6 items from 2016
Epicureanism has come to be associated with mindless indulgence in food and sex, even if those ancient Athenians called for more restraint than you’d typically see in your average horror movie.
Countless horror films, of course, have echoed cultural anxieties surrounding sex, but that other physiological need, food, is also a common ingredient. Poor impulse control is at the heart of every slasher film—usually the perp acting on his, but also the risk-taking behaviors of his victims. And it’s not much of a stretch to consider that there’s a genetic component to this, whether manifested in psychopathy or an inability to keep the fridge door shut.
According to a Bloomberg report, 2015 was the first year Americans spent more on dining out than on groceries, as at-home food prep shows proliferate and the real-life horror that is the obesity epidemic shaves years off our lives. Luckily, amidst »
- Christopher Lombardo
1986 was a hugely important year in genre cinema—part of the five-year stretch between 1982 and 1987 that arguably makes up the best run of genre movies in history. Major studios and major filmmakers like Fox, James Cameron, David Cronenberg, and John Carpenter were turning out genre classics. New voices like Fred Dekker and John McTiernan were introducing themselves to audiences. Franchises like Friday the 13th, Star Trek, and Psycho were still going strong on the big screen. And in the middle of all this, America’s longest-running independent studio, Troma, cemented their very specific and wholly original cinematic voice with Class of Nuke ’Em High.
Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman had already been producing and directing films for over a decade—first art films and then a series of outrageous sex comedies like Waitress! and Stuck on You!—but it wasn’t until 1984’s The Toxic Avenger that Kaufman more or less established Troma’s house style. »
- Patrick Bromley
Lloyd Kaufman has been a major innovator in the indie film industry since the ’70s, and now his company, Troma Entertainment, is entering the world of online streaming with their new service Troma Now.
The notoriously irreverent filmmaker took to Reddit yesterday to discuss his biggest Hollywood fans, his most famous films and even the state of current reality television (and how he would improve upon it.) Check out some of Kaufman’s most entertaining answers below.
What do you think of the current state of “midnight movies”? Would you like to see them make a comeback?
I think they are making a comeback. Not so much at theaters but at places like Tromadance/other festivals, college film societies, and lots of bars. I specialize in showing movies at bars because I am an alcoholic.
Could you create a Troma today, with Netflix/YouTube etc? Would it be easier?
That is a great question, no. Today is harder, Netflix does nothing today to support independent cinema. The marketplace is controlled by a very small number of media conglomerates. The good news is that you do not need a lot of money to create something amazing, check out Troma’s “Father’s Day,” which was made with under a 25k budget. This is due to young filmmakers having a solid grasp of this new digital age, which I myself need to work on still. The “Return To Nuke’Em High” budget is 400k per volume, for example.
Will Troma Now get an Android TV/Apple TV apps in the future? What do you think about the dwindling relevance of physical media?
Go ahead and watch “VHS Massacre” on Troma Now (working on the apps!). I am a believer in new technology in the same way I would not use a buggy whip to get around town, I would use a car. I believe digital looks better than 35mm which is why I shot the volumes of “Return To Nuke’Em High” digitally, not in film.
Read More: Frightpix Launches ‘Lloyd Kaufman Presents’ Streaming Collection
I want to say how sorry I was to hear about Joe Fleishaker’s death. Did he have a role in “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2”? Looking forward to checking out Troma Now!
Spoiler Alert: You will see Joe Fleishaker and the late Lemmy Killmister in “Return To Nuke’Em High, Volume 2.” We will be dedicating Vol. 2 to the memory of these two wonderful Troma friends.
What are a few of your favorite scenes or elements in Troma films?
Penises! Farts! Explosive Diarrhea! Lesbians! Fighting against the conspiracy of elites! And of course, certain Hideously Deformed Creatures of Super Human Size & Strength!
Hey Lloyd, big fan! I’ve seen quite a few of your movies but “Poultrygeist” may be my absolute favourite – do you have any memorable experiences from working on that one?
The entire experience was a nightmare of the most horrible kind. If you’d like to see it, go to Troma Movies on YouTube and watch the feature length behind the scenes documentary “Poultry in Motion: The Truth is Stranger than Chicken”. You will see fist fights, people getting on bended knee asking for hands in marriage, as well as Uncle Lloyd being an asshole!
Read More: ‘Dolphinman Battles The Sex Lobsters’ Trailer: Kabukiman Terrorizes Tromaville
Hi Lloyd! What have been some directors or specific movies that inspired how you make your own?
Chaplin, Keaton, Stan Brakhage, Jean Renoir, Fritz Lang, Samuel Fuller, Roger Corman, comic books by Stan Lee (who is a good friend and with whom I wrote a screenplay in the early 70s). Today I am inspired by directors who were inspired by me: Trey Parker, Quentin Tarantino (who inspired me to make “Return to Nuke ‘Em High” a two-part event film), and Takashe Miike. Most recently, John Brennan’s “Kabukiman’s Cocktail Corner” changed my whole worldview.
What do you think of reality TV? Its more or less today’s cheap, popular exploitation media?
I believe that reality TV could be terrific, but unfortunately it aims at the lowest common denominator. They all seem to be scripted and want to appeal to Kim Kardashian. We are developing a reality show starring Kim Kardashian and Kim Jong Un. It’s called “I Love Myself, I Love My Ass.”
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- Kate Halliwell
Joe Fleishaker, an actor who weighed in at 500-pounds and became Troma Entertainment’s biggest action star, has died. He was 62. He passed away Monday at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. Fleishaker made his name starring in the cult “Toxic Avenger” franchise, along with films including “Poultrygeist,” “Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.,” “Terror Firmer” and “Tromeo and Juliet.” Also Read: Alan Young, Star of 'Mister Ed,' Dies at 96 The cause of death has not yet been determined, but the Brooklyn native suffered from morbid obesity and congestive heart failure, and his family suspects it was a heart attack. »
- Debbie Emery
Credited to 38 writers and directors, 2016’s Grindsploitation is the ultimate homage to exploitation cinema, a two-and-a-half hour anthology consisting entirely of fake grindhouse trailers. Among the directors are Lloyd Kaufman (Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead), Donald Farmer (An Erotic Vampire In Paris) and porn star Tommy Pistol, which gives you an idea of the content.
The movie is released in the UK in October, and in order to whet your appetite for it is Grinsploitation 2: The Lost Reels (“the sequel that nobody asked for and nobody wanted”), the fake sequel to the fake anthology. It’s clearly meant to be a joke because Body Bag Films are releasing the picture on April Fools’ Day.
Promising a mix of shorts, banned scenes and trailers, all filmed in a faux grindhouse style (expect lots of fake scratches and static bars), The Lost Reels throws in all the ingredients you’d expect – martial arts, »
- Ian Watson
If you're feeling nostalgic for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, then we have a movie for you. Though, Attack of the Killer Donuts might be even dumber than that 1978 cult comedy. We have your first look at this goofy horror thriller, which stars Fredrick Burns, Christine Nguyen, Lauren Elise and Michael Swan. Warning: This might be too much for some of you heavy snackers to take sitting down! In fact, it might just turn you to jelly.
"We've eaten them for years, now it's their turn!" Screams the tagline. And that's apparently what these pastries are out to do. In Attack of the Killer Donuts, a chemical accident turns ordinary donuts into blood thirsty killers. Now it's up to Johnny, Michelle and Howard to save their sleepy town from...Killer Donuts. Yup!
6 items from 2016
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