Terror Firmer | Chicago Reader

Terror Firmer

This near nonnarrative movie from 1999, about the shooting of a movie full of gore, sex, scatology, and self-congratulatory cleverness, is full of gore, sex, scatology, and self-congratulatory cleverness. A motley crew working under a blind director (a character based, not entirely facetiously, on director-cowriter Lloyd Kaufman, who plays the role) have affairs with one another and get killed on and off the set of a movie we're to understand is being made by Troma, the company that made this one. The main character, a production assistant who inspires something like sympathy when her masturbating is interrupted by her aging mother, can't decide between a sound recordist and a gore-effects specialist; they vie for her attention as the production team is menaced by a homicidal femme fatale. There's a challenge inherent in this kind of filmmaking: if you can't bear to watch, you're weak or judgmental; if you can, there's an even less flattering word for what you are.

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