Troma (Lloyd Kaufman)  



Troma is an infamous, independent b-movie releasing and marketing company led by Lloyd Kaufman. Troma releases a wide variety of b-movies, c-movies and trash, often grabbing and releasing the truly dire movies that nobody else wants to touch. They thrive on bad taste, bottom-of-the-barrel movies, gratuitous nudity and gore, brainless trashy fun, cheap laughs, exploitation and toilet humor. Their best releases know what their audience really wants and deliver the trashy goods wrapped in campy fun. They have scores of releases but most are b-movies with campy horror, nudity, cheap action and exploitation. The following are the only really twisted or gory ones.

Of Some Interest

Beg!  
Not a typical Troma movie. This is something like a Dario Argento slasher as directed by Marc Caro. The story involves mysterious murders in a hospital involving dogs being sewn up into people. Stiltskin is a dim-witted, accident-prone detective with a microphone in his tooth and an embedded earpiece that takes orders from a strange German man by remote control. He tends to intimidate people by sticking his face one millimeter away from theirs and somehow always finds something disgusting to eat or drink. Dr. Second is fighting the management to keep her women's ward running as well as her dying, weird father who is on some strange medication. Interesting, quite gory, bizarre and boasting a unique cinematic style of many close-ups, eccentric editing, garish colors and a dense, confusing salad of details. Very bizarre and all over the place, and the plot takes its time to take shape which doesn't help matters.

Belcebu: Diablos Lesbos  
The Spanish can make very earthy and muscular horror movies, and this one had the potential to be another Day of the Beast black comedy-horror, but the end result is a mess. There are many plot-strands that don't go anywhere: A drug-addict whore gets put away in jail after a silly heist gone bad (the thief's mother was one of the victims), she is released right back to her sleazy and grittily depicted life of prostitution, crime and drugs, tries to track down her sister, gets in touch with her ex-boyfriend who is now an evil and popular (yeah right) metal band leader, there are some comic businessmen trying to woo a business contact, and a prudish camera-man who suddenly finds himself filming S&M and bestiality porn. All these people come together for a surprisingly chaotic climax of sex, devil transformations, mass killings with lightning power, a gruesome full impalement of a naked girl with a pole, flying mini-demons, a massive penis, and some over-the-top splatstick. A bad movie, yet unforgettably entertaining.

Blood Sucking Freaks (AKA The Incredible Torture Show)  
A movie so over-the-top and campy in its trashy sleaze and nastiness, that it's actually entertaining thanks also to its black humor. Sardu runs a Theatre of the Macabre where kidnapped women who have been tortured into complete submission, perform as snuff victims on stage while the audience clap (assuming its only a show). These women also get sold into slavery, perform humiliating tasks, get tortured and killed for fun, are reduced to bestial cannibals while kept in the dungeon, and are used as payment for a sadistic doctor who likes to pull teeth and drill into craniums to suck out the brains. They're dismembered, used as dartboards, pulled apart, and caned under a guillotine while Sardu cracks corny nasty jokes. For cold-hearted, strong-stomached misogynists and fans of H.G. Lewis only.

Chainsaw Sally Show, The  
Although released by Troma and directed by Jimmyo Burril, the executive producer is none other than H.G. Lewis and he definitely makes his mark, especially in the beginning of the series. Somehow he always makes his gore into very fun dumb camp and exploitation that doesn't feel stupid, and he takes the mean sadism out of bloodthirstiness no matter how gratuitous it is. Chainsaw Sally is a serial killer with a goth brother who assists her, and who also cooks her victims, or at least the nutritious ones. She works in a library because she likes books, but had to get rid of the previous librarian to get there. She makes friends with a goth assistant librarian who gets picked on, and gets rid of rude and local nuisances, like people who want to ban Halloween or who serve her the wrong food. The local police are hopeless, but a big cowboy detective and a local gossipmonger is on her trail. Features creative torture and messy killings of people that 'deserve it', with the occasional splatter over-the-top aftermath of intestines and brains, but it's not as gory as you'd expect. Structured as a season's worth of 20-minute episodes in a continuous story arc, complete with specials. Altogether, a fun idea with the right people at the helm, although of course limited by its low level of wit.

