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Jefftowne

2.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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(Jun 17, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Filmmaker Daniel Kraus profiles Jeff Towne, a 40ish beer and pornography aficionado with Down syndrome.

From the Back Cover

Meet Jeff Towne. He's a beer-drinking, porno-consuming, wrestling fanatic with Down's Syndrome. He lies, he cheats, he steals; he fondles women. In short, he's a lot like the rest of us than we care to admit. Jeff's days are divided between his filthy home that he shares with his 98 year old, wheelchair bound foster mother (who pins their financial future on the certainty that they'll win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes) and a mall movie theater, where the employees alternately mock and care for Jeff. They've become a bizarre surrogate family for Jeff, providing him with all the vices that his mother so desperately ignores - to her, Jeff is a good Christian boy with a heart of gold. As this shocking and hilarious documentary will show you, Jeff frequents strip joint, bum-rushes celebrities, cares for his horrifying blackened diseased foot, and gets his few remaining teeth extracted. One thing is for sure: you've never seen anything like Jefftowne and you've never met anyone like Jeff.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hulk Hogan, Daniel Kraus, Genevieve Lutgen, William Shatner, Jeff Towne
  • Directors: Daniel Kraus
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: TROMA ENTERTAINMENT INC.
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008HC9S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jefftowne" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
ok anyone who knows troma knows that they release some of the bloodiest most offensive material in the country (and oh how i love it.). well get ready for something totally out of the norm for troma. jefftowne is about a 39 year old with downs syndrome. when i bought this i expected something very troma, totally offensive with few redeeming moral qualities, which i had no problem with at all. but this movie actually turned out to be a touching (not very troma) look at someone who doesn't suffer from downs syndrome, he lives as if he didn't even have it. you meet jeff's 93 year old foster mother who is confined to a wheelchair as well as his extended family at the mall movie theater. they take just as much, if not more care of jeff than his mother. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO DISREGARD MIKE DAVIS'S REVIEW OF THIS MOVIE! jeff is not treated the way that mr davis has said he is in this movie. the people are just so friendly with jeff that they can joke around with him as much as they want to. when i first saw the first scene in this movie, i thought that the guy making farting noises and blaming it on jeff was intended to upset jeff, but after a second watch you can see that it was just friendly. im really sorry if this review sucks, its pretty late and im dozing off in front of the keyboard. the DVD also includes jefftowne 2, which is a follow-up to the movie 4 years later, which i also think is good. again im sorry if this review sucked, but please, give jefftowne a chance.
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Jefftowne is a masterpiece. I was literally laughing and crying at the same time. No kidding. There isn't a single scene in here that tries to solicit your pity, your contempt of a disabled man, or his demented stepmother. It is a triumph of the human spirit and how we will help people that need help. The people at the cinema where Jeff works obviously get a kick out of Jeff, but they also love him. It's obvious because he brings out the best in them. Only a freako, liberal 'academic' would mistake the people in Jeff's life for not loving him. They treat him with respect and (at least on camera) never exploit him or publicly humiliate him. If Jeff did not have the people he works with, he would be 'hurtin' for certain'. They take care of his social, emotional and even his warped sexual needs. They don't have sex with him, but they allow him to type the captions in his girlie mags that lets him process it without shame. The scene where Jeff has the camera affected me physically. It was timed so wonderfully in the film that I really felt like I was looking at the world through Jeff's eyes and I laughed out loud as tears were rolling down my face. Not tears of sadness or pity, but raw emotion knowing that Jeff has a place in the world and he knows it. This is due to his friends. When you see Jefftowne2 and how far he has come, it's amazing. Each one of the people he hangs out with have a completely different view of Jeff, yet they all accept him. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at this: If you don't finish this tape and feel good (not because you're not Jeff, but because you can share in his accomplishments and the way in which these normal folks take him into their lives) then you are absolutely emotionally retarded. Well done Troma and bravo Jeff.
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Format: DVD
As one who prefers non-fictional, gritty and anti-Hollywood filmmaking, I think "Jefftowne" is a major accomplishment, especially in the way it develops and celebrates relationships between a man with Down's Syndrome and those he befriends at his local mall's movie theater. Did the filmmakers try to profit from Jeffy's disability? Hardly. I'm pretty sure they were film students at the University of Iowa, surviving by working at the theater with one of the film's heroes, Kim the manager. Kim is the man who accepts, appreciates and nurtures Jeffy, who otherwise would be forced to spend his life living with his invalid foster mother. This woman, Genevieve, deserves credit for adopting Jeffy, but she is hopeless, can't take care of Jeffy's hygiene and somehow believes that she will be the next Clearing House Sweepstakes winner.
I bet the movie derived from boredom at work, when director Daniel Kraus and associates realized that Jeff Townes' life was a readymade documentary that only needed to be filmed. You can tell that Kraus, and almost everyone else, loved Jeffy and wanted to give him the spotlight he always dreamed of. That Jeffy loved beer, women, Star Trek and wrestling normalizes him, and without his movie theatre friends, he would have never met William Shatner or seen Hulk Hogan live.
This is a touching story about one man's bizarre journey through life, vocalized through his dozen or so vocabulary words that end up saying it all. Credit goes to Jeffy's friends who participated in the film, and of course to the production crew, who spent only $6,000 to make it.
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Format: DVD
Jefftowne (Daniel Kraus, 1998)

In the world of Troma film distribution, every once in a while you come across something that makes you start singing "one of these things is not like the other" in your head. Jefftowne is that thing, a documentary that is not at all played for laughs. How on earth did Troma find this, and what were they thinking? (Unfortunately, I'm sure the answer to that is "people will laugh at this guy." More unfortunately, I'm sure they were right.

Jeff Towne is a forty-year-old with Down's Syndrome. He lives alone, has a job at a movie theater, and actually lives pretty much like a lot of other confirmed bachelors; he drinks a lot of beer, looks at a lot of porn, watches pro wrestling. How is this out of the ordinary? Because Jeff has Down's Syndrome, of course, and because he does everything he does to extremes.

You'd expect a movie like this to be exploitive, and I'm sure that's what Troma were thinking when they picked it up for distribution (and because of that, I'm sure there's a segment of the populace that will see it exactly that way), but it really isn't. Kraus (Musician), a friend of Jeff's, treated him pretty much like any other documentary subject you'd see captured on film, Yes, there's some humor here, but it flows naturally (Jeff is something of a raconteur) rather than coming from Jeff's lot in life. The documentary is sensitive and fascinating despite, essentially, following a regular guy around doing regular stuff.

The DVD contains a wealth of extras that make it well worth checking out even if you've seen the movie itself, including a short follow-up Kraus filmed two years after the original movie. Very good, this. *** ½
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