The Toxic Avenger/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
There are lots of superhero films in motion picture history and for me, there are two that I really love. First is Richard Donner's Superman, I feel it captures the attitude and the aspects of Superman really well. And the other film? Well, it's the one about a superhero I always wanted to be: The Toxic Avenger!
The story takes place in the fictional town of Tromaville, New Jersey where a lot of toxic waste is being irresponsibly disposed. Melvin, a geeky-looking janitor works at Tromaville Health Club. He's always getting bullied and is disgusted by lots of teenagers who go there. One day, he accidentally falls from the building into a truck loaded with toxic waste and is transformed into The Toxic Avenger, the most unusual superhero of all time. He fights criminals and takes revenge on the teenagers who bullied him. These teenagers deserve to be punished not only because of their cruel pranks, but also due to the fact that they love to kill children by running over them!
Every time I need to write or do something creative, this and Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness are my two favorite films to watch for inspiration. In this film's case, it's one of the wildest ones I've ever seen. It will impress you for many reasons. First, it was shot on a very low budget. The director Lloyd Kaufman made this film in a very DIY style. For example, the scene in which the teenagers run over a child's head on the street was made by using a watermelon. When they it run over, it explodes in a very awesome way! Then there's the fact Melvin and Toxie have totally different voices. When he becomes Toxic Avenger, his voice is clearly dubbed with a very handsome sounding man's voice (which is totally different from Melvin's nerdy voice). In addition, the plot gives you everything you want to see in an exploitation film. You want to gore? You got it. Want to see nudity? You got it. Hot chicks? Sex scenes? a car chase? You got it all!
Finally, it combines various genres that I love. From horror to action to sci-fi to comedy, this film is a very good combination of all of them. Just look at the first 45 minutes, you rarely see the face of Toxie. This technique heightens the excitement and curiosity of the audience to find out what he looks like.
If you do want to watch this film, I STRONGLY recommended the Extended Unrated Director's Cut since it has more gore and montages. By the way, the recent news about the PG-13 remake of Toxic Avenger makes me furious. Why take a film that's so well-known as being a low-budget gory classic and turn it into your typical Hollywood/family-friendly film? Most importantly, there are two films that have already pretty much "remade" Toxic Avenger already, they are Crank and Crank: High Voltage! Both films capture the same over-the-top action/comedy attitude of Toxic Avenger exceptionally well.
Trust me, watch the ORIGINAL Toxic Avenger. Your life will never be the same again!
Nuttawut Permpithak hails from Thailand. He spends his free time watching exploitation films (or any films from the past) writing articles, taking photos and reviewing films for GCDb.