Class of Nuke 'em High  
Not really that gory but this one goes for campy bad taste and gross outs instead. A high school located near a nuclear plant suffers from mayhem when the radiation turns the honor society into rabid violent punks and one girl births a monster that grows into a man-eating sewer beast. Silly, energetic, gross and gory fun.

Class of Nuke 'em High II & III    
Extremely idiotic sequels that are only entertaining due to their wild and silly energy. The radiation-plagued high school is back with more violent punks, dozens of girls in bikinis, and guys trying to get laid. A local professor develops sub-humanoids - genetically engineered people without emotions designed for pleasure and with an extra pair of lips on their stomachs. When these sub-humanoids start melting and exploding, and a squirrel mutates into a Godzilla monster with huge nuts, you know things won't end well. Part III features good and evil twins, and attempts to turn Tromaville into a toxic wasteland. Not as gooey as the first, but it's wacky, brainless and weird camp.

Combat Shock  
A non-Troma Troma release telling the depressing tale of a Vietnam veteran who suffers every possible horrible thing life can throw at him while he tries to maintain sanity and survival: Trouble with parents, horrible war experiences, torture, nagging wife, deformed baby, unemployment, crime-lords bullying him for money, drug-addicts as friends, extreme poverty, etc. The bleak portrayal of urban decay is good and effective, the acting and gore effects are passable, the baby, soundtrack and war locations are bad. For people wanting to see low-budget, gritty, depressing shockers only.

Decampitated  
A spoof on camping slasher movies a la Friday the 13th with over-the-top silly acting, cartoonish slapstick and gore-oriented comedy. A group of teenagers get stranded in the woods on a camping trip and suffer endless severe injuries from a dancing killer and their own incompetence. Some examples of scenes include the killer sticking a faucet into a guy's belly and turning it on, a girl who keeps getting stuck in bear-traps and has to hack off more and more of her limbs, a cross-dressing psycho in a cabin, a silly run through the woods where they all synchronously hide behind trees, etc. Not as much graphic splatter as expected but the gore plays a main role in this overly silly comedy.

Father's Day  
Troma has really found their talent in entertaining trash, once again combining filthy trash, nasty gore and silly humor in a uniquely entertaining package, except this one is a commission job created by Astron-6 based on their fake trailer. Retro-grindhouse strikes again, except this one is thankfully pre-occupied with being silly and poking fun at the genre. Imagine if Mel Brooks were to make a grindhouse spoof about a cannibalistic, demonic killer that rapes and kills fathers, except he abandons the family-friendly approach and goes for the other extreme. An eye-patched tough-guy who was torn away from his maple-syrup pet-project on the other side of the world, and an energetic, kick-ass young priest, team up to fight the evil. They have to work their way through painfully funny dialogue over a confusing metaphor of a fermenting tree, hallucinatory berries, and a cynical strip-joint housing a chainsaw-wielding stripper and the syrup-guy's unrepentant, angry sister. As they (badly) plan their vigilante killing, the movie revels in various penis mutilations, filthy sodomy, graphic cannibalistic gore, until the hilariously deranged, surreal, and gory climax involving a trip to heaven & hell, where Lloyd Kaufman runs his business.

