GenreComedy, Horror, Thriller Budget500,000 USD CountryUnited States
Release dateOctober 29, 1999 (1999-10-29) WriterPatrick Cassidy, Douglas Buck, Lloyd Kaufman (book), James Gunn (book) CastWill Keenan (Casey), Alyce LaTourelle (Jennifer), Lloyd Kaufman (Larry Benjamin), Trent Haaga (Jerry), Sheri Wenden (Mysterious Woman / Waitress), Debbie Rochon (Christine) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, The Collector, The Final Girls, Halloween, John Wick, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
TaglineLet's Make Some Art!
Terror Firmer is a 1999 American comedy horror film directed by Lloyd Kaufman, written by Douglas Buck, Patrick Cassidy, Kaufman, and James Gunn, and starring Will Keenan, Alyce LaTourelle, and Kaufman. The film was produced by the Troma Entertainment company, known 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 loosely based, in that respect, on Kaufman and Gunn's book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger.
This is the story of a New York low-budget film crew, led by their insane and egotistical 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. Among the large poorly paid film crew, the movie centers mostly on production assistant Jennifer, who struggles to do her job while deciding between the two men in her life; the straight-laced boom operator Casey, and the rebellious special effects operator Jerry. The love triangle intensifies as the dead bodies mount with increasingly brutality. At the climax, the entire film crew bands together (both physically and sexually) against the mortal threat in their midst.
Terror Firmer is the first Troma release to be edited digitally on Avid.
The 'Morton Springer Show' sequence was based on the experience Lloyd Kaufman had on the Morton Downey Jr. Show.
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 123 minutes.
The 98-minute release R-rated 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 minutes. The heavily edited R-rated version runs 98 min.