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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Produce Your Own Damn Movie!'

Dennis King Published: September 12, 2011

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Produce Your Own Damn Movie!”

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows his way around a low-budget, independent film shoot better than Lloyd Kaufman, creator of “The Toxic Avenger” and founder of the storied indie film factory Troma Studios. So aspiring filmmakers looking for comprehensive how-to material could find no better source than Kaufman’s “Produce Your Own Damn Movie!” due out on DVD Tuesday.

If ever there were a jack-of-all-trades in low-budget, fringe filmmaking, it’s Kaufman, who boasts 190 credits as an actor; 35 as director; 29 as writer; 79 as producer; 11 as cinematographer; two as editor; two as composer, and 11 as miscellaneous crew.

Following in the path of 2005’s “Make Your Own Damn Movie!” and 2009’s “Direct Your Own Damn Movie!” Kaufman’s latest how-do documentary is packed with video vignettes depicting ways to get a movie off the ground (regardless of budget or lack thereof). And, making the most of his wide-ranging Hollywood connections, Kaufman works in numerous, informative interviews with such idiosyncratic filmmakers as David Cronenberg, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Stan Lee, Eli Roth and others.

A canny, witty and self-deprecating tour guide through the intricacies of independent film production, Kaufman’s own career is a study in the power of sheer enthusiasm and love of movies. From his first short film (an African scene of a pig being slaughtered), through his founding of Troma Studios, through his embrace of horror movies and creation of “The Toxic Avenger,” Kaufman has been an enthusiastic beacon of seat-of-the-pants cult moviemaking. In “Make Your Own Damn Movie!” he marshals his passion, long experience, insider connections and no-nonsense pragmatism to encourage a new generation to follow in his footsteps.

“Make Your Own Damn Movie!” is not rated and runs 300 minutes on two discs. It’s being released by Troma Entertainment.

- Dennis King