Blu Release – 3/5
Director(s) – Michael Herz (Troma’s War, The Toxic Avenger) and Lloyd Kaufman (Shakespeare’s Shitstorm, Terror Firmer)
Starring – Jim Harris (Squeeze Play, American Ninja 4: The Annihilation), Carol Drake, and Carol Bevar (The Yum Yum Girls)
Release Date – 1982
Rating – 2.5/5
Tagline – “The fun starts as soon as you’re seated”
When cult movie fans discuss Troma they often talk about their horror efforts like The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ’em High, Poultrygeist, Terror Firmer, and so on. Troma’s gruesome and often messy stamp on the genre is undeninable. Co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, and to a lesser extent Michael Herz, has inspired filmmakers for almost 50 years now which is an impressive feat in it’s own right. However, many fans often over look their early efforts. In the late 70s and early 80s the sex comedy was very popular and with the coming age of VHS Troma decided to try their hand at it. Drawing inspiration from films like Animal House and Porky’s, Troma would release several sleazy comedies which they would release in a DVD box set called the Sexy Box.
With DVD now on the way out and blu-ray holding strong, Troma has released three of those films in a new Sexy Box on blu. When I heard the news I ran as fast as I could to my computer and requested a copy from my friends over at MVD who was kind enough to send a copy over. While I was in the middle of an inpromptu Troma marathon I decided to spin this set starting with 1982’s Waitress! Like always, I want to thank MVD for hooking me up!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows three women who find themselves working at a questions restaurant for various reasons. One of the women is on the hunt for a man. Her gorgeous good looks but simple mindedness has men falling heads over heels for her but she fails to see it. Another waitress is an aspiring actress and will stop at nothing to portray her favorite historical character, Joan of Arc, on the big screen. The third waitress is the daughter of the restaurant owner who has made some questionable decisions in her short life before she is forced to work here as a form of punishment. **Spoiler Alert**
Waitress! is a film I’ve owned for some time after I snagged the Sex Box set on DVD for cheap many years ago. However, I never got around to actually watching this one. I had seen The First Turn On sometime ago but I never ventured farther into the set with the other two titles. This is why I decided to start with Waitress! I really like the artwork for the film. It’s not only a true product of it’s time but it really had my imagination working overtime. Sadly, the film was not that fun. It has a few good laughs but it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as the artwork.
The acting in this one is exactly what you would expect from a Troma film from the 80s. The cast is energetic and extremely comfortable in front of the camera but their inexperience does show. The dialogue is awkward at times but the cast really does give it their all. The downside to this is that the characters are all fairly generic and easily forgettable which gives the cast nothing to really work with. The story for this one has all the wild jokes and puns that you come to expect from a Troma film but the rapid scene change, chaotic scenes, and underwhelming story does make this one a bit of a snooze fest for movie fans. It was clearly rushed through to cash in on the VHS comedy craze.
Finally, don’t expect any blood or guts. We get some nudity but that is about the only fun visuals that we do get. Overall, Waitress! is not for the standard Troma fan. This film did help pave the way for the more memorable films that we know and love but is not one I can recommend. I love Troma and tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but this movie just wasn’t fun. Skip it.
The First Turn On!!
Director(s) – Michael Herz (Troma’s War, The Toxic Avenger) and Lloyd Kaufman (Tromeo and Juliet, Terror Firmer)
Starring – George Harrell (Incoming Freshmen, Perfect Stranger), Michael Sanville (Dreams Come True, Outlaws), and Googy Gress (The Flamingo Kid, Wayne’s World 2)
Release Date – 1983
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “It’s always the wildest”
Several years ago I joined a cult movie server on Discord and it was a lot of fun while it lasted. It wasn’t that big with just a few dozen members that were extremely nice and respectful of each other. A few times a month the server would host a group watch where they would play a movie and talk about it while it streamed. One of those films that we watched and talked about was Troma’s The First Turn On!!
