REVIEW: TALES FROM THE CRAPPER

CAST

Julie Strain (Repossessed)
Lloyd Kaufman (Super)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Trey Parker (South Park)
James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
India Allen (Round Numbers)
Debbie Rochon (Slime City)
Eli Roth (Scream 4)
Trent Haaga (Terror Firmer)

Tales from the Crapper is a film that only one studio in the world could deliver. The one that has brought us innovative and original real independent films for 30 plus years now: Troma. This is truly a very special film because it manages to be certainly not my favorite of the Troma-productions, but released on a disc that because of what I just said is one of my most valued and favorite DVD’s. Not only counting the countless Troma discs I own, but counting my entire collection of films. The film itself is the result of an ill fated plan to produce a television series to be directed by a director who was trusted with a substantial amount of money (especially for Troma) to make something wonderful and delivered a lot of unfinished and incomphrehensible material before quitting (or being fired, I am not sure which at this moment). In order to prevent having to shove a vast investment down the toilet Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz decided to get together a team of directors and actors and use the material as the backbone of one movie.

Image result for tales from the crapperOne movie that really consists of two, in the nice old Tales From The Crypt anthology fashion, hosted by the Crapkeeper played by Mr Kaufman himself. But, as I said, not quite my own favorite of all their movies. That is greatly due to a weird sense of discipline at the various sets, forgetting about the hard Troma rule of “no booze on the set” which was discovered by a furious Lloyd and other less respectable emplyees that Troma had at the time of the filming of the added scenes. All this made it all but impossible for Mr Kaufman to make a worthwile product in the editing room. But Lloyd Kaufman is a genius, and with the troubled added scenes to an already misshapen startproduct he crafted not much less of a masterpiece.
Image result for tales from the crapperThe film itself is as good as circumstances would allow the most brilliant filmmaker to slice together and it is certainly highly entertaining, totally confusing, loaded with those elements that made Troma great and certainly unique and one of a kind. As a film itslef, though, not as brilliant as many other Troma productions. The genius of Independent Cinema however made the DVD of this film so much more than a release of a film with some extra’s. The film is, when push comes to shove, actually only a part of the entire dvd that in its whole is a document of the difficult situation serious filmmakers find themselves in having to survive in a world that is monopolized by the few Very Big Ones who don’t really allow any other players on their market turf. A document of the problems one has when trusting people to be on the level, only to find out that freedom sometimes is something that is hard to live up to and realisation that access to a Movie Budget when the Boss is not around can corrupt even those who should really know better.
Image result for tales from the crapperThe brilliance of this DVD is that the film is not perfect, and that Lloyd knows it, and doesn’t want to make anyone think he believes it is. The full-length commentary is a show in itself , mixing humor, sneers at those who deserve it and highly interesting information for anyone interested in Independent Filmmaking in such a fashion that watching the film again with this commentary straight after viewing it on its own merits is so interesting it is hard to stop. The feature-length documentary THE THICK BROWN LINE takes us behind the scenes at the various locations where Lloyd visits the sets only to sometimes take over and make the most of what he finds there. We see him somewhat disillusioned sometimes, different from his appearances in other Making Of Documents such as Fart of Darkness and Apocalypse Soon, both to be found in the must-own MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE box set.

Image result for tales from the crapperThe added scenes with James Gunn (who started his carreer at Troma only to find success as a writer an now a director in Hollywood) and Trey Parker (again someone to start out with a Troma-released work, to later be a national hero with his South Park series) are entertaining and probably (as is much else on this release) a reason for obtaining this disc alone for anyone remotely interested in the work of these two characters. this is one of the best Troma-dvd-releases.

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