Scintillating, glorious, inspired, staggering, astounding, sublime, resplendent, remarkable, flawless, majestic, nudity, violence, exploitation, zombies, gore, social commentary, humor. Goddamn, it’s kryptonian brilliance! Troma Films are in London and a President who everyone loves, Lloyd Kaufman, has arrived too.
The venue is the infamous Genesis Cinema in the heart of London’s East End. The cinema is over 100 years old and once housed many live Charlie Chaplin performances. And this being local to my boyhood home, I watched every movie in my youth right here, so this reporter has come full circle.
Welcoming Kaufman and Troma to my local cinema is a pinch yourself moment, and when I meet him and his delightful wife, Pat, I am in good company. Within minutes Kaufman is buying me a glass of red wine, testing my French out (sorry, Lloyd) – if anyone doesn’t know Kaufman can speak fluent French – and we speak about his recent sold-out tour of France. Whilst Troma has always been popular in the States, Europe has always loved satire and exploitation and pushing the envelope perhaps a little more and simply loves risqué cinema.
When you are wrapped up in the company of Lloyd and Pat, you instantly feel like you are speaking to close friends. That old age adage of never meeting your heroes does not apply here. And that is also why we are here together with hundreds of fans for this one-off event to meet the man, speak to cast members, and watch two movies. The first is the 1985 classic Class of Nuke Em’ High which brings back memories. After a short break, we get the latest in the Nuke Em’ High franchise, Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High Aka Vol 2 (note: that is not a typo).
The film starts off with a plethora of women taking a shower, almost in slow motion, until one falls ill and gives birth to a baby mutated duck. Oh yes, we are going right in and Troma has arrived in the East End. The next 90 minutes are full-on chaos and not exactly politically correct…but that is why we enjoy Troma movies. Censorship is the vilest word to the New York company and for 45 years they have been in their own words, “disrupting media”.
Kaufman isn’t alone and brings with him such talents as Frazer Brown, who amongst his credits was being the producer of the hit theatre production of The Toxic Avenger. Seamus Hanley’s excellent comedy superhero hybrid The Middle Finger was picked up by Troma and Hanley will be worth looking out for in the future. Liam Regan has been cast in two Nuke Em’ High films, including the latest one, and he was on hand to mingle before and after the films. Julian Seager of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Guardians of the Galaxy fame was also there to meet fans.
The next Troma project is the glorious sounding Shakespeare’s Shitstorm as Troma go back to The Bard himself, William Shakespeare, for some twisted inspiration. You can find out more about this film and what Troma