Troma Entertainment is an American independent film production and distribution company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974.[1] The company produces low-budget independent films, or "B movies", primarily of the horror comedy genre, all geared exclusively to mature audiences. Many of them play on 1950s horror with elements of farce, parody, gore, and splatter.[2]

Troma Inc.
Company typePrivate
Founded1974; 50 years ago (1974)
HeadquartersNew York, New York
Key people

Troma has produced, acquired, and distributed over 1,000 independent films since its creation.[3] Films produced and distributed by Troma include The Toxic Avenger (1984) and its sequels; Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) and its sequels; Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990); Tromeo and Juliet (1996); Terror Firmer (1999); and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006).

In 2012, the company officially released many of its films on YouTube.[4] However, their YouTube channel was eventually terminated for not meeting community standards.[5]

As of 2023, Troma's slogan is "50 years of Disrupting Media." Its slogan in 2014 was "40 years of Disrupting Media".[6] Before that, the slogan was "30 Years of Reel Independent Cinema". Another slogan the company has used is "Movies of the Future."[7] The company also has its own streaming service called Troma Now.[8]

Company information


Troma films are B-movies known for their surrealistic or automatistic nature, along with their use of shocking imagery; some would categorize them as "shock exploitation films". They typically contain overt sexuality, nudity, and intentionally sadistic, gory, and blatant graphic violence, so much so that Troma film has become a term synonymous with these characteristics.[citation needed]

Troma reuses the same props, actors, and scenes repeatedly, sometimes to save money. At a certain point, however, this became yet another hallmark of Troma. Examples include a severed leg, a penis monster, and the flipping and exploding car filmed for the movie Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., which is used in place of any other car that needs to crash and explode.[citation needed]

Troma has produced or acquired early films featuring several rising talents, before they were discovered, including:

The studio prides itself on its self-imposed "Rules of Production":

  1. Safety to humans
  2. Safety to property
  3. Make a good movie! (written in smaller font than the first two)[9]

Their latest production has been Shakespeare's Shitstorm (2020).[citation needed]



In the mid-1970s, Kaufman and Herz began producing, directing, and distributing raunchy sex comedies such as The First Turn-On! and Squeeze Play!. Troma provided production support for Louis Malle's My Dinner with Andre, for which Kaufman served as a production manager.[10][11][12]

In 1984, Troma had a hit with the violent comedy horror superhero film The Toxic Avenger. The film went on to become Troma's most popular, spawning sequels and an animated 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 ended. The Toxic Avenger character is now Troma's official mascot.

Kaufman's follow-up film to The Toxic Avenger was Class of Nuke 'Em High, co-directed with Richard W. Haines. The film was 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 release for Troma.

The Toxic Avenger was turned into a musical which debuted at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and opened in New York in the fall of 2008. The Toxic Avenger Musical book by Joe DiPietro, the author of the long-running I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and All Shook Up, was released the same year. The music is by David Bryan, keyboardist of the rock band Bon Jovi.[13]

Soon after Class of Nuke 'Em High was completed and distributed, Kaufman directed Troma's War. Intended as a criticism of what it saw as Ronald Reagan's attempt to glamorize war, the story concerns a group of everyday people who crash land on a remote island, only to find it populated by an isolationist militia that intends to overthrow the US government. Troma's War was a box office bomb. In the aftermath of the film's poor performance, despite another stab at the superhero genre with Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Troma experienced financial hardship and tried to reestablish itself as a smaller company mostly out of necessity.

Work since 1995


From 1995 to 2000, Troma had a period of creativity and produced some of their greatest work. Kaufman directed three independent films, all distributed in limited theatrical releases: Tromeo and Juliet, a loose parody of Shakespeare's play; Terror Firmer, a slasher film loosely based on Kaufman's book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from The Toxic Avenger, and an independent film sequel to 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.[14] India Allen, one of the producers, backed out of the film halfway through, and sued Troma, citing breach of contract, slander, sexual harassment, trade slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Kaufman 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 2004.

