Ed. note: Originally published at www.moviepoopshoot.com on 27 November, 2002. Original artwork by Ming Chen. Toxie and Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD are registered trademarks of Troma Entertainment, Inc. Used under license. Copyright 2002 Chris Lanphear.
Greetings from Tromaville!
What do many people think of when they hear independent film? Cmon, Ill give you three guesses, but I think youre only gonna need one.
Thats right, the Sundance Film Festival.
I should tell you up front: I Hate Sundance. Now, this particular opinion doesnt bode well with most people, who tend to think of Sundance as a beacon of hope and expression for independent filmmakers. My two cents: bull-honkey. Although the festival has almost redeemed itself with a few exceptional independent films, that does not negate the fact that Sundance is purely evil
One: Sundance does injustice to independent filmmakers by charging them to submit their work! Does this sound stupid to anyone else? Imagine this, youre a filmmaker, who has just spent upwards of a year writing, filming and editing your own feature film. Not to mention maxing out numerous credit cards, borrowing money from friends and giving plasma just to complete your modern masterpiece. And now, this so-called festival wants to charge you just to view your work? How rude.
Two: If you pay the $50 US fee to have them see your work, you may not even get so much as a rejection letter for your hard-earned fifty bucks! Just ask Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of South Park fame), who in 1993 made a wonderful film entitled CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL. Every major movie studio on Earth denounced the film. People from the Showtime cable channel said the film was unwatchable. Trey and Matt tried submitting the film to Sundance, paid their fifty smackers and waited patiently.
After all their toiling, Trey and Matt never even got so much as a rejection letter for the $50. Nothing from the committee, no response at all. Bastards
So, what do you do when the festival for the independent rejects you? Well, you reject it by going to Park City, UT and starting your own film festival, of course; which is exactly what Trey and Matt did. They started their own festival with only one film: CANNIBAL, and the first alternative festival was born.
As we all know, CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL is a great film and should be seen by film lovers everywhere! Troma picked it up, and Lloyd and the guys have been friends ever since. They even did a bit for us on TERROR FIRMER.
Its funny, too As soon as South Park became a big hit, all the studios seemed to take notice of the film. Strange how Hollywood works, eh?
Three: Sundance is now almost exclusively an outlet for the independent arms of the large devil-worshipping mega-conglomerates. Notice how many Miramax (a subsidiary of Disney Enterprises) films get screened at Sundance? How about Screen Gems (a Sony company), Fox Searchlight (News Corp.) or Fine Line Features (AOL Time Warner)? Interesting, no?
Four: Sundance has monopolized Park City, UT and done its best to control the other alternative festivals that take place at the same time. By throwing money at the Park City government, they have basically free reign throughout the month of January and carte blanche on the policies of the town. Just ask former Troma Head of Production Doug Sakmann, who was arrested and thrown in jail for putting up flyers and passing out handbills promoting our alternative film festival, TromaDance.
Thats why Lloyd Kaufman created the TromaDance Film Festival, to give independent art back to the people. TromaDance charges no entry fee to filmmakers who wish to submit their work and doesnt charge the public for admission! Everything is free, and for the people, the way it should be!
[Shameless promotion here]
Filmmakers arise! Submit your short, feature-length, documentary, or experimental film to TromaDance, the peoples film festival! Let your work be seen by thousands of movie lovers and be adored by the Troma Team! [Entry form available here]. Hurry! Submission deadline is December 20th!
Independent artists unite! Help us give independent film back to the people and become a sponsor of TromaDance 2003! Contact [email protected] for more information.
[End Shameless promotion]
Thats Good Eatin
Most films shot on video never make it to distribution. REDNECK ZOMBIES is one such exception. Although it was never believed in by distributors, it was embraced by the cult movie community and remains today a true cult classic.
The film is basically told in first-person flashback mode, opening in a mental institution. The flashback is through the mind of Lisa (Lisa DeHaven), a resident of the institution.
The basic story is that a country family, who makes moonshine out of their home, stumbles upon a vat of nuclear waste that was carelessly dumped by a bumbling Army private (Tyrone Taylor).
The father and two sons, unbeknownst to their mother, decide to make a special moonshine out of the waste, not noting the obvious DANGER: TOXIC WASTE on the drum. Upon consuming the toxic swill, they go through a metamorphosis (of sorts) and become what else, REDNECK ZOMBIES!
At the same time, a group of friends set out to go camping and get lost. Taking part in the fuck it nature of the ever-so-wonderful 1980s, they decide to make the best of a bad situation and stay in the wilderness.
The zombie dad and his two sons are stalking the woods, looking for victims to feed on, and happen upon the happy campers. There, blood and karo syrup starts flying, as bodies drop and heads roll (literally).
The film is true exploitation, in that director Pericles Lewnes (also writer, credited as Zoofeet) and producer Ed Bishop did their best to throw in as much blood and body parts as they could, to make the film as sick and disgusting as possible.
I must say, it worked! The first time I saw the film, I was eating dinner. In hindsight, I wouldnt recommend this for anyone now. I literally had a hard time finishing my meal upon viewing REDNECK ZOMBIES. Of course, that was my own stupid fault for putting in a film with that title and then making chicken oh well.
As for the DVD, this Troma Collectors Edition features interviews with director Pericles Lewnes and producer Ed Bishop, as well as trailers for various Troma features, and some other surprises as well!
The acting is almost decent, with a solid attempt by Lisa DeHaven and the special effects certainly wont astonish you if youre a fan of Spielbergs work. But despite its flaws, see this film, if only for the gore factor I dont know, maybe you should get drunk first
NEXT TIME: Aw, hell, I dont know. Ill think of something Happy Troma um, I mean, Thanksgiving!