Terror Firmer is a 1999 American trash film, directed by Lloyd Kaufman, written by Patrick Cassidy and Douglas Buck, and starring Will Keenan and Alyce LaTourelle. The film was produced by the Troma Entertainment company, infamous for distributing campy exploitation films. The film features several direct references to the previous Troma films, such as The Toxic Avenger, and includes famous Troma props, like the 'Penis Monster' (referred to, in the film, as "Thor, the God of Love") and a severed leg. It was based, in that respect, on Kaufman's and James Gunn's book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger.
Most reviewers agree that the film's references to other Troma films is clever and well-executed for an exploitation film. However, some critics deem the film's use of "trashy" elements overly gratuitous.
This is the story of a low budget film crew, led by their blind
film director, Larry Benjamin, who is trying to create a work of art. In addition to the typical trials and travails of a Troma set, the crew is preyed upon by a sexually conflicted, bomb-toting serial killer
. Production assistant Jennifer struggles to do her job while deciding between the two men in her life, straight-laced Casey and rebellious Jerry. The love triangle intensifies as the dead bodies mount; the crew bands together (both physically and sexually) against the mortal threat in their midst.
Behind the scenes
is the first Troma movie to be edited digitally on Avid.
The end credits 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." The documentary The Making of Terror Firmer shows the police clashing with the production on several instances (one of which involved the police revoking the crew's filming permit).
- The 2-Disc Special Edition gives the viewer a choice to watch the Director's Unrated Cut or to watch the Director's Unrated Cut with even more deleted scenes put back into the film. This makes the film's running time over 125 minutes.
- The R version features several boxes that contain the words "CENSORED", covering various body parts (whether nude or dismembered). Additionally, for the heavier cut scenes, the movie freezes and a window appears on the screen with Kaufman explaining or comically re-enacting what was supposed to go on in the scene. The voices of characters uttering profanity at some moments are replaced by an obviously mismatched voice that says the accepted version of the word. Finally, some body parts are replaced by images of animals (e.g. a pussy cat).
- The unrated director's cut runs 114 min. The heavily edited R-rated version runs 98 min.