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Lloyd Kaufman: Click Here For Lloyd Kaufman's Filmography

I have a group of people I admire in the cinema industry, some alive, some not so much, Lloyd Kaufman fits well within that range. I saw The Toxic Avenger when I was fifteen and it showed me that not all films are perfectly put together, that one didn't have to go to a fancy film school to make successful flicks. One just needed, sex, stunts and maybe a sense of the bizarre.

Then last year I read his book, All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger. A surprisingly stunning, chaotic and truly funny look at the industry and the company he built (Troma) on the shoulders of The Toxic Avenger.

Since my first screening of Toxie I have slowly perused a lot of the Troma film library. I sat stunned by Cannibal The Musical thinking it horrid the first time out, couldn't get the songs out of my head and now have a DVD copy sitting up on my shelf. Tromeo and Juliet, same thing. Class of Nuke'em High, Sgt. Kabukiman (N.Y.P.D.)...there is always something oddly compelling in this mass of twisted celluloid that Troma puts out. Check out some of these quotes in Lloyd's biography.

A Mini - Review on Lloyd Kauffman's All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger : The Shocking True Story of Troma Studios
We haven't added our best film books pages yet, but I can tell you Lloyd's recounting of his last 25 years at the top of the indie heap is one to add to your collection. Basic, straight forward, demented fun...a real warts and all look at the film world.

"Lloyd Kaufman represents one of the true, great auteurs." So says Sam Grogg, dean of the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film and TV Studies, quoted in Creative Screenwriting magazine.

"Without Lloyd Kaufman," writes film critic Michael H. Klienschrodt in the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, "there probably never would have been There's Something About Mary or Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo."

In 25 years, Kaufman, along with partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up from a young company struggling to find its voice in a field crowded with competitors to legendary status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true independence, and the world's greatest concentration of camp. He has accumulated a remarkable list of credits, as well as a more extraordinary list of debits to loan sharks and pawn shops across New York.

In the late 1960's, Kaufman was enrolled at Yale University, diligently working on a respectable degree in Chinese Studies. However, Kaufman was destined for other things. "At Yale I was placed in a dormitory room with two film fanatics, and I knew everything had irrevocably changed." In fact, Kaufman was infected with a love of movies from which he never recovered.

In 1971, Kaufman met his future partner Michael Herz at Yale. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, sexy comedies such as Squeeze Play!, Waitress!, and other titles ending with an exclamation point. These movies, independent precursors to such later smash hits as National Lampoon's Animal House and Porky's, did well financially, although Kaufman continued to work on such outside productions as Rocky and Saturday Night Fever. Kaufman's relationship with mainstream Hollywood would not last long. "There were problems," Kaufman said, "as I always wanted to do things my own way and my employers insisted I do things the correct way."

Kaufman proved his former employers wrong with his 1984 breakthrough movie, The Toxic Avenger. This tale of a health club mop boy named Melvin who is transformed into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength struck a chord with audiences and critics alike, demonstrating that there was a large number of people who were interested in seeing things done Kaufman's way. The Toxic Avenger led to an animated spin-off series, Toxic Crusaders, several different comic book titles (published by Marvel and, most recently, Troma's own independent comic book imprint), and three sequels. The most recent film in the series is Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV.

The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, heavy action, comedy, and eroticism in a style that can only be described as "Tromatic". These films, including the Class of Nuke 'Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma's War, were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80's. Some of these Troma fans went on to become filmmakers themselves, including Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker. Thanks to these admirers, Kaufman has been asked to make cameo appearances in films like Trey Parker's Orgazmo and Richard Martini's Cannes Man.

Lately, Kaufman and the Troma Team have begun to win respect from even their harshest critics. Tromeo & Juliet became a surprise theatrical and critical hit, earning the grand prize at the Fanta Festival in Rome. Kaufman's most recent opus, Terror Firmer, inspired by his book All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger, played for six months in Los Angeles alone. In addition, Kaufman has been an honored guest at various international film festivals and Troma retrospectives around the world. The San Sebastian Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, the American Cinematheque, the Chicago International Film Festival, the UCLA Film Archives, the Tokyo Film Festival, and the Shanghai International Film Festival are just a few of the venues to have showered Kaufman with praise and free booze.

In January 2000, Kaufman founded the TromaDance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Determined to give independent film back to the people, Kaufman established a festival where there is no entry fee to filmmakers to submit their films, nor is there any admission charged to audience members. The TromaDance Film Festival presents a broad spectrum of films and film styles, creating an opportunity for everyone to put their own personal vision on film and have it seen.

Kaufman is also a tireless innovator, constantly using new developments in technology to foster the growth of independent art. Troma has a dynamic web presence with Troma.com, Tromaville.com, and the newest site, Toxicavenger.com. Check their sites out, different, twisted and sometimes sport some great deals on their promotional gear and films.

Kaufman has also earned the respect and trust of his peers in the independent filmmaking community. He serves as Executive Vice Chairman of the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA). Thanks to his vision of independent cinema's future on the Internet, Kaufman was asked to help create and currently chairs AFMA's New Technologies Opportunities Committee.

Currently, Kaufman is hard at work putting the finishing touches on Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV. In addition, he will be creating 20 half-hour television episodes for England's Channel 4. The series, Troma's Edge TV, will bring UK viewers all the Tromatic superheroes, cutting-edge humor, and great music they've come to expect from Troma movies. Kaufman will again go behind the camera for a zombie film in the inimitable Troma style, currently being developed.

On a personal front, Lloyd Kaufman has three daughters - Lily Hayes, Lisbeth and Charlotte. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Marketing Association and Trinity School. His beloved wife of 26 years, Patricia, is the New York State Film Commissioner.

Copyright© November 2001 Dvdwolf.com
Copyright© Staffwriter: Rob Paul with a good chunk of material provided by the stylin' folks at Troma!

Lloyd Kaufman's Producer Filmography
And Price Comparison

Please note, prices listed are subject to change at the whim of the vendor. If you see a price different from our site to the one's listed, please let us know.
Title
Amazon (US$)
DVD Empire (US$)
Parts of the Family (2001)
NA
NA
Class of Nuke'em High 4 (2000)
NA
NA
Rowdy Girls (1999) (Unrated Version)
Terror Firmer (1999) (also Director)
$23.98 (2 Disc Unrated Vers.)
Tromeo and Juliet (1996) (also Director)
Blondes Have More Guns (1995)
$14.98 (VHS)
NA
Class of Nuke 'Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid (1994)
$14.98 (VHS)
NA
Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown (1991)
$5.99 (VHS)
NA
Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990) (also Director)
Fortress of Amerikkka (1989)
NA
NA
Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989) (also Director)
$14.99 (VHS)
NA
Toxic Avenger, Part II (1989) (also Director)
Troma's War (1988) (also Director)
Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) (also Director)
Toxic Avenger (1985) (also Director)
Stuck On You (1984) (also Director)
First Turn-On! (1983) (also Director)
Waitress (1981) (also Director)
Mother's Day (1980)
Squeeze Play (1980) (also Director)
The Final Countdown (1980) (assoc. producer)
NA
NA

Evil Ash

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