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May 2, 2012

Movie Review: Produce Your Own Damn Movie (2011, Troma)

Directed by Lloyd Kaufman

Starring Lloyd Kaufman, Roger Corman and Hershel Gordon Lewis

At one time or another, each and every one of us has watched a great horror movie and wondered how cool it would be to make one ourselves. And we've all watched stinkers that were so horrible we were certain we could of done it better had we been the one sitting in the directors chair. Modern day B-movie icon ( and master of turning shit into a cash profit), Lloyd Kaufman is no dummy, he knows this, and in the process of coming out with yet another straight-to-video release he has inadvertently created what could be one of the most important, informative and cost effective tools available, for helping aspiring film makers succeed in their dreams of creating a movie of their own.

 
To keep things in perspective though, this is not a slick Michael Moore type documentary, not by a long-shot. Remember, this is a Troma release, and the vast majority of the footage is done by Kaufman himself with a hand-held video camera. And although incredibly informative, there is of coarse a lot of goofy nonsense along the way. But goofy nonsense and bad jokes aside, Kaufman, in making this 2 disc set, have given the audience an invaluable behind the scenes pass into the world of B-movie making. There are segments that basically cover all aspects of movie production, from raising money to maximizing production values, securing million dollar locations for no money, story-boarding, developing a working production plan and selling your movie once its completed. Several different production models are discussed and there is even a segment on creating your own green screen and effects. A lot of cool low cost makeup effects are featured as well.
Along the way, Kaufman visits several different movie sets to glean insider information from the not-so-well-known to some of the true icons of trash cinema. When people like Roger Corman, H.G. Lewis and David Cronenberg are staring into the camera, your gonna pay attention to what they're saying. The tips, tricks and tid-bits they reveal to Kaufman are nothing short of gold nuggets for aspiring film makers. And any film maker from any genre can benefit from the knowledge that is shared in this disc set. This is the kind of info that your just not gonna find anywhere else, so for the $14.99 retail price on this, it could be one of the steals of the century if you intend to use it for its purpose. And if you do intend to use this as a guide, just be forewarned, this release in not done in a chronological production order, its sort of a mish-mash but the information is there none the less. In fact there is 300 minutes worth here, so your getting your money's worth.

Even if your like me and have no aspirations of becoming the next Steven Spielberg, but still have a love and respect for B-movies, you should be kept quite entertained and actually learn a few things along the way. I definitely walked away from this with a new found respect for the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into making even the worst of movies. Some of the sets that Kaufman visits along the way are just the lowest of low budget shit movies, but behind the shit movie are real people being interviewed by Kaufman and when you see their faces, its like, the obvious fact that their movies are nearly unwatchable is completely unimportant to them. They are making their dreams a reality and Kaufman treats them with the same respect as he does Corman, Lewis and Cronenburg. That was one of many things I thought was pretty damn cool about this documentary. Its a serious subject that's never taken too seriously. You'll get a few laughs and you'll roll your eyes more then once at the ridiculous humor but when its all said and done, you'll be much the wiser for watching it.

From a casual viewer's standpoint, I would score it a 7 out of 10.

If you're looking to use this as a learning tool, it's easily a 9 out of 10.

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