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Lloyd Kaufman
Lloyd Kaufman (933972525).jpg


Stanley Lloyd Kaufman, Jr. December 30, 1945 (age 71) New York City, New York, United States


director, producer, screenwriter, actor

Years active



Pat Swinney Kaufman (1974-present; 3 daughters)

Lloyd Kaufman (Born Stanley Lloyd Kaufman Jr., on December 30 1945) is an American film director and producer. With producer Michael Herz, he is the co-founder of Troma Entertainment. He is the director of many of Troma's feature films. His early Troma films are credited to Samuel Weil, a pseudonym (actually the name of Kaufman's maternal great-grandfather) which Kaufman used to skirt DGA rules. He pronounces his name KOFF-man.

Books written by Kaufman include All I Needed To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger (with James Gunn), Make Your Own Damn Movie (with Adam Jahnke and Trent Haaga), and The Toxic Avenger: The Novel (with Adam Jahnke).

Early life and education[]

Lloyd graduated from Yale University with the class of 1968, where he shared classes with George W. Bush. Majoring in Chinese Studies, while originally intending to become a social worker, he became friends with Robert Edelstein and Eric Sherman (son of filmmaker Vincent Sherman) who introduced him to cinema, which began his lifelong obsession with film (some of Lloyd's favorite filmmakers include John Ford, Kenji Mizoguchi, Ernst Lubitsch, and experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who also taught Trey Parker and Matt Stone at the University of Colorado and acted in the Troma film Cannibal! The Musical made by Parker and Stone).

In 1966, Lloyd went on a hiatus from his studies, and joined the American Peace Corps, who sent him to Chad.

Early career[]

Returning to Yale, he produced Robert Edelstein's low-budget film Rappaccini, he directed his own first feature, The Girl Who Returned. This black and white film was presented at Yale, Harvard, etc. film societies. After graduating from Yale, he went on to work for Cannon Films, where he met John G. Avildsen, director of Rocky and The Karate Kid. The two collaborated for several years, making low-budget films including Joe and Cry Uncle. During this period, he also directed his second feature film, The Battle of Love's Return, in 1970, and then wrote and produced Sugar Cookies (with Oliver Stone), and, in 1972, Big Gus, What's the Fuss?, which was produced with future CBS/Sony president Andrew Lack.

Along with the help of business partner Michael Herz, Troma Entertainment was founded. In order to pay the bills, Lloyd did freelance work for various Hollywood productions including Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, and The Final Countdown.

The Rise of Troma Studios[]

File:Lk closeup-tm.jpg

Troma co-founder and president; Lloyd Kaufman

In the mid 1970s, Lloyd and Michael Herz began producing, directing, and distributing raunchy sex comedies such as The First Turn-On! and Squeeze Play!. In 1985, Troma experienced its first hit film with the violent, dark-comedy superhero film The Toxic Avenger. The film went on to become Troma's most popular film, inspiring sequels, over 200 educational children's products, and a children's television program. However, following the financial demise of the company Troma itself, the sequels to the film were box office bombs, and the cartoon adaptation quickly folded. The Toxic Avenger character is now Troma's official mascot.

Lloyd's follow-up film to The Toxic Avenger was The Class of Nuke 'Em High, co-directed with Richard W. Haines. The film was also a hit nearly as successful, though it inspired two unsuccessful sequels, both following the financial demise of Troma. At one time, it was the highest-selling VHS for Troma.

Recent Work[]

From 1995 to 2000, Kaufman directed three independent straight-to-tape films: Tromeo and Juliet, a loose parody of William Shakespeare's play; Terror Firmer, a slasher film loosely based on Lloyd Kaufman's book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger), and independent film sequel to the The The Toxic Avenger trilogy titled Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. Troma's financial hardship worsened after the botched funding of a low-budget video feature titled Tales from the Crapper, which cost $250,000 despite most of the footage being completely unusable. India Allen, one of the producers, backed out of the film halfway through, and sued Troma, citing breach of contract, slander per se, sexual harassment, trade slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Lloyd personally supervised a reshoot in an attempt to salvage the film, dividing the footage into two parts and recasting the film as a double-feature. Tales from the Crapper was released on DVD in September of 2004.

The Future of Troma Studios[]

As of 2007, Fangoria Magazine reported that Troma Studios is close to folding as a companyTemplate:Fact, perhaps as soon as it finishes its newest independent feature film Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. Fangoria Magazine also reported that Poultrygeist, was the first Troma film that was funded out of pocket by Kaufman himself.

Today, Troma still produces and acquires independent films, despite many financial hardships and limitations. [1]

Troma Films has distributed many films from third parties including Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical. Lloyd himself encourages independent filmmaking, making cameo appearances in many low-budget horror films-- occasionally for free. Among his more recent appearances is in former collaborator James Gunn's directing debut, Slither.

As of 2007, Kaufman next film, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, finished principal photography in the summer of 2005. The movie is slated for release, after several delays, in the summer of 2007.

Select Filmography (as director)[]

All films from Waitress to Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. were co-directed with college buddy and Troma Vice President Michael Herz




External links[]