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WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




Franchescanado posted:

I'm not going to defend Troma's sense of humor, because audiences and comedy evolves and things don't age well, and everyone's sense of humor is a unique amalgamation of tastes, and you have a right to be offended by what offends you. I will provide a context in that most Kaufman-helmed projects is that's kinda the point. They are outrageously offensive and vulgar on purpose. Troma's sense of humor isn't punching down, cuz they are a dirt-poor indie company, they are in the gutter. So I think of them as the drunk trying to fight and swinging fists wildly in all directions. There isn't any hatred in Troma's jokes, usually the jokes being lobbed are so stupid and tongue-in-cheek, they aren't to be taken seriously. I think the most hateful joke I've seen in a Troma film is directed at Spielberg and JAWS. They are angry at status quos, not individual weirdos. The rest are misfits making fun of other misfits.

Yeah whenever Troma and itís uh lack of tact comes up I canít help but go back to this point- some gags are dumb, some are tasteless, many are unfunny, but none are serious. I donít want to watch many Troma films and I dislike most of them but I am grateful they exist because who am I to tell Kaufman what is on or off the table? Their entire existence is low budget DIY punk trash, they donít just dip into that every once and a while to maintain their anti-establishment status, they exist entirely in the bottom of the barrel and they simply are incapable of punching down in a meaningful way.

WeaponX fucked around with this message at 16:38 on Apr 2, 2021

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Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Thatís a very good take on Troma, Fran.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Week 14 Bracketology Streams!
Only on the CineD Discord

All times are in EST and may not reflect reality.

Saturday, April 3rd



1900 Mama
2050 Spirited Away

Monday, April 5th



1900 Cursed
2045 Return to... Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2

Content Warnings

Mama (2012)
Contains strong supernatural threat and brief strong violence

Spirited Away (2001)
Mild threat, scary scenes

Cursed (2004)
Contains strong bloody violence and horror

Return to... Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2 (2017)
Contains strong gory horror and sexualised nudity

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I simply canít not vote for Troma.

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

The Corridor of Uncertainty



I'm in the mood to be mildly threatened

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Tarnop posted:

I'm in the mood to be mildly threatened

I need to drop $30 to bring the lipbite emote over here

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

So I just realized that we are watching Return To Return To Class of Nuke 'em High Vol. 2, and not Class of Nuke 'Em High 2.

Confusing naming scheme, but for clarity, just in case, the series goes:

Class of Nuke 'Em High
Class of Nuke 'Em High 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown
Class of Nuke 'Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid
Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1
Return to Return to Nuke 'Em High AKA Volume 2

I almost made that mistake, and I wonder if anyone else did as well.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Subhumanoid Meltdown also isn't a Lloyd Kaufman film, and it stinks, but it does have kaiju squirrels so that's worth checking out at least.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



STAC Goat posted:

Sequel Alert: Kaufmanís Nuke ĎEm High is the FIFTH Nuke ĎEm High. This is kinda why I floated that ďreset to the first oneĒ rule. So yeahÖ I guess Iím gonna binge five Troma films across 4 decades in a day or two. That should beÖ fun? Join me? Maybe this matchup could be the Monday stream, Deb? Buy some time?

Class of Nuke íEm High is on Youtube.
Class of Nuke íEm High 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown is on Amazon Prime in the US.
Class of Nuke íEm High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid is on Amazon Prime in the US.
Return to Nuke íEm High Volume 1

Return toÖ Return to Nuke íEm High AKA Vol. 2



It was NOT fun.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



7. (Debbie Does Dagonís Family Friendly) Hayao Miyazakiís Spirited Away vs. 10. (Kangraís Team Sister Act) Andy Muschiettiís Mama

I couldnít connect with Spirited Away. The animation as better and more engaging than Perfect Blue but the story felt looser. The front part is so loaded with weird fantasy imagery and strangeness that its kind of overwhelming and nothing has time to stick and make a real impression. Others argued that was intentional to mirror the girlís perception and that makes sense, but it still left me in a weird place. Then the second act feels like it meanders about, forgetting about the key dilemma and getting roped into random adventure after random adventure. Again, people are argued this was intentional both as the girl losing her memory of herself and her parents and the malaise of working and stuff. And yeah, that makes sense to me intellectually. But I didnít feel it. I ended up spending the middle parts of the movie working out and cooking just to avoid dozing off or disengaging entirely. By the time the finale came I just wasnít there emotionally and while I broadly understand the appeal it just didnít work for me.

