TROMAVILLE, New Jersey--Toxic Chemical capitol of the World. A nice place to live??  Well not for 98lbs. weakling Melvin (Mark Torgl), the janitor at a local health club.  It seems that mild-mannered Melvin is constantly berated by the population of muscle-bound meatheads that call this place home and is later incited to leap from a second story window just to escape their torment.  Unfortunately for him, he lands in a vat of bubbling toxic waste, but even more unfortunate for the "bad guys", the Toxic Avenger is born.

Evil doers beware, because towering in at well over 7 ft with the strength of 10 men, Toxie has an unquenchable thirst for ripping bad guys to shred.  No body part (arms, eyes, brains, balls, etc.) goes un-spared as Toxie armed only with his trusty mop rampages through these miscreants like a hot knife through shit. This is bad news for corrupt Mayor Belgoody (Pat Ryan) and his trusty band of cronies, whose aspiration for transforming the toxic dumps into valuable shorefront property in now in jeopardy.

Along the way, Toxie saves a blind girl (Andree Maranda) from a bunch of corn holing thugs and a romance blossoms.  As the "monster vs. hero" debates rage in the local rags, Mayor Belgoody must find a way to get rid of his archrival in order to complete his evil plans.  His luck turns when Toxie accidentally kills a innocent. The final showdown comes when the national guard is called into action.  Does the Mayor have the guts to stand up against the town's hero??? Buy this film immediately. 

 

The Toxic Avenger


[Checkout our full coverage of Toxie] 

1984

 

How can you call yourself a horror fan, if you have never seen "The Toxic Avenger"???  I must have asked this question a million times to many so-called horror fanatics. Love it or hate it, Troma's "The Toxic Avenger" has forever influenced the way we watch horror movies today.  Born out the dark and deranged mind of Lloyd Kaufman (co-founder of Troma) in the early 80's, Toxie, as his adoring fans have come to call him, helped to establish a new standard for underground filmmaking. This environmental crusader has become a symbol of freedom for children and adults alike and a mainstay for the collective conscious of this here planet earth.  But beyond his rise to superstardom in animated features, his own toy line and comic book series, Toxie's misadventures helped to create one of the most entertaining, influential, and fun horror films of all-time. 



This is not your average of zombie movie. These are not your traditional Romero or Fulci flesh eating zombie, but worst. They are materialistic, egotistical, and down right vain.  They have become the scourge of society (i.e. the homeless of today)

A strange virus is killing people, but not allowing them to die. Suicide is the "in thing". Die young....stay young is the motto of a new generation. Only problem.... most people don't have a knack for slicing their wrist, so many are screwing themselves up pretty badly.

The story focus on Susan (Stark Raven) and her willingness not to give up on life in the name of eternal death. She enjoys life too much, even thought she looks half dead. As she wonders the streets and countryside of this zombie/human world, she get accosted by a roaming gang of zombies lead by the preacher man (Robert Wells). Later she meets a beautiful women (Flora Fauna) who took her life young so she would remain beautiful for ever, too bad she is later mercilessly mangled by our heroine. (**Lesson 1, once your dead, you can't die and anything that happens to your body is there forever !!!)

As Susan returns home from a good day of zombie killing, she finds that he frail boyfriend has giving up and tries to convince Susan to do the same. But it seems he's moving out the hard way. Right out the window. The end makes for great social commentary.

 

Shatter Dead

[Buy the film here]

1994

 

"A zombie trip on acid". This film was directed by Scooter McCrae. From what I can find out this seems like Scooter's first and only film as a director. More information to come. The acting is this film wasn't the greatest, there are no spectacular special fx, but there is a damn good story. I highly recommend  this film and if you want an idea about what I think George Romero is looking to do in the fourth installation of the "dead " series, look no further than here. Of course this is my opinion.



The Blair Witch Project

 The film begins with this chilling warning to all who view it:

"In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary called "The Blair Witch Project"  A year later their footage was found."

As these words fade silently from the screen, an uneasiness begins to settle in.   Three students, Heather  Donahue,  Joshua  Leonard, and  Michael William, are heading up to Maryland's Black Hill  Forest to shoot a documentary on the local legend,  "The Blair Witch".  Tales tell of a  witch who was responsible for the death of many children. When the filmmakers begin interviewing the locals, they find that fears of the "Blair Witch" curse still burn deep in the psyche of this community.

