All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger

Lloyd Kaufman, Author, L. Kaufman, Author, James Gunn, Joint Author Berkley Publishing Group $15 (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-16357-3
""When in doubt, vomit green foam"" is the motto of the B-movie empire, Troma Studios, the brainchild of Kaufman and Michael Herz, whose exploitation hits, Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke 'Em High and Tromeo & Juliet, today clutter the midnight movie section of most video rental shops. Here, Kaufman traces his lifelong dedication to big-screen gore, disfigurement, mutation and raunchy sex from his days in the Yale film society as a disaffected undergrad in the mid-1960s (where he made a feature-length film that consisted mainly of a braless woman jogging) to his present career as a leading impresario of bad taste. After a stint with Cannon, a low-budget studio in New York City, Kaufman launched Troma out of a broom closet he rented from McCall's magazine in 1974, while taking mainstream Hollywood jobs on the side, including acting as pre-production supervisor on Rocky. The Toxic Avenger, produced in 1982, catapulted Troma into the international limelight and has since become an icon of fringe cinema, spawning merchandise, a Saturday morning cartoon and hours and hours of ongoing late-night cable exposure. Not content to recount his story in linear fashion, Kaufman free-associates on such topics as the ""erotic components of colostomy bags"" and the pitfalls of Hollywood cinema. Kaufman's gross-out humor and rambling style will wear thin for all but the most devoted Troma fans, but his perspective on independent film production stands to benefit low-budget auteurs everywhere. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-1-4563-9936-8
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