A Q&A with Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman

Now in its tenth year, the B-movie convention Cinema Wasteland (cinemawasteland.com) is back at the Strongsville Holiday Inn this weekend. One of the returning guests is Troma Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, who’ll be there to help the “Troma Army” man the film studio’s booth. Famous for putting out classic B-movies such as The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet and Poultreygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Kaufman has just published a new book, Produce Your Own Damn Movie! We recently gave him a call at the Troma Studios to talk about his book, which is quite critical of the way the major movie studios have made it difficult for indie filmmakers to get their movies out to the general public.

I just heard an interview with you on Elvis Mitchell’s NPR program The Treatment and you didn’t have anything good to say about major movie studios. How have things changed during the 35 years you’ve been making movies?
The rules that used to prevent monopoly have all been done away with. There’s been a conspiracy between the government and all the media conglomerates, not just in the United States but in Europe and in Asia, where it’s totally corrupt

Is it all because of money?
Yes. [Director and screenwriter] Sam Fuller was a buddy and very much enjoyed our movies. He said there are only two causes of problems: women and money. The blacklist of the ’50s was all about money, not the commies. Now, there’s economic blacklisting of a different nature. The rules that used to protect the public against monopolies have all been taken down. There’s used to be a rule called the financial integration rule which prevented the vertical integration of the TV industry. That was done away with during Clinton. As a result, it’s almost impossible to get an independent movie on free TV or cable because they’re all owned by the devil-worshipping media conglomerates.