With "Terror Firmer," Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman has helmed a lock, schlock and barrel-of-laughs pic that fearlessly -- nay, proudly -- scrapes the bottom of said barrel.

With “Terror Firmer,” Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman has helmed a lock, schlock and barrel-of-laughs pic that fearlessly — nay, proudly — scrapes the bottom of said barrel. Loosely based on the indie outfit’s first 25 years as recounted in helmer’s 1998 book, “All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger,” this frenetic ode to overkill, with a “body-part-pickling hermaphroditic lunatic” among its characters, will give Troma’s customers plenty to cackle over while waiting for “Jane Austen’s Schlock and Schlockability.”

Kaufman plays the blind director of a horror pic-within-the-pic replete with bare-breasted babes, severed limbs, mutant creatures and plentiful rock ‘n’ roll. Beyond the set, a slinky serial killer is on the loose. Raucous and overplayed (except for Alyce LaTourelle’s pleasingly down-to-earth perf as a versatile production assistant), pic wallows in bad puns and good bods and evinces a gung-ho approach that’s either refreshing or tiresome depending on one’s age and IQ. Highlights include snide references to Spielberg’s oeuvre, vomit splattering two French guys en route to a Sam Fuller Film Festival and impressive grab shots of a fat naked guy running through the streets of Manhattan.

Terror Firmer

Production

A Troma Team release of a Lloyd Kaufman & Michael Herz production in association with Santa Monica Holdings. (International sales: Troma Entertainment, New York.) Produced by Kaufman, Herz. Co-executive producers, Elizabeth and John H. Van Merkenstein III. Executive producers, Kenneth B. Squire, Charles Berry Hill, David Berry Hill. Co-producer, Jonathan Foster. Directed by Lloyd Kaufman. Screenplay, Patrick Cassidy, Douglas Buck, Kaufman, inspired by the book "All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger" by Kaufman.

Crew

Camera (color), Brendan Flynt; editor, Gabriel Friedman; music supervisors, Greg Ross, Theo Kogan; production designer, Jean Loscalzo; creature effects, Tim Considine. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 1999. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Will Keenan, Alyce LaTourelle, Trent Haaga, Debbie Rochon, Sheri Wenden, Eduard Baer, Ariel Wizman.
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