Midnight preview for thriller “Art of Pain,” one of two Matt Jones-produced indies in festival release

In a clever bit of satirical casting, the role of a George Romero-like horrormeister in “The Art of Pain” is portrayed by Lloyd Kaufman, president of New York-based Troma Entertainment.

Troma is famous in worldwide cult circles for its low-budget genre-bending films (e.g. “”The Toxic Avenger” franchise) that are not unlike Romero’s lengthy career output.

Zabba-Zabba Productions’ comedy/thriller appropriately screens at midnight May 24 at the Music Box before heading off to the festival circuit.

Matt Brookens wrote and directed, and Matthew M. Jones and John LaFlamboy produced. “Pain” is Jones’ second indie film to be released this year.

“The Art of Pain” is about a failing artist, Jack (Anders Erickson) who meets Marcus (Jack LaFlambloy), a ninja-in-training with something to prove. Marcus is fueled by Jack’s apathy and teaches him that great pain produces great art, forcing Jack to fight for his life.

Kaufman, who plays “George Romano,” is an actor, director and filmmaker who cofounded producer/distributor Troma Entertainment in 1974. He frequently makes cameo appearances in indie horror films like “Pain.”

Shot in 2006 on Chicago locations, Jones said, “We also built some sets and set up green screens on the grounds of Chicago’s largest Haunted House, Statesville Haunted Prison.”

Daniel Kenji Levin, who has since moved to L.A., was DP, shooting 24P with a DVC ProHD Panasonic Varicam. Matt Brookens and Jones edited. Steve Kiefer composed the score. Comic book art by Jacob Elihjah Hallinen.

“The Art of Pain” won the Audience Choice award at the Sunscreen Festival and another top prize at the recent DelRay Beach Festival, both Florida, and is headed for the festival circuit.