The Sexy Box (Waitress!, Stuck on You!, The First Turn On!) (Troma) Blu-ray Review **Updated**


Troma has given us three of the first four comedies that they produced on blu-ray, but is this set worth picking up, or is it a dog of a release? 

Studio: Troma
Release Date: September 17th, 1982 (Waitress!)
                            January 1983 (Stuck on You!)
                            November 1983 (The First Turn On!)
                            January 18th, 2022 (blu-ray)
Run Time:
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (all films)
Sound: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (all films)
Subtitles: English
Slipcover: No. All three films are in their own cases and those cases are inside of a box
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Jim Harris, Carol Drake, Carol Bevar, Renata Hickey, Hunt Block, and 
                 Tony Denison (Waitress!)
                  Irwin Corey, Virginia Penta, Mark Mikulski, Albert Pia, Norma Pratt,
                  and Daniel Harris (Stuck on You!)
                  Georgia Harrell, Michael Sanville, Googy Gress, John Flood, Heidi Miller,
                  and Al Pia
Written by Charles Kaufmann and Michael Stone (Waitress!)
                    Jeffrey Delman and Tony Gittelson (Stuck on You!)
                    Stuart Strutin (The First Turn On!)
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz (all films)
Rating: R (strong crude sexual content, nudity, and language) (all films)

UPDATE (4/15/2022) I got my WAITRESS! replacement disc in the mail today. A little over two months after my last update. This was a good sign to me. Could Troma have fixed the problem that fast when other studios like Warner Brothers, can't get their MAD MAX 2 replacements out to those who bought their discs day one? The answer is: NO. Troma has failed yet again. The disc I received in the mail is THE EXACT SAME DISC that came in the boxset. You know, the one that is fucked up! I put the replacement disc into my player and at exactly 26 seconds into the film, the exact same glitch happens and the rest of the film (to put it more frankly THE ENTIRE FILM) is out of sync with the audio. It can't be that hard to fix something like this. This is the second time in recent memory where the replacement disc was just as fucked as the original disc. Last year, Well Go USA sent out replacement discs for their PHANTASM double feature set that was supposed to have the same special features and audio mixes as the discs in the SPHERE COLLECTION, but they sent out discs that had fewer features than the fucked up discs in the double feature set. Anyway, I have confirmed with others who got their WAITRESS! replacement discs that are also the exact same disc as before. Hopefully, Troma fixes this, but I am not holding my breath. The replacements probably cost them a lot to make and I don't think they can afford to another round. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.

UPDATE (2/14/2022): Troma has responded to the outcry in regards to the situation with WAITRESS! They are doing a replacement program that is not a pain in the ass like the initial post that Troma posted made it out to be. Go to https://www.tromadirect.com/waitress-replacement/ and fill out the form. Include a copy of your receipt and you are good to go. When I receive my replacement disc I will update this review.

NOTE: Before we move forward, I have found out that Troma will be issuing a replacement disc for 
WAITRESS! This is awesome, right? It isn't. While it is nice that they aren't going to ignore this and do the right thing, but only if you bought it directly from them. If you bought it from anywhere else, you have to go through them. So, if you bought this through Amazon, good luck. Really, Troma? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I bought it through another retailer, so I have to go to that retailer and request that they put in a request for a replacement. Why are you making it so hard to get a fix to something that you were too lazy to see? 

I am putting this out there right now: If Troma does not do the right thing and make the replacement easier to get, then I will to stop buying Troma things. I will unsubscribe from Troma NOW, I won't order anything from their store, and I won't buy they DVDs or blu-rays. I am tired of Troma treating their fans like shit. They don't care that they fucked something up. I am actually surprised that they even responded to this. Times must be really tough for them if they are actually fessing up to something and making it right. Remember their "Tromorphic" transfer of THE TOXIC AVENGER? It wasn't anamorphic. I was a 4x3 widescreen DVD. Remember how they fucked up the HD transfer of TOXIC AVENGER 3 and then said it was a "new director's cut"? They left out the gore in the opening scene, a scene that is one of the few things that people actually like about the film, and then said it was a new cut of the film, so that they didn't have to fix their fuck up.

I am sorry that I prefaced this review with this information, but I wanted it to be said before you read the review. The review hasn't been changed in light of this information. I don't go back and change things even if it's something that makes me look like an idiot. I was already mad with Troma when I wrote this review.

