On this edition of Parallax Views, for nearly 50 years Troma has been the independent movie studio with an uncompromising vision that has alternately grossed out, offended, and entertained audiences from around the world with such features as The Toxcic Avenger franchise, the Class of Nuke Em High series, Troma’s War, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Tromeo and Juliet (penned by James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame), and, most recently, #ShakespeareShitstorm among others! They’ve also distributed such madcap films as Surf Nazis Must Die, Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town (starring before-he-was-famous Billy Bob Thornton), and Monster in the Closet (starring a before-he-was-famous Paul Walker) as well as such challenging and controversial cinema as Story of a Junkie, Combat Shock, and the experimental films of Giuseppe Andrews (Detroit Rock City, Cabin Fever).
Joining us to discuss the little movie studio that could is Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma alongside Michael Herz. Be forewarned, Lloyd is irreverent, non-pc, and speaks his mind. As I say in the show intro “You will be triggered”.
In the course of our conversation Lloyd and I discuss a number of topics including what a Troma film is (for the unfamiliar), how Lloyd went from attending Yale in the hopes of becoming a social worker to catching the film bug, whether or not people confuse Troma for being a right-wing “shock jock” enterprise like Breitbart or the antic of Steve Bannon, Hollywood’s silence on the New Jim Crow laws of Georgia, Lloyd’s appearance on the Morton Downey Jr. Show, the influence of French cinema and Auteur Theory on Lloyd and Troma’s work, Troma films as being steeped in satire and often based on events and social issues of the day, the influence of Andy Warhol on Lloyd and the Troma’s movie Sugar Cookies (starring cult actress and Warhol factory girl Mary Woronov), working on the big budget Hollywood movie The Final Countdown w/ Kirk Douglas, working on John G. Avildsen’s Rocky and Saturday Night Fever, C. Wright Mills’ Power Elite theory and Lloyd’s theory of the elite, the problem of Hollywood, the influence of Stan Lee and Marvel on Troma, Lloyd’s socialist relatives and their influence on him growing up (we talk about Cuba, Fidel Castro, etc.!), Lloyd’s love of the underdog, LGBTQ+ fans of Troma, Lloyd’s appearance in The Last Blockbuster, a story about Lloyd’s problem with Hollywood involving the great actor and writer Trent Haaga, and much, much more.