Lloyd Kaufman filmography and biography
Date of birth: 30 December 1945, New York City, New York, USA
Lloyd Kaufman biography
Stanley Lloyd Kaufman never really wanted to make movies, but wanted to
work in Broadway musicals. During his years in Yale, though, he got
introduced to "B" pictures and the works of Roger Corman. Lloyd
later got the opportunity to executive-produce a short movie made by a
fellow student. The film, called "Rappacini", got him even more
interested in movies. He bought his own camera and took it with him to
Chad, Africa, were he spent his summer. There he shot a 15-minute film
of a pig being slaughtered. That was his first movie, and was the birth
of what was later to become known as Troma Films. He showed the footage
of the squealing pig being killed to his family, and their shocked
reaction to it made him wonder if making movies that shocked audiences
would keep them in their seats to see what would happen next.
He wanted to be a director right then and there, so he got a couple of friends at Yale and made his second movie, The Girl Who Returned. People loved it, and he went straight to work on other films, helping out on projects like Joe, Rocky and Saturday Night Fever.
Lloyd put in a lot of long, hard hours in the film business, just to be in the credits and to get money for his next project, a full-length feature. It was a tribute to Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd (I) and the classic era of silent-film comedy. Even though Lloyd hated the movie when it was finally completed, people seemed to love it. He formed a studio called 15th Street Films with friends and producers Frank Vitale (I) and Oliver Stone (I). Together they made Sugar Cookies and Cry Uncle, directed by John G. Avildsen. A friend from Yale, Michael Herz, saw Lloyd in a small scene in "Cry Uncle" and contacted him to try to get into the film business, too. Kaufman took Herz in, as the company needed some help after Oliver Stone quit to make his own movies. Michael invested in a film they thought would be their biggest hit yet, Ha-Balash HaAmitz Shvartz (aka "Big Gus, What's the Fuss?"). It turned out to be a huge flop and 15th Street Films was ruined. Lloyd and Michael owed thousands of dollars to producers and friends and family members who had invested in the picture.
Lloyd, trying to find a quick way to pay off the bills, made _Divine Obsession, The (1975)_, and with Michael formed Troma Studios, hoping to make some decent movies, since they only owned the rights to films they thought were "crap". They were introduced to Joel M. Reed, who had an unfinished movie called "Master Sardu and the Horror Trio". The film was re-edited and completed at Troma Studios (which actually consisted of just one room) during 1975, re-titled and released in 1976 as The Incredible Torture Show (aka "Bloodsucking Freaks"). It was enough of a success to enable them to pay the rent so they wouldn't lose the company.
Lloyd later got a call from a theater that wanted a "sexy movie" like "Divine Obsession", but about softball (!). The resulting film, Squeeze Play, used up all the money Troma had earned from "Bloodsucking Freaks" and, as it turned out, no one wanted to see it--not even the theater owner who wanted it made in the first place (he actually wanted a porno movie). Just when things looked their darkest, they got a call from another theater which was scheduled to show a film, but the distributor pulled it at the last minute. Troma rushed "Squeeze Play" right over, and it turned out to be a huge hit. Lloyd, Michael and Troma eventually made millions from it, and had enough money to buy their own building (which still remains as Troma Headquarters). Troma then turned out a stream of "sexy" comedies--i.e., Waitress!, The First Turn-On!!, Stuck on You!--but there was a glut of "T&A" films on the market. Troma noticed that a lot of comedies were being made, and decided to make one, too, but much different than the rest. After reading an article that claimed horror movies were dead, Lloyd got the idea to combine both horror and comedy, and Troma came up with "Health Club Horror"--later retitled and released as The Toxic Avenger, a monster hit that finally put Troma on the map.
Lloyd Kaufman and Troma have become icons in the cult-movie world, and Troma has distributed over 1000 films. Lloyd has continued his career as a director in addition to producing, and Troma has turned out such films as Monster in the Closet, Class of Nuke Em High, Combat Shock, Tromas War, and Fortress of Amerikkka, and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, which follows an army of undead chickens as they seek revenge on a fast food palace.
Lloyd Kaufman trivia
- He co-wrote a screenplay with Stan Lee (I) which never got made into a film.
- Formed Troma Studios with his friend Michael Herz in 1974.
- After reading an article reading "Horror Movies are dead" he decided to make a horror film, which became The Toxic Avenger.
- Is the President of Troma Films, one of the longest running independent film companies.
- Father of Charlotte Kaufman (I), Lilly Hayes Kaufman, and Lisbeth Kaufman.
- Sang on songs with newgrounds.com crew (Tom Fulp and Shok) for their FDA animated cartoon music videos.
- Brother of director Charles Kaufman (III).
- Was inducted into the inaugural class of the International Horror and Sci-Fi Hall of Fame with Tobe Hooper on October 22, 2005, in Tempe, Arizona.
- Son of Stanley Kaufman (I).
- Speaks fluent French.
- Is Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
Lloyd Kaufman quotes
- In our racist, sexist society, Christmas is the eight hours when we stop killing each other and gratuitous overeating is encouraged so that the starving and other people in the world can die!
- The person who goes to the Troma movie knows that he or she may love the Troma movie or, he or she may hate the Troma movie; but the movie goer knows that he or she will never forget the Troma movie.
- I'm from the '60s but no one has ever accused me of being a hippie. I never had much interest in the Woodstock crowd, which partied to change the world, while real people were starving to death in Africa. I never liked Peter Paul & Mary or The Carpenters and, despite being the era of "free love", I still had to pay for it.
- "I like fat people more then I like thin people, things are always a lot more funnier when they happen to fat people".
- The thing I find about the movie industry is that 99 percent of the people are absolute scum. They're horrible people, they really are. Very nasty killer rabbits who hate movies. But the other 1 percent are really the greatest, most wonderful people in the world. They love movies--the art of movies and the business of the movies.
- I'm working on a movie called Poultrygeist. It's about how the masses are being fed the Kool-Aid by the major media and then, like zombies, go out and eat junk food. That's what the Grindhouse thing is all about. The major media gets word from the giant, devil-worshiping international conglomerates that own it, that say, "Now it's time to promote Dreamgirls," and therefore it's Dreamgirls 24/7. We live in an age of zombies, and it's particularly appropriate that I'm working on a zombie movie. So, here we've got big media saying, "OK, the big conglomerates have produced a movie called Grindhouse for 50 million dollars, so let's brainwash everybody into going to see Grindhouse. Now I, Lloyd Kaufman, have a feeling that Grindhouse will be a good movie because Tarantino and the other guy are definitely talented directors, so I'm quite confident it will be worthwhile.
- I don't make crappy movies. I spend two or three years making a film. I don't take myself seriously, but I take my movies very seriously.
- That's not saying that all mainstream movies are bad. I just recently saw this film called... Inception. I think it was a really low budget movie, it didn't look expensive. But I think Leonard DiCaprio was pretty good. So there's good stuff. But 90% of it is baby food, you can live of baby food but it's really boring.