Lloyd Kaufman – Curriculum Vitae

To view Lloyd Kaufman’s Official IFTA Bio click here.

“Lloyd’s body of work has now proven to be a seminal influence on film today. Just look at any film created by the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Takashi Miike, Peter Jackson, Eli Roth, Gasper Moe and James Gunn, to name a few, and you are likely watching a film influenced Class of Nuke ‘Em High, Tromeo & Juliet, or Citizen Toxie.”

- Stan Lee – creator of Spider-Man

“His (Lloyd Kaufman) string of low-budget, lowbrow horror comedies stretching back to the ’80s has been cited as influence by Peter Jackson, the Farrelly Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Takashi Miike, and Guillermo Del Toro, just to cite a few prominent examples.”

- Lou Lumenick, chief critic – New York Post

“There would be no Tarantinos without the shock-sploitation satires of the iconoclastic Kaufman, which can often give more critical insight about the world than some grand Hollywood epics.”

- Robert Dassonowsky, Director of Film Studies – University of Colorado
Colorado Springs

“Acclaimed directors such as Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Spain’s Álex de la Iglesia and Japan’s Takashi Miike have all sited independent film director Lloyd Kaufman and the infamous film The Toxic Avenger as major influences.

Whether or not he would accept the fame (or blame) for these raunchy, mainstream blockbusters, there can be no doubt that what Kaufman has achieved is enormous. In 30 years, Kaufman, along with Yale friend and partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up from a young company struggling to find its voice in a field crowded with competitors to legendary status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true independence, and the world’s greatest concentration of camp. Among Troma Entertainment’s library of over 1,000 movies are the early performances of such stars as Kevin Costner, Billy Bob Thornton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Dennis Hopper, Dustin Hoffman, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) and countless others! As a filmmaker, Lloyd Kaufman has accumulated a remarkable list of credits, as well as a more extraordinary list of debits to loan sharks and pawn shops across New York.”

- Rupert Bottenberg

“The impact of Troma can be seen in nearly every independent filmmaker who cut his teeth in the video era, from Peter Jackson and Quentin Tarantino to South Park’s Trey Parker (who’s debut, Cannibal! The Musical was a Troma production), and the Troma universe has a devoted worldwide fan base to rival that of any comic book.”

- The A.V. Club – The Onion

“Nobody knows how to make films and not make any money doing it better than Lloyd Kaufman.”

- Trey Parker – co-creator of South Park

In the late 1960’s, Kaufman was enrolled at Yale University (where he would later present his Make Your Own Damn Movie Master Classes), diligently working on a respectable degree in Chinese Studies. However, Kaufman was destined for other things. As he explains in his hit book All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger (published by Penguin Putnam), “At Yale I was placed in a dormitory room with two film fanatics, and I knew everything had irrevocably changed.” In fact, Kaufman was infected with a love of movies from which he never recovered.

In 1971, Kaufman met his future partner Michael Herz at Yale. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, raunchy comedies such as Squeeze Play!, Stuck On You!, Waitress!, and other titles ending with an exclamation point. These movies, independent precursors to such later smash hits as National Lampoon’s Animal House and Porky’s, did well financially, although Kaufman continued to work on such outside productions as Rocky and Saturday Night Fever. Kaufman’s relationship with mainstream Hollywood would not last long. “There were problems,” Kaufman said, “as I always wanted to do things my own way and my employers insisted I do things the correct way.” He continued to build up a list of impressive credits as well as some overpowering debts.

Kaufman proved his former employers wrong with his 1984 breakthrough movie, The Toxic Avenger. This tale of a health club mop boy named Melvin who is transformed into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength struck a chord with audiences and critics alike, demonstrating that there were a large number of people who were interested in seeing things done Kaufman’s way. The Toxic Avenger led to an animated television series, “Toxic Crusaders,” several different comic book titles (published by Marvel and, most recently, Troma’s own independent comic book imprint), and three sequels. The most recent film in the series is Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV.

The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, heavy action, comedy, and eroticism in a style that can only be described as “Tromatic”. These films, including the Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma’s War, were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80’s. Some of these Troma fans went on to become filmmakers themselves, including Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker. Thanks to these admirers, Kaufman has been asked to make cameo appearances in films like Trey Parker’s Orgazmo and Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever.

