Color, 2010, 92m.
Directed by Aramis Sartorio
Starring Aramis Sartorio, Daisy Sparks, Camilla Lim, Jon Lee Brody, Caleb Emerson, Karen Sartorio
Baby Yetti (DVD) (US R0 NTSC) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9) / DD2.0

The name "Tommy Pistol" conjures up different associations depending on which circles you run in; for horror convention attendees, he's the energetic, shameless star from the goofy "Re-Penetrator" segment of the horror/trash homage LovecraCked! (as well as its much more explicit standalone version, which was turned down by every adult company on the block for its extreme zombie gore), the silly Horat, and the flat-out bizarre The XXXorcist; he's also a frequently self-deprecating clown prince among the alt-porn crowd at Burning Angel and even a five-time AVN nominee. So where do you go from there? Simple; make the craziest, goriest horror comedy you can, completely pulling apart and playing with your cinematic persona like a a mushy mound of mashed potatoes. How much of it is sincere and how much is a gross-out put on remains a bit up in the air by the time the end credits roll, but one thing is certain: Joaquin Phoenix ain't got nothing on this movie.

We're in serious Jennifer Tilly/Seed of Chucky territory here with this horror anthology, sort of, directed by and starring Aramis Sartorio (his real name) as "Tommy Pistol," a sadsack spending his evening with a little self-gratification in front of the TV to escape from the reality of losing his wife over his failed career as a wannabe actor. His life in smut is then refracted into outrageous fantasy segments that find him as a subjugated actor, a deranged killer, and a skeevy porn guru, each of which at various points requires him to enthusiastically wield a cheese grater as a murder weapoon, remove and wear the skin of a certain famous action star, drain a manacled co-star's blood to create his own macabre Slip 'n' Slide, and contend with a particularly squishy staph infection sweeping across a porn set.

That description doesn't even begin to cover the manic insanity on display in this film, which also throws in glowing animal spirit avatars and a particularly memorable performance by Caleb Emerson, director of the great Die You Zombie Bastards, as a cheerleading snuff director. The result could have easily fallen into standard Troma territory, but there's a particularly crazed, dangerous edge to the film that sets it apart from the pack; it's fascinating to see this underground persona beging dissected from top to bottom, razing every aspect of his career down to the ground to see if anything still survives in all the remaining carnage. Even if you've got a strong stomach and a cheerfully sick sense of humor, you've never seen anything quite like this.

Though it hasn't yet found an official distributor, The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol is making the screener rounds and, thanks to word of mouth alone, should get a commercial pick up in the near future if anyone out there has a clue. The film was shot on video (HD, presumably) and looks fine, with vivid, saturated colors practically popping your eyes out during the gore scenes; if there's ever a commentary track recorded for this puppy, it's going to be incredible.

Reviewed on August 16, 2011.