Tales From The Crapper (2002) – By Matt Singer

Only Troma, the purveyors of such independent schlock as The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo & Juliet, would give half a million dollars to two unproven directors to make two digital features and then be surprised when the footage they got back was garbage. And only Troma could have embraced their failure, repackaged it and turned it into the hilariously offensive anthology piece known as Tales From The Crapper. I don’t even know if this piece of trash qualifies as a “movie” but whatever you want to call it, its an entertaining piece of work.

Nudie scream queen and actress of limited talent, Julie Strain, stars in both features. In the first,
“The Case of the Melon Heavy Man Eater,” she plays a disturbingly overzealous cop who has to go undercover in a strip club to find the mysterious murderer who is killing the club’s customers. Strain appears naked plenty of times if you’re into that sort of thing. To me, there’s something extremely unerotic about her; mostly stemming from her huge, medusa-like haircut. Regardless, you have to love her atrocious line readings. The unintentional comedy flies when she says things like “DAMN I’M MAD!” and “You wanna eat my ass? You wanna eat my gun?” with a total lack of irony or subtlety. The plot is awful, when it makes any sense at all, but the post production team had a grand time of throwing in tons of silly dubbed voices and fart noises, like a bunch of lunatics taking over the asylum’s AVID editing equipment.

In the second story, “Tuition of the Terror Twat,” Strain plays a vampire hooker (though that is intended as a surprise plot twist, the editors intentionally spoil the ending numerous times as a gag). Three thirty-year old actors playing high school students are devastated to learn that one of their group has lost his student loans and won’t be able to attend college next year. To raise the money for tuition the elderly trio throw a stripper party to raise the money. As dumb as “Man Eater” was, “Terror” has what I would legitimately call the worst idea for a movie I’ve ever seen. How could you possibly pay for a whole year’s tuition with one stripper party? Why not just go to community college? Who lives alone in a big apartment on the beach before they go off to
college? Co-director and Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman introduces the films as “The Crapkeeper” and pops up throughout the segment as a father leaving answering machine messages for one of the heroes pointing out the story’s inconsistencies.

Not all of the jokes work, and the lesbian love scene in between the two main segments is pointlessly exploitative, but some of the gags are brutally clever; the fake DVD director and cinematographer commentaries that run over some of the more boring scenes during the second story are laugh out loud funny. It’s an uneven picture, but that’s Troma for you. As their efforts go, this is one of their worst, but at the same time, it’s amongst their most satisfying.