A couple weeks back, I had the honor and privilege of getting to interview Lloyd Kaufman, President and co-founder of Troma, master of DIY film-maing, and lord of all things your grandmother would be very disappointed in.
We touched on the next installment of (and the remake of) The Toxic Avenger, how Troma came to be (more or less), and most importantly, this weekend’s TromaDance film festival.
From the website: “TromaDance is the first film festival wholeheartedly devoted to filmmakers and fans. Unlike every other film festival, TromaDance does not charge filmmakers to submit their films. Entrance to all screenings is free and open to the public. Also, there are no VIP reservations or preferential treatment regarding films, panels, or parties of any kind given. The organizers of TromaDance believe films are meant to be seen, especially when it comes to new filmmakers. Art – in all its forms – is for the people!”
If you’re in the New Jersey area today or tomorrow, be sure to swing by and check it out! More information can be found here!
Hit the jump to get a glimpse into the mind of cinema’s maddest mind with the full interview.
Sean: For those who don’t know, could you tell us about your role in the founding of Troma and what you do as President?
Lloyd Kaufman: My roll in founding Troma was more of a bagel, or knish. Michael Herz and I were Yale jazz dancers and we founded Troma almost 40 years ago. We have been providing the world with some of the all-time best films for the family since the Manson Family. We wanted Troma to be the shit-distributing Independent’s Independents’ Movie Studio.
What do you think of the company’s trajectory? Did you ever foresee that you’d be where you are today?
Even though our trajectory is like that F-15 fighter-jet that just crashed in Libya, our fans all over the world love TROMA movies and that keeps me erectory. We will keep going and making movies forever! We are the herpes of the film industry. We won’t go away!
Where did the idea for the TromaDance Film Festival come from, and what can one who has never been expect?
Trey Parker, Matt Stone and I went to SunDance about 15 years ago and were appalled by the horrible atmosphere, and how SunDance charged poor filmmakers so much to enter their films. TromaDance is the first film festival wholeheartedly devoted to filmmakers and fans. Unlike every other film festival, TromaDance does not charge filmmakers to submit their films. Entrance to all screenings is free and open to the public. Also, there are no VIP reservations or preferential treatment regarding films, panels, or parties of any kind given. The organizers of TromaDance believe films are meant to be seen, especially when it comes to new filmmakers. Art – in all its forms – is for the people
What films are you really excited about for this year’s TromaDance? What are your must-see recommendations?
You can checkout www.tromadance.com to see what our selection is! This year we will have films from all over the word. Legendary animator Bill Plympton will be a special guest. I am looking forward to that.
Where does the B-movie fit into today’s “go big or die” studio mentality?
We do not make B-films. We make BM-films. We make Troma films.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever occurred on the set of a Troma production?
My being put in charge! Whose idea was that??
What are your top five favorite Troma films?
Eat, Pray, Love, Never Say Never 3D, He’s Just Not That Into You, Christmas With the Kranks, and Titanic.
What are your top five favorite ‘bad’ horror films?
I noticed on your IMDb page that a fifth Toxic Avenger movie is on its way. Can you shine any light on what we can expect?
Right now I am shedding the light from 3 table lamps on the Toxie script, but it is doing no good. The Toxie 5 script is still being worked on. We are on the 3rd writer and 75th draft but we think it can be the best Toxie film yet!
As a champion of DIY film-making, what one piece of advice can you bestow upon all of us aspiring film-makers?
Shakespeare, the writer of the best seller “100 Money-Making Screenplay Ideas” said it best: To thine own self be true.
What do you think of the state of independent film today, with the rise of new indie genres like Mumblecore?
We make TroMumblecore. See Tales of the Crapper.
Is there any actor, actress, or director you’d reeeeeally like to work with?
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
The $100 million remake of The Toxic Avenger is being written by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine, High Fidelity) and produced by Akiva Goldsman (Oscar-winner for A Beautiful Mind).
Have you seen the Mother’s Day remake yet, and does it have your seal of approval?
I have not seen it. But I hear that it’s even better than The Kids Are Alright.
What do you think about the Toxic Avenger remake? Do you think the screenwriter of the Dan Brown adaptations and the guy who made The Hot Tub Time Machine can really do the spirit of Toxie justice? – Alex Katz, Flixist staffer
The spirit of Toxie says give this broken down low-budget filmmaker a big check. If Hollwood boys do that, Toxic justice will have been served.
What are the subjects of your next books? – Max Roahrig, Flixist staffer
Sell Your Own Damn Movie is my next book, and it will teach you how to do just that!
How exactly did the Toxic Crusaders animated series come to be, and are there any thoughts in your head about turning any of Troma’s other series (or even revisiting the Crusaders idea) into a show for kids? – ZombiePlatypus, Flixist community member
The Toxic Avenger movies were emerged by millions of 5 year olds the world over so we had to make a cartoon show too. Have you seen The Toxic Avenger Musical?
Hey Lloyd, is there a release window for Mr. Bricks yet? – z0mbie5, Flixist community member
Yes, I am looking out said window. It’s getting close!