Lately, Kaufman and the Troma Team have begun to win respect from even their harshest critics. Tromeo & Juliet became a surprise theatrical and critical hit, earning the grand prize at the Fanta Festival in Rome. Kaufman’s following opus, Terror Firmer, inspired by the book All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger, played for six months in Los Angeles alone. In addition, Kaufman has been an honored guest at various international film festivals and Troma retrospectives around the world. The San Sebastian Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, the American Cinematheque, the Chicago International Film Festival, the UCLA Film Archives, the Tokyo Film Festival, and the Shanghai International Film Festival are just a few of the venues to have showered Kaufman with praise and free booze. Kaufman has received the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Fantasy Film Festival of Amsterdam, Sitges Film Festival, Brussels Festival of Fantasy and others.

In January 1999, Kaufman founded the TromaDance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Determined to give independent film back to the people, Kaufman established a festival where there is no entry fee to filmmakers to submit their films, nor is there any admission charged to audience members. The TromaDance Film Festival presents a broad spectrum of films and film styles, creating an opportunity for everyone to put their own personal vision on film and have it seen.

Kaufman is also a tireless innovator, constantly using new developments in technology to foster the growth of independent art. Troma has a dynamic web presence with Troma.com, TromaDance.com, and the newest site, ToxicAvenger.com. All three sites provide news and entertainment, as well as providing an outlet for Troma to sell videos, DVDs, clothing, Tromabilia, and other products from the Troma Universe directly to their fans. Troma has also been ahead of the curve in DVD production, releasing feature-packed titles since 1997.

Kaufman has also earned the respect and trust of his peers in the independent filmmaking community. He was elected to two terms as Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the trade association on the independent entertainment industry. During Kaufman’s chairmanship, IFTA successfully lobbied in Washington D.C. to require that Comcast NBC Universal open its ranks to independent producers.

Kaufman’s most recent publication is Sell Your Own Damn Movie! (published by Reed Elsevier/Focal Press), the latest installment of his acclaimed series of books on guerrilla filmmaking that includes Make Your Own Damn Movie! (published by St. Martin’s Press), Direct Your Own Damn Movie! (published by Reed Elsevier/Focal Press) and Produce Your Own Damn Movie! (published by Reed Elsevier/Focal Press). The books have inspired Kaufman to teach a successful series of Master Classes at colleges and institutions across the country and the world! In addition, he created 20 half-hour television episodes for England’s Channel 4. The series, “Troma’s Edge TV,” brought UK viewers all the Tromatic superheroes, cutting-edge humor, and great music they’ve come to expect from Troma movies. Kaufman’s recent cellu-Lloyd masterpiece Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, a satire about the fast food industry, opened to sold out crowds in New York City and became the #1 grossing film, per screen average, over its opening weekend. Entertainment Weekly called Poultrygeist “genuine sick fun.” The Troma classic Mother’s Day has recently been remade by Hollywood producers Richard Saperstein and Brett Ratner and director Darren Lynn Bousman. The Toxic Avenger is also slated to undergo a Hollywood remake under director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine and High Fidelity) and Oscar®-winner Akiva Goldsman. Kaufman and his partner, Michael Herz, recently produced the critically acclaimed Father’s Day, filmed in Winnipeg, Canada, by Astron-6. He is also working on the script for The Toxic Avenger 5: Toxic Twins.

In the summer of 2012, production wrapped on Kaufman’s latest feature, Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol 1. Produced in association with STARZ Media, Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol 1 is a satirical sci-fi comedy with themes ripped straight from today’s headlines: the contamination and degradation of the world’s food supply, rampant bullying, and love triumphing over prejudice. The film is slated for release in 2014.

Kaufman is currently finishing production on Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol 2 and Occupy Cannes. He is also producing Mutant Blast, set to film in Portugal late summer 2013, which will be directed by Fernando Alle.

On the personal front, Lloyd Kaufman has three daughters – Lily Hayes, Lisbeth and Charlotte. He served on the Board of Directors at Trinity School in New York City. His beloved wife of 39 years, Patricia, recently retired from her position of 25 years as the New York State Film Commissioner.