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Poster

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What's It About?

Before conceiving the phenomenal TOXIC AVENGER franchise, exploitation moguls Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz produced and directed three raunchy, ensemble teen sex comedies which launched the famed Troma dynasty. Predating PORKY'S and SCREWBALLS, these outrageous, horny romps celebrate the best of 80s teen life -- wet t-shirt contests, summer camp debauchery, recreational pharmaceuticals, bodacious ta-tas and bulging jean-shorts!
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Film Review

Waitress! is the second true Troma film after SQUEEZE PLAY and you can see the things that Troma would become known for show up in this film. Scenes with tons of extras even when it feels like their wouldn't be that many people in that location in real life? Check. Jumping around from scene to scene, character to character without much thought put into moving the story along? Check. Tons of nudity even when it isnt called for? Check. 

I love the fact that this film exists but I don't think it is a good film. The characters are really given enough useful screentime to get us to care about them. Troma just wants to bounce from idea to idea, leaving one when it has become stale, hoping the next one sticks. For the most part, none of these ideas sticks. The plot of the girl harassing the producer until she gets the part would have been funny if that wasn't the only thing that character does. There is some nice word play going on here but it isn't enough to save this film from its own structure. 

While I didn't like WAITRESS! I am forever in it's debt because it helped give us the Troma we have today. Had Troma not made the four sexy comedies they made in the early 80s, we might not have THE TOXIC AVENGER or POULTRYGEIST, so I will take the lesser Troma film because of the greatness that follows. 

STUCK ON YOU was a staple of every video around my hometown. I always saw the video cover anytime I went to rent something. I was too young to watch the film but the cover always stuck with me. 

I finally got around to watching it and it's not bad. It's not terrible good either but it is entertaining. I thought the leads were really good and they are given time to build on their characters. We care about these two and enjoy the journey we are taken on.

What I didn't like about the film were the stories the judge tells. They are all stories that happen throughout history. We see a story about cave people, a story about Adam and Eve, and so on. These stories grind the film to a halt and then go for what seems like forever. I didn't like any of these stories and the film would have benefited from them not being there. 

STUCK ON YOU is a good film with some terrible filler. They should have cut the stories and beef up the main characters' stories and they would have had a real winner on their hands. The film feels like half a good film and half a film shot by some improv group rejects. They don't fit together. 

The film in the set is THE FIRST TURN ON! which was the last film that Troma released that was strictly a comedy as they started doing horror-comedies starting the year after THE FIRST TURN ON! hit theaters. I am going to say this about Troma: Horror saved Troma. Had they continued doing comedies, we would not be talking about Troma today. They hit on the perfect formula with THE TOXIC AVENGER and they never really looked back. THE FIRST TURN ON! is not very good. It has a great setup. People are telling about their first time having sex. Makes the film an anthology and that could have worked, but it doesn’t. The film is really ugly looking with co-director Lloyd Kaufman, who also serves as the film’s director of photography, electing to shoot everything with a yellow haze. Everything in this film is shot in such a way that makes everything look ugly. It’s kind of disgusting. The sex isn’t even all that appealing. They are selling the film on the sex and they made that really ugly looking as well. I really hated this film and I love Troma. They helped shape the kind of filmgoer I am today, but these comedies suck.
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Video/Audio

Troma has brought all three films to blu-ray with the same love and care they have brought over their other films. This care is of course almost non-existent. These are not good transfers. I mean, they are fine if you aren’t really looking at them. If these films are on in the background, then they are fine. If you are actively watching them, then you will most likely not like them. Every film is encoded like crap, with film grain that looks blocky and unnatural. Detail is soft and flat and all three films look like the negative was dragged through dog crap before being scanned. These are ugly looking films given ugly transfers.

Now, let’s talk about the biggest fuck up with this set: WAITRESS! is out of sync. A few minutes in the audio starts to lose sync. It’s not noticeable right away, but then around 26 minutes in, the film goes fully out of sync and it never goes back. There is a glitch in the video and the audio goes out of sync. I don’t know how this wasn’t noticed. I get the first time. I didn’t notice it. But that second time? The rest of the fucking is out of sync big time and no one noticed? Who the hell is doing QC? Probably no one. I wish that Troma would let Vinegar Syndrome, who they have a great relationship with, have the catalog. Can you imagine how great these films would look if the guys at Vinegar Syndrome had at them? I would buy every Troma film over again if it meant having better everything. I love Troma but they need to see that they are not doing good work here. They can make the films, but let someone else release them on disc.
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Extras/Packaging

Waitress!

