done by grindhouse maestros Lucio Fulci or Ruggiero Deodato. Other attempts at gory violence do not work as well due to an insistence on pairing the grue with extraordinarily dumb slapstick humor. For the determined gorehound, however, "Terror Firmer" offers up a congeries of stomach churning scenes.
This is a two-disc set, with an unbelievable amount of extras included. There are deleted scenes, actor auditions, a "making of" documentary, interviews with actors, bloopers, trailers, and several music videos directed by Lloyd Kaufman (which are highly unlikely to appear on MTV or VH1 anytime in the future). There are so many extras on these discs that it takes hours to get through all of them. Did I mention that there are three different commentary tracks? As for sound and picture quality, both are more than adequate for enjoyment of the film and the extras. If you shell out the money for this movie, you will definitely get enough bang for your buck.
Ultimately, "Terror Firmer" is an entertaining film, although I still believe that "The Toxic Avenger" is the best movie Troma will ever produce."
Funny film, great extras! BUY IT!
videophile | Gainesville, FL United States | 03/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Terror Firma is an independant film made by Troma, one of the last (if not THE last) small time movie companies left in the United States. You should purchase this movie if for no other reason than to support independant film. But once you do buy it, what will you get? An incredibaly funny, very violent, and fairly titilating movie.I was talked into watching this movie by an aquantance. Never having seen a Troma film, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought it would be a low budget slasher flick with lots of fake blood. I was mostly wrong. It turned out to be a very funny and interesting satire on the movie industry, movie making, and society in general. (While also being a slasher flick with lots of fake blood.) I haven't laughed as much at a movie in years. As for the acting, while most of the actors will never utter the words "I'd like to thank the Academy," the female lead, Alyce LaTourelle, was simply excellent. I was surprised to see someone with as much talent in a low budget picture like this one. She is destined for bigger pictures, but not nessisarily better ones.The Extras: The DVD is a two disc set that as some of the best extras of ANY DVD I've seen (an I have hundreds.) Most "making of featurettes" are nothing but the actors talking on the set about how excited they are to be making the movie, with clips from the movie thrown in. This DVD has a 90+ minute movie showing the whole process from the first day of shooting to the premier. I would have paid ... for this alone. They also have many deleted scenes, alternative scenes, and bloopers. There's footage of the actors auditioning for the movie (when's the last time you saw that on a DVD?) But wait, there's more! Three music videos (that are quite good,) interviews with two of the actors, and theatrical trailers. Not to mention three, count `em, three audio comentaries. Oh yea, and plenty of easter eggs! All together, one of the most feature packed discs out there.One word about the screen format. This movie, as with most, if not all of Tromas movies, was filmed in 4:3, so this IS in it's original format. This disc is NOT pan and scan.If you've read this far, you are probably considering purchasing this movie. Go for it, I'm happy I did."
Tom Patrick | 06/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"TERROR FIRMER has to be one of the sickest and craziest movies that Troma has ever made, and I mean that as a compliment. I finally bought the Unrated Director's Cut 2 DVD-Disc Box Set of this film.., and I have to say that it was worth the [money] that I paid for it. The plot of TERROR FIRMER is very simple: the cast and crew of a Troma movie are being stalked and murdered by a serial killer. There is plenty of violence, cheesy acting, male/female nudity, jokes, and 'mystery guest' cameos. The special features on the DVD set include: 3 cool music videos, a behind-the-scenes documentary, trailers for other Troma movies, audio commentary, deleted scenes, alternate footage, and much more!Anyone who is a fan of Troma films should pick this up immediately!"
This Movie ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!
Roule Duke | the Green Inferno | 03/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Terror Firmer would have to be one of the most amazing films that I have ever seen. A lot of 'film within a film' and comedy movies about 'independant' film making have come out, Bowfinger for example, but Terror Firmer blows them all away. For starters in TF it REALLY looks like a film set at all times. There are dozens of hilarious characters running about crazy like, who can forget the Todster? TF also is just so full of energy and laughs that words cannot do it any justice.The story is basicly about a blind director struggling to make his B-movie while a killer is murdering cast members with a romance developing between boom operator Casey and stage hand Jennifer. I won't spoil the ending but I will say it is sick and twisted beyond the expectations of even the most hardcore Troma fans.This film is very fast and amazingly funny. The acting is really great as well. Will 'Tromeo' Keenan, Alyce LaTourelle and Trent Haaga are all great as crew member and Terror Firmer also features Debbie Rochon, my all time favourite actress, who is amazing as always playing a [promiscuous] actress. Debbie's character apparantly is a combination of all the difficult 'actresses' that Lloyd has had to work with over the years. Lloyd steals the show in ever scene he is in. His timing and delivery, what can I say, this movie would not be anywhere as great if the director was played by anyone else.Lloyd is the man and this film will blow your mind!"