The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol (2010) – By Cary Conley

Tommy is a wannabe actor and total loser. He’s married and has a baby, but he can’t hold a steady job and dreams of being a Hollywood superstar. After losing yet another minimum wage job, his wife takes the baby and leaves him. What’s a man to do? How about nuking a hot dog, grabbing the penis pump, and watching some porn? Yeah, that sounds about right…. Unfortunately neither the porn nor the pump must have been terribly stimulating as Tommy quickly falls asleep. The rest of the film is a series of gory, comedic sketches that Tommy dreams up as he sleeps.

The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol is trash cinema at its worst…or best, depending upon your taste. The acting is nonexistent (except for Aramis Sartorio as Tommy Pistol who does shine in a few scenes, in particular a poignant detour where he talks about making it big in Hollywood, proving he does have some acting chops), the comedy is of the potty variety and not terribly funny, and the special effects are third-rate at best. But Gruesome Death does have a certain Troma-esque charm (in fact, of the four reviews I read for this film, every single one also drew a parallel with Troma), so if Troma films are your cup of tea, then this film is for you.

In one dream sequence, our decidedly naive hero is hired for a snuff film. He’s so completely stupid that he’s convinced it’s a real film and has no problem using an old-fashioned cheese grater on a girl’s arm, stomach, and face. The blood really flows here, but again, the effects are very cheap, so they aren’t really stomach-churning. His next victim is another young lady who is tied down while Tommy uses a vegetable chopper on her breasts, turning them into a bloody pulp before tearing her heart out through the hole in one of her breasts.

In another sequence, Tommy dreams about becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger’s assistant. He sneaks onto a closed set and works his way into his dream position. But Tommy has a nefarious plan–to drug Arnold, skin him alive, and then wear the skin so he can BE Arnold. He does all this and runs around foolishly fighting anyone who challenges him in a hastily tied together full-body suit of skin. This dream sequence really goes haywire as there is a long kung fu fight sequence as well as a magic talking dog. If this isn’t enough to pique your interest, then the last dream surely will. In what must be one of the most vile and disgusting sequences committed to celluloid since Street Trash was released, there is a porn sequence (this does move the film into X-rated territory) that includes money shots using the popping of (thankfully, fake) ass boils! It also includes stringy mucus eating, and in one scene a man actually licks the pus from a boil off the toilet seat. All of this is followed up with Tommy awaking to the fact that he’s not only been dreaming, but he has been pumping this entire time, causing his penis to rupture in the pump. As if afraid of having an anticlimactic ending, writer/director/editor/star (you get the picture…) Sartoris makes sure to get loving close-ups of the exploded penis.

As you can tell, this film is not for everyone. While none of the effects are terribly realistic, I would imagine those without a strong constitution will still find the film vomit-inducing as well as highly offensive. But there are those certain few–shall we say, connoisseurs–of Bad Taste Cinema (Street Trash, The Toxic Avenger, Pink Flamingos, Bad Taste, and Combat Shock, to name a few) who will love this film for drawing a cinematic line in the sand…then shredding that line into dust.

The good people over at Breaking Glass Pictures have seen fit to distribute The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol through their Vicious Circle imprint (a more appropriate label would be hard to find). The film has just been released and comes with a number of extras, so if you are a fan of cinematic vileness, hop on over to Breaking Glass Pictures at to purchase your very own copy of Tommy Pistol.