Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

With Troma at Cannes

The fabulous exploitation specialists are on the Croisette in force.

Thu, May 16, 2013, 23:03


You see the funniest things when exiting nihilistic, depressing Chinese films. On the way out of Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin — which is good, if nihilistic and depressing — I came across representatives of the notorious trashtastic studio Troma. If you know anything about the cinematic lower depths, you will know that the organisation was behind such super B-movies as The Toxic Avenger, Cannibal the Musical and Surf Nazis Must Die. The best of the films combined grubby low-brow humour with a genuine taste for the subversive. Such talents as Chris Noth, Sam Jackson and the South Park team have been involved down through the years.

This heavily made-up mob were in town to further efforts to crowd-source a documentary entitled Occupy Cannes. If you want to give them a few centimes, I am sure they will stretch the deadline and allow you to do so. The film is described as “a documentary about independents at the Cannes Film Festival”. Away from the posh folk in the main competition, there is certainly a great deal of independents about. Every second lunatic in every second restaurant has a bag of flyers promoting his or her latest dubious opus.

By coincidence, there is a great deal of chatter in Cannes concerning a possible remake of The Toxic Avenger starring a former governor of California. No, not Jerry Brown, you fool. It seems as if Arnold Schwarzenegger is seriously considering appearing in the film. Annoyingly, reports suggest he will not be playing the beast himself, but a less dirty creature who trains “Toxie” to use his powers for good rather than evil. It sounds excellent. We hope to see it compete for the Palme d’Or in 2015 or so.

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