Mama does work for me. Its flawed for sure, especially in the overshowing of Mama herself where the CGI shifts from creepy to uncanny valley. That didnít bother me too much because I kind of buy into the Guillermo del Toro of it all. The film starts with ďOnce upon a timeĒ and to that extent it feels like a modern fairy tale like GdTís films. Not as good, mind you. I donít dislike Andres Muschietti as some do but heís definitely got flaws and I think coming into success so late (heís drat near 50) means he hasnít had the chance to identify and wrinkle out his excesses. But despite some of those hurting Mama it holds together pretty well for me in large part to Jessica Chastain and the young girls. Ultimately its the story of a woman who ants to b anything but a mother and kids who know only a very distorted idea of a mother falling in love and being willing to fight for each other. That worked for me and carries the emotion of the film. Its also a very sad film from start to finish, but not the brutal nihilistic sadness we seem to get a lot of in here but a much more sentimental and emotional one to me. I get why the flaws are too much for some. Theyíre big enough for that to be hard to argue against. But the film is worth more than the sum of its parts to me.

So I know Iím gonna be in the minority. I might even be the only one keeping this from being a shutout. But Iím voting Mama.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Godspeed Stac

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Cursed A very bland and inoffensive mid 2000s horror movie with no real lows and only one real high point (you know it when you see it). I love Christina Ricci like everyone my age, and I enjoyed seeing her in this. The CGI is passable. Itís a movie I guess? Big shrug from me overall.

Class of Nukem High V2 or whatever. Laaaame. Tries so hard to be offensive, but itís not even punching down properly, itís just flailing in all directions, randomly hitting or missing things, eliciting no reaction whatsoever. Can you write a funny joke by accident if you just throw enough attempts in your movie? Turns out you canít. Shame really, thereís obvious energy in this, some sort of love even. If they used that more sparingly in another, more down to earth movie, it could work. Here I checked out 5 minutes in. I guess the stream is still going? Oof.

I was thinking how unlucky Wes Craven was to pick his stinker, risking another first round knockout, but turns out heís actually extremely lucky to not have wasted anything else against this.
Cursed, easily

married but discreet fucked around with this message at 13:40 on Apr 6, 2021

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Lloyd Kaufman got a really rough draw. Had we invoked the franchise rule and done the first Nuke Ďem High I think itíd have been a different story.

Still voting Lloyd.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



After deep diving into Lloyd Kaufman this weekend I would like to retroactively apologize to Herschel Gordon Lewis, Jean Rollin, Charles Band, and anyone else I may have gone to extremes over in this tournament. I had no idea how bad it could get.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



2. Wes Cravenís Cursed vs. 15. Lloyd Kaufmanís Return toÖ Return to Nuke íEm High AKA Vol. 2

Cursed is a deeply flawed film but for something that as repeatedly rewritten, reshot, and reedited its actually surprisingly decent. Its mediocre as hell and aged badly in some ways like the homophobic bully and the just very early 2000s feel of it all or the bad CGI werewolves. But its an ok watch that has a few moments. Thereís probably a million ways it could be better and considering it started as an entirely different film and Wes Craven hated and didnít understand how it became the film the Weinsteinís made it, its less of a mess than youíd expect from that. I dunno. Its not good, but its not terrible.

Nuke Em High 5 is terrible. Its just poorly written, poorly executed, and poorly conceived. Its bad jokes and dated references piled on top of racism and anti semitism and transphobia and fart noises. Lloyd Kaufman feels like the trolling, lecherous, ironically racist grandfather of the internet or something and maybe to that end he deserves the vote. I dunno. I have a lot more to say but I promised not to meltdown this week and I feel like Iíve already betrayed that. But man, I hated this film in just about any way I could hate a film.

So yeah, Iím voting for Cursed.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I really don't like Cursed. For one, I feel mildly insulted when I watch it because it's such a blatant attempt to fit the opener of Scream into the werewolf story. They put Shannon Elizabeth on the cover just like they did with Drew Barrymore, and it just feels Craven/Williamson really didn't care to make something fresh and new, it was all about making "Scream, but with werewolves". Now, I can forgive all that if you actually give me some top notch werewolf action but the movie was made in 2005 so.....nope. If not for Christina Ricci I wouldn't be able to think of a single positive thing to note about Cursed, and yet.....

Return to Return to Nukem High AKA Vol. 2 is just offensively bad. And when I say "offensively", I don't mean I was offended by the jokes, because I wasn't. I was offended by the expectation that I would find the jokes funny. There's maybe 2 chuckles in the whole movie, the rest of it is just desperate flailing for any sort of body humor or sex joke imaginable and they all fall completely flat. Add to that the total lack of any sort of coherent story/plot and this was just a slog to get through, only the community spirit in the stream allowed me to complete it. Lloyd Kaufman clearly thinks of himself as a comedic actor and he's just not. At all.

So I have no hesitation voting for Wes here. Cursed is Wes on one of his worst days but even on that day he's a thousand times more competent than Kaufman showed in Return to Returnto Nukem High.

I haven't watched Spirited Away yet because I really want to sit down and give that my full attention. Probably looking at tonight or tomorrow for that one.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Spirited Away vs Mama
Spirited Away is a really beautiful film that I love very much. Mama did not do much for me, a lot of jump scares and bad CGI, I had difficulty getting invested in the relationships between the characters. Mama looks like the woman from the painting in It and is shown far too much. This is an extremely easy vote for Spirited Away.

Cursed vs Return to Return to Nuke Em High
This is more complicated. I'm not a big Troma fan, gross-out goopy stuff that is this cartoonish doesn't really do it for me. I do have some appreciation for the punk middle finger attitude of Troma as Fran and others have commented on here/in discord, but there is some stuff in Nuke that is obviously indefensible. I did however laugh like an idiot any time two characters' heads touched and it made the *BONK* snapchat filter sound, because I am an idiot. Nuke also held my attention more than Cursed, which I will generously compare to a lovely episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also really hate the "bully calls someone gay all the time because he's gay!" trope. Actually, the first episode of BTVS with a werewolf had that same trope iirc... and Cursed uses the Sunnydale high school... weird. Anyway, the werewolf middle finger was a fun moment. I guess I am torn, because I don't really want to vote for a movie full of slurs (intentionally pushing my buttons or not), but I also don't want to vote for Cursed because it sucked. I'll probably abstain unless I'm swayed one way or another by a post itt

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Spirited Away vs. Mama is such a foregone conclusion for me, it isn't easy to know what to say. On the one hand, we have a deeply unremarkable film in Mama that attempts to keep the audience awake with loud noises and jump scares, and that's not to denigrate those techniques, if they work for you, fine. I, on the other hand, found myself pulled out of the film by their heavy repetition. It was also disappointing how much the camera lingered on the ropey CGI, allowing the audience to soak in every flaw and clunky, silly choice. The truly disappointing thing though, is that I actually enjoyed the premise. I love the idea of following feral children and their Blair-witch babysitter. If the whole film focused on building up their relationship a little more, perhaps it would be more interesting, but it seems distracted by the frankly less interesting parental figures. Spirited Away, on the other hand, has bathing ducks. I rest my case.



Unfortunately, I'm going to have to be an awful person in the meeting of Cursed vs. Nuke Em High Vol. 2 and vote down subgenre lines, and give my nod to goopy trash over a passable, televisual, extraordinarily safe exploration of Lycanthropy. I've come before you multiple times in this thread talking about how problematic certain films and practices are, so it might be surprising that I'm giving Troma such a pass. Still, I honestly believe the things Fran and others pointed out about the punk desire to disrupt preconceived notions of good taste in order to start again, and as horribly offensive as this film is, it's tremendously fun to me. I actually really enjoyed what they produced here, in sort of a turn-your-brain-off and enjoy the ride, kind of way. If you can go from a Carrie reference, directly into showering your cast members with blood, slime, and goop, you'll have my heart for 90 minutes.

One interesting comparison between the films is that they were both troubled shoots. On the one side, Cursed was effectively shot four times, as various producers fiddled to craft some compromised vision. On the other hand, Nuke 'Em Vol 2 ran out of funding several times and relied on Kickstarter backing to help it limp across the finish line. This really is the dividing line between both visions and is emblematic of what I personally prefer to see in film. I don't want polished, safe, compromised visions. I don't want to be coddled through a predictable storyline and deposited safely at the finishing line in a way testing audiences have approved of. I want filmmakers to tell their truth, show their passion, and demonstrate their love on screen, even if, and especially if there is no money in the prospect. Give me fiery weirdos setting their CVs on fire over a studio investment opportunity any day of the week.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



The thing about Troma is that even when they're pushing your buttons, it's rarely mean spirited. It's closer to John Waters in that sense that it's knowingly embracing this heightened, camp absurdity in the service of a morally debauched good time. I think for as much as this is a tournament of films on films, we need to consider Lloyd Kaufman as an immensely talent and intelligent director.

