Friday, October 3, 2008
from our friend B MOVIEMAN
Here’s a riddle: when is a film festival not a film festival? The answer is when it is a celebration. One might say that is symantics, but if you ask Bill Dever, the man behind the annual gathering of B Movie fans and flimmakers in
The small town of Franklin, Indiana once again offered a warm welcome to people from all over the country (and even a few from outside it) to join in three days of movies, seminars, and parties all about the fun “B-side” of cinema. Mayor Fred L. Paris was on hand for the opening gala and charity auction on the event’s first night. The charity auction was a new part of the celebration this year. Numerous filmmakers, writers, and artists contributed items to the silent auction held to benefit victims of recent flooding in the town. “We [the town of
The highlight of the gala was when special guest host Sarah “The Queen of Trash” Dunn Sarah Dunn the "Queen of Trash" was one of the event hosts. She also enjoys towering over B Movie website writers like myself.
was made an honorary citizen of the town and the day was named “Sarah Dunn Day”. Sarah and her partner Mr. Lobo host the “Cinema Insomnia” show in
Sarah Dunn the "Queen of Trash" was one of the event hosts. She
also enjoys towering over B Movie website writers like myself.
Other events at the B Movie Celebration included a directors’ roundtable discussion where film makers Jim Wynorski (CHOPPING MALL, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST), Tom Holland (FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD’S PLAY), Lloyd Kaufman (POULTRYGEIST, THE TOXIC AVENGER), Greydon Clark (SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS, WITHOUT WARNING), Jim O’Rear (THE DEEPENING, SCREAM FARM) and Kelley Baker (BIRD DOG, THE GAS CAFÉ) gathered to discuss the art and business of filmmaking. The panel discussion was lively and showed the different styles of the filmmakers whose one common thread was their love of making movies.
Harry Manfredini, the musical master who introduced the world to the unique and instantly recognizable theme of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, held workshops for budding filmmakers on how to avoid common mistakes when scoring their films. Screenwriters Ron Aberdeen, Jim O’Rear and Carl Salminen gave their takes on screenplay writing during “Coffee with Three Great Writers”.
The workshops, film screenings and other festivities were all held in downtown
Of course the gala dinner, charity auction, panel discussions, workshops and seminars were all great fun and informative, but they aren’t the real heart of the B Movie Celebration. That honor is reserved for the movies themselves. Over fifty films played at venues all over central
B Movie Man Nic Brown with the legendary Jim Wynorski outside the Willard at the B Moive Celebration.
There were also plenty of independent films to choose from if viewers were in the mood for something new. This was thanks in part to the inclusion of Lloyd Kaufman’s Tromadance Film Festival as part of this year’s Celebration. Tromadance allows independent filmmakers to show their work to the public at no cost so there was no charge to attend any of the Tromadance screenings which included films like WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN’S PRISON and THE AWAKENING. One independent film shown as part of the B Movie Celebration that got
B Movie Man Nic Brown with the legendary Jim Wynorski outside
the Willard at the B Moive Celebration.
a great deal of positive feedback was THE TREK by Lola Wallace and Tom Devlin. This film took your typical lost in the woods story and turned it neatly on its ear much to the surprise and joy of the audience.
Between all the movies and other activities, B movie fans and filmmakers alike could often be found sitting on the patio of The Willard, the local watering hole. While Harry Manfredini entertained a group of fans with stories about his experiences scoring movies, Jim Wynorski, Greydon Clark and Tom Holland discussed how to get a film made in today’s market and still make a profit, while some astute independent filmmakers sat nearby taking notes from the candid conversation.
Amid all of this Bill Dever sat smiling at a table as he talked to some of the other B movie fans gathered in
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Last years winner of The Lifetime Achievement award, Lloyd Kaufman makes a triumphant return to The B Movie Celebration with TromaDance in tow. Join Lloyd for an informal gathering in celebration of his life and his work.
