Lloyd Kaufman

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Lloyd kaufman (left) at San Diego Comic-Con in 2009

Lloyd Kaufman (born December 30, 1945) is an American independent film director noted for films The Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, and others. His production company is Troma Entertainment.



  • Well, Al Gore invented the Internet and he won a Nobel Peace Prize. He didn’t have any help with his science, right? In other words, he had two other scientists with him. He took the Nobel Peace Prize. He didn’t share it with the guys who probably were the brains. He’s a big fat elitist pig. He’s a limousine liberal. In fact, An Inconvenient Truth is garbage. It’s bullsh*t. No kid, nobody who’s going to change the world is going to look at that thing, yet he got a Nobel Peace Prize because he’s on the inside. He’s part of the elite. He’s part of the conspiracy of the corporate, the bureaucratic and the labor elite. And look at him. He looks like a big puffed out piece of pompous shit.
  • Cannes, I slept on the beach in 1971. I had Sugar Cookies here, one 35mm film. I had the two cans, I rented theaters but I didn’t have money for a hotel. Slept on the beach, the Palais loved it, the people of Cannes loved it, it was a festival. They were discovering people. An independent company could put leaflets, we could walk into the hotels, put leaflets under all the doors. We could put leaflets on all the cars that were parked. They were interested, they encouraged someone who was unknown. Nobody knew who Troma or I was. It was before Troma. I was a nobody and I still am pretty much, but they encouraged it. Now they don’t want you to do this. You can’t even walk into a hotel without some $600 pass. If you pay, you can put your leaflets on a table maybe. It’s become an elitist festival.
  • There’s about 30 full time volunteers here who are really fighting to try to raise the level of true independent art and make a point that this festival has become dominated by real elitist force because they have a top-heavy bureaucrat, just like the American government, just like the major media conglomerates. The guys at the top who are all making a shit load of money and they’re driving the people below them into oblivion, into poverty.
  • Ralph Nader’s the guy. If Ralph Nader had become president, we would not have had the problems. Everything he says is correct. He said, “Don’t tax food. Tax the stock market. Every time somebody trades stock, put another tax on it..." Every time you trade, they take a service fee, five bucks or something. That’s bullshit. The government should get it and give it to me while I live in my refrigerator box. I don’t mean me, I mean us undergrounds. Nader was right on. Everything he said was right on and the media treated him like a clown. The media treated him worse than they treat Troma.
  • The internet is not necessarily a golden goose yet, but we must fight to keep it safe, keep it level, keep it democratic, keep it open, keep it diverse so that when it becomes the golden goose, we independent artists can share and maybe at least get a wing or a thigh, even if we don’t get the breast meat.
  • Sundance was bullshit. Originally Sundance, Sundance maybe in its first few years, I wasn’t there but I went to Sundance for 10 years and it was a vassal of the majors. It was a vassal. Sundance was there to help Miramax and Fox Searchlight. That’s what was independent at Sundance.
  • Netflix has already gone mainstream. Not mainstream but they’ve gone snob. They have an angry housewife who’s making all the selections.


  • When I was at Yale, I hung a bit with the Warhol gang. I used some of his superstar types in early movies. I can't say I had any conversations with him, but I did pass him at Max's Kansas City. But I was a big fan of his movies.
  • The worst thing to happen to the Jews since Mein Kampf...I can't look at it. It's so horrible. The Israelis that helped make this film were crooks. They never gave us the negative back, they never gave us statements — not that the film was worth anything...The lesson for Big Gus for young people is: Don't listen to anybody. We got lots of advice on that film from older, more experienced people. But the film stunk; it's a disgrace. What you saw was made from a half-inch video that somebody from Israel brought to us...The movie opened in Tel Aviv, but it opened the week of the Seven-Day War. So bombs were raining down outside, but we had a bomb inside the movie theater.
  • The same influences have persisted throughout my career: Stan Brakhage, Warhol, John Ford, Chaplin. Toxie's blind girlfriend is straight out of City Lights. And Preston Sturges's Sullivan's Travels; the school for the blind in Toxic Avenger Part II, that's from Sullivan's Travels. Most of what influenced me were classic American movies. I like Renoir a lot; I like Fritz Lang's American movies. In fact, I tried to re-enact the first shot of The Big Heat in Terror Firmer, where the guy blows his brains.
  • The only thing I remember is … he put a lot of urination scenes in Tromeo and Juliet. Too much of that. Other than that, I think he did a great job. It was his idea to put in the line, "What light through yonder plexiglass breaks?" That set up a stunt with plexiglass that almost blew me up. They used too much dynamite, or whatever they use for stunts like that.
  • The New York Times is busy sucking the teat of the major studios. They twist themselves into a pretzel when Kumar and Schmumar Go to White Castle Part III. They say, "Oh, the farts are such a statement about American culture! It's such great satire!" It's bullshit. Troma paved the road for farts! But we don't exist.
  • Our violence is, as you know, cartoon violence.
  • The only thing I remember is … he put a lot of urination scenes in Tromeo and Juliet. Too much of that. Other than that, I think he did a great job. It was his idea to put in the line, "What light through yonder plexiglass breaks?" That set up a stunt with plexiglass that almost blew me up. They used too much dynamite, or whatever they use for stunts like that.
  • Troma's War is a very underrated movie, and it got totally fucked by the MPAA. Richard Heffner, who just made a noise like a frog and was president of the MPAA, told Michael Herz over the phone that our movie stunk. The MPAA is not supposed to do that, and they disemboweled our movie. They took out punches and jokes and things that were perfectly acceptable in movies like Die Hard. I think Heffner's words were, "No fuckin' good," or something. It was very unpleasant...I hope Dr. Heffner burns in hell, quite frankly. And I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but the nerve, the arrogance, the hubris of his comments! There are very few movies studios that have lasted and remained independent for a long time. And the MPAA is one of the reasons.
  • (We are) the herpes of American cinema (because) we aren't going anywhere...
  • We just don’t have the budget to make it look good, and as a 68 year old, drunk, worked over filmmaker, I just can’t stand that video game looking shit...You look at something like The Lego Movie, which is just wall to wall CGI and it’s just a fucking 90 minute commercial. I don’t care how good it is. Fuck ‘em! We get waves and waves of this kind of shit already on TV 24/7. This is something that’s getting marketed to kids and families! It’s just a commercial no matter what you say about it.
  • When we live in a world where the vast majority of Americans are obese and you have 17 or 18 year old kids that are 6’ 4” and 350 pounds, then you definitely have to take a look at what the food supply is doing to people. And anyone that suggests that there aren’t readily available or healthy alternatives to shoving hormone injected meats and hormone injected milk, and all this fucking food with god knows what in it is full of shit. That’s total bullshit. The system is fucking corrupt. We have the resources to not cram this shit down people’s throats...
  • Where would we be without Net Neutrality? You would not have Netflix, YouTube, or Kickstarter, not to mention all of these inventions and personalities - these talented people who have come up through the internet, all the news that has come up through the internet that the mainstream news would never have released to us. It's very important not just for the survival of a company like Troma, but for the development of the civilized world, and for the ability to receive and give news and truth that can get around the mainstream sources.

Quotes about Kaufman[edit]

  • "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.
  • He’s a fascinating and remarkably erudite person to talk to about filmmaking, simultaneously coming across as a wise and fearless industry veteran, a schlock-master, an incredible self promoter, and an all around regular American that’s concern about the world we’re currently living in.

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