After leaving their car behind on the roadside, the three hike out into the woods in search of the "Blair Witch".  Along, the way they stop at "Coffin Rock" where Heather spins an eerie tale of murder and witchcraft. Now feeling that they are hot on the trail of unraveling the mystery that haunts these woods , they push on.

The first night goes rather peacefully, but as the filmmakers travel deeper into the woods they could not be prepared for the terror that awaits. After a brief encounter with something the following night, they decide to pack up and head back. Seemingly lost and without their map, the tension and fear grows as they  hear strange sounds haunting the woods around them. Shadows and omens warn them of their trespassing ways and that something is out there. 

   

What was supposed to be a weekend trip quickly turns into a five day ordeal of  pure terror. With a dwindling food supply, failing morale, and lack of sleep,  we watch the slow deterioration of these three as they feel the darkness closing in on them. But what will the end bring?? Check it out and decide for yourself.

"The Blair Witch Project" proves that you don't need blood, guts, or glitz, over-the-top special effects, or even a multi-million dollar budget to make a superior film. That your cast doesn't need to be made up of rejects from "Party of Five" "Buffy" or "Beverly Hills 901--whatever" in order to make a good film. It takes the traditional Hollywood formula for horror, kicks it to the curb, and with a in-your-face guerilla filmmaking attitude asks, "are you ready to be scared?"  



Darkness

After he witnesses his friends ravaged in a convenience store, a lone avenger (Gary Miller) heads off to do battle with the undead, armed only with shotgun, machete,  chainsaw, and a 2-liter bottle of Holy water. He follows the trail of carnage left behind, hoping to end the madness. But what lies ahead....only the darkness will reveal.

"When a group of teenagers return home from a concert, they find an entire city of reasons to be afraid of the dark". A legion of the undead now raging across the shadowland in search of human blood.  But alas our local "vampire hunter" arrives in the nick of time to kicks some serious vampire ass. The ending is a special effects extravaganza, especially for a low budget flicks. Buckets of blood here folks!!! One the better non-Bram Stoker vampire stories of the 90's, just for the gore alone.

 

Darkness

1993

 

Taunting itself as "The Ultimate in Vampire Horror" this low budget gem really packs a bunch for gore. We can definitely see where the budget went on this film...into the effects. Leif Jonker's directorial debut is definitely worth a watching. Jonker definitely has an eye for gore, but not for actors. Randall Aviks is pretty weak as Livan, the head vampire, and the rest of the cast is nothing to write home about either. Unfortunately, in order to make some of these low budget films, you have to make certain sacrifices. I also hope in his next feature Jonker gets some better lighting. There is barely enough light for the night scenes and even some of these scene where filmed during the day, most likely at dust. Overall, I'd recommend this film to any horror fan looking for a gorefest.



The Last Broadcast

The film begins as a documentary examining the bizarre deaths of a group of  local access cable TV filmmakers. Hoping to boost sagging ratings for their show "Fact or Fiction", producers Steven Avkast (Stefan Avalos) and Locus Wheeler (Lance Weiler)  have arranged for a live broadcast deep within the pine barrens of New Jersey. Joining them in their search for the legendary Jersey Devil are soundman Rein Clackin (Rein Clabbers) and psychic Jim Suerd (Jim Seward). Days later, Jim emerges from the woods and makes a fanatic call to 911 leading police to make a gruesome discovery.   

The evidence at the scene and in Jim's home quickly points to him as the perpetrator of this heinous crime. In a lengthy trial full of video exurbs, the prosecution paints this psychic/psycho as edgy loner susceptible to bouts of violence, while blatantly overlook evidence that might prove his innocence.  As he is serving two life sentences, Jim mysteriously dies in his cell. This further propels local filmmaker David Leigh (David Beard) deeper in his search for the truth. One year after the deaths, a strange package arrives on  Leigh's doorstep. Could it be the Last Broadcast??

 

The Last Broadcast

1998

 

Let me begin by saying that "The Blair Witch Project" (TBWP) did not rip off this film. Although it is true that both film do take a pseudo-documentary approach, that is where the similarities end. Both films succeed on different levels and should be celebrated for the originality and freshness that they have brought to the genre. Where "The Last Broadcast" (TLB) deviates from TBWP formula is that rather than being shot from the "point-of-view" (POV) of the victims, it focuses more on an investigative style in examining  the events surrounding their demised. Where "TBWP" had more raw emotion and action, "TLB" has more story, one that is developed through a multitude of interviews, video footage, etc. This helps to  make "TLB" an extremely entertaining film. The film was magnificently shot and edited on an unimaginable budget of $900. 

 

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