By Rocko Zevenbergen
The Opioid Epidemic is destroying America. Legendary director Lloyd Kaufman celebrates his 50th year making movies, by taking on Big Pharma, addiction and the intolerance of social media in #ShakespearesShitstorm. This irreverent musical adaptation of The Tempest is ripe with bawdy couplets, Hieronymus Boschian images of excess and unrefined iambic pentameter. #ShakepearesShitstorm marks the most ambitious project in Troma’s 45 year history. Working with one of Hollywood’s best special effects companies, Troma brings a whole new experience to their stylized brand. Having a bigger budget also brought about larger scale on-location filming in Albania (a first for narrative feature films in the country) as well as a celestial orchestral score from Portugal and a little help from the Bard. Shakespeare has never been this raw and unfiltered.
Established in 1974 by Yale friends Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, Troma Entertainment is arguably the longest-running independent movie studio in North America. Troma is famous for producing and distributing classic films such as The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo & Juliet, Poultrygeist: Night of The Chicken Dead, Trey Parker’s Cannibal! The Musical, and Charles Kaufman’s Mother’s Day. Early works of many of today’s luminaries can be found in Troma’s library of 1000 films, cartoons, TV shows and shorts. Jenna Fischer, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Costner, Fergie, Vincent D’Onofrio, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gunn and Eli Roth are just a few.
#ShakespearesShitstorm plays at the Cinema Village April 8th-14th, 11pm nightly. Lloyd Kaufman himself will be in attendance for a Q&A at the April 9th show. Other showtimes include April 8th at 7pm at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, April 8th-10th at Film Noir Cinema in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and April 20th at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.