Luther the Geek  
Small, twisted movie about a lunatic that grew up in a circus after seeing a 'geek' bite off chicken heads and thus acquiring a taste for chickens and human blood. 20 years after some murders, he gets parole (why?) and promptly resumes his murdering spree, tearing out chunks of throat off of elderly women and starting a home invasion on a mother, her daughter and horny boyfriend. His only dialog consists of clucks and cockledoodles, and this leads to an amusingly twisted ending. A pretty well-acted freakish killer, plus plot-holes and some dumb characters equals a mediocre movie.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead  
Troma's best since Toxic Avenger. This one merges the extreme gross-outs from recent releases, creative and over-the-top splatstick that rivals Peter Jackson, some spoofing and Southparkian satire, and the usual silliness, nudity and comedy. A fried-chicken chain branch is built on an ancient Indian burial-ground. Arbie is frustrated while pursuing his dry-humping sweetheart who turned lezbo while protesting chicken killing, and so he takes a job as a counter girl along with a gay Mexican chicken sandwich and Hamas.. I mean Humus, the veiled Muslim kitchen assistant. Things get way out of hand when possessed chickens hatch eggs and green-pus 'taste pods' grow on the meals which promptly turns everyone into human chickens possessed by angry Indian spirits. For a while, the gross-outs and gore is non-stop, featuring hatching chicken-egg-boobs, sodomy by broomstick to fight a fellatio-crazed dead chicken, scrambled decapitated head, human-leg-wishbone, bad puns, and lots more. Entertaining, trashy, over-the-top silly humor, but more toilet humor than splatter.

Shameless, Tasteless  
Marketed as 'Trash Cinema from the Soviet Underground' featuring a bunch of shorts from the director 'Yakov Levi' featuring a bunch of willing Russian actresses and an ultimately repulsive 80 year old fat prostitute. The DVD features two John Waters inspired shorts featuring Baba Alla as the $2 whore who is used on a dare, has a son who wants to make his trash-loving mother proud, and who terrorizes a horny teenager in his home with her attempts at seduction while having a baby on his floor. Other shorts include some trash about a girl with a 12 inch penis, a wanker whose penis runs away from him, some obligatory lesbian crap, and some amusingly silly horror shorts about killer bras, supernatural matroshka dolls and De Sade's ghost. A mixed bag of disgusting trash and amusing silliness.

Toxic Avenger, The  
This most successful Troma movie is one of those movies that are so bad it's good. Well OK, not that good. The story is a spoof on horror, action and heroic movies about a 90 pound weakling that gets abused and put down until he falls in a barrel of toxic waste and becomes a monstrous hero that saves the town. A blind girl falls for his mutated mug, a corrupt mayor gets in his way while he mops, fries, dismembers and crushes criminals and bullies. Lots of gore, shocks, gratuitous sex and camp.

Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger IV  
After two silly and very uninteresting sequels, Troma makes a comeback with their most offensive and gory movie yet. Toxie switches dimensions with his evil counterpart who tears people's limbs off on a whim, runs a plastic surgery business for mutations and monster penile implants, and grinds body parts into hot dogs. As usual, nothing is sacred and Troma delivers its own non-subtle satire. 'Retards' get made fun of, pregnant women are pinatas, school massacres are funny, and a disabled Hawking-like character rants about his penile implant. This one rivals John Waters with non-stop bad taste and acting but it delivers to Troma fans.
Worthless

Beware: Children at Play  
Badly acted Troma version of Children of the Corn with children turning cannibals, attacking the local bible-thumpers who gather for a lynching. A kid and his father are stranded in the woods after the father gets caught in a bear trap, and within a few days the father goes insane and the boy turns cult-cannibal-chief. Contains an occasional speck of gore, but more infamous for its scenes of death involving children.

Bloodspit  
If John Waters would direct a vampire movie, this may be the result. There's not much plot to speak of, most of the movie consisting of antics, sex, plotting and miscellaneous nastiness between the vampire Count, his evil sister, his maid, a werewolf, and a Scotsman while a vampire-slayer in a wheelchair and his side-kick try to hunt them down. There are endless cheap exploitation crotch shots, ugly sex scenes, a hairy cross-dresser, occasional and miscellaneous splatter scenes, and random trashy filth involving toilets, dog-penis castration, ejaculation of blood and endless silly trash talk. A cheap, dumb, filthy mess.

Dead Dudes in the House  
A group of teenagers buy an old house with a violent past concerning a killer old woman. As they start to renovate the place, they find they cannot leave, and old ghosts come back to life with bloodlust. The mix of ghosts, zombies, and very gory deaths is a good concept but the characters, acting, direction and thrills just sit there and do nothing. The gore includes a window that chops a body in half, decapitation and dismemberment, and much more.