Intro by Lloyd Kaufman (1m 42s, HD, 1.78:1) This is not accessible from the menu. It can only be played up starting the disc up.
Commentary by Lloyd Kaufman
Gizzard Face: Troma Now Promo (1m, HD, 1.78:1)
"Before There Was Toxie" DVD intro (1m 57s, SD, 1.33:1) This is the original DVD intro for WAITRESS! I wonder why the other DVD intros aren't on these discs.
Troma Trailers:

  • Squeeze Play! (4m 23s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Stuck on You! (3m 55s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • The First Turn On! (3m 22s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Waitress! (3m 5s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • The Toxic Avenger (3m 25s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Mutant Blast (1m, HD, 2.39:1)
  • Class of Nuke 'em High
  • Return to Class of Nuke 'em High Vol. 1
  • Return to Nuke 'em High aka Vol. 2
  • Poultrygeist
  • #shakespearesshitstorm

                                                                              Stuck on You!

Intro by Lloyd Kaufman (1m 41s, HD, 1.78:1) This is not accessable from any of the menus. only plays upon startup.
Commentary by Lloyd Kaufman
Jealous fo Troma Now Promo (1m 10s, HD, 1.78:1)

The very same Troma trailers that appeared on the WAITRESS! disc.

                                                                            The First Turn On!

Intro by Lloyd Kaufman (1m 37s, HD, 1.78:1)
Sheila Kennedy New 2019 Interview
Commentary by Lloyd Kaufman

The very same Troma trailers that appeared on the other two discs.

This is quite possibly the laziest blu-ray release that Troma has put out yet. They created a few new things for this set, but if you don't count the introductions and I don't because Troma does them for everything, there is one new interview on this set. That's it. These are the films that introduced the world to Troma and they don't give two shits. Troma released a version of The Sexy Box on DVD and it was better in a lot of ways. The picture and audio quality aren't all that great, but we have come to expect that from Troma, but there was more on the discs. The commentaries are the same, but there are some interviews that are on that set, but not found here. The biggest thing missing is all the hidden films. There are three hidden films, with one of each disc except for THE FIRST TURN ON which has nothing hidden. You get Schwartz, The Brave Detective, aka Ha-Balash Ha'Amitz Shvartz or Big Gus, What's the Fuss?, The Girl Who Returned, and The Battle of Love's Return. Here, you get nothing. Oh and the biggest missing thing: SQUEEZE PLAY!. There is another missing film and it is the film that started Troma! How could they have NOT put that film in this collection? Hell, the girl on the cover of the Sexy Box box is FROM THE SQUEEZE PLAY POSTER!!! It makes no sense to me.

Since the birth of DVD, Troma was always at the forefront of special features. Starting with TERROR FIRMER in 2000, every new Troma film had a bevy of special features. They all had a feature-length making of that showed Troma at their best and at their worst. There is no bullshit studio cover-up like so many making ofs have. It was always a "worts and all" with their behind-the-scenes stuff. There would also be commentary tracks, the Radiation March (which they don't include anymore), and deleted scenes. You ALWAYS got you're monies worth with a Troma DVD. They also did special editions for films they picked up. CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL and REDNECK ZOMBIES both got great editions. 

It just seems like Troma doesn't care about the four films that formed much of what Troma is today and that is a real shame. They could have put together a making-of that covered all four films while including the fourth film in the collection. I have no idea why Troma excluded SQUEEZE PLAY! unless they are doing a proper special edition for it, but that seems unlikely. They are finally releasing SURF NAZIS MUST DIE on blu-ray after what feels like forever, so I guess there is a chance, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Overall

I had high hopes for these films. Lloyd Kaufman always speaks very highly of them and I love Troma, but these are pretty damn bad. The comedy is by the numbers and I rarely found myself laughing. I was bored most of the time. The "Troma-ness" is there, but the comedy feels forced. This blu-ray collection is wrong in so many ways. The picture quality is pretty bad and one film goes out of sync audio-wise. The special features are also lacking with the commentaries being the only real extras. I can not recommend this set and it pains me to do so. Don't buy this set.
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Film

Waitress!

Stuck on You!

The First Turn On!

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Packaging


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