(Posted: 19 August 2009)
Written by Ronny

In most ways my childhood was the same as any horror fan's; I found the love for horror early on and a fascination came out of that. This article obviously isn't about just horror, it's about Troma, but I still have some ground to cover before I move on.. I was a fairly poor kid in one of the smallest towns in Sweden, something which made it harder to find the lesser known films. The most common ways to see a horror film would either be through films that people close to me had in their collection (my parents had none) or on TV. That of course made Troma films pretty rare to me, but Troma found a way to sneak into my life without me knowing it when I was only around 10 years old.

 
At the time, children weren't as brainwashed by silly shows like "Teletubbies" or whatever is popular today, but rather by shows like "Transformers", "Mighty Morphins Power Rangers", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Biker Mice From Mars". This of course opened up a world of opportunities for a horror fan. Why, you ask? Because if those TV shows were your cup of tea, chances are you would find "Toxic Crusaders". Although I never saw that show growing up, somehow the "Toxic Crusaders" toy collection was slowly working it's way into my life. Ads were all over the "Turtles" comics, and it didn't take long before I owned a few myself. Sneaky sneaky, Lloyd Kaufman, you touched me as a child by tricking me with toys! ..Erm, I mean, you know.. touched my heart and soul... Yeah..

What made these toys more interesting than all the rest were a couple of rumors that were going around (not sure if this was a local thing or if it was everywhere), but people went around saying that these toys were literally poisonous! Yes, some even said radioactive (this was most likely the kids, not the adults.. I hope. Stupid fucks)!

Anyway, between watching horror and playing with action figures, I loved looking through VHS catalogs just to look at cool movie covers and to dream I could own all of them (this was before you could get any movie with only a click of the mouse, I didn't have internet yet). Because of a local rental place, I had seen stuff like "Bad Taste" and "Braindead", so I wasn't completely new to cheesy independent films, but still no Troma. In one catalog, which I can't remember the name of, I found something that for me was breaking news; a horror movie had been made from "Toxic Crusaders"! (Yes, I know it's the other way around and that it's not really horror, but I was 10 years old. Hush and continue reading!) This was so cool to me that I actually still remember maybe half of the titles that were on the same page, because I looked at it so often; "Unnaturally Born Killers", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Phenomena", "The Ugly", "Bad Taste", "Braindead" and "Evil Ed" were some of them.

 

A couple of years passed before I actually found Troma tapes, much because at the age of 10 I never really looked that hard and even if I did, who would sell them to me? I don't remember how I found out that "The Toxic Avenger" was a Troma movie, but I think a couple of childhood friends had the film and told me about Troma. I suppose I was around 12 or 13 when I bought my first Troma. Remembering that "The Toxic Avenger" was from them, I thought just getting any Troma title would be cool and maybe help me find more. "Blood Hook" and "Class of Nuke 'Em High" were the first two I bought. "Blood Hook" was nothing too special, but "Class of Nuke 'Em High" kicked ass in almost every way and is the film that started my addiction. The week after that I went back and got "Cannibal! The Musical" and "Redneck Zombies"; both which I now consider to be two of the best movies ever made. This really set things in motion.

Here I am now, soon-to-be 21 years old, with no idea why I am actually writing this article except for the fact that I want to pay tribute to one of the most important companies (and it's owner) that ever existed. Any fan of Troma knows that they are more than just a movie company. They are a big part of who I am today, they were there during some of the most influential years of my life; the teenage years, and I left the teenage years as a underground/independent film fan because of it. Movies like "A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell", "Terror Firmer", "Redneck Zombies", "Maniac Nurses Find Ecstasy" and so on are only a few of the reasons why I am the trash loving prick I am today. Without Troma, FilmBizarro.com wouldn't exist.

They are an even bigger part of the cinematic world as we've known it for the past 35 or so years. With balls of steel that they aren't afraid to slap people's faces with, they've made and released bolder movies than the mainstream studio's would ever dare to, and they've made choices that few small companies would - only to succeed. The line of people that started out at Troma is amazing, we have people who still support them like James Gunn ("Slither", "Dawn of the Dead") and the comedic team Trey Parker and Matt Stone ("South Park"), and bastards who probably wouldn't admit they started out there if they were tortured (like Kevin Costner, perhaps?). Troma's slogan might not be a lie after all; "Movies of the future".

   
Beyond the gore, the outrageous plots and the fart jokes lies a heartwarming company that has worked their way from nothing with little to no help, to the top of the independent chain. There has been more to it than just movies, they've become a cult who's followers are dedicated like no other's. Much of this is because Troma and president Lloyd Kaufman care about the little guy. They make people all over the world believe that you don't need to be famous or rich to make something of worth. That the big guys aren't the ones who rule the world, the fans who buy, watch and care are. Those who do what they love because it's their dream not their paycheck. Lloyd Kaufman isn't tired of supporting what he believes in just yet, as he's currently the chairman for IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance) and if you've seen any of his recent interviews, he's far from done with his fight against the "higher powers". The list of things that Lloyd Kaufman and Troma has done to this world will continue to go on un-noticed to the masses, but believe me when I say that the fans know. We will always know and we'll always be right by your side to support your cause (unless your cause is to rape innocent raccoons, I like raccoons). Thank you Troma and Lloyd, you're an engine to people like us. I hope I'll one day shake hands with the man who touched me as a kid.
 
Yes, I had to end with a pedophile joke.




 

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