Thursday, May 12, 2016

#2,096. Coming Distractions (2004)

Directed By: Various

Starring: Tiffany Shepis, Lloyd Kaufman,

Tag line: "See what's behind 30 years of legendary filmmaking"

Trivia: Critic Roger Ebert appears briefly in one of the short films in this collection

Released around the time of their 30th anniversary, Troma Studios’ Coming Distractions is over 4 hours of trailers, short films, and other miscellany featuring all the nudity, gore, and gross-out humor we’ve come to expect from Lloyd Kaufman and company.

Kicking things off with a short introduction (which offers a history of the studio and their various accomplishments), Coming Distractions then presents us with a plethora of movie trailers, separated into four categories. In the horror section we have previews of The Legend of the Chupacabra, a 1999 found footage-style film released on the heels of The Blair Witch Project, as well as a few other “highbrow” titles, including Rabid Grannies, Killer Condom, Redneck Zombies and Curse of the Cannibal Confederates. The Comedy category offers the likes of Fatty Drives the Bus and Blondes Have More Guns, while in Action there’s Surf Nazis Must Die, Troma’s War and Femme Fontaine: Killer Babe for the C.I.A. Perhaps most interesting of all was the inclusion of a Documentary section, with one film in particular cautching my eye: All the Love You Cannes, in which Kaufman and associates invade the French town just in time for its annual film festival (Troma actually had a retrospective at Cannes one year). Rounding out the trailers is a “Top 10” category, where we see previews for Troma’s most popular films, including Bloodsucking Freaks, The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘em High, and Tromeo and Juliet

Next up is a peek at some of the studio’s short films, from PSAs (there’s one for pollution, and another for masturbation) and music videos (for the bands Lunachicks and Seeing Red) to a comedy or two, such as Rashomoron and Toxie Gets Killed (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t really). Yet my favorite short in this section is the one that shined a spotlight on “Tromette” Tiffany Shepis, who, after getting her start in Tromeo and Juliet went on to bigger and better things, hosting Troma’s Edge TV for a while before breaking away from the studio (she was quite good in Nightmare Man). A sexy, talented brunette with plenty of confidence, Shepis is always a treat to watch, and I enjoyed getting a chance to find out a bit more about her.

Fans of Troma will eat up Coming Distractions, and it's also a good introduction for the uninitiated, who are sure to see a few things in this collection they’ve never seen before!

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