Director – Adrian Esposito (Diffability Hollywood, Liberation Unit)
Starring – Lloyd Kaufman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Death House), Debbie Rochon (Return to Nuke Em High Volume 1, I Spill Your Guts), and Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo, Detroit Rock City)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “Let’s go make some art”
I grew up renting movies from the video store. Every Friday night I would grab a handful of tapes to check out all weekend. At this time I was a general movie fan but once I hit the fourth grade my taste shifted and I became obsessed with horror and cult films. This was when I found Full Moon at the video store. Their artwork pulled me and the world of indie horror became my new obsession. When I was in high school a friend of mine told me to check out Class of Nuke Em High and The Toxic Avenger by Troma because I liked Full Moon so much. I ordered a copy of each of the films on VHS from ebay and realized that The Toxic Avenger was the inspiration one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Once I got those in I was hooked. Since then I have collected anything and everything stamped Troma.
In 2017 Adrian Esposito started work on a Troma documentary focusing on their legacy, how they have adapted with the times, and how they have influenced other filmmakers. Sadly, I did not hear about this until recently when I was browsing my feed on Facebook. Once I found it I knew I had to add it to my collection.
**Spoiler Alert**The documentary follows Troma founders Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman before they founded the prestigious Troma. We get a little insight to Lloyd’s upbringing before jumping to his college career and pursuit of filmmaking. The film then follows Lloyd through his legendary film career from working on pre-Porky’s sex comedies to Troma staples The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke Em High. While discussing the legacy of Troma we get a glimpse at how they had to adapt with the changing times, their fan base, and guerilla filmmaking that is brought on from no budgets and being independent. **Spoiler Alert**
I love Troma and discovering them has really changed the way I watch movies. I still enjoy the serious bigger budgeted horror films but my love will always be the goofy and fun horror and exploitation films that Troma has been delivering to fans for over 40 years. I was very excited to check this documentary out and see how someone would approach such an iconic company in a documentary. I really enjoyed what this did and this is one of the better documentaries I’ve seen in recent years but my opinion may be biased.
The interviews in this one range greatly which does offer up some diversity. We have screen legends like Roger Corman, Ron Jeremy, and several Troma alumni who share some great behind the scenes stories on Troma along with a great deal of insight into the company that not many people know about. With that being said, it would have been cool to have some interviews from people who are not Troma fans. Troma is a permanent name in the horror community but not everyone is a fan of theirs. In fact, the ones that dislike Troma are very vocal about it. Would have been cool to have some of those people interviewed to see their opinion of Troma.
The topics discussed in this does very well to demonstrate what it means to be Troma along with what has shaped Troma into what it is today. The hardships, the changes, the filmmaking style, and the collaborative effort it takes to succeed. The film moves in a chronological order as well which helps the flow of the film.
Finally, the editing in this one is smooth. We move from topic to topic very well and each discussion bleeds into the next very well. Overall, Greetings from Tromaville is essential for any Troma and indie horror fan. I cannot recommend this film enough. Check it out.