Reasons Why I Love Troma
- Independent sleazeball films by people who LOVE movies and HATE evil corporate soul sucking overlords make me wet.
- Gender anarchy
- Gratuitous violence and gore that will make you laugh
- Totally offensive
- Hella leftist
- Totally gross
- Way more complex than meets the eye
- Makes me want to make more movies
- Reminds me to have fun while living and to call out the assholes
- Weird sexual shit happening all the time
- Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
- Well help filter out who your real friends are.
So what is Troma in the first place? Troma is an indie film production and distribution company that was founded by exploitation flick lovers Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974. They produce films that are just a hair more reputable than a straight up porno and are generally softcore gorey sleaze films made with a good heart and a sense of fun and horror at social atrocities rather than “obscenity.”
Another thing I love about them is their love of fans. Most of the Troma catalog of low budget awesomeness can be found up on YouTube totally for free. They’ve also added a Comcast OnDemand channel to get their films out there in basic packages at no extra cost and tons of the movies can be found on Netflix streaming and Hulu, too. They also acquire other weird movies that might otherwise be lost to the ages which they share as well. What I love about Troma is that is still has unadulterated enthusiasm for blood splatter, boobs, drugs, and a patent disregard for glamour. It loves its fans because everyone at Troma seems to be a fan of the genre they work in themselves.
Tromeo and Juliet is quite possibly one of my favorite adaptations of Shakespeare’s famous play and I think it understands the point of that narrative better than most of the high falutin’ dramatic versions. Given that I hate pretty much all filmed Shakespeare I was amazed I not only tolerated it but loved every minute. Make sure to catch that on YouTube or Netflix if you’re a fan of the bard and horny teens, piercings, arterial spray, and bad taste in general. In general, you’re pretty safe packing up a bowl and choosing anything by Troma on random. You’ll groan and love me for saying so.
I relate to Troma because queer porn often feels like that same approach. We have fisting, unicorn gangbangs, spitting, and hairy asscheck anal because of a love of sex and the human experience with it and try to highlight that it’s hard to have any real fun without getting dirty. There’s also the DIY/DIT ethos and a cohort that makes up the casting rather than a cattle call.
Subversive cinema was a really important part of my teen years. To the misfits, the oddballs, and the malcontents a film made by an adult who hates grownups as much as you do can literally mean the difference between life and death. It means knowing that the world is bigger than your close-minded surroundings. It’s a reminder that you aren’t alone and no one has a monopoly on “art” and fuck them, they’re slimejerks anyway. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t go to film school or have fancy equipment because watching movies over and over and over is most of the work any way. The key is to have a vision, then to make some friends. The rest is sheer persistence.
Cult films can be so genuinely funny that they make you forget the heartbreak behind it. Class of Nuke ‘Em High has a lot of sophisticated humor inside of its crudeness but it doesn’t beat you over the head with the politics so much as it includes them and then beats heads against walls until they explode and covers everyone in buckets of blood. You have to be nuts to get that far on the fringe but the real insanity comes from staunch dedication to independent film making. In many ways, indie film production feels like a curse because money is the bane of all existence. It takes money to make a movie and without any, it’s hard to enjoy the freedom that comes from not kowtowing to what a mainstream studio wants after their expensive market research.
This is the stuff that’s art, my friends, not those bullshit blockbusters that have coca cola deals. And Troma loves art.
You might also enjoy my posts on:
Doris Wishman – A brilliant woman behind classics like, Bad Girls Go To Hell and other sexplouitation classics.
Roger Ebert‘s porn reviews- In the days of 70s porn chic, Roger Ebert wasn’t afraid to talk about dirty movies. He did work with Russ Meyer to bring us the amazing Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls after all.
Beyond The Valley Of The Fucks – A look at campy softcore porn
Vampira! – An homage to a sultry siren of horror
Unica Zurn- A writer, muse, and model who wrote of sex and madness
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