One of the cool things about running a website like Rock! Shock! Pop! is the opportunity to meet awesome people from around the world – and sometimes, those people are a quick ten minute drive away. When official greetings from Tromaville arrived, it seemed only natural that we’d accept their gracious offer to tour their facilities in Queens, so off we went, camera in hand and silly grins slapped on our mugs.
Initially, there was concern that the building might not be so easy to spot, but once we turned onto the street where they’re located, those fears were swept aside and it became pretty obvious that there was no reason for concern.
The first thing we saw upon entering the building was a giant ‘hand in a can’ – a prop from the recently completed Return To The Class Of Nuke’em High, just sort of sitting there greeting visitors and employees alike.
From there, it was time to head up the stairs to the offices. The first thing we checked out was Lloyd Kaufman’s desk. It looks like this….
….except when he’s not there, in which case it looks like this!
Around the corner is an editing suite. Troma does more or less everything in house so it makes sense that they’d have a set up like this. And if you time your arrival just right, you might get to meet Travis Campbell, the man behind Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical! We yapped at Travis and distracted him from what he was working on long enough to learn that not only is Mr. Bricks unusually popular in Japan but that we probably haven’t seen the last of him. Hooray!
Located behind Travis’ work station was what looked like an old bank safe full of… stuff. As our tour continues you’ll realize what we realized: Troma’s facilities are jam packed with… stuff. Lots of it. At any rate, behold the safe full of stuff!
Here’s another rad desk. I don’t know who sits here but they get points for the Bloodsucking Freaks one sheet hanging in the background. Part of what made this trip so fun was seeing all the little bits and pieces of Troma history just scattered around. Case in point? Check out the picture of the desk…
...now check out the close up shot of what’s taped to the monitor! It’s not every day you encounter random pictures of sleepy boy Ron Jeremy!
There are also a lot of Toxic Avenger heads around the offices. Here are a few of them!
And Sgt. Kabukiman too! His head is just hanging out on the floor for some reason.
It was also very cool to see all the vintage one sheets for various Troma productions and acquisitions. With forty years of failed film-making under their belts, there were loads of these things all over the place. Behold!
Our tour guide’s name was Justin Martell, a friendly guy with a great moustache. He was kind enough to show us around and here he shows off his hand modeling skills with some other prop left over from the Return To Nuke’em High shoot!
From there we went downstairs, where the building transforms from an office space to a magical storage facility filled to the brim with trashy B-movie goodness! This sign greets you as you head in – a familiar sight to anyone familiar with Troma’s productions!
There are lots of props in the basement too, including a wheelchair tank thing from Return, a menu board from Poultrygeist, and random prosthetics and stuff.
Alison was excited to find STACKS of DVD copies of The Stabilizer – and why shouldn’t she be!
And check this out – the machine used to help edit Rocky way back when Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz first started out and freelanced on various mainstream projects!
There are also tons of one sheets going back decades and showcasing the studio’s rich history of crazy independent cinema!
And last but not least, if that weren’t enough, the back room is jam packed with film canisters and master tapes and other media – pretty much everything Troma has touched is in here, stacks of stuff everywhere!
All in all, this was a pretty great trip. Troma’s got an amazing history and it was a lot of fun to get to sift through some of it. Thanks again to Justin for showing us around and to Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, who weren’t around and probably didn’t know we were monkeying around at their desks but who have managed to keep the crazy train rolling for four decades strong!