Tales from the Crapper (Stomp Visual) (2004)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Julie Strain Presents Topless Comedy Jam
Theatrical Trailer-Original And Newer
Web Links-Web Comic
Audio Commentary-Commentary with Lloyd Kaufman and Editor Gabe Friedman
Audio Commentary-Commentary with Julie Strain and Director Brian Spitz
Introduction-Introduction by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||97:56 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
New Found Glory
Purple Pam Shelby
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One thing I truly admire about Lloyd Kaufman and his team at Troma is their ass-puckering, down-and-dirty attitude to filmmaking. They’re not afraid to smear their name on the cover of a rancid mound of filmic effluent and call it art. Kaufman even had the tongue-in-cheek audacity to create a doctrine embracing this approach - Dogpile 95. According to the official website Dogpile 95 is “a new doctrine of digital filmmaking in the spirit of Lars Von Trier’s Dogme 95.” Kaufman is quoted as saying: “Long before Dogme 95 was born, Troma was making movies with poor lighting, amateur acting and crappy sound. However, we just haven’t been able to rise to the level of boredom that the Dogme 95 films have attained. This is one of the reasons that Dogpile 95 has been founded.”
Considering Kaufman has endorsed and released a plethora of triple-Z-Grade delights such as Blood Sisters of Lesbian Sin, Buttcrack, Dumpster Baby, A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell and Maniac Nurses find Ecstasy, you have to respect the fact that he not only walks-the-walk, but unashamedly talks-the-talk.
Tales from the Crapper is perhaps Kaufman’s postmodern masterwork. It contains so many hilariously offensive Tromatic-esque scenes that once the film is over you’re left feeling oddly satisfied, but slightly nauseous. Kind of like during that post-sex afterglow when some of the cheap red wine and rubbery pizza you downed earlier decides to come up for air.
Book-ended in Tales from the Crypt style with Kaufman as the Crap Keeper suitably clad in a garbage bag, Tales from the Crapper is a cut-and-paste mishmash of two Troma films that sat languishing on the shelf. Dissatisfied with the outcome and deemed too “awful” for release (even by Troma’s standards!), the enterprising Kaufman re-shot a number of scenes for both films and re-dubbed all the voices to create a full-length feature. The result is a blatantly unsavoury, farcical piece of enjoyable trash filled with unglamorous lesbian sex scenes, non-stop farting jokes and chunk-blowing gore.
The first story, The Case of the Melon Heavy Alien Man-Eater, involves a human-consuming, shape-shifting alien slaughtering patrons at the Shimmering Beaver, a seedy Los Angeles strip joint. Foul-mouthed detective Samantha (Julie Strain) goes undercover as Ivanna Dance to attract then trap the killer. Highlights include a lecherous old man being impaled through the forehead with his own p****, a rapist sodomised by an orange road cone and the skanky, but endearing Julie Strain making love to a blow-up female doll – her “little b**** whore” – which suddenly morphs into a real woman.
The second story, Tuition of the Terror Twat, has a trio of strippers hired for a party by a group of three horny teenage boys. However, the boys get more than they bargained for when the strippers turn out to be vampires. Standout sequences include Sam Raimi’s brother Ted being literally gutted by a rubber chicken and Southpark’s Trey Parker telling a filthy “Aristocrats!” joke. Look out for other cameo appearances by overweight porn star Ron Jeremy, writer of Scooby Doo and Slither, James Gunn, the fat one from Lost and a hammy performance by Eli Roth.
While the Crap Keeper footage is presented letterboxed in a non-enhanced aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1, the stories are full-frame.
As expected the transfer by Troma is not very good. Obviously shot with a cheap digital video camera, the main problems are grain, print softness and aliasing. While the grain is bearable, fuzziness and background noise render many scenes too murky and difficult to penetrate. For example, the entire opening sequence to Case of the Melon Heavy… is a bleak, underlit flush of muddy night-time scenes. Aliasing crops up frequently, but unless this particular artefact is a personal irritation, it’s not too much of a distraction.
Black levels are generally deep and stable, but shadow detail suffers due to poor lighting and the inherent technical limitations of using low-end video equipment.
Colours look as cheap and nasty as the characters themselves, but do resemble something close to natural during brightly lit daylight sequences, such as the Crap Keeper’s rants between stories.
The print is reasonably clean with very few signs of wear or film artefacts.
The English-only 2.0 mono mix is satisfactory. However, the sound does tend to fluctuate. For example, the score by bands such as Count Smokula, Justin Remer and Purple Pam Shelby screech out through the centre speakers, but other soundtrack meanderings can sound distant and muted.