Lloyd Kaufman graduated from Yale in 1968 (strangely the same class as Oliver Stone and George W. Bush) and spent some time in the Peace Corps before coming back to the U.S. to make films. After some independent ventures, including his independent directorial debut The Girl Who Returned, his first real break came when he met John G. Avildsen while work at Cannon Films (prior to it being purchased by Golan and Globus and becoming the studio we remember today). They worked together on Avildsen's film Joe and ultimately Kaufman would play a pivotal role on the crew for Rocky, including iirc some second unit direction while filming in Philadelphia. Rocky was in fact edited on Troma's equipment.

Troma is founded in the middle, after Kaufman meets Michael Herz in 1974. They largely produce sexploitation comedies and purchased some horror flicks (Bloodsucking Freaks among the most infamous), but occasionally dip into the high brow as well, notably providing production services for My Dinner with Andre. In 1985, Troma as we know it is born with The Toxic Avenger, written and directed by Kaufman and by far the Troma movie everybody should see. It's gory, goopy, stupid and brilliant, a sendup of Reagan's America and toxic waste and filled with fart jokes. It's hard to argue that The Toxic Avenger isn't a well made film, doing everything it intends to do. Troma is ambitious, it's energetic, it's in love with the immaturity of it all but Kaufman's work in particular displays the truth about intelligent people having lowbrow senses of humor. Everything in Kaufman's work since: Class of Nuke'Em High, Troma's War, Terror Firmer, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, all showcase this mixture of shock comedy and that aforementioned Punk gently caress You attitude.

Troma is of course also where James Gunn got his start and it's there that he did the greatest film he ever has and ever will do, as the screenwriter for the Kaufman-directed Tromeo and Juliet. A retelling of Shakespeare that blends the original text with Tromaville tropes and absurdities like giant penis monsters and Lemmy from Motorhead showing up as the narrator. It also contains the all time greatest line reading of "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" in history.

In a sense, I think Lloyd Kaufman deserves more than to be written off as a dirty old man or as some generic troll. Troma raises crassness to a fine tuned artform and his films have a certain glee and silliness that more mean-spirited directors can never capture.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

The more I think about it, the more likely I'm going to vote for Kaufman after all, on principle. The movie doesn't work for me but yes, the love is there, and I can't really hate that.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Man, if Kaufman survives and we get Terror Firmer as a round pick, that is gonna be a wild discussion.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



This is my "Burkion when Honda drew Half-Human"

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





If it was Tromeo and Juliet I'd have voted for it. This nuke em high was barely a movie, even if made with a lot of love. I wasn't offended by much in the movie, but I found huge chunks just as boring as chunks of Cursed, just more vulgar.

Cursed had a cast I loved and made me laugh more than nuke em.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I'm kinda bummed that we're making excuses for bigoted jokes and stuff and also doing the "eh, vote for the director" excuse when both these subjects took out directors in the past weeks the other way.

If Kaufman advances I ri... well I probably just avoid him like I do FYAD or reddit or 4chan or whatever. I might need a break.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Apr 6, 2021

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I think the difference for some people is that in Scout's Guide for example, we're supposed to be rooting for the guy who gropes the zombie woman. He's one of our hero characters and it's not even acknowledged that he did something gross and bad. Whereas in a Troma movie, it's clear from the jump that every character is a bad person and it's all a big joke, and you're just sort of rolling around in the mud with the rest of the scumbags. I think some people participating give more weight to their perceived intention behind the tasteless thing vs. just evaluating the tasteless thing on its face, maybe.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

For me the discussion of whether the jokes were offensive didn't even really need to start because there's no story and the movie is just incoherent nonsense. I couldn't even engage with it enough to be offended.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





STAC Goat posted:

I'm kinda bummed that we're making excuses for bigoted jokes and stuff and also doing the "eh, vote for the director" excuse when both these subjects took out directors in the past weeks the other way.

If Kaufman advances I ri... well I probably just avoid him like I do FYAD or reddit or 4chan or whatever. I might need a break.

I'd certainly prefer to keep you around than Kaufman.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I just firmly disagree with characterizing Kaufman as an edgelord. Because an edgelord's intent is filled with cynicism and meant to make the target feel bad and outraged. Troma is very deliberately over-exaggerated and campy that recontextualizes everything into this blown out world where everyone is just kinda mean and evil and inevitably their face is going to melt off. It's all tongue-in-cheek and self aware whereas an internet troll is entirely bad faith.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

TrixRabbi posted:

I just firmly disagree with characterizing Kaufman as an edgelord. Because an edgelord's intent is filled with cynicism and meant to make the target feel bad and outraged. Troma is very deliberately over-exaggerated and campy that recontextualizes everything into this blown out world where everyone is just kinda mean and evil and inevitably their face is going to melt off. It's all tongue-in-cheek and self aware whereas an internet troll is entirely bad faith.

Yeah, this is an important distinction. And also, Kaufman's not being offensive to rub your face in filth. He's rolling around in the filth and inviting you to join. He's in on the joke, your invited to be in on the joke, and it's a safe space to wallow in it.

The John Waters comparison is apt, except Kaufman never got a chance to try and fit into a Hollywood mold. Nor would he, since a huge theme in his movies is film as a form an anarchist art.

Something I thought of from an earlier Trix post about Kaufman going to Yale and smart guys having the lowest sense of humor: there's a universality to filth. Like, a joke about a person making GBS threads isn't complex, but a joke about a person making GBS threads is universal, cuz we all poo poo and piss and fart and vomit.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



"Romeo, oh Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" *faaaarrrttt*

edit: Also, again if Kaufman loses on this film it's because it is a bad film. Then again, same can be said for Wes. As has been pointed out, neither film had a smooth production process and they flailed their way to release so neither director is coming into this matchup showing their best self. If Kaufman does move on, I hope 1) He gets something a little more representative of his talents and 2) STAC Goat gives it another chance. As is, we're talking about a sequel to a sequel made 30 years after the original that had to halt production multiple times as they waited for Kickstarter money to come through.

TrixRabbi fucked around with this message at 21:18 on Apr 6, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I did a lot of deep dive on Kaufman the last 5 days. I watched 5 Troma films through 4 decades. I read interviews and blogs and watched interviews. I gave a lot of consideration to the defenses people made and wanted to give Kaufman a chance. I watched Toxic Avenger months ago and my takeaway was "there's offensive stuff in here but most of it comes from the bad guys so I'll try and give him the benefit of the doubt." But the deeper I dove the more I felt justified that Kaufman's primary motivation is to troll and offend people and that he and Troma are part of the hole "free speech/political correctness/safe space/sjw/cancel culture" world.

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong if just because I love you all and have given Kaufman so much consideration because I respect your opinions and feelings. But I just have a hard time getting there. Maybe 40 or 50 years Kaufman was in a more sympathetic place but I don't think he's evolved with the world.

I dunno. This is the effort review I wrote for Letterboxd, which was really less a review of the film and more a thesis statement on my weekend of deep dive. I wouldn't normally post it but like, it gets to my thoughts and has stuff like his on words to really speak to my problems. And many of my problems with Kaufman were formed before this film when Part 1 gave me a literal list of offenses.

quote:

mass shooting jokes, rape jokes, ableism, the fat jokes, racism, rape joke, suicide jokes, cutting jokes, transphobia, nazi jokes, homophobia, slurs, and general "political correctness" of it all.

quote:

"Pissing people off, I discovered, is one of the few satisfying things on this forsaken planet"

That's how Lloyd Kaufman describes his motivation and I think it sums it up. Earlier in the week before I had watched any of the Nuke Em High films I described Lloyd as a "proto edgelord" to the Spook-a-Doodle Movie Club and got some push back. The opinion was he wasn't an edgelord because "he punches up as well as down." But I think its become very clear to me that while its clear that Kaufman is an environmentalist and anti-capitalist he's also someone who believes that "safe spaces" and "triggers" are signs of weakness and that "political correctness" is destroying society. He's an octogenarian so its "political correctness" and not "cancel culture" or "sjws" but its all the same thing. Lloyd Kaufman believes there's merit in pissing people off. Its what motivates him. And there's no limit to which he feels he should be held to do so. Even throwing burning crosses up on people's lawns as a gag.