Stanley Lloyd Kaufman never really wanted to make movies, but wanted to work in Broadway musicals. During his years in Yale, though, he got introduced to "B" pictures and the works of Roger Corman. Lloyd later got the opportunity to executive-produce a short movie made by a fellow student. The film, called "Rappacini", got him even more interested in movies. He bought his own camera and took it with him to Chad, Africa, were he spent his summer. There he shot a 15-minute film of a pig being slaughtered. That was his first movie, and was the birth of what was later to become known as Troma Films. He showed the footage of the squealing pig being killed to his family, and their shocked reaction to it made him wonder if making movies that shocked audiences would keep them in their seats to see what would happen next. He wanted to be a director right then and there, so he got a couple of friends at Yale and made his second movie, The Girl Who Returned (1969). People loved it, and he went straight to work on other films, helping out on projects like Joe (1970), Rocky (1976) and Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Lloyd put in a lot of long, hard hours in the film business, just to be in the credits and to get money for his next project, a full-length feature. It was a tribute to Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and the classic era of silent-film comedy. Even though Lloyd hated the movie when it was finally completed, people seemed to love it. He formed a studio called 15th Street Films with friends and producers Frank Vitale and Oliver Stone. Together they made Sugar Cookies (1973) and Cry Uncle (1971), directed by John G. Avildsen. A friend from Yale, Michael Herz, saw Lloyd in a small scene in "Cry Uncle" and contacted him to try to get into the film business, too. Kaufman took Herz in, as the company needed some help after Oliver Stone quit to make his own movies. Michael invested in a film they thought would be their biggest hit yet, Balash Ha'Amitz Shvartz, Ha- (1973) (aka "Big Gus, What's the Fuss?"). It turned out to be a huge flop and 15th Street Films was ruined. Lloyd and Michael owed thousands of dollars to producers and friends and family members who had invested in the picture. Lloyd, trying to find a quick way to pay off the bills, made _Divine Obsession, The (1975)_, and with Michael formed Troma Studios, hoping to make some decent movies, since they only owned the rights to films they thought were "crap". They were introduced to Joel M. Reed, who had an unfinished movie called "Master Sardu and the Horror Trio". The film was re-edited and completed at Troma Studios (which actually consisted of just one room) during 1975, re-titled and released in 1976 as The Incredible Torture Show (1976) (aka "Bloodsucking Freaks"). It was enough of a success to enable them to pay the rent so they wouldn't lose the company.
Lloyd later got a call from a theater that wanted a "sexy movie" like "Divine Obsession", but about softball (!). The resulting film, Squeeze Play (1980), used up all the money Troma had earned from "Bloodsucking Freaks" and, as it turned out, no one wanted to see it--not even the theater owner who wanted it made in the first place (he actually wanted a porno movie). Just when things looked their darkest, they got a call from another theater which was scheduled to show a film, but the distributor pulled it at the last minute. Troma rushed "Squeeze Play" right over, and it turned out to be a huge hit. Lloyd, Michael and Troma eventually made millions from it, and had enough money to buy their own building (which still remains as Troma Headquarters). Troma then turned out a stream of "sexy" comedies--i.e., Waitress! (1982), The First Turn-On!! (1983), Stuck on You! (1983)--but there was a glut of "T&A" films on the market. Troma noticed that a lot of comedies were being made, and decided to make one, too, but much different than the rest. After reading an article that claimed horror movies were dead, Lloyd got the idea to combine both horror and comedy, and Troma came up with "Health Club Horror"--later retitled and released as The Toxic Avenger (1985), a monster hit that finally put Troma on the map. Lloyd Kaufman and Troma have become icons in the cult-movie world, and Troma has distributed over 1000 films. Lloyd has continued his career as a director in addition to producing, and Troma has turned out such films as Monster in the Closet (1987), Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986), Combat Shock (1986), Troma's War (1988), and Fortress of Amerikkka (1989). Lloyd himself is working on Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006), which follows an army of undead chickens as they seek revenge on a fast food palace.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In November of 2007 at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Lloyd Kaufman, TromaDance Founder, and The Indy Co-op announced the creation of a new, expanded version of TromaDance taking place September 26-28 in Franklin Indiana. This announcement heralded the transformation of the TromaDance festival into a fully MidWest-based, immersive film experience that includes a larger screening schedule, panel discussions, and various hands-on workshops covering a variety of topics pertinent to today's emerging filmmaker.
The goal of Summer TromaDance is to provide filmmakers with the skills to create truly independent cinema."The B Movie Celebration is very excited by its association with TromaDance. TromaDance has been the incubator of so many great film artists. Independent film finds its highest expression on the screens of TromaDance. We are excited and grateful at the same time," says Tom Barker, co-founder of The B Movie Celebration.Franklin, Indiana, is the home to both Summer TromaDance and The B Movie Celebration this year. Franklin is not stranger to film, having at one time residents such as Robert Wise, director of The Sound Of Music, Majorie Main of Ma and Pa Kettle fame, and Max Terhune, B Movie Western star of the 30's 40's and 50's.
Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Studios and Founder of TromaDance says, "We at Troma are so honored that the B Movie Celebration is incorporating TromaDance into its big tent. This is a great way to celebrate TromaDance's 10th Anniversary as the ultimate people's film festival." Last year at The B Movie Celebration, Lloyd Kaufman was presented with its Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work in independent cinema.
Submit Your Films Now
You may send your film (along with the official entry form, available at
to the following address:
c/o The Indy Film Co-op
99 East Monroe Street
Franklin, Indiana 46131
TromaDance is the first film festival wholelheartedly devoted to filmmakers and fans. Unlike every other film festival, filmmakers do not pay to submit their films. Entrance to the screenings is free and open to the public. There are no VIP reservations or preferential treatment. TromaDance is a chance for everyone who has ever picked up a camera to have their work seen without compromises. TromaDance is very proud to be the first and the only film festival of the people, for the people, and by the people.www.tromadance.com
About Indy Film Co-op
The Indy Film Co-op, is a virtual independent film co-operative made up of 2200 global members. Begun three years ago, the Co-op has become a global center for film education, networking, and alliance building. The Indy Film Co-op is a sponsoring body for both Summer TromaDance and the very successful B Movie Celebration.www.indyfilmco-op.org