I must admit to enjoying the chill-out Tales from the Crapper rap track performed by Lloyd Kaufman during Julie Strain’s blow-up doll sequence. It perfectly suits the action and is the only instance where the lesbian exploits border on being sexy.
Dialogue is generally very clear, but someone should have told the crew doing the over-dubs not to talk into the microphone so close - voices are often too loud and breathy.
Being a mono mix, the surrounds and subwoofer are silent.
|Surround Channel Use|
Opening with Asphyxia’s boobies bouncing up and down in the background, Kaufman and Herz take us on a history of Troma starting from the 60s right through to the 00s to explain how Tales came about. The segment finishes with Kaufman fellating the grossly overweight Herz.
The political incorrectness doesn’t end. Kaufman and Friedman delight in taking the p*** out of the film. Kaufman introduces a ‘new’ character into the commentary – a mentally retarded man, Timmy, whom Kaufman claims produced the film. Timmy makes the odd comment about “pooping” in his pants and Kaufman chastises him for clapping and speaking at the same time.
Recorded in Julie Strain’s lounge room, this is the first time I’ve heard a dog yapping during a commentary track. Strain has allowed her dog to be present at the recording and it decides on an irritatingly frequent basis to make itself heard.
A lot of the film was shot in Strain’s home and backyard and many of the props used were hers. Strain even comments that the film was shot before she had the bench tops in the kitchen changed. Spitz takes a backseat and allows Strain to dominate. Although Strain offers some interesting bits of trivia about the locations and actors, much of the commentary track is her (over)reacting to what’s on screen.
This is a remarkably honest and serious segment that shows the real behind-the-scenes drama and opportunistic manner in which the crew had to operate in piecing the film together.
A rather sober and slightly burnt-out Kaufman explains Tales’ troubled history. He talks candidly about the financial problems Troma went through following the failure of the official website.
Also includes a brief chat with Wes Craven who turns up at a party to help raise money for a young filmmaker, and Ted Raimi getting into the spirit of the setting up of his “rubber chicken” sequence in Tuition of the Terror Twat.
Taking us on a tour of her house, which includes showing off her collection of movie memorabilia, a semi-naked Strain exposes her tits, fanny and ass while she hams it up for the camera. Is this woman ever fully clothed?
Rabbit f***er and Bin Laden blow-job scene (4:38)
An over-the-top pair of sequences that should be self-explanatory considering the title of each. Could this be an all-time low in bad taste from the Troma factory?
Overdubbed with male voices, this is a very funny soft-porn scene where two muff-diving lesbians get attacked by the Alien Man-Eater.
Dumpster scene (2:31)
This opening sequence showing the aftermath of the crashed alien craft has atmosphere and was probably too well-conceived to be included.
Crap Keeper in Toledo, Spain (0:46)
Crap Keeper in front of Lenin’s Tomb, Russia (1:02)
On location in Spain and Russia, Kaufman attempts to add an exotic flavour to bookend the two stories.
Cannibal Lesbian Hoe-Down Video (2:16)
Yeeee-haw! Directed by Lloyd Kaufman this tits ‘n’ ass gore-fest has a group of bimbettes biting and munching each other over the strains of a hillbilly song.
Radiation March (0:55)
Performed by a bunch of kids, this is a dumb anti-pollution message depicted via an interpretative dance number.
A blatant marketing piece for Lloyd Kaufman’s Make Your Own D*** Movie book.
An advertisement for the Troma website.
Includes text excerpts from:
A Nymphoid Troma Intern in Hells Kitchen
Dolphinman Parts the Red Sea on Porpoise
An Up and Coming Troma Star Says No to Crack
Milking it for all its Girth
The Taming of the Slut
Citizen Toxie Trailer
When selected the following Stomp Entertainment message appears on the screen – “Unavailable. Don’t blame us, talk to the censors.”
Parts of the family trailer (1:10)
Original Crapper Trailer (1:42)
Newer Crapper Trailer (2:55)
A DVD credits listing.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Apart from the censored trailers, our Region 4 appears to be identical to the Region 1 edition.
Like Sushi and blue-vein cheese, Troma films are an acquired taste. If your palate is receptive to the raw, Tromatic trash aesthetic, then Tales from the Crapper is a dish you’ll find best served cold on a Saturday night with a bunch of like-minded friends.
|DVD||Yamaha DVR-S200 (it came free with the plasma), using S-Video output|
|Display||Yamaha 106cm Plasma. Calibrated with Sound & Home Theater Tune Up. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||get a marshall stack, and crank it up.|
|Speakers||2 x Bose Speakers and 4 NX-S200 Yamaha mini-speakers.|