Most people who make waves in Hollywood, or the film industry as a whole, make it on their prowess, skill for making things more realistic, technically more accurate, or having deep intricate stories that take several views to find all the meaning. Mr. Kaufman is not known for any of these, and neither is the studio that he runs Troma Entertainment.
I was lucky enough to get the chance to type about him in this month, even if I missed November’s Horror Icons. This is especially great for me, because if I went out to be a director/producer/screenwriter/actor, then he would be the kind of director/producer/screenwriter/actor that I would like to become. Unlike many in the film industry, Kaufman is not worried about creating the next masterpiece, although many his work may make it through the ages, despite his best effort. Instead, he seems to think,”You know this would be fun to make, and fun to watch, let’s make it”.
For those of you that do not recognize the name, he has had his hand in the creation of the Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet and dozens of other low-budget films. His and Troma’s films are normally a labor of love, these are films with passion. Just like much of passion found in bedrooms across the country, they can be messy and maybe not as pretty as Hollywood would lead you to believe. I am para-phrasing, but on a commentary, that if I remember correctly came from Toxic Avenger he said,”Why would I spend thousands of dollars to have a computer make a head explode under a tire, when I can put a wig on a water melon and do the same thing?”
For those of you that kinda remember the Toxic Avenger, you may remember that he was even the star in a goofy Saturday morning cartoon, and toy line. Funny enough, that reminds me that when the movie came out nerds were still looked at as rejects and pathetic. While, Toxie never changes that view, he still becomes the hero or the story, as the “normal” people are shown to be the monsters.
Although we need people who push the limits of what film can do, we also need people, like Kaufman, to remind us that we are wasting hours of time in front of a glowing screen big, small or cell phone; because we want to be entertained. If you take a step back, every film is kind of comically ridiculous, Troma just doesn’t hide it.
Loyd Kaufman also has come out with several books, Make Your Own Damn Movie and Produce Your Own Damn Movie being two that I intend on reading sometime soon.
Before I go, Troma = NSFW, just a friendly warning! Enjoy some trailers!
So, I would suggest giving Troma a look, and get lost in the fun not the effects. Film snobs need not apply.
Troma Films to Watch:
Toxic Avenger (1984)
The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)
Mother’s Day (1980)
Class of Nuke’em High (1986)
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
I think I am going to watch Mother’s Day again, and maybe watch the remake as well.