Unlike some of the horror community, I haven’t seen all of the Troma films. To be honest, they were something I never thought I would be into, however, I ended up enjoying them quite a bit. For it to be an enjoyable experience you can’t take the films too seriously, you need to expect an abundance of nudity, gore, and blood, and an abundance of cheesy commentary. Troma Entertainment’s horror comedy, Terror Firmer is no exception even 18 years later.
Directed by Lloyd Kauffman, Terror Firmer is a 1999 horror comedy written by Patrick Cassidy and Douglas Buck.The film was inspired by and loosely based on a book called All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I learned from the Toxic Avenger by Lloyd Kauffman and James Gunn. It was released on October 25th with an estimated budget of $500,000 dollars, executing another ridiculous campy and exploitative story. Troma’s true colors.
The story centers around a crazy female that is ruthlessly killing anyone who she deems fit to die. As the bodies pile up, everyone starts to worry except for the blind director Larry Benjamin (Lloyd Kauffman), who is only concerned with finishing up his newest independent film. That is until it starts to impact his set and crew members begin to be slaughtered one by one. What is the sick truth behind the killer’s vengeance? Let’s just say it’s quite the shocker!
Kauffman delivered an entertaining film with a plethora of cheesy and campy moments along with ludicrously bizarre twists. It was enjoyable to see some of the different parts of the Troma Universe come together and see familiar characters. I also enjoyed watching Kauffman play the role of Larry Benjamin, the director of the independent film they’re making. He’s ridiculous, funny, and determined even with the worst odds against him.
The other characters stood out as well, some more than others as there is constant nudity going on – boobs, bush, and butt everywhere. I have your attention now, huh? However, towards the end, one of the characters that stood out to me most is completely over the top and reminded of a discount version of Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Plus there are appearances from Ron Jeremy and Lemmy (Motorhead) – Lemmy makes everything better!
The kills were absolutely absurd and I loved them as they were definitely one of the best parts of the film. There’s definitely some shock value moments such as when a dudes “member” is stretched beyond belief, an elevator munches down on an incredibly fat dude, and when another dude gets his legs chopped off. And that’s only some of the crazy moments.
Honestly, the only thing I didn’t really care for was some of the prolonged cheesy scenes. They weren’t necessary, dragged on, and took away from some of the shock value and laughter.
- Terror Firmer is known as “One giant tribute to all Troma films.” It has many similarities to other Troma stories and many of the actors in it have played in other Troma films.
- The ending credits give a special shout out that states, “A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO: The New York City Police Department, for their unstinting cooperation and invaluable help throughout every part of this production.” According to IMDB, during the making of Terror Firmer, you can see police clashing with the production on several occasions, including one time where they revoked the crew’s filming permit.
- It was also the first Troma film to be edited digitally on Avid.
Overall, Terror Firmer is a great production from Troma and one of my favorite ones and many others claim it as one of their favorite Troma films of all time. Which one is yours?