It’s an exciting day for Adventures in VHS. I get to put out a new podcast, relaunch our crowd-funding with a much more attainable target – and share a piece of news I’ve been looking forward to shouting about for months.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the foreword for the book will be provided by none other than filmmaker, home video pioneer, creator of The Toxic Avenger and president of Troma Entertainment, Mr Lloyd Kaufman. As some of you will know, Lloyd was kind enough to make an appearance on the Adventures in VHS podcast in 2012 when I covered Class of Nuke ‘Em High, providing not only an insight into the making of the movie, but also how it formed part of Troma’s wider embrace of the VHS revolution.
Lloyd seemed to really get what I was doing with the book and podcast, so when the time came to find someone who could provide something informative, inspiring and maybe just a little bit insulting, I just had to see if he was up for it.
Not only was he kind enough to say yes, but when I told him I’d be relaunching the project and needed a few words, he responded with the following:
“Adventures in VHS is the best book ever written. Toxie and I carry it everywhere we go, even though it hasn’t been published yet.”
I know, right?
The foreword itself is as hilarious as you’d expect, but beyond that it’s also a no-holds barred insight into how the longest running independent movie studio in North America embraced home video at a time where the major studios were terrified of how it might impact their theatrical business model. Lloyd talks about how Troma rolled the dice on VHS and reached a global audience of people desperate for new and daring film content. He also warns that the evil corporations and organisations who tried to kill VHS all those years ago are now turning their attention to internet.
When I started this project, it was out of a desire to revisit the films and the format that made me the movie lover I am today. Thanks to the podcast, I found an audience of like-minded souls online, many of which have expressed an interest in reading the book… which is incredible. Sure, we’ve had some ups and downs, but I really feel like we’ve now reached a new phase for the project – and I feel like we’re closer than ever to seeing it actually realised. All because of the internet.
And, decades after it did so with VHS, it turns out Troma is also enjoying the benefits of wholeheartedly embracing online and social media. In the last few years, it has not only set up a YouTube channel where people can stream its back catalogue of films for free, it’s also managed to fund its latest project Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 2 using KickStarter. As you’d expect, it’s a film Lloyd is naturally excited about too…
“Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 2 will be the best Troma movie ever made. The story is partly about a duck, but it might be my Swan Song. I’m old as hell!”
It couldn’t be more perfect that Lloyd – someone who has fought to keep his independent dream alive for 40 years purely for those who believed in it – has agreed to contribute to my own personal passion project. Not only has he been generous with his time and energy in support of Adventures in VHS, he’s also supplied me with a foreword I can’t wait for you to read when the book is published.