Episode 162: Lloyd Kaufman
The real Tromaville is an unassuming place. Located a few blocks from the East River, in an industrialized section of Long Island City still untouched by the rapidly encroaching gentrification of art galleries and speakeasies, the country’s longest running independent movie studio is headquartered in a Queens commercial space, extremely nondescript, save for the giant Toxic Avenger painted on the big metal security shutter. Inside, the walls are littered with old props like a makeshift living museum dedicated to 40 years of some of the most colorful movie making in film history. A few small spaces have been converted into makeshift movie sets, while the majority of the downstairs space serves as a complete film archive of Troma’s four decades of prolific output. Upstairs, it’s business as usual. Lloyd Kaufman is in the middle of an important business call. Even after all this time, the company’s cofounder, director, and long-time mouthpiece still has to hustle get things done. Nothing comes easy when you’re perpetually swimming upstream — and Kaufman’s disinclination to hold punches when discussing the big studio movie machine likely hasn’t helped matters much.
It does, however, make for one great interview.