Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Really, Really, Really Like Troma. Really

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Leave it to Troma to make one of the sickest, most vile movies I've ever seen in one of their latest films, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, which I just got finished watching on DVD. I had actually read about the movie before and thought that the concept was interesting, if not totally ridiculous, but didn't see it at the time because, hey, where the hell could you find it? Even at the opening of the DVD, Troma Co-founder, Lloyd Kaufman (More on him in a few), goes into an out-of-nowhere movie theater all psyched to see the highlight of his career on the big screen only to find that nobody's in the theater because everybody already saw it on the internet. How right he is. Because Troma, for all its tits, and for all its shit and gore on the walls, has always had a foot in the door for social commentary, which is why I love them. That, and again, for the tits.

Now, back to Lloyd Kaufman.

I actually never knew anything about Troma before The Toxic Avenger, which is pretty much the gateway movie for all things Troma.

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Directed by co-founders, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, who doesn't look like this:

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Even though the company would gladly have you think it is, The Toxic Avenger became their biggest hit, spawning multiple, less successful sequels, and becoming their official mascot. Now, honestly, I don't think the original movie is really all that good. It has a certain charm to it, being so B-movieish, but really, it's kind of slow and the action is just "eh." But you know what really got me into Troma? Lloyd Kaufman. He's the coolest president of a company that I can think of. On the DVD for The Toxic Avenger, there's this special feature where you can tour the "headquarters" of Troma, which is in New York. While touring the building, we get to see "Michael Herz" eating hamburgers, a writing team of children writing scripts about farts, and a board room with women taking off their clothes. Man, oh man, Troma really knows how to party. I also like how their slogan is, "Movies of the Future," even though their older films looked severely dated. Just check out this trailer for the original Toxic Avenger.

This movie came out in 1984, and it looks like it came out in 1974.

The thing is though, I LIKE the grainy quality of the older Troma films. They kind of make them look like old, VHS pornos (Which, in many ways, they kinda are). It's why these new, Blu-Ray editions coming out, don't look as "Troma" as they should. Just check out this new edition of another one of their most revered films, Tromeo and Juliet.

I mean, yeah, it still looks awesome, and it is, but I want it to look like shit. Because Troma rolls around in shit and likes it. They like making you feel grossed out and you like feeling grossed out by them.

Now, Troma isn't for everybody. In fact, I'd say that it's for a very specific type. But for that type, Troma has been very good to its fans for almost 40 (!) years. I'm just scraping the shitty surface of their filmography and have a ways to go. But in the meantime, check out this trailer to Surf Nazis Must Die. It's probably the most ridiculous and greatest trailer you may ever see, and it perfectly sums up Troma for me. They're awesome.

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