"we had to deal with the townsfolk of Poughkeepsie, who were given an edited script, which neglected the scene featuring a black man tied to the back of a car by white supremacists and dragged over the rocks until he was ripped limb from limb. Honest mistake, but they were really getting angry, so we had to shoot it quickly and get out. The fact that we erected a midnight Ku Klux Klan cross burning on the Poughkeepsie town square also did not endear us to the city fathers, especially since we 'forgot'Ě to inform them in advance. So around one in the morning, the good townsfolk awoke to see something they believed to be real and frightening, and they were pissed."

Am I saying Lloyd Kaufman is a racist or transphobe? No. Oddly despite this film being made by a Jewish man it adds anti-semitic jokes to the list of offenses from Part 1. And to Kaufman's defenders that's probably the best argument for the idea that he's punching every which way and doesn't mean what he says. And I'm perfectly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But he's also made it clear he just likes saying offensive stuff to piss people off. So does that kid yelling slurs online or that comic just trying to punch down for attention or maybe even that reality tv star calling the president a Muslim and terrorist to score points with the right crowd. I don't consider that an excuse for terrible behavior nor a worthwhile cause. And Kaufman clearly has politics in his films so he understands the value of them. So maybe making really vile Kaitlyn Jenner jokes or having a Jewish character spit out gold is problematic.

And this film even bizarrely gives us a no bullshit peek behind the curtains with a 4th wall breaking segment as Kaufman's wife allegedly tries to curb some of Lloyd's more vulgar scenes. And of course we see it all because that's the joke, right? But also we get Lloyd's "who cares about the first amendment?" nonsense spelled out by the man too.

Why am I making a review about this film so much more? Partly its because this film is dog poo poo and composed of nothing but leftover footage from Part 1 and remade scenes from the old films. There's nothing really to talk about in this film because there's nothing original or creative to it. In an interview one of Kaufman's proudest parts of this film is the inclusion of a "prince albert". Its never happened in one of his films! One more thing Lloyd find funny because its outside the norms off the list. And that seems like all this really is.

And that's kind of the other reason I'm rambling like this. I watched all 5 Nuke Em High films in 4 days so this feels like a thesis statement and conclusion for me. And the lasting impression from these films isn't story or character or mountains of goop and questionable affects. Its not even the loose environmental or anti-corporate themes that felt kind of important when this started but increasingly less with each sequel. Its about Lloyd's Kaufman lifelong goal of assembling a "freak show" and saying the things he's not supposed to say. And that's boring from a 20 something who should have grown out of it by now. Its sad from a 70 something running kickstarters to make this film happen.

Also its entirely possible this is the last thing Stan Lee every filmed and/or the last time Iíll ever see new footage from him. And that makes me very sad.

Like I don't know how to take "Pissing people off, I discovered, is one of the few satisfying things on this forsaken planet" in any way but "an edgelord's intent is filled with cynicism and meant to make the target feel bad and outraged."

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 21:37 on Apr 6, 2021

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




This comes up constantly but contextualizing the albeit tasteless world of Troma that has 100s of films and 40+ years of material that support its status as pure-camp with nearly zero malice is not some sort of defense of bigotry or the quality of those films. Troma, like it or not, has given a platform for many marginalized or ignored artists long before mainstream film companies were willing to and they have the history to prove it- thatís important context, not an excuse, when discussing its brand of offensive humor.

Comparing Troma to something like 4chan, which has actually resulted in real life violence and horrible, horrible poo poo is a bad faith argument. And again, I think Troma movies are poo poo!

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I think Troma's influence and legacy is indisputable. And I'm sure 100% of it isn't all what I'd call bad but then again like... James Gunn as making pedophilia jokes and stuff when he was writing for Troma and has apologized for it and called it wrong and not funny.

But I dunno. This is Lloyd Kaufman to me at the moment. And it doesn't feel like the guy you all see.

https://www.villagevoice.com/2012/07/04/lloyd-kaufman-the-toxic-director/

quote:

The black-and-white dark comedy that changed his life was Ernst Lubitschís To Be or Not to Be (1942), a Carole Lombard and Jack Benny tag team about a Polish acting troupe duping occupying Nazis. Lloydís epiphany, as recounted in his pseudo-memoir All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger: ďI didnít want to help the hobos and the people with hooks for hands; I wanted to film them.Ē

So began the process. A sophomore-year Peace Corps trip to Chad culminated in a 16mm-Bolex short of the locals slaughtering a pig with a machete. Back at home, the footage incensed his peers, which Kaufman found thrilling. ďPissing people off, I discovered, is one of the few satisfying things on this forsaken planet,Ē

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 21:54 on Apr 6, 2021

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




STAC Goat posted:

Like I don't know how to take "Pissing people off, I discovered, is one of the few satisfying things on this forsaken planet" in any way but "an edgelord's intent is filled with cynicism and meant to make the target feel bad and outraged."