Currently, Troma produces and acquires independent films, despite financial hardships and limitations. Troma Films has distributed many films from third parties including Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical. Lloyd encourages independent filmmaking, making cameo appearances in many low-budget horror films, occasionally without fee. Among his more recent appearances is in former collaborator James Gunn's directing debut, Slither, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Kaufman's long-time editor Gabriel Friedman co-directed and wrote the screenplay to his follow-up film, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, a musical zom-com which made its official New York premiere on May 9, 2008 (although the film had previewed numerous times on single screens for over a year). The film opened to positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times[15] and was released in 2006 in theaters and in 2008 on DVD.[16]

During the winter of 2010/2011, Troma produced a feature-length film Father's Day, which Kaufman calls "a response film to Mother's Day".[17] The film was written and directed by the Canadian filmmaking team Astron-6, debuting October 21, 2011, at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival where it took home the top prize of BEST FILM, as well as five other awards.[18] In 2012 Father's Day was featured on the cover of Rue Morgue magazine[19] and won Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Male Performance, and Best Special Effects at The Fantastic Planet/A Night of Horror International film festival.[20] This is rare for a film that cost only ten thousand dollars to make.[21] On October 31, 2012, Father's Day was refused classification in Australia, which makes it effectively illegal to sell or exhibit the film.[22] A second censored version was eventually passed with an R18+ rating.[23]

In August 2012, Troma released over 100 of its back catalog films on YouTube, many for free, some for 48-hour paid viewing.[24] However, their YouTube channel was terminated in 2020 and 2023 for not meeting community standards, but has since been reinstated. [25]



On April 7, 2010, Kaufman confirmed that a PG-13 remake of The Toxic Avenger had been greenlit and was to be produced by Akiva Goldsman. It actually has not been the first attempt at a general audience-friendly version of the franchise, as Make Your Own Damn Movie identified a previous deal with New Line in the early 1990s for a live-action take on the Toxic Crusaders.[citation needed]

Another 1980s Troma classic, Mother's Day (1980), was also to receive a remake, expected to be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and produced by Brett Ratner. At the time, Kaufman also said that he was negotiating a deal for a remake of Class of Nuke 'Em High. Shortly thereafter, Troma and Starz Entertainment entered into an agreement for the production of Return to Nuke Em High as a two-volume title. The first volume was released in theaters and on home video.[26] The second volume, delayed due to funding issues, was stated on its Kickstarter website in January 2017 to be nearing completion.[27]

Troma Now


In 2015, Troma launched a streaming service called Troma Now, which offers many of the films distributed by Troma to subscribers.[8] The service offers subscribers a free trial month, after which they need to pay a monthly fee of US$4.99.[28]

Other work

Protesters outside the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, demanding an award for Troma



Troma holds an annual Tromadance Festival,[29] originally taking place in Park City, Utah[30] at the same time as the Sundance Festival to accentuate their true independence from the mainstream. The festival screens submitted movies from independent filmmakers from around the world, the best of which are usually released on DVD by Troma or compiled in the Best of Tromadance series. In parallel, Troma acts as adviser to aspiring filmmakers with Kaufman teaching classes, contributing cameos and often releasing the finished films on DVD.

2009 marked the last time Tromadance was held in Utah; the festival was subsequently relocated to Asbury Park, New Jersey.[30] In 2014, the festival moved to New York City, and since 2020 has been held at The Mahoning Drive-In Theater.[30]

Lloyd Kaufman, Toxie, and Sara at Troma-Thon ‘22

Kaufman's books


Kaufman has also had some success with several non-fiction books and a novelization of The Toxic Avenger. Released in 1998, All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from The Toxic Avenger is an autobiography of sorts co-written with James Gunn. This book chronicles the history of the company, its films, and its iconic figurehead. Kaufman continued to draw on his experiences as Troma chief in the "how-to" filmmaking books Make Your Own Damn Movie!, Direct Your Own Damn Movie!, Produce Your Own Damn Movie! and Sell Your Own Damn Movie!. A DVD box set has been released to coincide with release of each of the first three books. In the video series, Kaufman interviews famous and infamous filmmakers about various filmmaking subjects.

In 2006, a novelization of The Toxic Avenger was released. It was co-written by Kaufman and long-time Troma employee Adam Jahnke.[31]

Films distributed


Also see List of Troma Team Video titles for a complete list of films distributed by Troma Entertainment. Below is a list of some Troma distributed films.

Films formerly distributed


Some titles which have at one time, or another, been distributed by Troma Inc. have left the catalog. For instance, My Neighbor Totoro was originally released by Troma's subsidiary 50th Street Films, but only for a short time, and only for U.S. theatrical release. Others were briefly licensed for distribution on VHS such as Femme Fontaine Killer Babe for the C.I.A. which was one of Troma Team Video's original launch titles along with Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. and Class of Nuke 'em High Part III: The Good, The Bad and The Subhumanoid. Some titles, such as Maniac Nurses Find Ecstasy, are included on this list because they were previously listed but no longer appear in Troma's catalog.[32]



Troma has also created/acquired specialty distributors for its films.

