I'm a long-time fan of Troma, since I was a kid in the mid-'Eighties. Yet looking back on Troma movies now, one notices a difference. I love everything Lloyd Kaufman does, but . . . there is a discrepancy. Kaufman is 100% capable of making a movie that is serious and important with a lot of humorous elements. But now? I don't think he can do work that is the same way. He's too fixated on making humorous movies that have elements of serious tones and social commentary. That wasn't always the case. I think at some point he realized that it was easier to go for the joke.
Like I said, I will never shit on a Troma movie. I love Troma from top to bottom, left to right. But I know that Kaufman can do better, even though he settles for the cheap shit. Back in the 'Seventies and early 'Eighties, he went for the good shit (even if it was under a phony name like Sam Weil). I would love to see what he could do NOW with the tools he used in those times. It's easy to laugh at a Troma movie because everyone knows how silly they are. It's harder to consider what a Troma movie is saying because, well, everyone knows how silly they are. It wasn't always this way. It's been a long time since Kaufman went for the jugular. I think he could pull it off now, but there are a lot of people who are enamored with his present day persona instead of his older days as an iconoclast. They might be holding him back.
Don't get me wrong. His movies are important to those of us who want to look deeply into them. For the others? That's a different story.
I've met Kaufman a couple of times. I love his work. He's complemented me on mine. I would like to see him doing something more now. Something that doesn't fit in with what horror, bizarro and other fans expect. The guy has been around a loooooong time. He is capable of doing something else. I would love to see him try something different. Something that fits the Troma brand, but doesn't paint by the proverbial over-the-top numbers.
Troma, for the most part, is laughable, but it wasn't always that way. I would love to see something modern from them that didn't sink to expectations. I know he can do it. I just wish he WANTED to do it. Or that fans would LET HIM do something different. Something that didn't require over-the-top humor and silliness. Kaufman is incredibly intelligent with a lot of personal missions. It's just that Troma fans have required so much less of him that I think he's given up trying to excel.
I've read his books, though. He's capable of more. I just wish that there were more Troma fans like myself who would be willing to pay for more than just business as usual.