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GORE, TITS, AND RADIATION – My Ten Favorite Troma Movies

by Jeff Burk

Troma Studios is the oldest independent film studio in the world – celebrating almost forty years of independent art. Founded in 1974 by Llody Kaufman and Michael Herz, the studio specializes in producing and distributing trashy gore and exploitation flicks that no other studio would dare touch. The best Troma films will gross you out, make you laugh, touch your heart, and turn you on.

If you’re somehow tragically unfamiliar with Troma, take two minutes to watch the soul of Troma:

With a catalog of hundreds of films, getting into Troma can be a bit daunting. Not all Troma movies are of equal quality and the studio has a reputation of taking shit films and giving them awesome titles – I’m looking at you Surf Nazis Must Die.

Here are my personal top ten Troma films. If you’re just looking to get into Troma, this is a great starting point. If you’ve been a long-time fan, then remember the blood, boobs, and beasts with me.

10. Troma’s War – 1988, Lloyd Kaufman

A satire of the action/war movie genre featuring the passengers and crew of a hijacked airplane battling a terrorist organization known as the AIDS Brigade. Director Lloyd Kaufman claims that the film has more squibs than any other film ever made. But who knows, Troma lies all the time.

9. Bloodsucking Freaks – 1976, Joel M. Reed

The first film picked up by Troma for distribution is still one of their sleaziest. Equally influenced by hardcore BDSM and the Grand Guignol, the story follows a magician whose act involves mutilating women onstage. The twist, it’s all real! Featuring an ass dart-board, brain-sucking via straw, and a penis sandwich, this one’s for the splatter fans with a good sense of humor.

8. The Toxic Avenger – 1984, Lloyd Kaufman

The first “real” Troma film. Before this Kaufman and company had been making mostly teen sex comedies. But with this mash-up of horror, comedy, and super-hero tropes, Troma was reborn and independent filmmaking would never be the same. The Toxic Avenger, or Toxie to his fans, would spawn three sequels, a cartoon show, video games, toys, and the love of thousands.

7. Redneck Zombies – 1987, Pericles Lewnes

Shot entirely on VHS, the nonstop splatterthon is everything the title promises it to be. After a clan of hillbillies mistake chemical waste for moonshine, they turn into undead flesh eaters. Known for its ridiculous dialogue and crazy over-the-top gore, this cheesy labor of love is a pure punk rock filmmaking.

6. Terror Firmer – 1999, Lloyd Kaufman

A Troma movie about the making of a Troma movie. The story follows a serial killer who is stalking the cast and crew of a fictitious Toxic Avenger sequel. The cast is amongst Troma’s best but Lloyd Kaufman steals the show as a blind parody of himself. In the best Troma fashion, the movie is half trashy horror, half rallying cry for independent art.

5. Class of Nuke ‘Em High – 1986, Lloyd Kaufman

Welcome to Troma High, where the local honors club turned punk gang sells radioactive weed. After smoking a joint and having sex, a wholesome couple unleashes a vicious monster that stalks the halls. A pure kinetic experience that is best enjoyed with a few beers.

4. Tromeo and Juliet – 1996, Lloyd Kaufman

Written by James Gunn (Slither, Super), this tribute to Shakespeare’s classic remain fairly faithful to the original but with large dose of lesbian sex and hyper violence. It’s worth it just to see Lemmy from Motorhead reciting actual dialogue from the play. I’m sure the bard would approve.

3. Father’s Day – 2012, Astron 6

The latest release from Troma is one of the best films they’ve ever distributed. A truly twisted and funny story of three men hunting for a supernatural entity that rapes and kills fathers. And then it gets weird. The movie twists and turns and it’s impossible to predict what deviant image will assault you next. You have to see this at least for the amazing practical monster effects and one of the funniest, darkest endings in recent memory.

2. Cannibal! the Musical – 1996, Trey Parker

The first film by Matt Stone and Trey Parker who would later go on to create a little show by the name of South Park. Taking the real life story of Alfred Packer, Stone and Parker create an outrageously funny, and surprisingly historically accurate, comedy/horror/musical. Make sure to buy the DVD to experience the greatest, drunkest, commentary ever recorded.

1: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead – 2006, Lloyd Kaufman

Troma and Lloyd Kaufman’s ultimate masterpiece is a musical, gore flick about a fast food restaurant that is built on an Indian burial ground. After the food becomes possessed by the chicken/Indian spirit, and the customers become flesh eating chicken zombies, the staff must fight to make it out of American Chicken Bunker alive. Chicken zombie monsters, talking fast food made from people, and, of course, needless nudity make this the definitive Troma experience.

8 responses

  1. All you’re missing is Toxic Avenger 4.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

  2. Class of Nuke em High was always my favorite. I also love Rabid Grannies.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

  3. Hollywood Zap is also a classic.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  4. davidwbarbee

    is Sgt Kabukiman any good?

    August 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

  5. Jeff Burk

    Bradley – that would have been number 11.

    David – No it’s not. Sgt. Kabukiman was Kaufman’s attempt take Troma and tone it down to make a movie to appeal to the masses. It fails on both accounts.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:27 am

  6. Pingback: My Favorite Troma Movies « Jeff Burk – Bizarro Author and Editor

  7. Pingback: Podpatrzone na Bizarro Central « niedobre literki

  8. Manny Perez

    I discovered troma films after seeing “hollywood zap” featured at a college movie night, “most disgusting films of all time.” there are scenes from that sick film that I can’t forget, no matter how hard I try lol

    February 1, 2014 at 7:16 am

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