  • 50th Street Films: distributes independent films aimed at a mainstream audience; distributed My Neighbor Totoro in theaters
  • TromaDance: distributes films from Troma's film festival
  • Roan films
    • Roan Archival Group Entertainment: distributes digitally remastered releases of classic films
  • EG Sports: distributes golf instructional films by Michael Jacobs



Most of the films made by Troma Entertainment take place in the fictional New Jersey city of Tromaville, known as the "Toxic Chemical Capital of the World." Examples include the Toxic Avenger films and the Class of Nuke 'Em High films. Another film worth mentioning takes place in a post-apocalyptic Tromaville titled A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell. The following is a list of films that either take place in, or mention, Tromaville.


  1. ^ "Horror Showman". New York. November 27, 2000. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  2. ^ "TROMA". The Daily Horror; Horror Film Splatter Gore News DVD Bluray Reviews.
  3. ^ "Films". 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Troma Celebrates Upcoming 40th Anniversary by Giving Fans Free Movies on Troma YouTube Channel". December 6, 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  5. ^ Accomando, Beth (August 22, 2020). "Cinema Junkie Podcast 201: Troma Entertainment 'Disrupting Media For 45 Years'". Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Robin, Miranda (April 7, 2016). "FILM: First-Person Review: B.C. Butcher". Topanga Messenger. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "Kung Fu Necktie". Troma Entertainment. 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Braley, Walt (March 14, 2020). "Troma Now: 10 Hidden Gems You Can Watch Right Now On The Genre Streaming Service". Screen Rant. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Sass, Jeffrey (2018-07-01). "Chapter 18: Playing By The Rules". Everything I Know About Business and Marketing. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Lloyd; Jahnke, Adam; Haaga, Trent (2003). Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director. L.A. Weekly Books. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-312-28864-8. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  11. ^ Rausch, Andrew J. (2008). Dequina, Michael (ed.). Fifty Filmmakers: Conversations With Directors from Roger Avary to Steven Zaillian. McFarland. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-7864-3149-6. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  12. ^ "Kings of the B's". Spin. 3 (6): 70. September 1987. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  13. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (2009-12-06). "Toxic Avenger found his bard in Bon Jovi". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  14. ^ "The Art of Ploys: Four Terrific Troma Documentaries, PopMatters". 8 October 2007.
  15. ^ Lee, Nathan (2008-05-09). "Going for the Finger-Licking Gusto". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  16. ^ "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead". Entertainment Weekly. May 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  17. ^ "Lloyd Kaufman on Father's Day movie! (part one)". YouTube. 2010-08-06. Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  18. ^ "Award Winners 2011". Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  19. ^ Rue Morgue March 2012 cover (JPG).
  20. ^ "Fantastic Planet/A Night Of Horror - Award Winners 2012". Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  21. ^ "Father's Day". 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  22. ^ Quinn, Karl (November 2, 2012). "'Dad rape, maple syrup and friendship' movie banned". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  23. ^ "Film Censorship: Father's Day (2011)". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
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  25. ^ Accomando, Beth (August 22, 2020). "Cinema Junkie Podcast 201: Troma Entertainment 'Disrupting Media For 45 Years'". Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  26. ^ Raffel, Lawrence P. (2010-04-07). "He Finally Hit Puberty! 'The Toxic Avenger' Remake Confirmed". Horror Entertainment, LLC. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  27. ^ "Update from Tromaville! We're nearly there!". Troma Entertainment. 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  28. ^ Winfrey, Graham (2016-07-29). "Troma Lives! Inside the Wacky, Repulsive and Weirdly Meaningful World of a B-Movie Legend". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  29. ^ Abrams, Simon (2021-07-09). "The Schlock-Horror Drive-In That Rose From the Grave". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  30. ^ a b c Biese, Alex. "TromaDance is Brooklyn-bound". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  31. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Toxic Avenger: The Novel by Lloyd Kaufman, Author, Adam Jahnke, Author . Thunder's Mouth Press $13.95 (273p) ISBN 978-1-56025-870-4". April 2006. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  32. ^ "Films".
  33. ^ Kaufman, Lloyd; Gunn, James (2008). All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger. Berkley Boulevard Books. ISBN 978-0-425-16357-3.