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The Vulgar Disruptor: Troma Restored

The Vulgar Disruptor: Troma Restored

Founded in 1974 by filmmakers Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, the production-distribution company Troma has long been dedicated to realizing and releasing only the most transgressive of genre films. Troma is indisputably a landmark company in the American filmmaking landscape, upending all comfortable notions of both good and bad taste and high and low art.

We celebrate their commitment to all things vulgar with this spotlight encompassing films from the company’s lifetime, From gross-out Shakespeare adaptations to a Nazi-hunting exploitation revenge flick, we’d like to think that there’s something here for everyone.

THE TOXIC AVENGER

Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz United States, 1984

The Toxic Avenger is the flagship title from the infamous American independent production company Troma. Directed by the company’s founders, this is an endlessly inspired oddity of a superhero movie—made long before the genre became rife with convention and impersonality.

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TROMEO & JULIET

Lloyd Kaufman United States, 1996

Lloyd Kaufman returns to the director’s chair with what might be the most inspired adaptation of Romeo and Juliet cinema has seen. Set in the bygone world of 1990s New York City, the romanticism and heart of Shakespeare’s masterpiece is turned inside out in Troma’s beautifully tasteless rendition.

VHS MASSACRE: CULT FILMS AND THE DECLINE OF PHYSICAL MEDIA

Kenneth Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour United States, 2015

Produced by iconic American production company Troma, this documentary is focused on the demise of physical media, an integral part of genre cinema. An incisive investigation into a monumental shift for both the industry and medium, the film features many icons from a vital era of independent film.

FRIGHTMARE

Norman Thaddeus Vane United States, 1983

Long before the American horror cinema pivoted to self-reflexivity en masse, there was the playfully post-modern Frightmare. The scenario casts Ferdinand Mayne as a Bela Lugosi-like figure into an irresistible game of cat-and-mouse between celebrity and fandom gone awry. An essential early slasher.

SURF NAZIS MUST DIE

Peter George United States, 1987

A film that embodies Troma’s most virtuous ethos, Surf Nazi’s Must Die is a vision of a future far closer than initially fathomed. This journey of retribution doubles as an irrefutable manifesto of the singular transgressive power of low-brow art.

BLOODSUCKING FREAKS

Joel M. Reed United States, 1976

This 1976 release from Troma furthers their dedication to the continual upset of all mainstream values. A treatise on the many possibilities of degenerate art, Bloodsucking Freaks is cinema as a grand guignol of vulgarity and violence. Not for the faint of heart!