Tromadance was crazy. There was this total indie DIY punk rock vibe to everything, and considering the company involved, it just worked. I really liked that it was in a converted bowling alley, actually. They had a stage set up in the middle of the lanes, with a ton of chairs just sitting in front. In the pictures below you can see rows of bowling balls, as well as lanes on either side of the stage.
Aside from the shorts and the panel, they had a table set up with merchandise, a veritable treasure trove of Troma DVDs, blu rays, posters, shirts, and stickers. Lloyd Kaufman was there signing anything you bought.
Now let's get into the shorts a bit more in detail.
Bug Baby - Missed the first half of this one, since travel took a lot longer than we expected. From what I saw it looked pretty funny, and that's what everyone who saw the full short seemed to indicate.
Predator: The True Horrors of Halloween - Story of a kid being abducted by a child predator on Halloween. It's well done for what it is, but I could see the end coming a mile away, mainly because I've seen the exact same twist done a million times before. Still, well filmed and acted.
Flush With Fear - This one was sort of a creepy little thing about a girl in a bathroom stall being confronted with demons. The title actually throws me off a little bit, since it sets it up for something comedic and they play it pretty straight.
Banana Motherfucker - One of the best shorts of the festival, it's Attack of the Killer Tomatoes meets Cannibal Holocaust. There are some great gore gags and they really do a lot with the whole killer banana gimmick. It's also a bit of a fake-out. I thought it was going to end at one point, but it went on a lot longer, and I'm glad it did.
Harvey the Monster Racist - This one's interesting, though not really one of my favorites. It's sort of an original idea, and there are some funny moments, though.
Saturday Morning Cartoons
Banned Orange Juice Commercial - This one was pretty short, pretty funny.
Don't Be Nervous - I liked this one quite a bit. It's animated well and it's funny. That fat kid running naked is hilarious.
Survival of the Fetish - Clever idea, a couple really funny moments, and I didn't see the ending coming.
Chirpy - This can NEVER be unseen. The animation itself is kind of choppy, but I get the feeling that it was completely intentional. Why am I talking about that, though? It's a cartoon where a baby chicken takes magic mushrooms and fucks a horse! This isn't a quick scene, either. It goes on and on and on and on and ON. I don't know if I'd call it "good," but it's certainly one of the most memorable moments of the festival, and it did make me laugh, so that's something.
Attack of the Killer Turds - I have absolutely no idea why this one was in the animation block, since it's live action. This one is exactly what you think it is.
Can't Dance - I actually missed the first half of this one while I was there, since I was outside when it started, but the writer/director of the short, Richard Uhlig, just so happened to be there, and he kindly ran to grab a copy of the short on DVD from his hotel room. This short is pretty clever, being about a man's dead wife coaching him as he attempts to court his neighbor. Funny situation and well-acted. Not to mention, it's a nice change of pace from the onslaught of gore and dick jokes that is Tromadance.
The Virgin Herod - This one is... weird... and gross. Sort of a trippy art-film I suppose. It's well-done for what it is, though I doubt it's for everyone.
Could've Been More - I really enjoyed this one. It's all about a guy who's going around to all of these girls that he used to know and trying to find out if they would have had sex with him. It's really well-done, it's well acted, and it's funny.
Hell Week - Funny idea and well-done. A trio of sorority sisters take some revenge on a guy who "made the triad."
Sinkhole - This one's really short, but it's got a funny and gruesome punchline. Try not to cringe.
Sweatbox - Pretty straight forward comedy about a kid who just wants to get laid, but the world seems to be against him. There's some great stuff in this one and some really funny bits. The security guards trying to make mixed drinks that they keep cutting to are hilarious.
Deep Inside - This is another strange art film, I think. A pervert enters a hole in his couch whilst looking for his remote and discovers some weird underworld-dwelling man.
The Peeper - This one goes to places that I didn't quite expect it to, and it ends abruptly (which causes a lot of laughter). It also freezes on a pretty funny/gruesome image as they roll credits.
Full Grown Babies - This one is... weird. It's sort of funny, but not hysterical. It's alright. Well-acted.
Long Days - A bit of a slow burner, and goes in an odd direction. I liked it, but once again, it's a strange one.
Metal Creepers - This one's great. It's like Gremlins meets Motley Crue, with a little bit of the comic book, Black Metal mixed in. It's a lot of fun, and the band's manager is entertaining to watch.
I See A Light - Really quick art film. Not much to say about it.
The Line - Pretty short, but funny. I like anything that shows me an old lady's head exploding. Great stuff.
Papa Wrestling - This one is AWESOME. When it takes a turn it gets hilarious and fun, there are some great special effects and some really great gags.
Cinemapocalypse - This one's about a film production that turns deadly. After an accident, they bicker and try to figure out what to do. I can see what they were going for with this one, but it suffers from some so-so acting. The cop character is funny, though. It starts to get good towards the end, but it takes a little bit too long to get there.
Paddy and Me - This one's a mockumentary, almost like The Dog Whisperer... but with zombies. There's some good material in this one, and a lot of great jokes. The "god whisperer" character is pretty funny.
Dead Friends - This one's about a girl who grows a full grown boy zombie by planting a severed ear in the ground. It's both horrifying and cute, and it's completely void of any dialogue, which I like. I always respect someone who can tell a story using nothing but visuals.
Summer of the Zombies - A vegan zombie during the zombie apocalypse. It's interesting to see this setting from the opposite POV, and much like Dead Friends, it's almost entirely without any dialogue (since zombies don't talk). It's a fun little short. Good stuff.
Employee of the Month - This one's not really a zombie flick, as it's more about monsters in general. This one feels incredibly current, as it's about monsters looking for jobs. There's one great repeating gag.
Manthings Department Store - Fake advertisement for a department store for "manthings." It's exactly how it sounds, and it's funny for what it is.
Brass Knuckle Broads - This one had some technical difficulties, so I didn't get a chance to actually see it.
Cute Baby - Really short, really funny.
Squalor - This is the longest of all the shorts, clocking in at 40 minutes. It's about zombies and rednecks, so it's a lot of people shouting and swearing a lot. It's just too damn long, and it's not that interesting. There are a couple of different threads going on, and I can't help but wonder how this would have turned out if they had separated them and made them each into something like a 10 minutes short.
Gras Man - A meat-themed superhero. It's funny, it has a great theme song, and there's a fun twist. I only wish the theme song were in English, so I could sing along.
Tommy's Pumpkin - Another weird one, but it's a great autumn feel to it. It's well-shot and well acted.
Below are some photos from the panel itself, featuring James Gunn, Ti West, Roy Frumkes, Tony Timpone, and Katha Cato.