Demonsamongus  
If ever there was a candidate for the most post-production mangling and editing effects in a movie, this has got to be it. Somewhere in here there's a bad movie about demons attacking the locals in an Australian town. But the post-production did such a great job hiding this fact, that the movie is now unwatchable. Demons attack people at random, carving them up with sharp teeth, ripping them apart, and possessing or controlling them with snake-like creatures, until a newcomer starts fighting back, teaming up with a local girl and an insane movie producer who chews up the scenery more than the demons. People you don't know run here and there without rhyme or reason, there are plenty of strange attacks but you can't figure out what is happening exactly or where and the local law enforcement seems as confused as we are. Superimpositions, blurring, double-vision, split screens, three dozen color filters, and a score more visual effects that I can't even name ensure that you can only see this movie via impressionistic visuals, and even then it sucks. Troma picked this one up, but it's not their typical output.

Dumpster Baby  
Fat crack whore gives birth to crack baby who soon finds himself in one dire situation after another, the dumpster being only one of many. One woman uses it to blackmail money from her lover, another sells it to some twisted pervert, another neurotic woman gets emotionally attached to it before killing herself, a hungry cannibal psychotic finds it in the garbage, etc etc. Through much of it there is some mysterious evil character who follows the baby, and characters rant and rave about how horrible life is. May have been somewhat interesting if not for the horrible sound that makes it near-impossible to understand a third of the dialog.

Evil Clutch  
A horrible mess of a horror movie that rips-off Evil Dead. A vacationing couple walking through the woods fall into the clutches of a witch with a long, clawing organ in her private parts, an evil bucket of slime, a violent zombie, and a weirdo that talks through a voice-box and tells gory tales of horror. The plot is non-existent and confusing, the acting is dismal, some insane scenes reach a minimal level of twisted entertainment, and there are quite a few splatter scenes that you can see coming miles away.

FinalCut.com (AKA Suicide)  
A very atypical Troma release. Realistically filmed piece (Dogme 95/Blair Witch style) about a couple that puts up a website offering to film people that want to commit suicide. The whole movie is just one scene of attempted suicide (using a variety of classic methods) after another with a few seconds of the film-makers discussing the quality of the footage in between. Some of the suicides seem so real you'll start to wonder, but in general this gets dull due to a lack of plot. For the morbid only.

Killer Condom  
A campy, twisted, homosexual, cult movie about genetically engineered condoms that chomp off penises (and sometimes noses). A gay detective tracks down the creator of this vicious attack to a religious fanatic bent on punishing all sexual deviants. Very silly in a bad way.

Maniac Nurses Find Ecstasy  
Voluptuous, sadistic, bored, second-rate playboy bunnies strut around in lingerie and cutoff jeans playing, torturing and killing anyone that wanders into their mansion and surroundings. If you think this sounds like exploitation fun, don't even bother - it's awful and boring. The narration is so pretentious and hilariously dumb, it goes beyond Ed Wood.

Meat for Satan's Icebox  
2 hours of nasty, gory Satanic teenage soap. There is no plot. The movie involves a whole town of nihilistic evildoers that revel in random violence, incest, cannibalism, urophilia, torture, necrophilia, and their favorite pastime: killing, cooking and eating young strippers. Girls and guys lash out at supposedly loyal friends and kill them, grandmothers and nuns lust after young flesh, everyone is catty, perverted or psychotic except for maybe one guy. Bad acting, no humor and completely lame and unbelievable. Most of the really gory/sick stuff is off-camera (probably because there was no budget) but despite this, the movie is non-stop filth.

Meat Weed Madness  
Trashy piece of insanity about four slutty girls who find themselves in a plantation that makes aphrodisiac weed out of human flesh. The family of owners include Lord Meatweed, a transvestite with a rocket for a penis, a black voodoo woman, some inbred rednecks, Bullpucky the minotaur mutant that attacks with a big plastic cigarette prop, and a huge purple stop-motion paper-mache cow which gets splattered all over a car. There are some over-the-top but cheap splatter scenes, lots of nudity, a picture of a cow with flashing lights that hypnotizes girls, and lots of silly costumes like two people dressed as huge knives having sex. This looks like some modern demented John Waters gore movie, but feels more like an oversexed teenager on weed that went to a costume shop and 'wrote' a movie around whatever he found there.