EDUCATION

TRINITY SCHOOL 1964

  • Cum Laude Society
  • President of Student Council
  • Voted Most Likely to Soil Himself in Public

YALE UNIVERSITY, B.A. 1969

  • Dean’s List and Lightweight Crew
  • Spent one year in Africa, teaching and boffing in a small village in Chad, received letter of thanks from the U.S. Ambassador to Chad (for teaching only)
  • Elected member of the Yale Elihu Society
  • Languages: fluent French; some Chinese; pidgin English

Film & Television Credits

RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH (2013)
Feature Film
Producer/Director

FATHER’S DAY (2011)
Feature Film
Producer

THE TOXIC AVENGER (Announced)
Feature Film (Remake)
Executive Producer

MR BRICKS: A HEAVY METAL MURDER MUSICAL (2011)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

PETA PSA (2011)
Director Pro-Bono

MOTHER’S DAY (2010)
Feature Film (Remake)
Executive Producer

POULTRY IN MOTION: THE TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN CHICKEN (2008)
Feature-Length Documentary
Producer

POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD! (2006)
Feature Film
Director/Co-Writer/Actor

ASSORTED MUSIC VIDEOS (2006-2010)

DOGGIE TAILS (2003)
Children’s Film
Producer

TALES FROM THE CRAPPER (2003)
2 Feature Films
Producer/Actor

ALL THE LOVE YOU CANNES (2002)
Feature-Length Documentary
Co-Director/Co-Writer/Producer

“TROMA’S EDGE TV” (2000)
Television Series
Director/Co-Writer/Actor/Producer/Executive Producer

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER PART IV (2000)
Feature Film
Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Producer

TERROR FIRMER (1999)
Feature Film
Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Producer

THE ROWDY GIRLS (1999)
Feature Film
Producer

DECAMPITATED (1998)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

SUCKER (1998)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

TROMEO & JULIET (1997)
Feature Film
Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Producer

TROMAVILLE CAFE (1995)
Television Series
Director/Writer/Producer

CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH (1993)
TV Pilot Script for Fox-TV
Co-Writer

TROMA INFOMERCIAL (1993)
Co-Director/Co-Writer/Co-Producer

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (1992)
Anti-Pollution Spot for National Dance Institute
Producer

SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D. (1991)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

THE SNAIL MUST GO THROUGH (1991)
TOXIC CRUSADERS TV Series Episode
Co-Writer

STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE SHEARS (1991)
TOXIC CRUSADERS TV Series Episode
Co-Writer

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE SUBHUMANOID: CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH PART III (1991)
Feature Film
Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH PART II: SUBHUMANOID MELTDOWN (1990)
Feature Film
Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III: THE LAST TEMPTATION OF TOXIE (1989)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

FORTRESS OF AMERIKKKA (1989)
Feature Film
Producer/Writer of Narration

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II (1989)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

TROMA’S WAR (1988)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

JAKARTA (1988)
Feature Film
Co-Executive Producer

MONSTER IN THE CLOSET (1987)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

LUST FOR FREEDOM (1987)
Feature Film
Executive Producer/Writer of Narration

CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH (1986)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Producer

GIRLS SCHOOL SCREAMERS (1986)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

BLOOD HOOK (1986)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

THE TOXIC AVENGER (1985)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

WHEN NATURE CALLS (1985)
Feature Film
Associate Producer

SCREAMPLAY (1984)
Feature Film
Executive Producer

THE FIRST TURN-ON (1983)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Producer

STUCK ON YOU (1981)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Co-Writer of the Screenplay/Co-Producer

MY DINNER WITH ANDRE (1981)
Feature Film
Production Manager

MOTHER’S DAY (1980)
Feature Film
Associate Producer

WAITRESS (1980)
Feature Film
Co-Director/Producer

SQUEEZE PLAY (1979)
Feature Film
Director/Producer

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (1979)
Feature Film
Associate Producer

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977)
Feature Film
Location Manager

SLOW DANCING IN THE BIG CITY (1977)
Feature Film
Production Supervisor

ROCKY (1976)
Feature Film
Pre-Production Supervisor

SWEET SAVIOR (1973)
Feature Film
Production Manager

BIG GUS, WHAT’S THE FUSS? (1972)
Feature Film
Director/Producer

THE BATTLE OF LOVE’S RETURN (1971)
Feature Film
Director/Writer/Producer/Actor

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1971)
Feature Film
Associate Producer

SUGAR COOKIES (1971)
Feature Film
Writer/Executive Producer

ALLEN FUNT PRODUCTIONS (1970)
Production Assistant

CRY UNCLE! (1970)
Feature Film
Production Manager/Limited Partner

JOE (1970)
Feature Film
Production Assistant

THE GIRL WHO RETURNED (1969)
Feature Film
Director/Writer/Producer

RAPPACCINI (1969)
Feature Film
Producer

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