The Toxic Avenger

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It’s time for you to understand why I am the way I am and why I have the beliefs I do…

In 1985 a movie changed my life…

I saw a cardboard cut out of a figure in the video store around the corner from my mom’s house…I saw the movie on the shelf…It was rated R…The drunk behind the counter didn’t care and let me get my grubby little hands all over it…and 20 some years later my life still revolves around this film…

Baby, it’s time for me to gush over the epic, the genius, the gory, and the sexy…

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THE TOXIC AVENGER.

If you haven’t seen this movie, what the fuck are you doing with your life? Seriously.

Here’s the deal…
Our hero in training, Melvin Junko (Mark Torgl) is a 90 lb “wimp” who works at the Tromaville health club as the “mop boy”. Melvin tries hard to fit in, but doesn’t seem to realize how much the badass locals of the health club hate him. Our anti-heroes are: Bozo (Gary Schneider), Slug (Robert Prichard) and their smoking hot 80’s fuck buddies: Julie (Cindy Manion) & Wanda (Jennifer Prichard – she married her on screen boyfriend after the film was released!). So, we find out that not only do these four maniacs spend all of their time fucking at the health club, playing pranks on aerobics instructors, and smoking doobies while pumping iron…they also created a game out of killing locals. They have a wicked point system based on what age, race, sex, etc of the person they dismember…OH, and the girls take pictures of the carnage only to use as masturbation material later on. That’s fucking hot, eh? The gang plays a cruel prank on Melvin, which involves a sheep and a pink tutu. The prank goes a little too far when Melvin ends up falling in a barrel of toxic waste parked outside, catches on fire, and then literally boils himself in his mom’s bathtub while at the same time gruesomely turning into The Toxic Avenger (Mitch Cohen).

Now Tromaville is a town just like any other large metropolitan city and good cops seem hard to come by as is proven when we meet a gang of thugs trying to bribe an honest cop and our Hero, The Toxic Avenger (I will now lovingly refer to him as Toxie) saves the cop when the thugs threaten to blow his balls off for not being on the take. When I say, “saves the cop” I mean, Toxie decides to make hamburger out of the bad motherfuckers. Our good cop, Office O’Clancy (Dick Martensen) tells the press about the monster hero who saved his life and we find out that the thugs were actually on the mayor’s payroll-so in short, the whole fucking city is corrupt starting with the mayor (Troma regular Pat Ryan) down to creepy little old ladies who are involved in white slavery. Toxie attempts to go home to his mom, but she thinks he is a monster and refuses to let him stay there so he takes refuge in the local dump…which the mayor plans to turn into a toxic waste dump. After a brutal robbery at a taco joint goes sour, Toxie saves the day, meets his incredibly, and I mean ridiculously hot girlfriend Sara (Andree Maranda), who is blind. Since Sara is blind she has no idea that Toxie is the monster hero that everyone is talking about and doesn’t put it together until around the time they have hot mutant-blind girl sex. Fuck yeah.

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Now the city is becoming virtually crime free due to the fact that Toxie just shows up whenever there is evil doings and the Mayor is freaking out because he and his cronies are losing control. We find out that Toxie has “Tromatons” that go off in his body whenever crime or evil is present sorta like Spider-Man’s spider-sense, however Spider-Man doesn’t make milk shakes out of the bad guy’s face. In order to regain control over Tromaville, the mayor enlists the National Guard to stop Toxie (after he is accused of killing someone who is presumed innocent). The city sticks up for the hero, Toxie tears the mayor inside out, and we are told that whenever there is trouble we have no reason to fear because The Toxic Avenger will protect all of us.

I don’t know what to say about this film…it’s fucking brilliant. The gore is cheap and disgusting, there is ample amount of nudity, and the score is genius. We have heads being crushed, limbs being ripped off, little old ladies being dried & pressed, and hands being deep friend. There is some amazing 80’s music as well as some awesome eerie music during the kill scenes. This movie is BEGGING for a soundtrack!!!

I don’t know if directors Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz knew the impact they would have on independent film when they made this classic but considering the fan base for The Toxic Avenger series, it’s safe to say that Toxie put Troma on the map. If you are not familiar with Troma’s films, I suggest this is great place to start and continue down the path of anything written and/or directed by Lloyd Kaufman (see Tromeo & Juliet, Class of Nuke Em High, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, etc). Toxie and Troma set the bar for independent horror/cult films and Troma is to film what the Ramones were to Rock n Roll. Awesome.

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There are a million versions of The Toxic Avenger in all sorts of cuts, forms, etc. The most complete and easily accessible version is Troma’s 2005 release “The 21st Anniversary Golden Edition double disc set”. Between the two discs you get everything you could ever want related to The Toxic Avenger including deleted scenes, interviews with the cast, fan made films, and enough commentaries to last you a month.

Seriously. If you haven’t seen this, it’s ok, just don’t admit it to anyone, and buy your copy now.

Charlie “What the Shit?” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on March 4, 2008.

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