You are missing the part where that quote comes in the context of pissing off his Yale classmates. The ďpeopleĒ in that quote are those with incredible privilege and power and I think Kaufman gets off on making those people squirm. Making them feel hypocritical or forcing them to look at things they ignore. He is not saint, I just donít think edgelord is fair- especially with how dangerous those people are today.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



But who's he pissing off making transphobic and racist jokes? I'm just having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. Its one thing to justify trolling bad people, but when you're punching down how does that match if not that he just likes pissing off whoever he can?


edit: I'm truly sorry for all this. Obviously I'm the sole voice of disagreement. I understand you all have decades of love for Troma and I don't want to attack that. I don't want to be an rear end in a top hat. I should have never done the Nuke Em High marathon. It put me in a really bad place and really hardened my views of Kaufman. And that's on me and I'm sorry for putting you all through it too.

But as always thank you, spook-a-doodle crew, for being understanding of my feelings and hearing me out without it getting ugly. I apologize if I in any way made something feel like an attack or made this worse than it had to be. I appreciate you all and even if I need to take a step back to not drag this out I'll be here Friday with a new matchup.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 22:10 on Apr 6, 2021

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Honestly, none of this is personal against you and I hope you're not reading it that way. We're just talkin' about horror movies here. I'm championing Kaufman because I find him more interesting and would like to see more of him here, but that's kinda the point of the tournament is to debate the merits of the matchups.

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




STAC Goat posted:

But who's he pissing off making transphobic and racist jokes? I'm just having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. Its one thing to justify trolling bad people, but when you're punching down how does that match if not that he just likes pissing off whoever he can?


edit: I'm truly sorry for all this. Obviously I'm the sole voice of disagreement. I understand you all have decades of love for Troma and I don't want to attack that. I don't want to be an rear end in a top hat. I should have never done the Nuke Em High marathon. It put me in a really bad place and really hardened my views of Kaufman. And that's on me and I'm sorry for putting you all through it too.

But as always thank you, spook-a-doodle crew, for being understanding of my feelings and hearing me out without it getting ugly. I apologize if I in any way made something feel like an attack or made this worse than it had to be. I appreciate you all and even if I need to take a step back to not drag this out I'll be here Friday with a new matchup.

Donít apologize- your opinion on Troma is a valuable as anyone elseís.

Iíll just say that I canít really speak for how people of those groups feel about racist or transphobic jokes. My main point remains that for a film company that has released films directed by openly gay and trans filmmakers going back 30 years, on top of giving voices to those ignored by mainstream film for various reasons, deserves some benefit of doubt and examination. You have clearly given Troma more examination than most would and I applaud you for that.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I think I'm probably guilty of combining Kaufman and Troma in the same conversation, and it seems maybe impossible to separate the two but also impossible to come up with one singular idea of 40 years of a studio. I think James Gunn is really a key part of my viewpoint. A guy clearly inspired by Troma and who got his start there. A guy who by his on admission was a "provocateur" at that time and no says he's grown past that and apologizes. And when I was exploring the Troma stuff I saw a lot of people in the Troma circle who seemed angry at Gunn for abandoning his roots and "becoming woke". So I think its all very complicated and there's a lot of parts, but watching Return of Nuke Em High Parts 1 and 2 and reading interviews with Kaufman from the same time period it doesn't feel like he's evolved at all from where he started and I think that in and of itself is kind of damning even if a lot of the defenses probably hold true for stuff he did 20-40 years ago.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



tbf Gunn apologized for stuff he said on Twitter cause he wanted to keep making big budget studio films, though some of the pedophilia jokes he made were for sure a step too far. He didn't apologize for his past professional work. The Suicide Squad trailer though seems to reflect he's still got that sense of humor, the Dick Island conversation in particular is very much of his roots.

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MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Someone (CelticPredator I think) pointed out Kaufman has a cameo in the Squad movie so I doubt there's any love lost between the two.


Basebf555 posted:

For me the discussion of whether the jokes were offensive didn't even really need to start because there's no story and the movie is just incoherent nonsense. I couldn't even engage with it enough to be offended.

This is the main thing for me too.

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