NEW YORK, June 13 -- All you have to see is the scene where a 400-pound man runs naked through the streets of New York City to know that only one man could have directed "Terror Firmer."
Yes, it's Lloyd Kaufman, the punning ultra-low-budget producer who makes flicks that are such inside jokes that this time I'm not even sure what his title means. (Editor's note: Possibly the name is related to the Latin phrase terra firma, which means the earth.)
It's not that he just has a nekkid fat man in his movie. It's that he's not satisfied to just show the fat man running down Eighth Avenue. He has to do a whole 400-pound-full-frontal-jiggling-flesh-fat-man chase montage, with the chubster flashing passers-by in Union Square, Times Square and other city locations that obviously exposed the actor AND the director to possible arrest at any moment.
New Yorkers can put up with a lot of disgusting things on the streets, but believe me this is not one of them.
And Kaufman not only directed this baby, which is loosely based on his book, "All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger," but he also takes a part as -- yes, I know it's a stretch -- a goofy B-movie director.
In the movie version he's also blind. In real life Kaufman doesn't have such a good excuse.
Apparently Kaufman's plan with "Terror Firmer" was to use every unwatchable bodily fluid special effect in the history of cinema, all wrapped around a plot about a movie company so cheap that every single cast and crew member is a degenerate pervert of some sort.
Sound familiar? Yes, it's the thinly disguised history of Troma Pictures itself, the company founded 25 years ago by Kaufman and his cohort Michael Herz to release such classics as "The Toxic Avenger," "Class of Nuke 'Em High," and of course the immortal "Bloodsucking Freaks."
The result is something that can't be easily described in a family newspaper, or, for that matter, a newspaper published by Larry Flynt, but it's the old familiar story of a horribly deformed nuclear-irradiated mutant from New Jersey who's in love with a gorgeous platinum-blond bombshell who has truly frightening sex with him in order to uh I kind of missed the "in order to" part, but it has something to do with rape trauma and his true nature as a woman.
Actually, that's only the story WITHIN the story, because the real exploding heads occur in the behind-the-scenes cast drama involved a shy production girl who falls for the worldly but violent sound guy, even though the sensitive but grisly special-effects expert is the one who truly loves her, with their various couplings set against the backdrop of a mini-skirted serial killer who's roaming the city ripping off limbs, gouging out intestines and collecting body parts in jars.
Of course it's a comedy. Kaufman always delivers on the three B's: blood, breasts and beasts. And in this case he's so far beyond X-rated that I have to say he made ME flinch, and I've seen 47,000 of these things.
In other words: my kinda guy!
Eighteen dead bodies. Thirty-seven breasts. Leg-ripping. Stomach-ripping. Crotch-stomping. Man beaten to death with his own leg. Broken-bong stabbing, with brain-frying. Jerry Springer wife-trampling scene, with head-stomping. Exploding brain. Excessive geriatric drool. Hand-hacking. Bullet to the forehead. Plunger-wielding police interrogation. Fat man eaten by an escalator. Man killed by corn flakes -- the obvious victim of a "cereal killer." Pickled body parts. Self-inflicted gunshot to the brain. Knife to the hand. Light-to-the-head electrocution. Guy sandwiched by two trucks, with double leg loss. Automotive head-squashing. Razor-blade finger-slicing. Liquor-funnel alcohol abuse. Exploding director.
Also projectile-vomiting on French tourists. Knife to the side of the head. Guy run through with a boom mike. Gratuitous wild-party bar mitzvah. Gratuitous filthy ventriloquist. Nine thousand gratuitous toilet jokes. One motor vehicle chase, with crash and burn. Heads roll. Eyeball rolls.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Gary Hrbek, as The Toddster, for coming on to women on the dance floor with the line "Hey, baby, do fries go with that shake?"; Will Keenan, as the Steven Spielberg-loving hermaphroditic pickling hobbyist; porn star Ron Jeremy, as the hymn-singing religious fanatic dad who becomes a caged mutilated mutant; Debbie Rochon, as the bitch goddess star of the film-within-the-film; and Alyce LaTourelle, as the innocent production assistant who falls for a body-part-pickling hermaphroditic lunatic but lives to become an independent movie director.
Three and a half stars. Joe Bob says check it out.
To check out Joe Bob's voluminous guide to all the B movies ever made, go to www.joebob-briggs.comhttp://www.joebob-briggs.comor e-mail him at JoeBob@upi.commailto:JoeBob@upi.com. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.