The Film: The First Turn-On! (1983)
The Principles: Lloyd Kaufman/Michael Herz (Directors). Georgia Harrell, Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman, Stuart Strutin, Mark Torgl (Writers) Georgia Harrell, Michael Sanville, Googy Gress, John Flood, Heidi Miller, Sheila Kennedy, and VINCENT D’ONOFRIO!
The Premise: An early 80’s teen sex comedy that takes place in a camp. Several campers get stuck in a cave due to a cave in caused by a guy’s fart. In order to pass the time they all speak of the first time they had sexual intercourse.
Is It Good: If you’re a fan of silly early 80’s sex comedies, then you should check this film out. It’s an early film made by Troma founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, and it’s also the last one they made before The Toxic Avenger.
It hints where Troma would eventually go, in that it’s really really crude. Tons of jokes are abound, ranging from masturbation (always good for a laugh) to racial humor – one of the kids dresses up as a “ghost” that looks like a KKK member, and gets beat up by a group of black guys. There’s really no stone left unturned here. It even gets flat-out gross towards the end in a segment involving the nature counselor. There’s even the “Do what I do” joke that was appeared again in Toxic Avenger. This time it’s used with a frog instead of a garden snake.
The film deals with four kids (although the term “kid” is relative, since they all look like they’re in their 20’s, and the fat kid has a receding hairline.) and a nature counselor. The kids sneak off to a cave where the fat kid has a huge stash of food, in order to smoke a joint. The nature counselor follows them, and when the teen girl of the group sees a tarantula in the cave she lets out a piercing scream. This annoyingly shrill scream unsettles some rocks above the cave and they get stuck inside.
To pass the time while they are trapped inside, they begin discussing their “first time”, so we are treated to five hilarious stories about how they all lost their virginity. Each one has plenty of hilarity in them. The funniest ones belong to the fat kid “Henry”, and the most normal of the group, “Danny.”
Henry’s involves the “ghost” costume gag, and Danny’s revolves around a dream girl (played by a Penthouse Pet!) that he sees at the beach. His brother sets him up with all “the goods” ie. Condoms, sex toys, and other types of erotica. He even gives him a tip to put a whole roll of toilet paper in his crotch in order to simulate a large erection. His brother’s date arrives, and at the same time, Danny’s dream girl appears in his room. Thus we have two alternating scenes of Danny having a lot of fun with his dream girl, while his brother tries to engage his date with such suave lines as “I’M GONNA PORK YOU, YOU BITCH!” to which he gets a well-deserved knee to the balls. His date leaves him, and goes over to Danny and his dream girl.
There are jokes galore like the fat kid always having food around him and always eating. The film also has plenty of visual gags as well. The majority of the gags being extremely juvenile, and childish. So juvenile that I’ll refrain from going into detail here, and leaving it up to you to see it and judge for yourself!
Is It Worth A Look: Absolutely. If you’re in the mood to recreate what it felt like to watch USA UP! ALL NIGHT, check this movie out. It will bring back memories. If you are into films that have tons of gutter humor, then this is for you. I wouldn’t watch it in the presence of a woman though. This film gets really sleazy and, as I said before, extremely crude. It’s possibly one of the crudest films in the sex comedy sub-genre. I’d expect nothing less from the company whose name means “Excellence In Celluloid.”
The film also has a righteous soundtrack that has plenty of classical music that strangely fits the film, as well as a few early 80’s punk songs, including one during the final sequence that sounds very DEVO-ish.
Sadly, this is not one of the Troma movies currently on Netflix Instant. The movie is available through their disc service though, so you can add it there. If you don’t have Netflix, or don’t want to get the disc, it’s available on YouTube via Troma’s Official Channel.
Random Anecdotes: I first learned about this movie via the Troma trivia game on one of the older dvds they’d put out. Whenever I got a question right, clips from this movie showed up. They were silly enough to get me to find out what movie they were from.
This film was Vincent D’Onofrio’s film debut. He plays a camp counselor named LOBOTOMY.
In addition to co-writing and co-starring in this film, Mark Torgl went on to play Melvin Ferd in The Toxic Avenger.
Penthouse Pet Sheila Kennedy appears as the dream girl during one of the stories.
Madonna unsuccessfully auditioned for a role in the film.
During the aforementioned Troma quiz, it’s mentioned that Stanley Kubrick was a Production Assistant on the movie. Ah those Troma guys. So full of funny fiction!
Cinematc Soulmates: GORP. The American Pie Franchise. Meatballs III. Pretty much any comedy set in a summer camp.