Terror Firmer is a 1999 horror film produced, story, & directed by Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger franchise, Class of Nuke ‘Em High franchise, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, & Tromeo and Juliet). It’s inspired by the book “All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger” co-written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, The Belko Experiment, Slither, & Dawn of the Dead). It was written by Patrick Cassidy (Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV) & Douglas Buck (The Theatre Bizarre, Sisters, & Prologue). It was produced by Michael Herz (Troma’s War, Father’s Day, Def by Temptation, Mother’s Day, & Blood Hook). It features several references, actors, characters, & props from other movies from the Troma universe. It’s the first Troma project to be edited digitally on Avid. The budget was at an estimated $500,000.
This is the story of a New York low-budget film crew, led by their insane & egotistical blind film director Larry Benjamin (played by: Lloyd Kaufman from Slither, Rocky, Orgazmo, The Final Countdown, Hatchet II, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens , & Crank: High Voltage) who is trying to create a work of art with his independent production. In addition to the typical trials & travails of a Troma Entertainment set, the crew is preyed upon by a serial killer. The unknown monster is dangerous, sexually conflicted, & bomb-toting loose cannon ready to explode at any time. Lead actress Christine (played by: Debbie Rochon from Tromeo and Juliet, Death House, Varsity Blood, Slime City Massacre, & Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1/2) turns everything into a disaster while stirring up drama while filming. The main members of the film crew includes production assistant Jennifer (played by: Alyce LaTourelle from Daredreamer, Junk, & All the Wrong Places), the straight-laced boom operator Casey (played by: Will Keenan from Tromeo and Juliet, Waiting, Alice’s Misadventures in Wonderland, & Wicked Lake), & the rebellious special effects operator Jerry (played by: Trent Haaga from the Killjoy franchise, Starry Eyes, Tales of Halloween, & Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV). All three are caught up in love triangle that keeps causing problems on the set. They must work together to save themselves from this maniac that’s killing people off one by one before they can even finish this feature from being shot. Who thought making art & indie cinema could end up so deadly????
Terror Firmer is one of the best Troma movies ever made, it’s definitely in my top 3 when it comes to their entire catalog. Cult director Lloyd Kaufman delivers everything that you would expect from this type of feature. It has all kinds of nudity, nasty kills, & over the top gore. The script had a solid balance of horror & humor in it plus it had some nice twists that kept the audience guessing. I thought it was awesome that Troma made a slasher film & it lived up to all the hype. Lloyd Kaufman gives his best performance in his acting career basically as himself here. All three leads which includes Alyce LaTourelle, Trent Haaga, & Will Keenan were actually really good in this. They still go for the typical over the top & crazy performances that you expect from this company but they actually have some serious moments where they flex their skills. I am a huge Debbie Rochon fan & this is still one of her best roles. She holds nothing back here plus she’s not shy to get sexy in this. Always one of my favorite scream queens & always quality eye candy. Terror Firmer is loaded with all kinds of cameos which includes Joe Fleishaker, Ron Jeremy, Lemmy, Joe Lynch, Eli Roth, Tiffany Shepis, Trey Parker, & Matt Stone. The soundtrack is awesome & it fits all the madness that takes places in Terror Firmer. This is probably the most fun & entertaining movie made by Troma. The replay value is beyond strong & I always have a blast revisiting it. This what independent film is all about, when it comes to the actual film & loaded extras this release is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Troma! I have a feeling that this brand new restoration is going to cause some controversy between the fans & blu ray collectors. It honestly looks nothing like the other home video versions of Terror Firmer from the past. It’s back in it’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 so that’s something positive about the brand new transfer for the unrated director’s cut. I compared it to my 2001 original DVD release & the color timing is completely different here. It’s much brighter compared to the previous releases. I will say the images are much sharper now, everything just has a different look to it. The English: Dolby Digital 2.0 track is very solid. The dialogue is crystal clear, the soundtrack sounds great plus it has a nice boost to it, & all the chaos is elevated here!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Troma! “Audio Commentary” # 1 with director Lloyd Kaufman. “Audio Commentary” # 2 with actors Will Keenan, Debbie Rochon, & Trent Haaga. “Audio Commentary” # 3 with editor Gabriel Friedman & his associate editor Sean McGrath. It has brand new little over 3 minute “Introductions” from director Lloyd Kaufman, actors Debbie Rochon, & Trent Haaga. They show their appreciation for Terror Firmer plus they have fun hyping up the film & this brand new release with these quick intros. The little over 14 minute “A Look Behind the Scenes 20 Years Later – Interview Featurette with Cast”. It has exclusive interviews with Debbie Rochon, Trent Haaga, Joe Lynch, Greg Siebel “G Spot”, Aaron Conte, Barry Brisco, & Ilenna Romero all revisiting Terror Firmer. They show their appreciation for the production, Troma, & Lloyd here. They chat about how they got involved with the project & their experience on it. They talk about their favorite scenes & tell a few stories. They mention that Terror Firmer changed their life. It has a “Theatrical Trailer” for the movie. This wraps up the extras for the first disc. The second disc opens up with the full length documentary “Farts of Darkness: The Making of Terror Firmer” that’s almost an hour & forty minutes. It has interviews with various cast & crew members. It has all kinds of behind the scenes footage. This is an amazing inside look into independent film making & you get to see them putting together an ambitious project with little money. You get see them having multiple problems with the New York police department for locations while trying to do Terror Firmer. Lloyd Kaufman’s passion for cinema is all over this, he stresses out & works his ass off to deliver this feature with limited time plus almost no budget. It focuses on the special fx. All the cast & crew are having a blast with this & it really shows here. Troma is top notch when it comes to making documentaries & sometimes they are better than the actual movie because they are so detailed about everything for the production. You always learn so much from them. 19 “Deleted Scenes” that end up a little over 16 minutes. I can see why these didn’t make the final cut but it’s a nice bonus to have on here. A little over 6 minute “Auditions” that features Alyce LaTourelle & Trent Haaga. A little over 6 minutes of “Bloopers” from the set. The little over 2 minute “What’s Under the Escalator?” is a comparison of the storyboards & the actual scene in the film. “Interview with Charlotte Kaufman” is an almost 3 minute interview with the director’s daughter. She chats about her experience on the film & jokes around about her father. A trailer for Kaufman’s upcoming feature “#ShakesSpearsShitstorm”. “Gyno Talk with Alyce LaTourelle” is an almost 3 minute interview with the lead actress from the movie. She chats about seeing the film on the big screen. She talks about her experience on it, a sex scene with Toxie, & she has fun sharing her thoughts on it. It has “Music Videos” for Entombed “Seeing Red”, DJ Polo “Freak of the Week” ft Ron Jeremy which has all kinds of cool cameos in it, & Lunachicks “Say What You Mean”. These are all directed by Lloyd Kaufman. This 20th anniversary two disc is loaded with all kinds of bonus material! Make sure you hold on to your DVD & other releases of Terror Firmer because it’s missing more than few extras which includes the Original Intro, Alternate Footage, Commentary for the deleted scenes, The extended Unrated Cut with deleted scenes edited back in, Original theatrical teaser, Terror Firmer soundtrack ad, Celebrate Tromadance, Play Terror Firmer the Game, Radiation March, All Easter Eggs, & the R-rated version. This is one of my all time favorite independent films ever made. It’s a must own especially for Troma, independent film, & slasher fans. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!