This was my first time watching it and it was a lot of fun in a virtual group. Sadly, that Discord server would soon fall apart as horror hipsters and toxic fans took over the group turning a fun experience into something completely miserable. When Troma announced the blu release of their Sexy Box I was looking forward to revisiting this one.
**Spoiler alert** The film follows a group of campers and their chaperone who find themselves trapped in a cave. To pass the time they decide to share their personal sexually experiences with one another in comedic fashion. **Spoiler Alert**
The First Turn On!! really embraces the sex comedy which really works. It almost feels like an anthology film which in it’s essence it is. Fans of sleazy comedies will truly appreciate what Troma brings to the table.
The acting is this one is standard Troma. The cast is inexperienced but their dedication to the role is what makes the film so much fun. The laughs find their mark and the comedic timing is damn near perfect. The characters are not as generic as you would think and the cast does a great job and brings them to life. Hell, some are even memorable and their dialogue and one liners stick with you even days after watching it. The story for this is an unexpected anthology that I really enjoyed. It’s not often that you find an anthology that is more of a comedy instead of a horror tale. Some of the stories are a little more enjoyable than others but none of them are bad. I laughed a great deal during this one but they are rather dated especially for an early 80s film.
Finally, don’t expect a lot of blood in this one. If you want some laughs and a little sleaze then you know where to find it. Overall, The First Turn On!! is one of the better films in the set. It’s funny, raunchy, and one of the better written sex comedies of the early 80s. I highly recommend this one.
Stuck on You!
Director(s) – Michael Herz (The Troma System, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.) and Lloyd Kaufman (Tales from the Crapper, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead)
Starring – Irwin Corey (Jack, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion), Virginia Penta, and Mark Mikulski (C.H.U.D., Loving)
Release Date – 1983
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “You’ll come unglued with laughter”
I have to admit that I didn’t have as much fun with Troma’s The Sexy Box as I thought I would. I enjoyed The First Turn On!! but Waitress! was a bit of a disappointment. It’s because of this that I was on the fence about Stuck on You! I had hoped that it would be another sleazy comedy with Troma’s sense of humor but it did miss it’s mark with me. This may explain why Troma switched gears and went the horror direction. Regardless, I want to thank MVD and Troma for sending the Sexy Box over for review. I may not have enjoyed this flick but it was still an awesome experience to review another Troma film.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a married couple on the rocks. They seek a divorce and while appearing in court the judge decides to tell them different tales of love throughout the ages. **Spoiler Alert**
Stuck on You! is an interesting concept and another comedy based anthology from Troma that has potential but doesn’t really work like I had hoped. I liked the idea behind the film but the segments are too short and the humor is the weakest of the three films. It’s obvious it was rushed out to cash in on the video rentals of the time but quality control was non-existent.
The acting on this is probably the most Troma-like of all their films. The characters are over the top and very eccentric but they try so hard. They are inexperienced but a lot of them would go on to appear in some decent films and television shows. Honestly, the acting is probably my favorite part of the film and the characters. The fact that they couldn’t have been written into bigger roles. The story for this one is one of those ideas that looks good on paper but doesn’t translate well to the screen. I was expecting the film to be sleazier than it and the lack of sleaze and humor made this one painfully dull watch. The wraparound segment involving a judge was a clever set up for the other stories but the following segments lacked any sort of entertainment. They were dull, generic, and rushed.
Finally, this isn’t a bloody flick as you would have guessed. Overall, Stuck on You! is a disappointment. I want to praise Troma for everything they do but this one just wasn’t for me. This is one I would skip if I was you.
Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Entertainment and creator of the “Toxic Avenger” discusses the birth of Troma Entertainment
Sheila Kennedy, Penthouse Pet of the year from Troma’s “The First Turn On!” and “Ellie” NEW 2019 interview “Bares Her Soul”
A Frisky Featurette with Troma’s Sexy Comedy Stars
Trio of Tromazing commentaries by Lloyd Kaufman on all three comedies
Original Theatrical Trailers