Media Madman, The  
A movie that revels in its badness except that even its attempts at badness are painful. For a while you won't know what is happening, with random bizarre scenes that look like a video montage, until you figure out that this movie is about a killer who has lost his identity in the thousands of TV shows and movies he watched, switching roles, voices and acting out any scene that pops into his mind, sometimes while committing violence. He is now waiting for his death sentence in a prison that looks more like a lunatic asylum run by the lunatics, with a gay sadist in leather as the warden and his gang of 'street thugs' wearing chains as helpers. A magazine called Sleaz sends a team of reporters to interview him, but he gets into the reporter's mind instead. This plot description makes it sound a lot more cohesive and entertaining than it is though. Hoke Howell goes nuts mimicking random celebrities and improvising scenes, we get random video montages of various odd horror snippets, some while the madman is dressed as a baby in a giant crib for some cheap surrealism. The reporter's night of nightmares goes all out into Brain Dead-esque multiple levels of dream-sequences and surrealism, and the madman tells tales of murder and how he got angry at his pet worms and spiders and ate them. Painfully silly and stupid camp.

Mother's Day  
Campy mix of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance and I Spit on your Grave. Three ladies get together for a college reunion by camping in some backwoods ...and you guessed it: out come the ugly, perverted, inbred psychotics. Only this time they are trained, led and encouraged by their sweet, little disabled mom. After being played with, raped and beat up on, the ladies decide to get some gory revenge. Somewhat entertaining, but unfortunately, this one is too silly to be disturbing, too dumb to be funny, and too unoriginal to be interesting.

Nightbeast  
Horror c-movie about an alien massacring the locals with ray guns and sharp teeth. The policemen, politicians and naked girls battle it out with the beast and lose some intestines and heads in the process. Although the movie focuses on the gory kill scenes with glee, it's not gory enough to be a splatter movie, it's not campy enough to be funny and it's not strange enough to be entertaining.

Parts of the Family  
A bank-robber takes a hostage in her own strangely deserted home only to find a family of zombies dressed as mummies who are into painting. After some flesh-eating gore, the hostage decides she doesn't like her family anymore, and more splatter ensues while Lloyd Kaufman the negotiator makes the hostage situation worse with a loudspeaker. This is a movie so terrible and nonsensical, even Troma hated it and decided to MST3K their own movie by re-editing it with self-aware mocking commentary, silly noises and farts, gratuitous cannibal lesbians, fat men and nudity.

Pot Zombies  
You'd have to be as braindead as a pot-smoking zombie to make a movie like this. This is structured like a plotless porn movie with scene after scene of random people smoking pot, then turning into green zombies and eating whoever is around them. The gore is as cheap as it gets, consisting of lots of blood splatter and raw meat thrown on people's bodies. The silly, glowing, bouncing green CGI eyes don't help either.

Rabid Grannies  
A greedy family gets together at the great-aunts' house to get their chance at a rich inheritance. When the evil black sheep of the family sends a curse that turns the grannies into demonic beasts, the relatives get their gory rewards. This could have been a fun splatter comedy but the acting and dubbing are bad in a bad way, the boring dialog goes on for too long, and most releases even cut out the original gore.

Redneck Zombies  
Buckets of blood and gore, trash characters and acting, one or two chuckles, and lots of lame redneck humor. Some campers and soldiers get caught up with a pack of rednecks who use radioactive waste to make some special zombifying moonshine. Splatter ensues, with lots of cheesy redneck entertainment that pokes politically-incorrect fun at its targets, but is too badly acted and witless to be funny.

Tales from the Crapper  
Labeled an abortion of a movie and that's what it feels like too. Two short movies were deemed unusable by Troma so they re-edited them with farting sound effects, voice-overs, 'Boner Vision' little windows of nude females, and a 'Crapkeeper' (Lloyd in a garbage bag) ties the stories together with some sleazy and satirical padding. The plots seem to be improvised and feature alien killers stalked by a bloodthirsty cop-undercover-stripper and some vampire strippers who throw a party. But the whole exercise is just an excuse to throw as much gore, nudity, toilet humor and Troma marketing together and sell it. Delivers some satirical chuckles and fun nudity but is mostly messy and silly.

