Lloyd Kaufman is many things: producer, director, screenwriter, editor, composer, actor, and, above all, a renegade fighting against the further conglomeration and homogenization of Hollywood. Kaufman is president and co-founder of Troma Entertainment, one of the last bastions of independent, low-budget exploitation films, the kind that bear titles such as Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) and Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator (1989). Often graphically violent, gory, sophomoric, deliberately un-PC, and seemingly aimed at audiences comprised of certain kinds of teenaged boys, Troma films are also free-spirited and often filmed with their tongues lodged firmly in their cheeks.
Kaufman entered the film business after studying filmmaking. While in school, he started making low-budget films. He and long-time business partner Michael Herz launched Troma as a distribution company in the late '70s. It has since grown to include a production company, a merchandising outlet, and in the late '90s, a cable-television network. One of Kaufman's best-known and best-loved cult films is Toxic Avenger (1986), the bloody and terribly violent chronicle of a Long Island nerd's revenge against the townsfolk who tormented him. As a director, Kaufman occasionally uses the names Sam Weill and Louis Su. In the late '90s, he recounted his experiences and offered advice for other young independent filmmakers in his book All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger.