Troma Entertainment founder and fearless leader Lloyd Kaufman is a gentle, impish grandfather figure made even more diminutive when propped against a backdrop of Amazonian women donning various rubber outfits as well as a larger-than-life Toxic Avenger.
Instead of hard candy, however, this granddaddy is more likely to offer a severed finger or some bloody stool out of the pocket of his loudly patterned suit jacket. Don’t worry: That’s just his unassuming charisma as the patriarch of a cadre of greasy but lovable weirdos, including a fiftysomething fan who tarred himself in feathers and spent the night flapping his makeshift wings on the sidewalk for myriad TV cameras in preparation for the release of Poultreygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.
In honor of the release of Troma’s latest goofy and gory musical, Kaufman invited press and fans alike to the Library Bar on Avenue A last Wednesday night. It was a delightfully depraved oasis for those who rightfully bemoan the fact that the East Village has grown entirely too sanitized.
Plus, the man is always good for some off-the-cuff deadpan. "Yeah, Oliver Stone used to work for me," Kaufman said. "We went to Yale together. He used to write shitty novels and then he switched to movies and did ok with that."
Amidst rumors that Troma is in financial hot water (and seriously, what indie media company isn’t in a vulnerable position between the hostile economic climate and relentless consolidation of media outlets), it’s a small wonder that Poultrygeist, a tribute to Ingmar Bergman set against a geyser of diarrhea, still managed to see the light of day (see our profile of Kaufman last year during all the Grindhouse craziness).
Still, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to receive a respectful kiss on the cheek from a sweet Mel Brooks-type figure and then go home to watch a screener of a movie where Ron Jeremy’s speaking role is the most tasteful thing mentionable. But Kaufman’s got enough nuanced social commentary hidden under a Greek chorus of fart noises and dry humping to keep the Poindexters reeled in. Check out the trailer below (and a NSFW trailer here). Poultrygeist opens at Village East Cinema May 9 and there are still tickets available for the May 10 screening at which Kaufman will give his cleverly sadistic bon mots to those in attendance.