Terror Firmer  
Possibly Troma's most extreme release. A self-referential (and self-promoting) movie about a Troma movie crew making Troma movies with veteran Troma characters in gory, trashy, or sexually perverted scenes. Trouble is, one of the crew turns out to be much more twisted, brutal and filthy than anything they ever filmed. An endless barrage of gore, puke, splatter, nudity, perversions, puke, urine, excrement, trash, low-brow humor, and more puke, all delivered in the usual non-serious, unflinching, Troma-entertaining way. Highlights include 'de-fetusing' of a pregnant woman, the impalement of a hermaphrodite, a tranvestite feeding his father his own pickled penis, and many more.

Tromeo and Juliet  
Boasting one of the highest budgets and stylistic content yet, this cheeky Tromatic interpretation of Shakespeare is amusing at times, effectively entertaining in a trashy way and utterly repulsive. In between the usual dismemberments, gore, and sex are twisted dream sequences (girl's belly swells and out comes popcorn and mice), lots of piercings, incest, a wide range of disgusting deeds and suddenly there are Shakesperean quotes, speeches and references and jarringly gentle love scenes. Too inconsistent and psychotic, with the entertaining elements outweighed by the rest.

Unspeakable  
Endless barrage of nasty, taboo-breaking and bleak scenes without the camp or comedy of a typical Troma release. A man loses his daughter in an accident and his slut wife becomes disfigured. In despair, he goes over the edge and starts killing criminals and whores from the streets to bring back his daughter while a male nurse has his way with his catatonic wife. Features coprophilia, incest, pedophilia, hooker-abuse, a perverted priest and bad acting.

Virgin Beasts  
Rocky Horror style trash and camp mixed with animations reminiscent of Yellow Submarine without any of the innocence of the latter. The movie starts with a weird short animation titled Thief of Sydney featuring a bizarre post-apocalyptic Sydney populated by various creatures and aliens where people compete in 'sound surfing' and are led by Dr. Turd. Then we get the story of the Mr Blow who is a powerful, arrogant, annoying man in hospital waiting for a heart transplant, but he turns into a dolphin-human and is sent on a quest to get a golden cup in heaven with the help of a mad scientist and a fellow dolphin. In heaven he finds a decadent Jesus who makes people play violent games as entertainment. Features psychedelic animations that flow from one bizarre visual to another, lots of drawings on the film itself to fill it with creatures, explosions, stars, energy waves and blood spurts, and a slew of terrible songs. Immature and trashy with an odd imagination that has no rhyme or reason, but it may appeal to fans of very bizarre camp.

Yeti: A Love Story  
A silly, exploitative, trashy, made-for-Troma, gay, Yeti love story. The typical canned group of teenagers find themselves in a hick town where Tentacle Boy is on display and is soothed by his mother's huge breasts, perverts talk filth to the girls, and local cultists sacrifice young men to the Yeti for some brutal sodomy. When one of the boys falls for the cult-slut and the annoying frat-boy falls in love with the Yeti, things take a turn. Lots of twisted, violent, silly sex scenes, a gory dismemberment scene, and lots of silly spoofs on cheesy fantasy-destiny, horror and backwoods cliches with a Yeti love montage as a bonus.

Zombiegeddon  
After the introduction tells us repeatedly how truly awful this movie is going to be, we get a truly awful movie. Corrupt and twisted cops spoofing scenes from Bad Lieutenant take a break from killing innocent people to fight zombies in the local high school only to discover they are part of a great spiritual plot of holy fighting bloodlines a la Buffy, the devil, his drooling sidekick, and an army of zombies, Jesus (Tom Savini), and the death of all women. Many b-movie stars make cameos, cheap splatter makes several appearances, boobs appear, and bad acting takes over. It's not as campy fun as it sounds though.




2000- by Zev Toledano Table of Contents