My commentary on horror  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. 

There are many reasons why "The Toxic Avenger" is such a cool movie.  Most fans may not realize that classic films such as "Evil Dead 2" and "DeadAlive" own a great debt to the chances that "The Toxic Avenger" took in further establishing a successful formula for the horror-comedy.  Where on the other hand, hardcore junkies should revel in the amount of gore and violence that is infused in the heart of this film.  It is from this foundation that the true spirit of  independent cinema is left to blossom.  

In turn it's main character Toxie, an antihero crafted in the shadows of  FRANKENSTEIN and Charlie Chaplin, succeeds even when bathed in a magnitude of death and destruction, because of his child-like innocence.  He is the common man's superhero perfect for defeating the evil of  the world, because unlike his peers in Metropolis and Gotham,  Toxie shows no fear or recourse in utilizing his toxic-infused powers to mash and maim the bad guys.   Rarely,  if ever, will you see him allowing one of his enemies, an enemy against the environment, to live to pollute another day.  Toxie is one bad mofo!!!!! 

Although not all Troma films are as good as "The Toxic Avenger", they are just that, Troma films.  They are not made on Hollywood constrained multi-million dollar budgets in hope of making a gillion bucks, but rather to entertain the fans. They are perversely thought provoking in challenging viewers with important questions of the day (i.e. pollution, nuclear power, lesbianism, etc).  This light-hearted social commentary can be much more effective in driving home issues than any Spike Lee film.

Overall, "The Toxic Avenger" succeeds from a well-paced and entertaining storyline. It's cheesy characterization brought to life by an outrageously funny cast helps to deliver a slice of  Tromacana.  Finally, the special effects are exceptional and the classic head-crushing scene much like the eye-gouging in Lucio Fulci's "Zombie" has forever left it's mark in the collective psyches of all horror fans.  Make "The Toxic Avenger" part of your movie collection and get TROMATIZED!!!!!!!!

 

The Story

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.  

 



Frightful Facts

  • Joe Ritter, the writer of "The Toxic Avenger" noted in Fangoria #49, he knew during a preliminary screening of the film that when a group of women got up and walked out during the gruesome head crushing scene (available in exquisite detail in the director's cut), they had a hit on their hands.

  • The Toxic Avenger is never referred to as the Toxic Avenger in the first film. He is only cited as the monster hero, because the title  came well after the production was completed. 

  • The original title for the film was "Health Club Horror".

  • Jennifer Babtist (Wanda) and Robert Prichard (Slugo) met and fell in love on the set. They later got married.

  • Toxie's love interest Sara (Andree Maranda) was the girlfriend of one of the main investors in the film, but she won the part through an audition. 

  • The Toxic Avenger's  look although born out of Lloyd Kaufman's mind was created by special effects artist Jennifer Aspinall.

  • The film spawned 3 sequels (one coming Summer 2000), a successful Saturday morning cartoon "The Toxic Crusaders", and numerous personal appearances on TV, movies, conventions, and film festivities around the world.

  • The Toxic Avenger's likeness and name has been utilized in environmental campaigns by the EPA, Armed Forces, the Green Party, and a group of young environmentalists in Brooklyn who call themselves "The Toxic Avengers".

  • There are over 100 licenses for merchandise held for Toxie in the US and around the world. This includes: videos games, lunchboxes, colorforms, board games, Halloween masks, CD-ROM, and a whole lot more. 

  • "The Toxic Avenger" has sold over 250,000 videos and tons of DVDs since being released.

  • The budget for the film was $500,000.

  • "The Toxic Avenger" is known as the "Atomic Hero" in Germany.

  • Read Lloyd Kaufman's book All I need to know about filmmaking I learned from the Toxic Avenger" for a lot of great information on Toxie and the history of Troma.

Download the trailer to "The Toxic Avenger" trailer.

Download the notorious head- crushing scene in all it's gory detail.

Checkout Troma' "Radiation March", "because if pollution grows, children won't". 

Wet your whistle with this taste of Troma entitled the "Aroma de Troma".

Clips compliments of Creepyclips.com, your #1 resource for Horror video on the net.

Other Flicks to watch

Sgt Kabukiman N.Y.P.DRedneck ZombiesClass of Nuke'm High


 

Merchandise

Buy the Director's Cut of "The Toxic Avenger" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy "The Toxic Avenger" on video at Reel.com

Buy "The Toxic Avenger II" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy "The Toxic Avenger II" on video at Reel.com

Buy "The Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie" on video at Reel.com

Buy "Cannibal: The Musical!" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy "Tromeo and Juliet" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy "Sgt Kabukiman NYPD" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy "Surf Nazis Must Die" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy the "Class of Nuke em High" on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy any available Troma film on DVD at Express.comicon

Buy Lloyd Kaufman's book "All I need to know about filmmaking I learned from the Toxic Avenger" at Amazon.com  (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Visit the TROMAVILLE MAUL for all your Troma needs. 

News & more....

Checkout some of our other reviews of Troma classics.

Checkout Toxie's official page at toxicavenger.com

Visit Toxie's home on the net, Troma.com.

Join the coolest virtual community on the web, Tromaville...where you want to live!!!

Checkout the latest news on Troma's upcoming release of "Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV "

                   

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