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Movie of the Day – The Toxic Avenger

Posted on the 20 February 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

In my last post, I talked about Poultrygeist and how it was going to be part of a double feature with Mr. Lloyd Kaufman at our local Alamo Drafthouse.  As nutty and shit house insane that movie was, the Troma is well versed in the absurd as The Toxic Avenger is the ultimate flagship property and mascot of a company that deals in exploitative schlock.  And this movie also happens to be part of the Double Feature so why not cover it as well.

Toxic Avenger 1a

In a crazy spoof of heroic monster movies that spawned two sequels, The Toxic Avenger is about the transformation of a mild-mannered, scrawny janitor into a thundering, muscular hero out for justice, morality, and in one case, a bit of sex. Melvin (Mark Torgl) has a job as a custodian at a work-out club where his humiliating treatment by the musclebound reaches an ugly climax in which Melvin is forced to jump out of a window. He lands in a toxic waste truck, and by some miracle of modern pollution he is transformed into a pumped-up monster, heretofore known as the Toxic Avenger (Mitchell Cohen). From that moment on, TA saves damsels and others in distress by some pretty gory mauling and maiming but finds his moment of fulfillment too. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The only thing I got out of this movie is that the city of Tromaville sucks.  Those people just outright bully and almost kill that kid who then becomes the ass kicking, bizarro Jason like character who just outright destroys the seedy elements in Tromaville.  The Toxic Avenger is that perfect little satire on heroes, seemingly born out of the trash of society, he goes on a rampage for justice and also just looking to bang it out as well.  I can’t blame the dude, I mean you got to at least get some once in a while.  It’s a cruddy, grimy, farcical superhero movie that manages to be wildly entertaining, even if you feel a bit icky afterwards.

Toxic Avenger 1b

The strength of the film comes from the low-fi appearance, the cinematic hallmark of Troma movies and the mixture of many different exploitation techniques to create this maelstrom of dark comedy and gory violence.  The kills in the movie are just beautifully inspiring, the best that could be done with the budget available for the production.  It might like iffy, but it certainly has enough of the Troma charm to look cutting edge with the budget.  From decapitations, to arm ripping and a wanton display of gore, The Toxic Avenger is schlocky horror at its best.  It’s not just the kills that make up the film, but also a darkly comedic movie that mixes humor and sex into the fray.  Yeah, this is truly a Troma film.

Much like Poultrygeist, I wouldn’t expect much in terms of acting or a really solid storyline.  What you see is what you get and The Toxic Avenger is all showy without a lot of substance, other than the toxic sludge that is thrown across the screen for our enjoyment.  I mean this is a really enjoyable b-movie with enough to satisfy any fan of b-movie tastes.  It’s also a geek fulfillment movie, where the nerd is bullied enough to the point of breaking and in turn becomes the hero that cleans up the city of Tromaville.  He teaches the bad people a harsh lesson in pain and get to have his cake and eat it too.  All in good fun.

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